Dreams are often overlooked as something that we will get to. A project for when we have time. Something to sustain us while going through a rough time. When life isn’t so crazy… or chaotic.
However, I had a bit of a revelation this morning as I sat down to write (and I apologize in advance because this is a lengthy one, but if you stick with me until the end I am positive you’ll understand why and that you’ll agree it was worth your time!). It’s been a couple of weeks, and I was going to start this out with some blasé comment about how crazy and chaotic life has been – but let’s be honest. First – I’ve said that before. Who hasn’t? Second – when isn’t life crazy and chaotic?
Not that I would want it any other way. After all, if you sit down and start analyzing why your life is crazy and chaotic, is there anything you would want to change?
When my daughter was born, life became chaotic. Dance class, gymnastics, T-ball, swimming, play dates, birthdays – and that was all before school started. No, not at the same time. I believed it was my responsibility as a parent to expose my daughter to as many different things as I could when she was young, so when she became older she could make the choice herself as to what she wanted to do, and she would have the knowledge to make that decision.
School life was a whole other chaos. Especially middle and high school. Regardless of the age though, there were school events, play dates, birthday parties, sporting events – oh! Let’s not forget the ever-important aspect of having to go to work to be able to pay for all these activities and events your child/ren want to be involved in.
About the time my daughter was three, my dad began to have health issues, after many years of dealing with things we didn’t know were issues. He had his second major heart attack, a few years later he was diagnosed with COPD (which was relatively unknown at that time), and his health began going downhill from there. Dad was a stubborn old coot, and many times I was required to assist mom in getting him to the hospital or what have you. That became a whole other chaos and eventually led to taking over the caregiver role as it was too much for mom.
Fast forward a few years, daughter is now out of college and successful in establishing her own life three hours away. I’m diagnosed with breast cancer and life’s chaos starts anew. While this wasn’t the most fun chaos and craziness I’ve ever experienced, I am pleased with the direction life has gone afterwards.
But again, there is chaos and craziness. As I begin to pursue dreams I’ve had all my life, never having the courage (for a previous post regarding how I found courage – click here!) or backbone to pursue, I find that most days are a non-stop whirlwind of activities I should complete. And, if you didn’t know, I really hate the word “should”. Somebody once said to me, “Why do you want to “should” all yourself” and ever since then I try very hard to reword that when it comes up. After all, all ‘shoulding’ on yourself does is make you depressed and feeling like a failure because you haven’t reached your goals or completed your to-do list.
Despite it all, it is a good chaos and craziness. I’m busy, I’m happy, I’m healthy (as healthy as I can be anyway – oh all right – as healthy as I can be while still enjoying ice cream, chocolate and coffee. Geez you people are rough! And I love it!) I still have a way to go in reaching the pinnacle of my dreams, but at this point that’s irrelevant. What is relevant is every morning I wake up and I do something to make those dreams come true. And isn’t that what life Is really all about?
We only have one chance at this life. Well perhaps two for those who experience a near death event. So, at what point are you going to begin to enjoy the life you’ve been given and do whatever you can to make it the best life ever?
Now don’t go all negative Nellie on me and say “Well I can’t do that, I can barely make enough money to pay the bills” or insert any other statement to prevent you from pursuing your dream. Whatever that statement is, it simply is not true. Trust me on that, I’ve been saying them all for years.
Every one of us can create a dream, to pursue that dream, and to achieve that dream. Will there be obstacles in the way? Absolutely. Are there road blocks, and barriers, and detours as well? Without a doubt. Will there be days where you think you just don’t have the ambition, the energy, the courage, the stamina to push through another day? Of course. Why wouldn’t there be?
I mean honestly. Wouldn’t there be days like that whether you were pursuing dreams or just attempting to live through the day?
So how do you overcome those road blocks? How do you wake up each morning and find the drive to make the most of every day, and when you lay your head down on your pillow at night you fall asleep knowing a peace and contentment because you can truthfully say without a doubt that you were the best you, you could be? And to be able to say that every night, regardless of what happened during the day?
I have developed three simple, well they will become simple with practice, ways I wake up every morning and live intentionally to achieve my dreams. And you, my lucky reader, are going to be in the know as I am going to share them right here! However, as with anything I ever share, or say, or suggest, these may not work the same for you as they did with me.
Another aspect of life is learning what we can, and then we have three choices from there: 1. We learn and do – just as it is. 2. We learn and modify – make it yours. Make it so it will work and be successful for you. And 3. We learn and move on – because that just won’t work. Even then, if #3 is what happens, then keep digging until you find a #1 or #2 choice – because I’ll guarantee something out there will work for you.
It isn’t an easy process though. It’s hard work. You will need to keep revising, learning, and revising some more. Always keep this in mind though – anything worth having is worth pursuing. Regardless of how much work it is.
So. Without further ado here are my three simple ways to start pursuing the dreams of your lifetime!
Yeah, I know. You’ve heard this or read this a bazillion times. But here is where I differ. It has taken me a very long time to understand what exactly that meant … for me. There are so many resources out there on how to live authentically, but I have never found, and maybe it is out there, and I just haven’t found it, something that told me I needed to define what that meant to me.
And that, my dear friends, is the little twist. For if we don’t define what living authentically means to us as an individual, are we living authentically? When we wake up every morning and choose to not pursue our dream/s because we are not good enough, or talented enough, or not in a good place financially; are we living authentically?
I think not.
So, for my first suggestion I strongly encourage you to spend some time defining your life’s authenticity. Ask yourself some questions:
What does living authentically mean to me? Dig deep. Go beyond the be honest, caring, kind, respectful, generous – because those, to me, are a code of ethics. Living authentically can include standing by your code of ethics, but those in and of themselves are not living authentically. They are just one piece of the puzzle.
What dreams do you have? Have you had a passion for something that you’ve been pushing aside? Did you ever look at someone and sigh saying, “I wish I could do that?” What was it? Write it down. Create an authenticity list. Include your code of ethics, your values, your beliefs – because those are what makes up being authentic. Just don’t stop there. Go deeper. And take your time creating this list. Spend a few days, maybe a week, maybe longer creating this list. Revise it. Change it. Change it back. Modify it. Make it your own.
Here’s a different twist. Write down what you don’t want to be. What defines not living authentically. Is it when someone says one thing and does something different? How about working in a job you hate?
The purpose of this step is to develop your authentic life. Because without knowing what that means, without writing it down, do you really know? And how can you live it if you don’t know what means?
Just like the adage says: if a tree falls in the forest, can anyone hear it? If you don’t know what living authentically means, can you live it?
Searching for Your Dream
I don’t know about you, but when I decide I want to do something, I have a pretty bad habit of jumping in with both feet, my two arms, and all the other extremities. For some reason, I have found that if I am going to do something I am all in. Which isn’t always a bad thing.
However, I have found that usually this will triple or quadruple my work. I find myself having to completely redo a web site because it is not compatible with a program It need to have. Or I sign up for a web hosting plan that doesn’t do what I want it to. This list could go on and on. The bottom line is I usually start something from the end… and that doesn’t work so well. Nor is it efficient.
So, if you haven’t guessed yet, the second step is to define your dream. What is it that you dream of doing? Do you want to become a photographer? Or maybe it is to become a CNA? What about staying home and becoming a full-time blogger? What is it that right before you close your eyes at night flashes through your mind?
Then spend some time defining what you want your end goal to be. Do you want to work from home? Or perhaps open a bakery? A coffee house? About this time, I begin to write things down because I have a mind swimming with so many ideas, end goals, dreams that they all start colliding into one another. Which creates a slight attention deficit disorder in that not one idea ever seems to have a beginning, middle or end.
Once you have your list written down, your end goal defined, do your due diligence. What I mean is start researching people who have accomplished what you want to do. Is there a favorite blogger you like to read? Find out their back story. How did they reach their goals? Do they have any suggestions on where to start? What programs you should use?
Or if you need to go back to school, research schools. Delve deep into their programs, the costs, their expectations of you as a student. There are plenty of people out there who are willing to share their story. Some do it for free. Others charge to take their course. Which is not a bad idea; however, make sure you spend time researching one that resonates with you. Find that one that makes you go “ooohhh”. Because I will guarantee once you start reading up about them, more and more will come across your news feed.
A note of caution here. Never, ever, purchase or buy something that you cannot afford. I am all about investing in yourself to achieve your dreams. I am not about putting yourself into hawk to achieve that. The first rule of thumb in a budget is making sure you have money for a roof over your head, transportation, and food on the table. Do not cross that boundary because you found a fabulous course that will make you rich in 90 days by joining up with them – all for only $2,999! While that might be a good deal, if you can’t afford that without taking money away from something else, then stop! It is NOT a good deal.
After you have defined authenticity and searched for your dreams comes the fun part. Implementation of steps to achieve those dreams!
Post to be continued…..
Until next time, capture life kreatively!
P.S. I alluded to the fact of an E-book series – yes that is true! I am in the process of creating a series of E-books regarding Living Life Kreatively. They are still in the planning stages and will probably take a while to finish them but if you want to be notified of their progress and when they are complete, sign up for my newsletter. That way you’ll be one of the first to know!