“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”
We all have an idea of our dream life. We all aspire to certain things, to be a certain someone, and to lead a certain lifestyle. But somewhere along the way those ideals and those dreams can get lost, and it’s easy to get complacent and convince yourself that the dream life you once aspired to is simply reserved for your imagination.
5 years ago when I was studying in Paris for my year abroad, I decided that I didn’t want to pursue a career in Law after I graduated. I couldn’t explain why I wanted to be a lawyer, and so I didn't want to commit my life to a career that I wasn’t in love with. Up until that point, it was almost as though I’d been confining my mind to a small box of opportunities, rather than a whole world. When I made that decision, it was like a lightbulb moment. I realized that I could do anything I wanted – literally, anything – and that realization completely changed the way I lived my life after that.
We're all entitled to a life that we love, but sometimes we just need a push to make it happen. We often dismiss our dreams as just "dreams", rather than goals, and we tell ourselves that our dreams are too farfetched or too impossible to make happen. But the reality is that whatever your age or your situation, you can make a change. Of course, it's easier to be comfortable than it is to leap out of your comfort zone. It's easier to just go through the motions than it is to make a change. But you'll never live your dream life by taking the easy route.
So if you’re struggling to make a change and live your dream, hopefully these 5 steps will give you the motivation you need to work hard, dream big, and have faith in yourself. After all, life is way more exciting and productive when we're in pursuit of our goals, and when those dreams become a reality, it's one of the best feelings in the world.
"Believe and you will achieve."
Have faith in yourself
How many times have you said to yourself, "I wish I could do that, but...", and then come up with an excuse as to why you can't? We're all guilty of that, and it's something I used to do a lot in my University years. I'd wish for something, and then tell myself I couldn't do it because of xyz reason, or because I wasn't good enough, or because I didn't know which path to follow. I now know that those reasons weren't real reasons - the underlying issue was that I didn't have enough faith in myself to pursue that goal.
The quote "Believe and you will achieve" is one from my childhood. I don't know if I came up with it (i'm gonna pretend that I did), or if I read it somewhere and it stuck with me, but it couldn't be more accurate. Without belief in yourself, your dreams will never happen. Self-doubt is one of the most soul-destroying things in the world, and when we doubt ourselves, we're only hurting and hindering our success. Having faith is easier said than done, but just remember that you are limitless. Don't be the person to stand in the way of your own potential - be the person that makes your potential happen. Change won't happen on its own. If you want something enough, you can and you will find a way to make it happen. You just need a little faith.
Don’t be scared of failure
There are two types of people - those with a Tendency to Avoid Failure (TAF), and those with a Tendency to Achieve Success (TAS). People with a TAF tend to avoid taking on new challenges because they want to avoid failure, but in doing that, they don't achieve their full potential. People with a TAS aren't more successful because they're more talented, they're more successful because they're not afraid of failure, and they will keep on grinding until they succeed.
Some of the most successful people in the world have experienced huge failures. Sir James Dyson went through 5,126 failed prototypes of what's now one of the best vacuum cleaners in the world before he got it right. It took him 5,126 attempts over 15 years, but he's now a billionaire. That is a crazy and admirable level of dedication, but it just goes to show that if at first you don't succeed, and if after 5,126 times you don't succeed, success is still a possibility.
Rather than seeing failure as a setback, see it as an opportunity to learn. Don't not do something because you're scared of failing. Go and chase your dreams, and if it doesn't work out the way you planned, embrace your failures, learn from your mistakes, and move on to your next goal.
"The only thing worse than starting something and failing... is not starting something."
"Love what you do and do what you love. Don't listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it.
You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the centre of your life."
Stop caring about what other people think
When you're trying to make a change in your life, the question of "What will people think" will at some point enter your mind. It's natural to think this, but you have to remember that it's not about other people - it's about you.
I'm not sure if i've ever mentioned this, but about 4 years ago I started a food blog. It wasn't anything amazing but it featured healthy recipes and surprisingly got quite a bit of traffic. Despite this, I never showed or shared it with anyone. I was too scared because I was afraid of what people would think. One day I decided to delete it because I convinced myself it was silly and I was too concerned about being judged. Essentially, I gave up doing something I loved because I feared what other people would think. I let a make-believe fear dictate what I did.
I realized after that it was such a foolish thing to do, but it taught me a very valuable lesson...stop caring what people think. Ironically, I went ahead and started this blog a year later, and I've received more support than I could ever have imagined. Sure, people probably judge me, but it feels empowering to go ahead and do it anyway, because it's something that I want to do. So when you're making changes in your life and chasing your dreams, remember that people will judge you. It's inevitable. But never let that stop you from doing what you want to do. Forget about other people, and focus on chasing your dreams. Because it's your life, and no one else's.
Make a plan
When you're making a change in your life, it helps to have a plan. Write down all of the things that you want to change, and the dreams that you want to make happen within the next 5 years. Create short-term (3 months), medium-term (1 year), and long-term (5 years) milestones to give you something to work towards and mark your progress. Whether you want to change your lifestyle and diet, your job, your living situation, or you want to travel or move away - whatever it is - a plan will help. Depending on your goal, map out what changes will need to be made, how much money you want to be making / need to save, what sacrifices you need to make to achieve your goal, and actions you need to take to make it happen.
Remember too that plans don't always work out, and sometimes things change. When I was 18, my plan was to be living in London and working as a lawyer by the age of 25. Little did I know that what I wanted would change along the way, and my life right now really couldn't be more different!! You may need to make new plans along the way, but that's what's exciting. Remember, there will be ups and downs and life will no doubt throw you obstacles, but these challenges are what make you stronger. Keep following your dreams, believing in yourself and continuing to do what makes you happy, and everything will work out.
"Once in a while it really hits people that they don't have to experience the world in the way they have been told."
“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than the one with all the facts.”
Work hard, be optimistic & keep dreaming
There's one word that I really don't like, and that's "lucky". The people who have managed to create their dream life are not lucky - they are successful. They have grafted, made sacrifices, worked hard, dreamt big, and in the end have managed to create their dream life. Their success shouldn't be attributed to the universe being in their favour - it should be attributed to their hard work and determination. Luck won't get you anywhere, but hard work and faith in yourself will.
It's important to remember too that not everyone will be as excited about your life change and your dreams as you are, and that's ok. Normally this isn't because they're trying to be unsupportive, it's because everyone is different and not everyone will share your goals. I've lost count of how many people have asked when i'm going to "Stop messing around, get a proper job, and settle down." It used to bother me a lot, but then I realized that it shouldn't. Their norm is different to my norm, and that's okay. Their dream is different to my dream, and that's also okay.
So, if you want to make a change in your life, no matter how big or small, I think you should go for it. Decide what you want (and if you don't know, take time to find that out), have confidence in yourself, and make a plan to get you there. Even if your immediate gut reaction is "Oh, I could never do that", ask yourself "Why not?". Remember, where there's a will, there's a way. Work hard, be optimistic, and keep dreaming. You are in charge of your life and your happiness, and if you really put your mind to something, there's nothing to say you can't achieve it.
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What are you working towards, and how do you inspire yourself to keep chasing your dreams? Drop me a comment below with your thoughts as i'd love to know how you stay motivated!