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5 Simple Steps to Start Living Your Dreams Today



Start Living Your Dreams

It was Henry David Thoreau who once said, the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.  Thoreau emphasized this point in his classic essay, ‘Walden’. To me… the line is a directive. Live Your Dreams!

Of course, It is a line that has come to mean different things to different people. But, I have come to interpret it as a reminder. It’s a reminder that we only get one life to lead, and that if we are not careful, we will fall into the trap that countless others have already fallen into.

Beware This Trap

What is this trap I speak of?

The trap of limited living, the trap of fear of judgement, the trap of doing what others think is best for us, and the trap brought about by the fear of failure.

I call it a trap, because it typically means we end up following someone else’s plan for our lives, instead of following our own.

Too many people live in this way, and it’s a shame. It’s a shame because they forgo the best this life has to offer.

They neglect an awesome life all because they don’t have the courage to do what they really want.  They don’t have the boldness to stand up for the life they truly desire.

Unfortunately, when people fall into this trap, they squander the best chance of finding true happiness and fulfillment in life.  The mass of people who have fallen prey to such a life, know who they are.

Beware The Clash

They feel a tug to do something completely different from what they are doing.  They want to follow ‘the whisper’, or that compelling feeling they have that urges them to do what is in their hearts.

It’s as if they have this urge pushing them, or this silent inner voice encouraging them to go for their dreams.  But they fail to listen to this voice.  They fail to seize their moment for fear of judgement, for fear of ‘letting someone down’.  Or, they just remain paralyzed out of fear that they may fail.

This push-pull of wants and fears creates a loud internal battle that the majority of people seek to silence as fast as they can.  The clashing dissonance in their mind becomes unbearable.  Unfortunately, all too many of them, choose to silence the wrong voice, and listen instead to the admonishments that were created by some external source.

What external source you ask?

You know, friends, family members, co-workers…..society.

The Result….

And as you can probably guess, those who make such a choice, remain bound in their own mental jail cell, tormented by the self-imposed confinement they’ve placed on their possibilities.   They never get to live their dreams because they’ve locked their dreams away.

And the result of ignoring our hearts inevitably leads to the quiet desperation that Thoreau so thoughtfully admonished so long ago.  The result is living a life full of regret, a life that always feels like something is amiss.  And so long as we ignore dreams, we’ll carry these types of feelings around with us for the rest of our days.

The Truth About Living The Dream

The truth is, we all have a dream, and we all have amazing potential to do great things.  If we took a stroll back through history, and paid close attention to the people who lived great lives and lived a life well lived, we would notice that it has almost always been from people who followed their own voice.

I doubt you will ever find a happy, rich, and successful person saying, “I got here because I didn’t listen to my heart.”  Or “I am so happy….boy, am I glad I didn’t trust my gut.”

Yes, there will be occasions where you’ll find people who have made a lot of money by sticking to the path laid out for them by their parents, or by society, but by and large, these people always lack something.  And that something is fulfillment.  In fact, history is rife with stories of people on their death-bed, wishing they had the courage to do what they truly wanted.  Stories where people didn’t follow their own inclinations, got to the top of a mountain, but realized too late that it was the wrong mountain.

The Good News

Fortunately, there is good news for those who may have found themselves to be living in a state of quiet desperation.  The good news is, that at any moment, we can choose to turn the volume back up on the voice that we suppressed so long ago.

Through conscious effort, we can make a course correction.  We can today, at this moment, decide to live life in a way that will bring us the most happiness, the most fulfillment, the most opportunity for reaching our dreams.

5 Steps to Start Living Your Dreams

Best Ways to Start Living Your Dreams

So how do we do this?  Below I’ve detailed four simple steps that anyone can take to start living and owning their best life.

1. Decide

To live your dreams, a decision must first be made to follow our voice, our interests, our true inclinations.  The decision must be definitive.  The decision should amount to taking a stand for yourself, for your life, for your dreams.  You don’t have to always know what you want before you make such a decision, you just have to know that you want what you want.

Before you can live your dreams, you must be bold and decide that you will.  This sounds simple I know, but decision is everything.  Decision is your catalyst.

2. Discover

Often times, we listen to what others, a.k.a…society wants for us, because we don’t know what we truly want for ourselves.  Most people simply know what they don’t want.  But they don’t know what they truly want.  So, for those that find this to be true for themselves, then a self-discovery questionnaire is recommended.  This resource provides a handful of questionnaires to choose from.

Use these discovery tools to figure out what it is your truly want for your life.  Once you’ve come up with a clear objective to pursue, you’ll be primed to start moving in the direction of your dreams.

3. Act

Once we’ve decided that we want to live life on our own terms, and have discovered what that is, the next step is to take bold actions towards creating the life we want.  Many times, taking action is also part of the discovery process, because it is through action, that we get a clearer vision of what we want and what is possible.

Truly, action is the best teacher.  Like the Alchemist said…“There is only one way to learn, It’s through action.”  

Bold action is a must if you wish you live your dreams. So, take action today.

4. Persist

Life change, dreams, and happiness never come quickly.  Every worthwhile achievement takes time.  Not sure why that is, but persistence is the name of the game.  Effort and consistency are the fuel that dreams are made of.  Effort aligned with consistency is persistence in action.  And great things have always come from people who persist.

Napoleon Hill said it best, “Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.”

Unfortunately, many people get started on their dreams, but they don’t persist enough to actually live them.  So remember that when times get hard, and when your pursuit seems to be in vain, that it is all part of the process.  Our dreams and our best life will come to us when we’ve passed the persistence test.

5. Trust

To live your dreams, you must keep the faith! As you pursue your ideal life, you are going to be tested time and time again. You’ll want to quit, you’ll doubt yourself, you’ll think that you are on the wrong path. But, if you want to truly live the life of your dreams, you must keep the faith.

And the same goes for when you actually arrive. Once everything comes to you, i.e. the money, the success, the freedom, you’ll likely have moments of doubt. You’ll wonder, is this it? And, very likely, you may doubt and wonder if what you’ve achieved is what you really wanted. So, to avoid this, be sure to keep the faith, and remain vigilant in your awareness of why you decided to create this life for yourself in the first place.

Final Thoughts on Living Your Dreams

We all have a dream.  We all want more in life.  But the few who get eventually realize such a dream, such a life, are the ones who decided that they deserved it, and then took massive action to find it. As a recap, here’s what must be done:

  • Decide
  • Discover
  • Act
  • Persist
  • Trust

No doubt these five steps can help anyone struggling to live their own life, and avoid the quiet desperation that stems from ignoring their dreams.  My biggest hope is that they will help you.

So, stop ignoring the tug of your dreams! Dig deep and find the courage, to do what you truly want with your life.

Go forth and live your dreams my friend!


PS – Here are some inspiring stories of people who decided to live their dreams and took action to achieve them. Check them out here!

High effort, self-discipline, and fearless action are “my things”.  If you could use a bit more of these life-enhancing attributes, or if you want to be nudged from time to time to start taking action on your goals and dreams, follow me on Twitter.