7 Steps To Living The Life You Dreamed Of
Most people want to live the life of their dreams yet very few people understand what it takes to make that happen. Instead, they rely on hope, and a lot of wishing willing and waiting and are sadly disappointed when their dreams don’t come true.
When you were young there were times when you dreamed of becoming a pirate or a princess, a rock star, an astronaut, or even a movie star. It doesn’t matter what you dreamed of becoming, you let your imagination run wild until one day someone came along, a teacher, a parent, a relative, or even a friend who squashed your dreams. Perhaps you were told to stop daydreaming and get real.
Dreams don’t come true or do they?
The VISION TRAIN is a pictorial representation of how to live your dreams. The first stop on the Vision Train is to create your vision for the future.
1. Develop a Vision For The Future
Your vision is your WHY. Your vision is the light at the end of the tunnel – the life you dream of. It becomes your purpose in life.
If you look at highly successful entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, and R.K. Rowlings, they all pursued a dream. Take inspiring leaders like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, and Mother Theresa, they too were dreamers of a different kind, they were visionaries.
What all these people had in common was, they had a powerful vision for the future and it was this vision that drove them towards success.
To live the life you dreamed of, you need to start dreaming again, just as you did when you were a child. There is real magic in dreaming big, dream big, and write your dreams down. At this stage don’t make any judgment. Don’t tell yourself you are being ridiculous or your dreams won’t come true. Just allow yourself to dream. If you struggle to reignite your dreams, consider the help of a life coach.
Take those dreams and examine which one makes the fire burn in your belly? Which of your dreams are you really passionate about? Find the fire and the passion, and that becomes your vision for the future.
2. Define Your Values
Your values are your guiding compass and moral compass in life and the second stop for the VISION TRAIN.
If you look back at the times when things went wrong, relationships broke down, you were unhappy in your job or someone did the wrong thing by you, chances are your values weren’t aligned to theirs. You believed in treating others with dignity and they didn’t. You believed in being honest and they didn’t. You believed in doing the right thing and they didn’t.
When you define your core values and you seek out relationships and opportunities related to your values, you are far more likely to succeed.
You already have inbuilt values; you may not recognize or understand what they are. If you are struggling with internal conflict; perhaps your values are not aligned with the people or situations you find yourself in. By defining your values, you can then make decisions that match your values.
When you stay true to your values you find yourself automatically living a happier life free from internal conflict.
3. Craft Your Goals
The VISION TRAIN needs fuel to drive it forward and the fuel that gives you the power to go full steam ahead are your goals.
If your vision sets the future direction in your life, your values your guiding compasses, then your goals determine where you need to put your energy and time into making your vision become a reality. Goals are the necessary fuel to drive your dreams into the future.
Goals focus your attention on acquiring the requisite knowledge and skills to achieve your vision and help to organize your time and resources.
I am sure, like most people, you go into a new year making a ton of new year’s resolutions only to have them fizzle out a few short weeks later. Perhaps you set goals in the past to live a healthier lifestyle, give up smoking or drinking, lose weight, or even start a business, only to see those goals wither away to nothing. The reason you fail to achieve your goals is that they are not tied to a vision for the future. You lack a WHY.
When your goals aren’t tied to a higher purpose, they have little meaning because they aren’t tied to your WHY – your purpose. Goals in isolation have no emotion attached to them. When you tie your goals to your passion and your dreams, something wonderful happens, it opens a world of possibilities where dreams do come true.
Take an elite athlete, for instance, short term goals are to win a single race but it doesn’t make them a world champion. It”s their VISION of becoming a world champion that keeps the fire burning in their belly and drives them through the pain, the injuries, and the challenges. That vision of becoming a world champion is the overarching factor that keeps them motivated to achieve and to do whatever it takes to live their dream.
Without goals to support your vision, you have no way of knowing if you are on track or not.
4. Believe in yourself
The next stop for the VISION TRAIN is believing in yourself. As Napoleon Hill says, “If the mind can conceive it and the heart believes it you can achieve it.”
The number one reason people fail to realize their vision is due to a lack of self-belief. I know this is an easy thing to say and harder to achieve, it is the fourth step towards living the life you dreamed of.
There are many reasons that cause a lack of self-belief the most dominant of course is the conditioning you received growing up.
Behavioral researchers have found almost 75% of everything we think is in the negative not the positive. According to Dr Shad Helmsetter, the reason we concentrate on the negative, rather than the positive, has to do with the negative programming we received in our formative years.
“During the first 18 years of our lives, if we grew up in fairly average reasonably positive homes, we were told ‘no’ on what we could not do more than 148,000 times. If you were a little more fortunate, you may have been told ‘no’ only 100,000 times, or 50,000 times. However many, it was considerably more negative programming than any of us needs.”
If this is the case, then it is no wonder we form a low opinion of ourselves and end up with a lack of self-belief.
If self-belief is a challenge, one way to change this is to re-program your mind with positive affirmations. Negative thinking is often a habit that you are unaware of. Negative thinking is an affirmation with negative consequences. Like many habits, with focus and consistency, you can change your thinking.
Positive affirmations set yourself up to succeed even if you don’t believe what you are telling yourself at first. By consistently and persistently reaffirming exactly what you want as if it is already happening, you eventually create a new habit with positive outcomes.
5. Make Good Choices
You are not a product of your circumstances, you are a product of your thinking and the choices you have made in the past.
Your choices are the next stop for the VISION TRAIN.
Good choices are aligned with your vision values and goals. If you have no vision for the future, then you are likely to make haphazard choices that lead you nowhere. If you lack direction, you might have a tendency to do what is easy not what is right or what will help you achieve the future you want.
The second reason you make poor choices is that your decisions are not aligned with your values. For instance, if one of your values is family and you choose to spend 80 hours a week working, your decision to work long hours is not aligned to your value of family. This causes friction, stress, and a potential breakdown in your relationships.
If one of your values is integrity and yet you work for a company you know doesn’t do the right thing by their employees or customers, you will be in conflict with your values. This, in turn, causes an internal conflict where you know you should leave but you choose not to for other reasons and this becomes an ongoing source of unhappiness.
Often a cause of conflict in relationships is where your values are not aligned. One person values saving money, the other spending money. One-person values fun over family and the other family over fun. One-person values time alone, the other values time with friends, and so on.
When you make decisions that are aligned to your vision and values, a by-product is happiness and good decision making. When in doubt – trust your gut.
Therefore, in order to make good choices, know where you are headed, and choose the path that will take you there.
6. Take Action
The next stop for the VISION TRAIN and living the life you dreamed of is to consistently take action towards the achievement of your goals. Creating a vision, defining your values, and setting goals are not enough unless you follow through with consistent action.
Many who fail to reach their goals and live the life they dreamed of fail to take action.
You have no doubt heard of the fear of failure. There is also such a thing as the fear of success. Having a fear of failure or fear of success is what holds most people back from living the life of their dreams. This fear paralyzes them into – inaction. Instead, they procrastinate.
Procrastination is the biggest killer of dreams.
For most people, the term procrastination brings up thoughts of feeling inadequate, anxious, or even stupid. These words imply a value judgment that says, if you procrastinate, you are lazy, bad, useless, which brings with it a feeling of being worthless. This is not always the case. If your dreams don’t light that fire in your belly, then, of course, there is no urgency to do what you know you must do.
Putting off a task isn’t always procrastination; maybe you are not good at time management or do not prioritize tasks well which is why a life coach can help. If you procrastinate occasionally, you are not alone. Most people procrastinate at some time in their lives. When you are chronically affected by procrastination, it stops you from realizing your dreams. By understanding why this happens and trying to manage tasks accordingly, you will achieve success.
When your vision is powerful enough it keeps you motivated to take action towards your goals and helps overcome procrastination. When your choices and actions are aligned to your vision, taking action becomes easier because you have a sense of purpose. You know where you are headed and know what you need to do to realize your vision and live the life you dreamed of.
7. The Results
Finally, every action or inaction leads to an outcome or result and is the final stop for the VISION TRAIN. Doing nothing is an action and a choice. If you do nothing, you receive nothing in return which is the result. If you dwell on the negative you receive negative results.
With a powerful vision, and making choices aligned to your values and goals, with focus and perseverance you will achieve the results you want.
At 211 degrees, you find that water is hot. At 212 degrees, water will boil. Boiling water as you know turns into steam and steam can power a train.
A simple thing like applying an extra 1 degree to everything you do each day will dramatically change your results.
When you put the engine and all the carriages together, you get the VISION TRAIN.
By following these 7 steps, with focus and perseverance, you will live the life you dreamed of.
On a Final Note
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