This is the third installment in a series titled “5 Ways to Live the Life You Were Meant to”
- Part One: Get Motivated from Joel Runyon
- Part Two: Be Your Own Boss from Eric Pratum
- Part Three: Living the Dream (you’re reading it!)
- Part Four: How to Build Your Community from David Crandall
- Part Five: Find the Company That Lets You Be You from Srinivas Rao
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).