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We talked in the last week about what you would do with your life if you had absolutely no barriers. If you’ve followed along, you not only thought about it, you wrote it down. Then you identified what has been holding you back from living your dream. After all, we only get one chance, right?
 
It’s not like our time here on earth is infinite, sadly it will come to an end.

 
So now that you know what you want to do, and why you haven’t done it, my next question is…..are you serious? If you could really get to that perfect every day life that you have imagined, would you do it? Or is it easier to stay in your routine, follow the social norms or maybe even just complain about why you can’t?

If you really want to live your life with no regrets, loving every minute, taking control of your own destiny, you can. However, (you knew there’d be a but, right?), I’m not going to tell you it will be easy at first or that people will not laugh at you and call you crazy. Probably just the opposite. They will question your sanity. You may question your sanity. But always remind yourself of the end result you are going to achieve. How? You’ve written it down, remember? You’ve pictured it in your head, not just vaguely, but in detail, down to the minute.

When you revisit your defined dream life, ask yourself again. Is this what I want.

If it is, stick with it!

  

No one will make it happen, no one will care if it happens if you don’t! If you find yourself studying your dream life and you realize it’s not really what you want after all, that’s ok. That’s normal! Change it. It’s your life. It’s not a test with some strict teacher walking around waiting to slap your hands when you don’t know the answer. Nobody has all the answers, but you come the closest to having the answers for yourself.

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Does that mean disregard other people, rules of society and caring for others? Of course not. A lot of people confuse taking charge of your life and being selfish as the same thing. They are absolutely not the same. How can you expect to improve the world and those around you without improving yourself first? You can’t. The easiest way to make the people who love you happy is to let them see you succeed. Let them look to you as an inspiration and a refuge of things that can go right.

If you are committed, if you know what you want, and you are ready, lets go get it. Your dream starts today.

Did you define your dream life? Did you really think about what you would do with yourself if you had no obstacles? Did you write it down?
 
If so, you are probably saying, “Ok, so now what? This is never going to be possible.”
 

Whatever your dream life involves, you must believe that it CAN happen.

One thing is certain, if you don’t believe it is possible, you are right. It is not.

thinking man

What is holding you back from your ideal life?


 
The second step to achieving your dream is identifying the obstacles. Without a doubt, the most common reason cited for not living your dream is money: more accurately, the lack of it. Is this one of your obstacles? I know it was for me.
  But don’t give up.
 
We will discuss multiple ways to attack and overcome this obstacle. It can be done, and it doesn’t involve going to jail! However, it is such gong to be a topic covered in and of itself in a future post, so for now, let’s identify remaining obstacles.
 
Is timing an issue? Sometimes we think, “Well, next month or next year, I’ll be in a better position to make a change.” Really? Why? What will be different from now? Have you ever heard new parents say, “We weren’t ready for a child, but we didn’t have much choice and it has worked out fine.” People have a way of dealing with situations when there is no other choice.
 
If you wait for the “ideal” situation to take action, it will never come.
 
In my personal case, for example, I want to travel. My kids, however, are in their final years of high school and do not share my desire. That’s ok. I have simply planned to start my dream life as soon as my youngest graduates. And there is a mountain of things I am doing now to prepare for that day! If time or an event is an obstacle for you, write it down. What can you be doing now, today?

 What else is holding you back? Remember, there are no right or wrong answers her, but you MUST be honest with yourself.
 
Dig deep. Most of the time, you will find what’s holding you back from your perfect life is…you.

Sound accurate?
 

If you never had to worry about income again, what would you do?

For just a second, think about that question.  You have an unlimited supply of wealth.  What will you do tomorrow?  What about the next day?  Next week?

 

For many of us, it’s easy to rattle off one or two things, briefly fantasize and then brush off the idea.  That’s where I want you to STOP.  Pretend for a minute that it is a reality.

 

For the rest of your life, you can do whatever you want.   Absolutely anything, within the boundaries of the law and your conscious, of course.

 

If you give this some serious thought, you may find it’s not that easy to define.

 

For example, my first reaction is, “That’s easy. I’d travel.”  But travel where, specifically?  For how long?  With who?  What would I do on these trips?
beach travel

Caribbean, here I come!

 

Would you sell your house?  Would you work?  Would you buy things?  Would you devote your time to a “greater cause”?  There is no right or wrong answer but there must be an answer.  Why?

 

Most of us have been conditioned NOT to dream.

 

When we were young, not only would this have been an easy question to answer, but probably one that we would have considered stupid.  Why wouldn’t you do whatever you wanted to do when you grew up?
But as we grow older and are told by others that we can’t have it all, we begin to accept it as fact.  Our failures and shortcomings are seen as validation that life is a series of compromises, and the biggest compromise of all is that your dreams and wishful thoughts are simply not possible.

 

Your life is YOUR choice.

 

If you really believe that you cannot live your dream life, YOU are limiting YOURSELF.  You CAN have it all.  I will tell you how.

 

Step #1 – define  your ideal lifestyle

 

define your dream

Define your dream.

 

This is the hard part.  Before you can take a single step into making your ideal life a reality, you have to define it.  That means more than a passing thought.  Really think about it, and then WRITE IT DOWN.    Be detailed, and include a timeline.    What does the first day of your new life look like ?  What about three months later?   And finally a year later?  DEFINE IT.

 

If you are serious and really want to live the life you’ve always wanted, you must take the first step.  Not later, now.  Later becomes tomorrow, which becomes next year, which becomes never.  If you don’t take the first step, right now, you don’t really want to change, you just want to whine.

 

Your choice.  What will it be?  Let us know your progress by commenting below!

Do you like your job?  Or do you dream about winning the lottery and doing something else?

 

As far as jobs go, I actually really like mine.  However, I want to see the world and I don’t want to wait.  I want to hike, explore, have adventures and do all of this while I’m still healthy enough to enjoy it.

Problem is, traveling the world doesn’t exactly pay the bills and I think my colleagues would notice if I just stopped showing up one day.
 



4-Day WorkWeek

Occassionally I’ll pick up a self-help, inspirational type of book to try to freshen my engines and re-focus.  I happened across a best-seller called The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated), by Timothy Ferriss.

 

Now, I admit.  I read the title and thought, “that sounds entertaining” and really didn’t expect it to be something that would contain any real substance. I read a sample chapter, and decided to buy.

 

Once I started, I could not put it down! Most of the time I feel these types of books are filled with hypothetical, rather common-sense types of advice that may give you one or two things to make you go “humm”, but not much else. This one, though, changed my life.

 

Mr. Ferriss articulated in the very first chapter something that I’ve been thinking for a long time. Most of us have our priorities all wrong. We give the best years of our life to a job or way of life hoping that it will be enough to sustain us for a “someday”, when we retire. The thought is, if you work hard now and sacrifice, you can enjoy yourself later without worry, when you’re old.

 

We survived the tornado 2011

We survived the Girard Tornado

I’ll tell you what.  My house was destroyed in less than a minute this year by a tornado. My mother passed away two months later. Living in a camper, with no way to cook a meal, a refrigerator just big enough for the basics, no internet,no TV and really just the bare minimum of possessions, I found myself re-evaulating the age old question of “Why are we all here?”

 

Do you know what I figured out? It’s not to earn the most money, or drive the fanciest car, or have the biggest house on the block. It’s about building relationships, and that’s all. Relationships with your friends, your family your god, and with complete strangers. Everything else can disappear instantly, but how you lived your life with those around you will remain long after you are gone.

 

I’ve always wanted to travel, to go out west and hike the national parks. I want to see every state, including Alaska and then start going to other countries. If I wait until retirement age to do this, will I be able to hike? Am I going to be in tip-top shape to raft the Grand Canyon? I don’t think so.

 

So why am I waiting? Oh yah, it’s that little thing called reality. I don’t think people are going to feed me on my good looks and gasoline doesn’t just fall from the sky. How am I going to pay for all of this? This is where most people give up.

 

The 4-Hour Workweek made me realize it’s all about choices. If you really want something, you have to make it happen. You have to make a plan and take action.

That’s why I am starting this blog. I am going to document to you and anyone else who wants to make a life changing decision, my journey, including failures and successes from start to finish. In the upcoming days, I will explain what my decision is and how I am going to achieve it.

 

I don’t expect my dreams and plans to be the same as yours. In fact, they may be completely different. But one thing we all have in common is that if you have a dream, you have to take action to make it happen.

 

Think I’m crazy? Maybe I am, but it’s going to be fun. In the mean time, if you get a chance, pick up a copy of Tim Ferriss’s book and let me know what you think.