If you could fast forward to the end of your life, are you confident that at the end of the road you’ll be happy with where you stand? Recognize that you will only be given one shot to live the life of your dreams. There isn’t going to be a second chance, this isn’t a dress rehearsal. Identify first and foremost, what is important to you as it relates to your career, your relationships and your family and go chase it. The biggest and most exciting adventure one can take in life is chasing the life of their dreams
Here are a few things that you can start doing that will help you live your dreams:
Think in Possibilities and not Limitations
Life is limitless. The moment we start to think otherwise we start to put restraints on ourselves and our abilities. Too many people limit their potential because they don’t want to spend the time it requires to get to where they wan’t to be. They focus too much on the limitations of what they have which holds them back from the possibilities of what could be. Whether you’re talking about the possibilities of your career, the possibilities of your health or the possibilities of your relationships; you need to think about what you can do to achieve what it is you’re aiming for. Stop making excuses because so and so doesn’t like you, or your city doesn’t have the economic support for your business and do something. Do something meaningful and do something that defies what others thought was impossible.
Ignore Societal Comparisons
The only competition you need to think about right now is the person you see when you look in the mirror. You’re competing against the person in the mirror who tells you to sit back and relax when you have hard decisions to make. You’re competing against the person in the mirror who doesn’t control their emotions and acts irrationally during high stress situations. Focus on you. Don’t worry about the guy you went to high school with and don’t worry about your colleague. Constantly checking your life against someone else is a horrible way of living. While it’s cliche, “don’t try to keep up with the Jones’.” Instead of looking at the story that someone else is writing and taking a stab at replicating it, focus on your story and do something that will make your story worth reading.
Change the Game Don’t Let the Game Change You
Macklemore said it best. Change the game don’t let the game change you. Make the money, don’t let the money make you. These simple lyrics are the key to staying true to yourself and staying humble. Too often do people become someone they’re not for a new job opportunity instead of embracing their true passions and what they love to do. Will Smith once said that money simply amplifies what personality traits are already there and in someways I agree. Yet, I think the most important thing that money does is reveal the strength of a person. It reveals whether or not someone will exchange their dreams and passion for a pay-cheque.
Put away the Phone and Be Present
We live in a world where we spend 2 minutes on Twitter to read about somebody’s coffee, 2 minutes on instagram to see a picture of that coffee and 2 minutes on Facebook to hear about the person who served the coffee. How about we simply enjoy our coffee and shut up? That’s what you need to do. That’s what we all need to do. We need to stop trying to share every single minute of our lives with those around us and enjoy ever single minute of our lives right here, right now. The moment we can disconnect ourselves from technology and reconnect with society; we’ll be better off as a whole. Embrace being present and embrace being with those who are physically around you.
Remove Excessive Possessions
Countless studies have shown that money can buy you happiness. Didn’t expect that did you? Surprisingly, what most people don’t realize is that happiness doesn’t come from a shiny new necklace or from a brand new car. Happiness comes from living life to the fullest by doing things. In 2010, the New York Times published an article about consumption and how it relates to happiness.
In this article a professor discussed a study that identified the number one category to be positively related to happiness. Surprisingly the top category wasn’t cars, home improvements or even a shiny new necklace from Tiffany’s. The number one category was leisure activities: vacations, entertainment, sports and equipment used to enhance an experience such as golf clubs, yoga mats or a surf board. Thus, buying authentic memorable experiences should be our primary focus when looking to optimize our lives using a pay cheque. And that, is why we do this.
Spend Time with Friends Who Help You Level Up
You are the average of the people you spend the most time with. Not only that, you find interests and similarities with those who you spend the majority of your time with. Back in 2010, I was dedicated to getting back in shape and spent countless hours working out at a local gym. I quickly noticed a change in the people I was spending the majority of my time with and noticed that they were also dedicated to health. Our conversations were about our eating habits, supplements and what body part we’d be working on the next day. I got in amazing shape as a result and learned more than I ever thought I’d know about the human body and the possibilities of my own body.
If you’re focused on becoming successful in business, it’s important to surround yourself with people who are looking to achieve the same thing. You’re able to discuss the struggle and gain insights on what they’ve been doing to find success. If you surround yourself with people who are constantly negative and spend more time talking about why the world is out to get them; you too will become a victim of the circumstances in which you impose on yourself. Surround yourself with people who do great things and are great people. In doing so, you too will become great by association.
Stop Trying to Have All the Worlds Answers
One lesson you’ll learn through life is that you’ll never learn everything. You will understand that it’s simply impossible to learn everything there is to know about everything. As a result, it’s important to leverage those around you who have strengths where you have weaknesses so your combined knowledge can be used to move forward. It’s also important to recognize that you can’t have all the worlds answers when you relate them back to your own life. The real world doesn’t reward those who try to figure things out before acting, it rewards people who move on their instinct and chase their dreams in the face of uncertainty.
Focus on the Things You Control
Too many people look at the things they can’t control. It’s important for us to focus on the things we can control in life as it’s the only way we can actually make progress. If you focus on the things you can’t control it will take a toll on you as you’re constantly setting unrealistic expectations. You set expectations that certain things will happen but have no ability to make them happen because they’re out of your control. If you deny the reality of not being able to change something you will continue to waste your time and energy. You will waste time wishing that things were different, or pretending that they are and ultimately get nowhere.
Focus on the Things & People That Matter
Time is scarce. Furthermore, time is the most valuable resource we have. It’s the one thing that each of us are privileged with and the one thing that we can use to move forward or step back. If you spend your time focusing on things that have no significance to your life how can you expect to accomplish anything? The most important thing in life is recognizing and embracing the idea of prioritization. If you prioritize things that are important to you, you will become closer to living the life of you dreams. You need to identify who and what is important to you and allocate your attention to these things rather than those that won’t help you get where you wan’t to be.
Make the Best of Every Situation
Challenges should be embraced. Each day you will be met with a combination of challenges and opportunities. Some of these days will be stressful, some of these days will be easy, if you can meet each day with optimism and make a commitment to being happy; you will fall in love with life. Greet your obstacles with open arms and embrace them recognizing the possibilities that they will have on the other side. Embrace your positive thoughts and surround yourself with positive people. Let the possibilities of every situation inspire you and keep moving forward.
Strive to Bring Value to the World
If there is one thing you can do before you leave this world to say life was worth it, it is this: Be a reason the world is better than it was when you got here. If you can strive to accomplish this goal, you will forever be driven to provide value to the lives of those around you and on a global scale. You will be driven by a purpose more important than your ego and more important than your pay cheque. You will strive to make a positive change in the face of adversity and create more than you consume. When you develop a mantra such as this one, you can’t help but go forward in the direction of the life of your dreams.
Choose Happiness over Everything Else
If you can find joy in doing nothing, you can find it in everything. Learn to experience happiness without a reason and you can create happiness for any reason. Realize that happiness and joy are not always the result of good things, oftentimes they are the cause of good things. There is nothing you need in order to be happy other than the choice to be. So let go of the worries you have for what may or may not come your way. Focus instead on the good things that you can give, create, inspire and choose to experience, right here, right now. Don’t allow the world to pull you down with its negativity. Choose to transform the world around you with your own positivity.
Be Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
When you do things that scare you, great outcomes will be met on the other side While it’s a cliche, the idea that “with great risk comes great reward” is an idea that needs to be embraced. When you have the ability to control your natural instinct to avoid things that scare you, you start do the things that no one else will. You start chasing the life of your dreams with your eyes on the prize. The greatest human accomplishments are reached from someone who starts from an uncomfortable place. Whether you’re striving to create a better world or a better business; one way to gauge whether or not you’re doing something substantial is how uncomfortable you are when you start.
Be Accountable for The Life You Live
Make no excuses and don’t point fingers at others for the cards you’ve been dealt. Instead of believing that the problems in your life are the result of someone else’s actions, think and realize that your life is what you make it. Do not allow yourself to be limited to what you believe you’re capable of. Push the boundaries and test the constraints of external forces as you come upon them, and in the process learn which can bend, and which can break. Recognize what you’ve done to get yourself where you are and utilize this knowledge to do things that will create a positive future. As Eminem once said, life is no nintendo game – you don’t get second chances.
Be Less Busy but More Productive
Stop celebrating the fact that you’re busy. More times than not, being busy is simply mental stimulation that gets us no where. Instead of working harder, work smarter. Work on things that will actually allow you to make a significant stride towards what you’re hoping to accomplish. If you walk into an office on a Thursday afternoon filled with 30 or 40 people, it’s more likely that you’ll see busy people than productive people. You’ll see someone who’s busy running from one meeting to the next, running from one conference call to another and see a handful of people who don’t have enough time to do things that really matter. This sense of being busy is embraced by the company because all they see is their little hampsters running around on a wheel. Instead of running on a wheel like a hampster make some priorities. Identify what you’re hoping to accomplish from a goal perspective and chase it.
This article “15 Things You Can Do to Start Living the Life of Your Dreams” first appeared on RossSimmonds.com