To follow your dreams is a noble lifestyle. To be what you want to be is the only way to be truly happy. Do you know what you want to be? To truly live is to follow your heart, to realize that you can achieve your dream and be who you were meant to be. Weither you are just starting this journey of life as a youth fresh out of grade school, or a middle age person, it is time to live your life.
During your life you have made a mistake or two, and you have to live with them. However you can overcome your past and create your dream future. To do that you need to know what your dream is. Did you truly want to grow up to be the night clerk at the motel, or the weekend cashier at the convenience store? If so congratulations, you do not need to read this article. If not, then you need to remember what it was that you wanted to be. Write it down and realize that it is not too late to start.
You have your dream, and you want to live it. Well, to get there you need to take a few steps along the way. Nobody ever (and I do mean nobody) accomplishes their dream life by wishing. You have to work at it a little bit at a time. You have to make progress a step at a time. You simply cannot wish to be able to be the next Mister or Miss Universe and expect them to mail you your prize from the comfort of your couch; you have to get off your gluteus maximus and go work out.
So you know your dream, but how do you get there? First you must resolve a path. Then decide what steps to take to get there. To determine what those steps are you have to set goals. Sometimes you even have to put deadlines on those goals. Goals are simply stepping-stones. You set a goal to achieve something then set tasks to achieve that goal.
Whenever you are setting a goal or two, you sometime find that your path has been blocked. Always research several alternative ways to reach your goal. You should do this just in case the most obvious path comes out short of the end. Let us say that the university you wanted to attend won’t accept you so you are crushed and your dream of becoming a nuclear scientist begins to fade. So who says you had to go there? Maybe you can go to an alternate university, and the end will be the same. When you are a nuclear scientist, do they quote you and say you’re a Harvard nuclear scientist or a University of Florida nuclear scientist? No-they simply say you are a nuclear scientist.
Be prepared to change and adapt. Have a few plans ready to go. Even a loose idea of a plan is better than nothing. If plan “A” does not work have a plan “B” ready to take its place. This avoids that trapped feeling you get when you realize that the goal that you were after has been taken out of your reach. This is similar to the way people plan a road trip. You look at the map and see the different possibilities to get from point A to point B. Say there is a blizzard or construction, or it is simply blocked; you merely back track a bit and resume your journey from another direction. Sometimes plan B is more enjoyable and more appropriate for the journey than your first choice.
Systematically re-check and as needed redefine your goals. It’s not worth the wasted time to struggle to meet a goal that no longer fits with your life. During obvious stopping spots along the way, take a day to sit back check yourself about how you are reacting to reaching this milestone. Are you happy, or relieved? Are you excited, and want more? Conversely are you scared, with slight overtones of dread or entrapment?
As you grow into your new self some nervousness is to be expected. As you reach out in a totally new direction in your life, it is only fair to expect that not all feelings you have will be super positive. There is some mourning to go through for the loss of your old life, and growing pains in your new life. Take time to
just have fun, to balance your priorities. To love, laugh, cry, and otherwise allow yourself to be a normal person. However, take an occasional planned time out to make sure that you aren’t ignoring obvious Warnings.
If your subconscious is screaming, “Run away! Run away!” then pay attention. These warnings usually happen for good reasons. For example, wedding jitters are perfectly normal. While ignoring abusive behavior, which doesn’t seem to be declining (despite promises to the contrary), is not normal. If there are warnings take heed, and go to plan B, or if need be, change your goal. Make sure that the goal is your goal, and not what someone else says is your goal.
As you accomplish a goal and see yourself a little bit closer to your dream, re-asses. Is the next step logical or was it made without enough information. Do you really need to accomplish that next goal or is there a different goal to set and achieve? Change as needed. Do you really need to take underwater basket weaving 101 to become a nuclear scientist? Do you really need to watch TV for four hours every night? Look at yourself and see what you are doing. Can you do better?
Everytime you set a goal write it down. Keep it in a journal, or a notebook. Review your writing daily to keep your mind fresh. In addition, it is very effective to write a start date when you set a goal, and a completion date when you accomplish the goal. It is a very satisfying feeling to look through your notebook and see that you are indeed completing goals, and moving towards your dream. So let us quickly move through the process so you can see how the process works. Let us say your dream is to be the president’s limousine driver. You must now work from there backwards to where you are now.
To drive the president you must be trained to drive the executive limousine, an excellent driver, and a member of the secret service. To be in the secret service requires an impeccable reputation and a willingness to serve. There are three major goals in the dream. The first is to be an excellent driver. The second is to be a member of the secret service, and the third is to be trained to drive the executive limousine. (You know that tank that looks like a car)
So let us start with the first major goal. Become an excellent driver. We will have to break it down into a couple of regular goals. To be an excellent driver you must first be a licensed driver. To become a licensed driver now becomes a regular goal. The steps from there to here are: to become a licensed driver you must pass a drivers test. To be able to take the drivers test you must pass a written test; to pass the written test you must study; to study you must first have a book; to get the book you must know where to get it.
The next step is we now write down the tasks to accomplish the goal. Write them down in the reverse order you thought of them, and add a start date.
· June 1st
· Find out where the drivers books are.
· Get a copy of the book
· Study the book
· Go to Department of Motor Vehicles and take written test
· Pass written test
· Take practical driving test
· Pass test, get drivers license
Each task is a miniature goal in itself. Once you have completed a task move on to the next. If you find out there is another step, you must take add it in to the list. For example, we found out after taking the written test that you have to have a bit of experience to pass the practical test, so you add the task “Practice driving.”
As each step is taken you write down the completion date. As you review your journal you see that you are making progress towards your first goal. When you have accomplished your first goal (to become a licensed driver), you re-asses and make sure you are on the right path. Then, set your next goal, keeping it in line with your dream.
There you go, you now have an idea of what to do. I cannot make you do it; you have to do it yourself. Do you want a good life where people will respect you, or is the couch just too comfortable? It’s your life-go and live it.