5 Ways to Live the Life You Were Meant to – Living the Dream

5 Ways to Live the Life You Were Meant to – Living the Dream

Written by Mark

Topics: Uncategorized

This is the third installment in a series titled “5 Ways to Live the Life You Were Meant to”

Are you living the dream?

Every single one of you reading this thought of a different answer.  There are also different types of dreams.  There’s The American Dream.   They’re Childhood dreams.  There’s also Personal dreams.  Then there are the stereotypes for what “living the dream” is supposed to mean.  Nice house, fast car, hot wife.  What follows is the road map you must follow to get there.  Go to school, get a job, work work work, buy nice house, buy nice car, get hot wife, work work work, then die.  “Living the dream” has become a consumerist contest measuring success only by comparing ourselves to others around us. It wasn’t always like this.  When we were children, we were told the world had unlimited potential. We could dream and they could come true.

Adult life is where childhood dreams go to die.

Possibility, potential, and hope became naïve childish delusions.  The lifestyle ignition of your childhood was extinguished by the pragmatism of adulthood.  You were looked down upon if you strayed from the pack.  Dreams became wishful thinking.  You needed to buckle down and get serious.  You needed to be “real”.  But what is real, and whose reality is this?  Usually, it was somebody else’s notions and ideas.  If you are blindly following somebody else’s ideas you are not living the dream.  The first thing you must do in order to live the dream is identify what your dreams are. But they actually have to be your dreams.  Not society’s dreams.  Nor your parent’s dreams, nor anybody else’s.

Identify your dreams

One of the biggest challenges is being able to identify your dreams.  You’ve been so conditioned as to what your dreams are supposed to be, that it can take some time to actually develop what your dreams are.  This is ok.  They’re your dreams and your life.  Think of what you like to do.  Allow yourself to think about what gets you excited and what you’re passionate about.  Write these thoughts down.  Let them run wild.  Barring all barriers what would you do?  Where would you go?  Who would you interact with?  Nothing is too crazy.  There was a time when those who thought the world wasn’t flat were considered blasphemous, flight was deemed madness, radio waves insanity, and a horseless carriage impossible. (Horseless carriages are called cars nowadays).  Although it would be nice, you don’t need to come up with the next greatest invention.  You just need to identify your dreams so you can live them when you’re awake.

Making your dreams reality

If everyone’s dream is different, then everyone’s path there should be different to. Don’t get stuck on a path because you have already started to go down it.  You only live once.  Do not continue down a path you know is not right for you, just because of the blind assumption that “it’s the right thing to do”.  It might be the safe thing to do and the most practical thing to do, but not the right thing to do.  When you’re sitting on your death bed, do you really want to say you led a practical and safe life?!  You didn’t take any risks, you didn’t follow your dreams, but you made it through life; you got by. I know I know, you have spent years studying and working in a certain field.  You’ve spent incredible amounts of money getting this degree and have thousands of dollars in student loans to pay back.  However, each day you continue down the path doing something you don’t like, is another day of not living your dream.  More money, more time, more resources spent furthering a career, path or dream that isn’t yours.

I used to work at a bank.  I had a nice job with a comfortable salary.  Yet, I didn’t like it.  It was “practical” and the right thing to do was to stay, but I wanted to experience something more.  It’s better to do something you enjoy than something that doesn’t click with your inner being just because it’s reasonable and safe. Now, I am living my dream and it’s an incredible feeling.  I am free to do what I want when I want.  I can fly to Los Angeles for a week to visit a friend without having to take a vacation day.  I can plan a world journey.  My schedule is flexible.  Life is fun and life is great.  It’s an incredible feeling to be having fun and loving what I do in life.  It’s in that mindset that creativity takes flight.  Practicality has the illusions of safety and success, yet it’s usually unpractical ideas and dreams that account for world change and progress.  I am able to pursue my dream of starting a company. I am doing it with my good friend Jeremy Smith, who also follows his dreams.  We have the time and flexibility to focus our time and creativity on an idea of our own.  We make our own schedule, and blaze our own path through life with sights set on living our dreams.

If you live to 75, you will have lived 27,375 days.  If you’re twenty years old, you have 20,075 days left to live.  If you’re thirty; 16,425, Forty; 12,775, Fifty; 9,125 and so on.  The days of your life are limited.  Take control of them!  Live the life you were meant to.  Live the dream.

This is Part 3 of a 5 part series, please don’t forget to take a look at the rest of the series (links above).

Related Posts with Thumbnails

23 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Joel Runyon says:

    The day count hit me like a ton of bricks. Wow. It’s a simple calculation that can have a big impact. Great reminder to use those days wisely.

    • Mark says:

      The day count really is a wake up call. Life is so much shorter than we all perceive!

    • Eric Pratum says:

      When I was in high school, I read The Art of Happiness. Awesome book if you ask me. At one point in it, the Dalai Lama talks about the fact that, if we’re lucky, we get 75 years on this earth. Each of those years is broken up by seasons. If I think about it, I have had 28 summers, falls, winters, and springs in my life. I should have 40-50 more sets, which is great, but when I consider that I only have, for example, 50 summers left (and therefore 50 opportunities to do the things that come along with summer (lay in the sun, vacation, grow a garden, and so on), my time on this earth starts to seem a lot more precious. 50 years is a long time for sure, but with how fast time passes, even 25 of those 50 spent doing something I don’t love is far too much.

      • Mark says:

        Wow Eric, that is a totally different perspective. Sent chills down my spine reading it. I don’t think I’ve ever been so affected from reading a comment. Real deep stuff. It really got me thinking. When you break up each year into seasons that’s a game changer. Completely changes the view and feeling of the time we have left in this great life. Thank you Eric. Real profound stuff.

        • Eric Pratum says:

          Thanks, Mark. I remember being really affected by that portion of the book. Of course, I was extremely impressionable at that age so that played in at least a little bit ;-) But, still, life is a precious a thing. It’s not something that I’m afraid is slipping from my grasp or anything, but it is something that I am occasionally concerned about wasting. Make compromises, yes, but don’t compromise yourself for what could turn out to be an unsatisfactory goal.

  2. Funny, the day count has always been something I’m conscious of. I actually had a celebration on my 10,000th day and invited friends to it! LOL (I just hit my 13,000th day less than 2 months ago.)

    I want to point out the word “IF” in that statement too. IF you live to 75 then you have those remaining days. No one guarantees tomorrow. IF we knew we only had 10 days left to live, what would be different? 100? Another 10,000? Obviously, we need to make preparations and plan for our life, but not at the expense OF our lives.

    I also really like this: Don’t get stuck on a path because you have already started to go down it. I fear that most people will reach the end of their days having gone down a path simply because they started it and were afraid to stop. I know you’ll agree that is bullshit. What a waste and an irresponsible thing to do with our most precious gift: life.

    This is a great article and I love it!!!

    • Mark says:

      Happy belated 13,000th birthday David! The “IF” is so true. We have no idea what affliction, freak accident, or whatever will end up shortening that number of days.

      Quote of the day.

      “We need to make preparations and plan for our life, but not at the expense OF our lives.”

      Perfect David!

      Many people still embark down a path they don’t like because they are afraid to change it. The sunk costs are mentally too much to bear, and they would look at it, as an admission of failure. Changing course in your life is not an admission of failure but a realization of perspective.

      We live only once. Let’s not waste such a precious thing!

  3. Srinivas Rao says:

    The most brilliant thing I’ve read to date here “Adult Life is where Childhood Dreams go to Die.” This is so so sad, but true. It’s funny whenever I tell people about learning how to challenge, or actually say to hell with authority, I tell them, “You should meet Mark Lawrence. This guy has serious issues with authority and I love him for it, HAHA.

    Good stuff man.

  4. Hackman says:

    Hey Mark,

    I definately agree. I have done a few things lately because that probably weren’t the best ideas in the long term (financially), but I figure you only live once and I wanted to do them at the time. So, why not. I feel like I have often done so, going against conventional wisdom and everything has always turned out wonderfully.

    I feel like I live 2 lives. I have the conventional life, stable (boring) job, higher education (just finished thank goodness), hot wife (well this was my dream, SCORE!!). And in my other life (vacation, weekends, etc.) my life is pretty much madness that goes beyond what I had even thought I was capable of. I mean this as travel, investments, festivals, people I meet, recreational activities, etc. I see people who kind of mesh those 2 together and I am amazed. Like individuals that have travel blogs and seem to make a decent living at it, or at least decent enough to be able to continue doing it. But I read their blogs and I notice that they don’t have lasting relationships, no family. Do I want to travel 365 days a year, hell yes. Do I want to have a hot wife and a family. Hell yes. I also see the entrepreneur who does what they love. But to me it seems like this person is either so busy that they are not able to travel or have a lot of time for their family, or are just plain shady. At least that is my experience. Like you mentioned, my dream is different than everyone elses. But I feel that unless you have only one dream, and I believe that most of us have multiple dreams, then there has to be a give and take. I feel like I have to sacrifice in one portion of my life inable to achieve dreams in another different aspect. But I do agree long term dreams are most worth pursuing. For me that would be to have a large and amazing family. So, I have to make my dreams of travel more of a short term thing. Like only on vacations, or taking 1 year off to travel. But I can’t do it for 10, 20 years.

    I spent 1 season at Squaw Valley in lake Tahoe and it was the most amazing time of my life. Like college but instead of class you work at a ski lift. Now, I could have spent the rest of my life there, and believe my I met a lot of people who had. They were amazing skiers but were 45 year old children. Still taking drugs, driving beat up cars that could barely make it to work. Maybe that was there dream, and it was as some point in my younger life. But I didn’t realize when it was my dream what if fully entailed. Once I had a taste, it was revealed what I truely wanted. So I enjoyed my time, and decided to never return (working there for a full season). It is funny because once I made that decision I met my future wife.

    I completely agree with not continuing on the same path just because you have so much time invested. Things change, perspectives change, dreams change. I had a friend from college that wanted nothing more to play professional soccer. Actually, I think you met him when you came out to California and we surfed. Man, you were a trooper in that cold ass water and oversized wetsuit. Anyways, he had his chance in England and was doing it. But his girlfriend at the time gave him an ultimatium, come back to California or we are through. So he caved in and gave up on his dream. This is where sacrifice should have came in, but he came home. I was so mad that he gave up on his dream and that he was with someone who didn’t support his dream. Now, did he make the wrong choice. Maybe, maybe not. He ended up breaking up shortly after but his chance at professional soccer was pretty much over. I was pretty upset at the time. He did a similar thing a few years later. He wanted to live in Brazil for 6 months to a year (after going to my wedding there and meeting my wife’s friends). But just before he was supposed to leave he met a girl he really liked. He was already commited to something in Brazil so went for a month, but then came home. This time I was really pissed because he had done it again. This one really hit me because my wife is Brazilian, we have a house there, and friends. But now she is his wife and he is the happiest person that I know. I now realize that I had misinterpreted his dream. Like mine, it was to have a family and have wonderful friends, travel yes, but more of a short term thing.

    I guess I have rambled here, but I completely agree with you on 2 points you have made. First don’t continue down a path if it is not what you really want (in the first place or you have changed). Second, life is too short so make that transition as soon as you realize it is the wrong path.

    On a different note, not sure if you heard about this but check it out.
    http://www.startribune.com/business/108302669.html

    • Mark says:

      Wow, Hackman wow, what an epic comment! Going against conventional wisdom is both fun and rewarding. There’s so much fear surrounding an unconventional lifestyle, yet it seems to always work out beautifully. There is absolutely no way to determine what outcome a decision made today will have on the future and days after tomorrow. I remember that feeling of living two lives also. Companies that don’t let us be ourselves, make that double life the status quo. You bring up a good point about how your dream differs from everyone elses. Each person you read about had their own path and their own way of doing things. I read a lot about blogs and a lot about different people in a wide range of lifestyles. I would never want to model my life on one person’s lifestyle. There are certain aspects I’d like to incorporate and certain types of inspiration from each, but in the end, it is my life and my journey. The give and take you talk about is something real that not a lot of even dreamers talk of. Dreams can compete with each other and some are mutually exclusive. The push and pull and sacrifice for each depends on how strong the passion is for the specific dream.

      I really enjoyed reading the personal touches you added not just about your own life, but the life of your friend. I am so glad it worked out for him and stoked that you are following your dreams also. Wish the best to you and your wife. BTW, that water was cold LOL, but I really appreciated that surfing. Good times man.

      Life’s too short not to change direction when a direction change is what’s needed. Rock out man, and be in touch.

      And no I hadn’t heard the news, thanks for the link!

  5. Matt says:

    WOW!! If that last paragraph doesn’t catch you and wake you up then nothing will. We are all living on borrowed time right now. Not only are our days limited but the quality of those days can change in an instant as well. Do things now while you can. And yet so many people keep traveling down unhappy paths thanks to not being able to overcome the fear factor. Great post. That last paragraph really jolted me awake.

    • Mark says:

      Do the things you love now, while you can. I say this in a positive way. Not intended with any impending doom, but life is short, so we should savor it! Keep continuing down the path you love with you and your family. You’re journey is an inspiration Matt!

      • Eric Pratum says:

        Matt seems to be an awesome example of someone, who picked up on points in each post and let us know how they work practically within his life/experience. That’s awesome. And, fwiw, he’s got a great blog as well.

  6. David Damron says:

    Some great thoughts and motivation. I was there at that life but didn’t prepare myself for the financial aspect as well as I hoped. I learned and, now, am striving again for the same.

    Keep the great posts coming…

    David Damron
    LifeExcursion

    • Mark says:

      David, we learn from each path we take. There were mistakes and failures along the way in certain paths I have taken in my life. Really man, I’ve messed up HUGE, and made some ridiculous mistakes and failed miserably. But I wouldn’t take anything back because I have learned so much and those experiences have shaped me into the person that I am today. Strive on David!

  7. Adi says:

    What if im forced into the path i dont really want?…..for example-i want to study fashion tech and make that my career but my parents are forcing me into engineering in which im not even intrested in.

    • Mark says:

      Family pressure is definitely a factor. It is hard to be successful at something when you’re not interested in it. If you have a passion for something else show your parents how you could be successful in that field because it’s something that interests you. Parents worry and they want the best and they have a lot of wisdom, but some can be looking through an outdated “lens”.

  8. annie says:

    “Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake”

    I know it came from a fortune cookie lol, but I still think that this is the line out of all from the article that hit something in me. When I read that I think, Wow. I have never in my life even actually ever fathomed the idea that all of dreams – both sleeping dreams and goal-like dreams like you’ve spoken about – could actually be my life. It’ll take some time for that to fully sink in.
    Thanks for that Mark and thank you for the post also.

23 Comments Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Tweets that mention 5 Ways to Live the Life You Were Meant to – Living the Dream | Life Style Ignition -- Topsy.com
  2. Get Motivated | Blog Of Impossible Things
  3. Finding the Company that Lets You Be You
  4. Smart Marketing for Smart People » Blog Archive Live the Life You Were Meant to: Be Your Own Boss - Smart Marketing for Smart People

Leave a Comment Here's Your Chance to Be Heard!