“I’m just living the dream.” Chaz Reinhold (Will Ferrell), The Wedding Crashers

Maybe your dream isn’t to be a 40-year-old wedding crasher who still lives with their mom, but I think it’s safe to say that each one of us has a shadow of an unfulfilled wish, dream or desire.  In fear of being ridiculed or vulnerable, we might keep this dream tucked in the deepest part of our junk drawer, but it’s always there, ready to surface if one day the right circumstances fall into place.

Do you ever find yourself saying, “If only I knew then what I know now, I would do things so much differently.”

Do you ever look in at your life and wonder where you could have swerved wildly left to lead you down a different, more thrilling path?

As we approach the end of 2013, it’s a good time to evaluate a few important questions:

  1. Did you accomplish everything you set out to do this year?
  2. What would truly make your life meaningful and fulfilled?
  3. Are your current experiences in line with your desires?
  4. If you could do anything, what would it be?

Ponder these questions with uncensored thoughts and formulate some new intentions.

I think it’s important to realize that sometimes changing your life from bleak and mundane just means taking away the blur that is clouding your life. See 15 Ways to Lead a New Life you Love.

With a new year approaching, there is no better time to follow your dreams, no matter how big or small. Check out these things that people who live their dreams don’t do so that you can be one step closer to ‘living the dream’.

1. They don’t follow someone else’s dream.

This might seem like common sense, but many of us follow the dreams set up for us by our parents, partners or friends. You might be a people pleaser, or you might be afraid of letting your loved ones down. Are you lacking when it comes to trusting that you know what’s best for you?

People following their dreams know what they want, and they stand up to others who try to push expectations onto them.

2. They don’t make excuses.

How often do you find yourself coming up with a rainbow of reasons why you can’t achieve your goals or live the life you’ve been dreaming of? Do you even tell yourself elaborate stories about why things didn’t work out?

Where do you find yourself making excuses in your life?

Does it serve you? If not, let it go and simply vow to try each day to be better.

3. They don’t compromise their values or principles.

Compromising is a huge part of our everyday life – compromise, compromise, compromise.

You will be asked to make many compromises in many facets of your life, relationships, kids, friends and family, and what you’re willing to compromise can in fact play a huge role in your future – but never compromise your values.

People living a life true to themselves are not riddled with guilt, regret or doubts about their choices, they stand firm and move forward with decisions that align with their intentions, goals and dreams.

4. They don’t believe the glass is half empty.

Negativity will only build walls around you. A positive attitude is everything. The glass is always half full. With this attitude, opportunities and abundance will naturally flow into your life. Put your energy on what you want, rather than what you don’t want.

Your thoughts are single-handedly the most important weapon you have in achieving your dreams.  Your thoughts are like energy, driving your life.  People living the dream are always positive and this naturally manifests positive energy and positive results.

If you think you are beaten you are; if you think you dare not, you don’t; if you want to win but think you can’t; it’s almost a cinch you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose you’re lost; for out of the world we find success begins with a fellow’s will; it’s all in a state of mind.

Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger and faster man, but sooner or later the man who wins is the man who thinks he can. ~ Author Unknown

5. They don’t focus on materialism.

If your dream starts with wanting to make a lot of money so that you can be happy, you might want to re-evaluate your priorities. Of course you can achieve great wealth, but chances are you won’t be any happier once this golden paycheck arrives.

People who are living the dream know that money can’t buy happiness, and they also understand that a life of status, wealth, fame and popularity is a very fragile house of cards.

If wealth comes as a result of living your dream – bonus. But people who live their dreams know it’s not the initial driving factor.

6. They don’t believe things are impossible, they don’t lose faith and they don’t quit halfway.

Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe. ~ Gail Devers

Our mind is a powerful weapon. It’s normal to have self-doubt or feel like something is out of reach, but those who achieve big things see through this doubt and persevere long after others would have quit. Have a solid faith in your intentions.

Nothing is impossible. You might have to work really hard and sacrifice a lot, but chances are that just by trying, you will open up doors of new opportunities that you never thought possible.

7. They don’t let themselves go.

Follow your dreams, work hard, practice and persevere. Make sure you eat a variety of foods, get plenty of exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle.~ Sasha Cohen

Staying physically fit and eating a balanced diet is the key to feeling good and without feeling good your dreams may not amount to much. Exercising also produces energy which will help you keep persevering.

8.  They don’t get stuck in a safe space.

Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country. ~ Anais Nin

You need to get out of your comfort zone and take some chances. If your dream is to learn to surf, you need to lose the fear holding you back and just do it.

People following their dreams thrive on new experiences. They are living their life, not being a spectator to the lives of others.

9. They don’t procrastinate or believe in shortcuts.

Why wait until January 1st to start making changes? Start today. People who live their dreams don’t just talk about it, they take steps every day to bring their desires into reality.

There is no such thing as a shortcut. If you want to be physically fit, you have to do the work; quick fad diets are not the answer, and this goes for any dream. Put in the work and you will reap great personal rewards.

10. They don’t seek a destination.

People living a life dreams are made of realize that living is about moment to moment experiences; they love the journey and don’t obsess over the destination.

Learn more from the tough people: 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

Featured photo credit: beautiful Ballet dancer (ballerina) outdoors via Shutterstock

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