If you read this post, you saw this one coming.
It’s no joke. Without going into nitty gritty details or productivity prompts, these are some core aspects of what it’s going to take to develop a life by design, versus a life by default where most people live automatically and linearly whilst putting personal dreams off into an unspecified time in the future (then wondering why they didn’t materialise at the end of their days)..
So, here are 5 keys to achieve this “dream” life (meaning, what truly suits your soul’s fancy), and this is the ultra-simplified version (which I’ll expand on in upcoming posts):
1 / DREAM
Dreams are not just for kids, they’re for all of us. I believe every dream matters and that’s why I’m so adamant about this topic. Dreams are not just for weekends or as a result of seeing what you don’t want in life or work either… breathe life into your dreams every day, whether it’s writing about them, talking to your family or close friends about them, or reading up on things that will help you develop the beliefs, skills and abilities to achieve them. If you’re a parent, your kids are watching and soaking up every action you take – and this will equip them to create their dream life. If you’re a leader, your team is watching and hoping for guidance they can apply in their lives.
A dream for you may be to have a month-long vacation every year ANYWHERE in the world of your choosing, or it may be that you want to have a happy healthy family, or be in a position to put your kids through any college of their choosing, or create the next best innovation that will transform our world for the better, or have your art displayed in a renowned gallery. Whatever it is, it’s your world. You get to live it. YOU GET TO LIVE IT, YOU REALLY DO. I really believe that, and let nobody else say anything against that.
2 / TAKE YOUR BELIEFS TO COURT
One of my coaches likes to use this phrase. Simply put, it means getting out of your own way by asking yourself if the beliefs you currently operate your life by are really true, or if they’re actually keeping you from fulfilling your dreams. Put them under a magnifying glass and get clear on what they’re doing (or have done) for you. When you’re able to isolate the beliefs that have been holding you back, you can do something to change them and move forward.
To have the life you want, you have to become the person who can have it. This is the true change we all speak of. If you don’t know how to do this, read books or spend time with people who have worked through transformation in their lives to help you steer yours.
3 / DEVELOP A FRAMEWORK THAT WORKS FOR YOU
One that supports the creation and evolution of those dreams, and it will probably evolve over time as you complete certain goals and benchmarks, and adapt to your evolving life. It may require some sifting and adjusting, but as long as you’re proactive and focus on what works, you’ll see results and areas to improve upon. Get help if you can’t figure it out on your own – we’re all in this together.
This will inform your inner wisdom to help move your life and career in the direction of your dreams, from the actions you’ll take to the people you spend time with, and a blend of other things that are unique to your life journey.
4 / PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Are the people in it supportive of you, or keeping you where THEY are at? Your survival-based lizard brain (aka “Little Gecko Brain”) is active in all of us, to whatever degree we let it. Our friends may have the best intentions for their comfort and safety, not the fulfillment of your desires. Be mindful of the true support you’re receiving, and if it’s not what you need, expand your horizons. Find people that help you strengthen your wings so you can fly.
When I first moved to Canada, two of my best friends in Spain literally told me to get the hell out of Marbella. They could see that I had outgrown my hometown and there was “nothing” for me there, that I needed to experience life in another country. They also knew I had “reasoned” myself out of moving to Barcelona previously. So I listened, took the leap to move. Miss them as I did when I moved, I realized it was the best kind of friendship one could have. “We love you but go live your dreams.”
Environment doesn’t just mean friends and relations though – it comes down to the space you’re living and working in. Do your home and work space feel inspiring? Drill down to the details of what works – in my first home office I changed my desk twice and then moved my desk around 5 times before I felt like I’d found my stride to work well. If you live in a rainy place and can’t afford to live in the sunshine, plaster your walls and desktop with photos of sunny places. Is your internet fast enough to get work done so you can have more time for YOU? If that’s what it takes, do it. These little things make a huge difference for creation and feel-good factor.
5 / PUT YOUR DREAMS INTO ACTION
You have to start somewhere to move forward, so “get up” and get started. The biggest neutraliser of dreams coming to life is only focusing on writing the business plan but never acting on it, writing copy till it’s Nobel-worthy but never publishing it, talking about meeting the love of your life but hiding at home every weekend, sharing your ideas about the next best Oscar-worthy film and then reaching for another beer whilst never writing the script, and any other such thing that keeps you from LIVING what you say you want. There is a fine balance to the art of setting a desired outcome and working towards it, and not being so attached that it wipes you out if you don’t achieve it (been there done that, didn’t work at all).
When I published my first book in 2012, I was living in LA, and most of my actor friends up until that time disappeared from my life almost overnight. They were the ones who had talent, but were unfocused or disbelieving to be proactive. They wanted someone else to do the work for them. They complained about what wasn’t happening, instead of focusing on what they could create and make work. So when I snapped out of my dream slumber and did the work for one of my dreams, it shed a powerful light on what they weren’t doing in their lives. It took me a while to figure that out, and it became apparent when I met other people in the industry who often seemed happier that I published my book than I was. I asked them why.
“Karin, we’re in the mecca of creativity. So many people here talk about the script or book they’re working on but never complete it. You completed. Congratulations.”
THAT struck me like the apple that fell on Newton’s head. I had floated around life longer than felt good to me, procrastinating on my own dreams, so when I heard this, I wondered how many other people were “suffering” from this and I knew I had to do something. Not just keep living my own dreams, but really help others see that they can do it too, whatever “it” is for them. That’s what got me on this path of helping others and coined my “dream catcher” phrase.
So, in a nutshell, here’s how you can live your dream life. Obviously this goes deeper and farther – but the first step is up to you.
Everything in your life starts with being clear on what that dream life looks like. Then the answers, people, strategies and situations to support it show up and life begins to unfold before you.
Are you up for it?
Remember, there will be times you might feel lonely, but you are never alone in the pursuit of your dreams. We may have never spoken before, but reach out if you’re feeling lonely or out of sorts along your journey.
Now go forth and starting catching some dreams – you’ll make the world a better place by living this way, and we (humanity) thank you for it. The best way to start that is creating a map that will help you navigate towards what you want in your life.
Take a really wild guess at what my next post will be about…