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10 Things People Who Live Their Dreams Don’t Do

10 Things People Who Live Their Dreams Don’t Do

“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.

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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.

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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.

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More by this author

Tina Williamson

Writer and creator of Mindfulmazing

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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