by Wendy Keller
One of the things I HATE most about the problems and suffering we all encounter in the course of a normal human life is this: They detour us from living our dreams! That’s a rip off if there ever was one!
When you’re mired down in feeling sad or struggling to overcome something acute, you’re seeking comfort, encouragement, help, support and such from the world. That’s normal and natural, but there comes a time when you decide that it’s YOUR turn to have as good a life as possible under the circumstances. It’s YOUR turn to say, “Heck with suffering! I’m going to start living my dreams T-O-D-A-Y!”
We gather up so many excuses for why we can’t begin now. We think living our dream has to be this Big Grand Thing that’s so exciting it’s overwhelming. We’re like a Chihuahua who just brought down an antelope on the African plains, asking “How do I begin?”
The place to start is right here.
The time to start is right now.
If you’re tired of your own problems interrupting your plans to get started on living the life you dream about, here are SEVEN STEPS to starting today. Small steps, yeah, but “the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Screw up your courage and pretend you’re brave, fearless, have no problems, have everything you need to get started, all the support, money, love and open doors ahead of you. Then…
1. Recognize that you’re not getting any younger. Sorry, but it’s true for all of us. Yep, you’re going to die someday. Me too. Perhaps sooner than you’d like, perhaps later than you’d like. We all imagine these glorious futures for ourselves when everything will be great and the circumstances will be in our favor to start living a great life. Well, here’s a news flash: This is it! The only thing really stopping us from that first step is that we’re chicken. Plain ol’ chicken. The rest is illusion.
2. Decide to take the first little baby step. It’s not like you are going to wake up tomorrow and be Oprah, or live in a gigantic mansion or write a best selling book or be president of a multinational corporation. Figure out what you’ve gotta do right now, today, to move just a quarter inch toward that goal. Oprah took a lot of steps to become who she is now. If you go back and watch her very first shows, you’ll see how she’s grown, evolved, learned and expanded her consciousness. Yeah, your first step could be wrong. OK. But since it’s just a lil’ ol’ baby step, it’s not going to damage the rest of your life if you screw it up. Is it a phone call? A bit of research? Asking someone a question? Decide to take it.
3. Tell them to “Shut the hell up!” No offense to my dear mom or yours, but our mothers’ voices – or father’s or spouse’s or best friend’s or some teacher or boss from way back when – may have said “You’ll never do that!” or belittled you once when you shared your ideas and dreams for the life you want to live. When you’re preparing to take that wobbly little first baby step, those voices start shrieking inside your brain. Well, you know what to tell them. Give yourself a “Negative Thinking Free Day” – a day when you refuse to allow any of those annoying voices to influence your behavior, destroy your self esteem or make you too scared to step out toward your dream. Who do they think they are anyway?!
4. TAKE the baby step. Just do it! And then chronicle it somewhere. Yep, just write down what you did – the baby step – and how you felt before, during and after. Doesn’t have to be a long fancy journal entry. Write it on a gum wrapper and hide it in the pocket of your winter coat! By putting it down in writing, you have one piece of proof that you CAN take a step in the right direction – the direction of your dreams. You might choose to chronicle the whole journey to your success, so when they make the movie about your life…
5. SEE what happened next. Sometimes we get so busy, we don’t monitor the effects of our actions. What happened from the baby step? If you felt like it was a good step, what did it create? If it didn’t go the way you’d hoped – like, you found out there are already 4,500 books on Amazon just like the one you had dreamed of writing – what can you do to make YOUR dream bigger, better, brighter, different? If the person you asked for a raise or to marry you or just for a date said no, then you got feedback. OK. You can get a new job or a new romantic partner…or do nothing at all. But at least now you’ve got bona fide data about your Big Dream.
6. Determine your Next Action Step. If your dream is that big mansion, and someone GAVE you the land, the plans and the materials for free, no matter how much you wanted it, there’s still a lot of work between now and moving in, right? What’s first? Pouring the foundation? One of the challenges with Dream Building is we want it RIGHT THIS INSTANT. Not many things happen “right this instant.” Ask, “What’s the next step?” Scrunch up your courage and take that step, too. Pretty soon, you’ll be running!
7. Prepare for speed bumps. Bad things will happen. Things won’t go as planned. People and things will get in your way. So what? Does that mean you give up? No. If you’re a regular reader of my blog posts, you’re already dealing with a hell of a lot of “bad things” in your life. Don’t let those things – or other things – stand in your way. (If you want to know WHY you mustn’t, refer again to Step #1.)
No Good Fairy is going to drop down from the sky, fix all your problems and shine a strobe light on the path you should take. Ya gotta do that for yourself! Achieving the life of your dreams requires courage and dedication to the task at hand. No matter what has happened to you, the fact that you even HAVE that dream means it’s attainable for you. Just try these steps and you’ll start to see progress – promise!
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