Hi I hope you are feeling great. I’m going to share some insights and practical tips on how to realise your dreams and be happier by doing just ONE thing.
A lot of people know what their dream is. For some us the answer is not so clear. No need to beat yourself up about this though. In fact, what I have realised is that our dreams are often more about “rediscovering” our dreams and not actually “discovering” our dreams. Let me explain:
It was a lot easier when we were younger
A lot of us forget what our dreams are. What do I mean? Well, when you talk to children, they know exactly what their dreams are. They know exactly what they want to be when they grow up. Put this theory to the test. Ask the next child you meet under the age of 10 what they want to do in their lives and sure enough they will have an answer on the tip of their tongue.
Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were little?
By contrast when you ask an adult, they are not so sure, or they sigh because they feel life has passed them by or even worse they think it’s a pointless question. Well it’s not. And as adults we forget what our childhood dreams are. We feel we need to go out and search for our dream or that it will somehow find us. In reality all we need to do is stop a while and listen to ourselves to find that inner clarity again.
When we get in touch with our hearts again, things start to fall in place. It’s amazing how everything starts to click. This is the first step to be happier. Unfortunately a lot of dreams are still inside people’s hearts. They are not living them on the outside. Instead they are working 9 to 5, wasting their lives for someone else’s dream.
That was me too. For a lot of years I detached myself from my dreams, from my heart. I wanted to be a dancer and I ended up working as a Sales Manager in an office without windows. Back then I was going to work in the dark and getting the bus back home in a strange town on my own, in the dark. I remember thinking to myself: “Is this what I studied so hard for all those years so I could be alone in the dark feeling tired all the time?” It’s crazy! Why did my parents and everyone else seem to think this was the right thing to do? And why does society encourage children to do this?
Is ignoring our heart, desires and dreams simply easier?
Because our dreams can bring pleasure, they will by default also bring worry or fear of failure. When we follow our path and go our own way, we leave ourselves and our heart open to the “elements”. So perhaps it is easier to follow a path with less emotion. Maybe we feel safer ignoring our heart when we no longer have endless courage like we did as children. We accumulate fear as we get older. This fear stops us from living our dream. We collect the toxic barnacles of society and criticism and these weigh us down, leaving us unable to move, preferring to remain cocooned in a 9 to 5 job.
Why did I say that it is worse when people think asking what your dreams are is a pointless question? Because those people have an added layer of barnacles. The layer of cynicism. Being cynical provides them with a protective barrier to opening up and laying their hearts bare. They are scared of imagining what it would be like to realise their true desires. Being exposed like that, being vulnerable makes them prone to a failure they are not willing to face, so they don’t even try.
Instead they pick a predictable life. They choose a path that is safer without the fear of failure and pain. But when you choose a path that is not your own to ignore this fear and pain, you are also shutting down to feeling alive. You are living a half-life. This path will bring other pain such as depression and self-loathing.
What can I do to change this?
You might feel like I did 3 years ago: burnt out. I didn’t have the energy any more, I’d burnt out doing work for 10 hours a day in someone else’s office or company. I had nothing left to give. Because when I stopped following my dreams, I stopped living. I stopped being me. And it’s hard to get that back. In fact, you might feel that it’s impossible. It took me a while with some setbacks too, living on the breadline, but I refused to go back to the rat race or hamster wheel – sorry for all the rodent metaphors!
You have to remember your dream. Start listening to yourself again.
The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.
Marshal Ferdinand Foch (1851-1929)
When you are doing what you truly want, you can find the excitement and joy again. Then the money doesn’t matter anymore. Besides, you never have enough anyway. You always need or want more. So don’t let that stop you getting back in touch with your dream. Realising your dream could be extremely powerful – not just for you, but for your family, friends and community.
Wouldn’t it be great to wake up everyday knowing you are going to do what you love!?
The one thing you need to do to be happier is to follow your dream
“. . . empirical research has repeatedly shown that striving toward self-concordant goals strengthens the link between goal progress and well-being”
Bettina Wiese, University of Zurich
Get reconnected with your head and heart. Follow the practical tips in this free download and then sign up for the online course. Finding Clarity provides you with an easy strategy to increase your self-awareness and get you back on track where you are supposed to be.
Get out of the shadow of doubt and walk in the valley of life. You deserve to be happier. As the expert so eloquently puts it:
“… the successful pursuit of meaningful goals plays an important role in the development and maintenance of our psychological well-being. To the extent that when we’re making progress on our goals, we’re happier emotionally and more satisfied with our lives.”
Timothy A. Pychyl Ph.D.