One saying I have come across on many occasions and adored at first, then got a bit bored of after seeing a gazillion times on Facebook is ‘Don’t dream your life – live your dream’. My annoyance caused by its overuse does not decrease its truth and value. It could be my slogan if I had not created one of my own. (That, by the way, carries a very similar, bloody optimistic message, only a bit harsher and even less realistic. The reason why I love it. Now it would be unfair not to tell you what it is, so I will. Read to the end to find out.)
Optimism is one of my most important drivers, so the article I recently read on LinkedIn has touched me and inspired me to share my thoughts on the topic. Called The Most Important Hour of Your Life gives a six-step way that leads to, basically, constructing the image of the life that you would wish to lead if you had a free choice. Here goes:
‘Step 1: If possible get out into nature where you can feel the natural pace of the earth and not the hyperactive and inhumane pace of modern life.
Step 2: Write down the question “What would I do if I only had a week left to live?” and take 10 minutes to write down your answer.
Step 3: Write down the question, “What would I do if I only had a month left to live?” and take 10 minutes to write down your answer.
Step 4: Write down the question, “What would I do if I only had a year left to live?” and take 10 minutes to write down your answer.
Step 5: Write down the question, “What would I do if I only had five years left to live?” and take 10 minutes to write down your answer.
Step 6: Write down the question, “What would I do if I only had a life left to live?” and take 10 minutes to write down your answer.
Step 7: Finally, take 10 minutes to reread all of your answers while asking yourself, “How can I design my routine this week to more closely align with these answers?”’
Ingenious. Who says you don’t have the choice? My experience so far has led me to believe that you can become whatever you want to and lead the life that you really wish for. The two main problems that keep people away from the life of their dreams is
1. Not knowing what the life of their dreams is
2. Not believing that they are able to / deserve to have it
The above method provides a one-hour solution to one of the two. That’s what I call result.
I instinctively base my decisions on the shortness of life, not in a ‘carpe diem’ way where only the moment matters, but focusing on the long-term and avoiding short-sightedness. The above steps help anyone do this consciously: plan so that their actions take them closer to their dreams, one step at a time. This is something I would definitely teach at school – and since I can’t do that, something I will teach my own children one day. As a first step, although I believe I am acting according to the principle of this exercise I will still do it. Just for the fun of it and then, who knows what I might find out?
Who will join me in dreaming their life so later you can live it?
As for the other obstacle – not believing yourself capable or worthy of living your dream – I might tackle the question in a later post, although not strictly related to the main topic of this blog. Besides, clever people have already filled books with self-confidence advice. Maybe I’ll just publish a list of my favourite self-improvement, EI and psychology books.
I promised you at the beginning to tell you my self-created motto and promises must be kept, so here goes.
You can have the cake and eat it too
No spelling mistake there. You can if you really want to.
And if you have come straight from that first paragraph, let me just tell you that it is worth going back and reading the rest.