It seems to me we all come to this internet space to learn how to do things better: make money, lose weight, eat more healthfully, create art, parent, win the game (you define the win and the game).
We’re on an endless path to self-fulfillment. And maybe it’s just me, but I’m getting tired of the journey. At some point we get to where we need to be or have to settle with what we have. And what you have may not be all that bad, if you take a good hard look at it.
Ultimately, you need to decide on the life you want. What does it look like from the outside, but more importantly, how does it FEEL on the inside?
Often, when we are asked to think about the life we want we look to others and impulsively claim we want “their life.” We want what others have – the cars, the kids, the travel, the bling, the house.
But you probably don’t want that. Personally, I don’t want to be a celebrity. For me, it be awful to be unable to go out to dinner or the beach without being gawked at, photographed and approached from adoring fans. No thanks.
So you need to dig deep and seriously consider what YOU do want. And be realistic. You’re not going to be a millionaire working 4 hours a week. Do you want money, time, flexibility? Is travel in your blood or being home when the kids get off the bus? What will you do with your money? Buy things? Pay for an education? Help others? Do you need to be creative in your work, or are you happy doing routine tasks?
Now here’s the hard part. Don’t judge yourself. Don’t censor your dream. If you want to travel the world living out of a backpack and couch surfing; awesome, don’t judge it as unrealistic and impossible. The same with a desire to make a million dollars and give it all to the local humane society. Dream without judgment. It’s easier said than done.
Truly, the only way you can live the life you want is to first define the life you want.
Take one step at a time
Once you have that ideal life sketched out, what’s the first step to getting there? Who do you need to talk to? What research do you need to do? How much money do you need to save?
Now, I’ll let you in on a secret. This is where most people give up and throw in the towel. They look at their big dream, it freaks them out and then convince themselves it can’t happen. So they go back to their “meh” but safe life. Staying put requires no energy or risk, right?
But you will never have the life you want if you don’t do something about it. But you don’t have to do anything totally freaky to edge toward your ideal life. You can do one thing, like check online to see how much it would cost to rent a house in Hawaii for a year, calculate how much you can save each month and how many months it will take to have enough to take the vacation you’ve always wanted. This is not nutty. This is how people live the lives they want.
Work it is. Or is it?
Another secret, those celebrities and people living the life you want – they worked to get there. People on TV, professional athletes, the guy with the private jet – all work hard. Think 12 hour days, up at 3AM to shoot the scene, get on the plane, work out before the tryout. Oh yeah, freaking work. We just see the glam parts of it.
I once read that, starting in 4th grade, Tom Brady (quarterback of the Patriots) asked his dad to get him up at 5AM every day so he could work out and reward him with a quarter for every day he did it. The kid asked (he was not told), in 4th grade, for a quarter…..think about it.
Even the working parent who is home when the school bus pulls up did some fancy footwork to get that gig. Either they built their own business, or negotiated a job with lots of flexibility. Neither is easy.
But does it feel like yucky work if you enjoy it? I’m sure Tom enjoyed the process of his fitness regimen. Otherwise, why would he do it. I’m sure it wasn’t just for the quarter.
I don’t share this to make you give up, I share it because I want you to know that you can have the life you want, but you need to want it bad enough to do something to make it real. Does that make sense? And you can take it one step at a time. But you gotta take steps.
So dream for something that has meaning to YOU. I’ve repeated this a few times and it’s the key. You won’t work for someone else’s dream and vision.
I’d love to hear your vision for the life you want. Please share in the comments. My ideal life involves living in Hawaii for a year sometime soon, and yes, I know how much the rent will be.
To get you started on your journey to building the business that supports your life dreams, I’ve put together a nifty new assessment called “The LifeStyle Business Profile.” The results will help you define a business plan that will allow you to make great money while living a life you love. Click here to access the quiz. No opt-in required.