“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.”
– Henry Thoreau
I often recall that moment in my life when I packed a few suitcases, said goodbye to my parents and friends, and headed off to start a new life in new places.
It seemed I was spending all my time and effort doing things that brought me little satisfaction. I wanted to expand my horizons and live the life I wanted to live.
I drove the Alaska Highway, stood in awe at the beauty of The Grand Canyon, was jostled by the crowd in St Peter’s Square and shouted ‘ole’ at a bull fight in Madrid. I worked, lived and had fun in completely different environments from those that influenced the first part of my life.
Of course it’s obvious that such a decision isn’t right for everyone.
Suddenly packing up and becoming a world traveller may not be the kind of life that’s high on your list of priorities.
BUT . . . . . you’re feeling unsettled and a bit blah about your life. Right?
You don’t want to make a huge change as I did, but you long for a life that is more fulfilling and rewarding. Is that right too?
Well, then, I have 3 F-words that just might be what you’re looking for.
You see, after arriving back from overseas, I still wanted life to be fulfilling and rewarding – but without doing something extreme. 3 simple F-words worked for me.
FIND out what you really want in life.
FACE your fears and doubts.
FOCUS until you achieve the life you want.
But how can these same simple words work for you?
1. FIND out what you really want in life
Many people long to do something different with their life, but when you ask them to describe their ideal existence, they’re vague – they don’t really know precisely what they want.
Others are so caught up with the busyness of life that they never stop long enough to articulate their priorities. They waste energy doing unimportant jobs day after day, without really accomplishing anything. Years rush by leaving them with regrets for all the things they wanted to do but never got around to.
As Denis Watley reminds us,
“The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.”
To help you think about and examine your inner desires, I’ve developed the Reality of Now Challenge.
When looking to the future, particularly if you want things to be different from what they are now, you need to take a close look at the NOW.
Now is where you are at this very moment. Now is your springing off point to the life you want to live.
To take the challenge, consider the various areas of your life. You’ll find some of these down the left hand side of the Reality of Now Challenge Diagram below.
Think deeply and complete the challenge to the best of your ability, without rushing.
For each heading, and others you might add to the diagram, circle the number that rates how you feel about that area of your life right now. 1 is least satisfying or needing lots of improvement, while 7 means that this area is in top shape at the moment. (But 7 doesn’t mean perfection.)
The Challenge is designed to help you be very specific about what you want to improve or change, in order to create the life you want.
The Challenge requires you to think and analyze. It’ll help you map out where you want to go with your life.
If the Challenge exposes several areas with low scores that need a tweak or makeover, prioritize them. Make a note of your highest priority. You’ll work on that first.
2. FACE Your Fears and Doubts
Are you holding yourself back because you fear you might fail? Or because you doubt that you really can do or be anything different?
Consider these words from Flavia Weedn:
“If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again.”
So how can you face your fears and doubts?
Believe in yourself. It’s essential for success. Keep this truth in your mind at all times so you’re living with a mindset that’s open to receiving creative thoughts and ideas to propel you forward.
Be grateful for 5 things in your life, as you awake each morning. This puts you in a positive frame of mind for the day.
Being positive will help you deal with the fear of taking risks. You’ll be excited to venture outside your comfort zone.
Your positive attitude won’t allow you to accept excuses from yourself. If you’re telling yourself that you can’t afford to take the first step, make it happen by adjusting your finances. The energy wasted on excuses, doubts, fears and complaints can be channeled more creatively.
Strive for improvement rather than perfection. This will ensure your stress levels will be kept in check.
3. FOCUS Until You’ve Achieved Your Goal
Many people quit almost as soon as they start, because they expect too much too quickly.
To avoid the temptation to quit, rejoice in small successes you have along the way.
See failures and obstacles as opportunities to grow and blossom, rather than as things to fear. They can be vehicles of empowerment.
Follow the advice of Tony Robbins:
“Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives.”
With those words in mind, it’s time to focus on the goals you’ve established. You’ll need commitment and perseverance.
Commit your goals to paper. Use lots of detail. Be clear and definite.
Develop “to do” lists. Your goals should now move past the dream stage. They must be actionable, measureable and be attainable by daily steps.
Use your strengths to achieve those goals, so you are energized fully. You might even find yourself using your strengths in ways you have never thought possible.
Tweak your goals as you progress. You might find that what you pursue first isn’t exactly what you wanted, but it might lead you to a more beneficial approach. In this way, high stress levels can be avoided and your journey will be more enjoyable.
Change negative attitudes to positives. A negative viewpoint can prevent you from seeing a situation in a creative way.
Think, breathe and live your dream until you succeed.
Well, that’s it. Now it’s over to you.
I’ve left you with 3 F-words to start you on your journey towards the life you want to live.
While the journey might not be easy, there’s no need to stress yourself out to the max.
Relaxation is crucial for maintaining good health and making progress. You’ll also benefit from spending regular time in a quiet, outdoor setting for summarizing and evaluating.
Please leave a comment about your life’s journey. Are you living the life you really want to live? I’d love to hear from you.