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Last Updated on March 12, 2020

11 Ways to Make Living the Dream Life Possible

11 Ways to Make Living the Dream Life Possible

How many times have you looked at certain people around you and thought how lucky they are to be living the dream life? How do they get everything they want, and I don’t – you might have wondered?

Well, living the dream life is not about luck as much as it about hope, commitment and patience. No one just magically gets to “live the dream”. People who are living their dream have reached that place with consistent efforts, hard work and fearlessness and you can too.

So, start today by making small changes in your life that are sure to set you up for success. Here are 11 ways you can make living the dream life possible:

1. Know What You Want

Many of us spend more time complaining about our lives rather than figuring out what we actually want.

Firstly, it is okay to not know what you want. While there are people with clear cut goals, there are others who discover theirs with time. What’s important is making conscious efforts in discovering what your heart desires.

So, give these questions a thought – What makes you happy? What are your interests? What does success mean to you? What do you want from life? What are your priorities? What do you want to change in your life? Who do you admire?

These are a few questions that will help you figure out your goals and desires better. Write the answers down and keep building on them till you know what you want.

After all, the first step in living the dream life is discovering the dream. Isn’t it?

Still not quite sure what you really want? This article can help you:

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How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

2. Have a Concrete Plan

Now that you know what you want, the next step is to devise a plan to make it happen.

Why plan, you ask?

Well, we all know how one day we are our motivated best and the very next day, we are back to being lazy. Here’s why having a plan helps – it reminds you of your dream and keeps you motivated.

So, break down your dream to smaller, actionable parts and set achievable goals for yourself. No, not the 5-year plan but the smaller ones like the 1 year, 6 months, 3 months and 1 month plans. Setting smaller targets will help you reach the larger goal progressively.

Write your goals down with respect to your personal and professional life, be as precise as possible and lay out actionable steps for each of them.

3. Take Consistent Action

Consistency is the key to achieving what you want and living the dream life.

However, being consistent is not easy. There will be days when you will begin to lose patience and want to give up and that’s completely understandable.

On such days, take time out and give yourself a break. Once you feel better, get back on track because everything you do is a building block and will take you closer to your goal.

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Whenever you feel disillusioned, revisit your goal and let it motivate you to keep going.

4. Track Your Progress

It’s important to track your progress regularly to ensure you are on the right path. You can take to journals, calendars and apps to keep a record of your progress and assess it.[1]

For the times you feel you didn’t achieve your goal, keep a note of what went wrong and learn from those mistakes. Focus on making progress rather than obsessing over perfection.

Most importantly, remember to celebrate your achievements and give yourself credit for your successes because you wholly deserve it.

5. Be Open to Failure

Life is unpredictable. You can plan all you want but also know that life won’t always go the way you planned it. You are bound to be met with some unforeseen circumstances or failures along the way so be prepared for them all.

Embrace failure and don’t fear it because it’s better to try and fail than to never try at all. The key is to not take failure personally. Instead, use failures as an opportunity to learn and grow. Here’re 6 Reasons Why It’s Okay To Fail.

When you become better at failing, you develop a sense of fearlessness which helps you get out of your comfort zone, take risks and reach closer to your goal.

6. Stay Away from Negativity

From your self-depreciating thoughts to people who see the bad in everything – negativity is all around you. In order to not get stressed and bogged down by these thoughts, you need to develop zero tolerance to negativity.

Sometimes one negative thought or comment can destroy all your efforts and drain you out. So learn to identify such people or circumstances and set healthy boundaries to maintain your sanity.

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Whenever you feel low, turn to doing things that distract you or make you happy like playing a sport, listening to music or even talking to someone who can make you feel better. Whatever it is, don’t harbor negative feelings – the faster you shake them off, the better.

7. Surround Yourself with Positive People

People around you have the power to influence you in many ways — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You. Having the right kind of people around is extremely essential for your growth and development. For instance, someone who is around toxic people is bound to have a lower self-esteem and be forever stressed.

What you need is happy, encouraging and supportive people; those who can guide you, lift up your spirits and help you maintain a positive frame of mind.

So, always surround yourself with those who positively influence your life and don’t hesitate to cut ties with people who make you feel miserable.

8. Believe in Yourself

In order to be living the dream life, you need to first believe in yourself. However ‘impossible’ your dream seems or regardless of what people tell you – if that’s what you want, don’t be afraid to believe in the fact that you will make it happen.

When you are finding it hard to retain your belief, visualize yourself having achieved that dream and condition your mind to act as if it’s happened. You will be surprised to see how much strength you can derive from this small exercise.

So, cut out all the negative self-talk and don’t worry about what others think because the day you move ahead with conviction, nothing can stop you from achieving success and living your dream.

Take a look at these 10 Ways To Believe In Yourself Again When Life Gets Rough.

9. Focus on What You Can Control

Sometimes when your mind is going places and leaving you stressed, take a deep breath, stop thinking and eliminate all the unnecessary thoughts.

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Unproductive and unnecessary thoughts do nothing but act as deterrents, leaving you overwhelmed and upset. At such times, just focus on the things that are in your control and forget about the rest.

You need to accept the fact that there are things that are beyond your control and there is no need to waste your energy obsessing over them, Learn How to Learn to Let Go of What You Can’t Control

10. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Talking about ‘unproductive,’ comparing yourself to others is another unproductive thought pattern that has never done anyone any good.

In the time of social media, it sure is difficult to not compare your life to that of others. A classmate’s LinkedIn update is enough to get you wondering what you are doing with your life. Similarly, reading about a colleague’s vacation in some exotic location fills you with envy.

Every time you make negative comparisons and feel terrible, consciously stop yourself. Everyone’s journey is different, and life is not a race. Compare yourself to yourself and work towards making progress. That’s all that matters.

11. Stop Making Excuses

“I’ll start exercising tomorrow”, “I’m too old for this”, “I’m waiting for the right time”, “When XYZ happens, I’ll start” – how many times have you found yourself giving such excuses?

These excuses are holding you back and preventing you from getting results. So, stop giving yourself excuses, overcome your fears and act on your plan – that is the only way you will make progress.

The Bottom Line

Life is short, and you certainly must not waste your life living someone else’s dream. Years later when you look back at your life, you want to be left smiling rather than be filled with regrets.

In order to make that happen, start with believing in your dream. Living the life of your dreams does not come to a ‘fortunate few’. It comes to all those who diligently work towards turning their dreams into reality.

So, make that choice and nothing can stop you from living the dream life.

More Tips to Help You Live Your Best Life

Featured photo credit: Ralph Kayden via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Adela Belin

Writes about motivation, mental health, personal development and shares stories inspired by her personal journey.

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

How to Get Unstuck in Life and Live a More Fulfilling Life

How to Get Unstuck in Life and Live a More Fulfilling Life

We all know the feeling—when you sense that you are not completely happy and fulfilled with your life—things are not where and how you envisage them to be. You go through the motions everyday, angry with yourself and the universe for throwing you such an unfavorable dice.

You can’t help yourself but feel a perennial envy towards those who are smiled upon by karma—the lucky individuals who seem to have the Midas touch and everything they undertake ends up with success, recognition and greater opportunities. Life must be so exiting.

Unlike yours.

We call this sensation many names: I’ve hit a wall; I’m not making progress; I’m stagnant; I’m moving in loops; Something is off in my life; I’m off balance.

Or simply: feeling stuck.

In this article, we’ll look into the reasons behind this feeling and how to get unstuck in life and live a more fulfilling life.

Is Being Stuck Really Such a Bad Thing?

Is it really so bad to be stuck in the status quo? After all, not everyone can be a super-star, right? What’s wrong with living a quiet life, with not many turns and twists and just going with the flow?

True—there is not much fun in this, but there is not disappointment, anxiety, stress and ill-ambition either. Life is easy and uncomplicated.

So why do we keep hearing over and over from the greats that staying is one place is not a good thing?

Tony Robbins gives us an elegantly simple answer to this question:

“If you are not growing, you are dying. “

“Progress equals happiness,” he says. “That ’s because reaching a goal is satisfying but only temporarily. Life is not about achieving the goals, life is about who you become in pursuit of those goals.”[1]

There you have it—staying in one place makes us unhappy.

We all know that the comfort zone can be great. It’s like a warm old blanket you wrap yourself around on a cold winter night, cuddled in front of your favorite TV show.

But just because something feels comfortable, does it mean it’s ok to stick to it forever?

Progress equals happiness, remember.

You may not even fully be aware of the small voice in the back of your mind that’s been bugging you, but you better learn to listen carefully—because you may wake up one day and realize that your productive life is gone and you haven’t achieved many of the things you wanted for yourself.

Pretty gloomy picture, indeed.

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Simply put, what the wise men advise us of is not just some self-help fluff for them to gain more popularity or sell more books. It is true—as you will learn below—that not moving forward, not even making the effort to do better or become better—even if you don’t always succeed in these endeavors—is a mental demise and a waste of your potential.

The Common “Stucks”

There are many reasons why you may feel stagnant in your life—some may be completely out of your control even. The main thing, though, is to be able to identify the reasons and then try to take some remedial actions.

But it starts with an awareness—because you can’t fix what you don’t know about, right?

Here are some of the main contributors to your feelings of stuck-ness:

You Lack Purpose in Your Life, or the “Why” of What You Do

Simon Sinek, the best-selling author and motivational speaker tells us in his famous TED talk that every successful endeavor—be it related to an organization, your career or personal life needs to begin with defining the “Why.” You need to be able to explain to yourself why you do what you do and what drives you.

It is the thing (s) that gives meaning and inspires you to wake up in the morning and to want to take on the world. It is your reason for being.

You Like the Status Quo

You may like your comfort zone. After all, it’s…well, comfortable. But as we established, the good old blanket is not necessarily going to make us fulfilled in life. You can watch so many TV shows wrapped in it before you get bored.

We, humans, still carry our ancestors’ fighting instincts—for hunting, for self-preservation, for taking actions to make our lives better. Inaction is not what made the mankind create all the innovations we enjoy today.

The Good-Old Fear of Failure and of the Unknown

Admittedly, it’s not an emotion to be taken lightly—it can be quite real and powerful for many of us.

According to a Gallup poll done a while ago among U.S. teenagers, the fear of being a failure and not succeeding in life was at number four.[2] More specifically, this feeling was described as “making mistakes that will mess up my life,” “not measuring up,” “not leaving a mark.”

So, fear can be a powerful paralyzer and can elicit a “safe-mode” response—i.e. stuck-ness.

Your Crowd

We all know the famous adage that we are the average of the five people we rub shoulders with. So, if your in-crowd is similarly stuck as you are, although it may be consoling at times, you won’t be motivated to make much progress yourself.

It’s called a social proof bias—if everyone around you is doing (or not doing) something, then it is ok for you to follow suit.

Comparisons to Others

While comparisons are not always bad, according to the Social Comparison Theory,[3] they have to be handled with caution.

Faring against others can make you very unhappy with yourself. Failing to recognize that your path is not the same as others’ and that there are many ways to get to an end-point (goal) can be very discouraging to taking the first step to unstuck-ness.

Personality

Our temperaments can also contribute to a sense of feeling stuck. For instance, you may be more of a passive, dreamy kind of person who prefers observing to taking action, pensiveness to gregariousness, solitude to venturing out in the world.

That is, you have more of a slow-burn personality vs. a fiery one—therefore, it takes you longer to contemplate all alternatives before taking the plunge.

And that’s ok. But you need to recognize that this may also be the reason why you are not progressing as fast or as much as you would like towards your goals.

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And while changing who you are is hard (impossible even, according to some psychologists), there are things that can be done to make it so much better for yourself, which I will discuss a bit later.

A final point to note here is that, paradoxically, it is possible to feel both stuck and unstuck at the same time. For instance, you can have a great career, but your family life may feel a bit stale, or wise versa.

As our personal and professional lives constantly fight for the top spot on our attention list, the feeling of stuck-ness may also depend on where you are on your life’s trajectory.

For someone who is younger and single, stagnation may be felt more vividly in their professional lives, as opposed to someone who is in their mid-life, where family takes priority—such individuals may not feel as down-hearted that they are not progressing quickly enough professionally.

How to Get Unstuck in Life

The neat thing about your path to becoming unstuck is that it follows the so-called Principle of Equifinality,[4] which states that the end state can be reached by many means.

It’s not just one thing that can help you to start moving forward again. There are many avenues you can explore to find out what works for you and with your own story and personality.

1. Show up and Be Willing to Do the Work

Woody Allen has famously said that “80% of success is showing up.” That is, you need to begin with the right motivation and willingness to take action towards unstucking.

You must want to improve your current state. And you must follow through.

2. Self-Reflection

Spend some time alone. You need to figure out why you are stuck—that is, what is the root of your discontent. Meditation may help here too. But this step is essential:

Packing on some self-knowledge and awareness on why you are where you are in life can help you discover a whole new universe of ideas on how to make it better for yourself.

It is as the saying goes: Identifying the problem is half of the solution.

Start to do self-reflection with the help of this article: The Power of Self-Reflection: Ten Questions You Should Ask Yourself

3. Break a Sweat

There is an avalanche of research on the benefits of exercising for the body and the mind. The latest research tells us that if you want to put your mind in the best possible focus shape, a 15-minute jog will do the job better than 15 minutes of relaxation and meditation.[5] It also clears your thinking, improves your attention spans, and can generally make you feel like a “brand new person.”

4. Find a Purpose

As I already touched-upon, the “Why” behind your actions is a prime driver of self-progress. If you link your goals—be them personal or professionals—to a “bigger-than-me” aspiration, then it will be so much easier to convince yourself to keep moving.

According to recent research,[6] we all have a specific purpose-seeking style—similar to our own way of writing, dancing or speaking.

There are four types or “Whys”—creative, prosocial, financial and personal recognition. The prosocial approach to finding meaning, though, which is based on kindness and compassion towards ourselves and others, is the best one in the long-run—it was shown to lead to greater caring, integrity and personal growth.

Here’s How to Find Purpose in Life and Make Yourself a Better Person.

5. Find a Passion

It’s barely a secret that if you enjoy something, you will want to do more of it and it won’t feel like an obligation. You will have an internal motivation to keep going despite setbacks, despite the stress or the tiredness you may experience at times.

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So, find what thrills you and makes you come alive and strive to become better, the best even, at it. The more progress you make, the more confidence you will have that you can apply the same passion and dedication to all other parts of your life that feel stagnant.

Learn How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life.

6. Nudge Yourself

The Nudge Theory[7] has been around for a while and has shown some wonderful results in positively influencing people’s behaviors—from making us conserve more energy, to improving the payment rates of fines, to making job-seekers more engaged and involved.

Small things as daily reminders in terms of micro-goals you can set on your phone, for instance, can have a profound favorable effect on becoming unstuck.

Nudging can also help overcome some of these personality traits we talked about—like passiveness or acute proneness to procrastination.

7. Seek Different Experiences

Even if you are in a happy relationship, you may still feel stuck—i.e. you may be unfulfilled, uninspired, or bored even of doing identical things over and over. The same rings true for your professional life.

The end-point is that you need to feed your brain different experiences if you want to get unstuck. If you repeat more of the same thing, you will end up with more or less similar outcomes. Change requires taking the path less trodden, experimenting, learning new ways, seeing new places, reading, travelling—it’s an endless list, really, to personal growth.

According to research covered in Psychology Today,[8]

“Activities that lead us to feel uncertainty, discomfort, and even a dash of guilt are associated with some of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of people’s lives. Happy people, it seems, engage in a wide range of counterintuitive habits that seem, well, downright unhappy.”

8. Leave Behind the Things That Are Not Constructive for You

Arianna Huffington put it in a great way:[9]

“You can complete a project by dropping it.”

Assessing the things that make you feel stagnant is important. But equally valuable is to recognize that just because it may be hard or even impossible to get something that you really want, it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed or that you are necessarily stuck.

Maybe it’s simply not your thing. For instance, you may want to become a professional golfer. You practice and practice but you can’t quite reach the level of Tiger Woods that you aspire to. Perhaps it’s time to take stock of your life and shift your focus.

9. Compare Wisely

Comparisons can often make you feel down and create a sense of stagnation, which may not always be valid. You must realize that your pace of progress differs from your friends’, neighbours’, siblings or even significant others’.

Just because you are not a millionaire by the age of 30, or haven’t started your own business, or written your third bestseller yet, doesn’t mean that you are not moving forward.

So, mind how you measure your progress and your state of stuck-ness. Your perceptions may differ from reality.

Besides, it’s never ever too late to start things over! Here’s how:

How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

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10. Ask for Help

Finally, remember that you don’t have to do it all alone. If you feel stuck in your personal life, you can speak to your close ones and find a solution together. Maybe they feel the same way.

At work—raise your hand, speak to your manager, volunteer to do things that can help you learn and become more valuable.

You don’t have to come up with all the answers right now. The most important thing, going back to the first idea, is to be willing to make a change.

When Is Enough Enough?

Seeking progress is a great thing. Who wouldn’t want to become a better version of themselves after all?

But the pursuit of growth should be handled with caution. It can become very addictive and sometimes even be counterproductive.

It’s true—you may experience a “runner’s high” and success can make you overflow with dopamine, but the constant chase of “more” can toss you into a never-ending spinning wheel.

You will never be happy with the status quo and won’t accept things as they are—which, naturally, can open a Pandora box of mental health issues.

That is, too much of a self-improvement drive may leave you unable to enjoy your life, to be fully present in the Now and to appreciate the person that you are.

And this is not necessarily a good thing.

So, should you strive to improve yourself, so that feel unstuck and free again? Absolutely.

But remember to take a breather and be grateful for what you have.

Summing It All Up

The feeling of being satisfied or unsatisfied with one’s life is very personal. Similar to its cousins—happiness and success, it is best measured by and depends on our individual histories, personalities and paths—i.e. my trajectory is different than yours and what makes me feel content may not create the same feeling for you.

For instance, you may be happy to be in a position where you help others and their gratitude is sufficient enough reason for you to wake up in the morning. But for someone else, this situation may create a sense of stuck-ness.

The main take-away here is that you shouldn’t compare your story to anyone else’s because you may end up feeling constantly stuck. And this, speaking from experience, is not the best place in the world to be.

Progress is great, but don’t forget that your life is here and now.

So, try to enjoy yourself some too, while making your grandiose plans to take on the world, will you please?

Featured photo credit: Camila Cordeiro via unsplash.com

Reference

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