”We first make our habits, then our habits make us.“ – John Dryden
In order to live your dream out (once you’ve decided to pursue it), you’re going to have to do whatever it takes to make it happen. To do whatever it takes, you might need to learn some life-changing habits.
The dreams I’m referring to are, for the most part, things that have always sparked a little fire in your heart only to be quickly doused by doubt and negative influences. They are dreams like: publishing a book, landing your dream job, graduating college, raising awesome kids, running a marathon, or becoming a recording artist! They are also dreams like: living a healthy balanced life, getting out of debt, helping others with your talents, or being a more social person. Read on to learn five habits that will help you live your dream!
”Purpose is where your deep gladness meets the world’s needs.” – Frederick Buechner
1. KNOW THE GOAL
Identifying the goal is obvious, but really proclaiming it takes some work. If your goal is get out of debt, know that you will need to make financial changes to succeed. If your goal is to graduate college, know you will have to enroll into college! Visualization = Creation. See your goal written down (very powerful) and see that goal often. Get to know the ins and outs of your goal so that it is a clear picture in your mind. This picture may change and warp over time but begin with a specific goal. Every few months I write down my short-term goals and long-term goals. This is a psychology trick to really train your mind into going for said goal. So before you pick up the habits, take some time to clearly describe exactly what you’re aiming for, then shoot!
2. PROTECT YOUR PROACTIVITY
The number one habit highlighted in Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is proactivity. This is basically accepting the responsibility that is our lives. This means accepting the universal truth that you create your life and you play an active role in where you end up, what you end up doing for work, and who you are every day. Protecting your proactivity is the most crucial part of proactivity because without boundaries, how can you ever get anything done? Boundaries mean being selective with social time, certain friends, certain activities, and certain bad habits!
3. DROP THE DON’TS
An important aspect of getting in the mindset of goal setting is dropping the negativity. In Maxwell Maltz’s book Psycho-Cybernetics he explains how important self-image is to an individual’s success. Self-image is often driven by our thoughts and beliefs. If you believe “I don’t deserve this to work out” or “I don’t think I can pull this off,” it’s going to be harder to develop the right habits to pull off the thing you’re trying to do! Instead of negative words like don’t, not, no, and maybe, trick your mind by replacing or rephrasing your thoughts. If you understood the power of your mind, you would always think positive thoughts. But we are merely human and we do falter! The trick is to swerve from the negative thoughts and get back on track. Don’t feed into them. Swerving from negative thinking is a surefire way to keep your eyes focused on your end goal.
4. BE PRESENT
Being present doesn’t necessarily mean to meditate, forget the past, and to not worry about the future (although these are GREAT things to do for morning or nighttime meditation). Being present means focusing on the task at hand and what, pertaining to your dream, you can actually do right now. It means thinking practically. After deciding the steps you need to take to reach your dream, direct most of your energy towards what you can do first, fastest, or the easiest. Then, slowly work your way to the harder, further steps in your process. For example, if you’re planning on backpacking to a different country, are you going to start booking hostels before saving up enough money for your flight? No. Be rational with your time for it is precious and if used wisely, it can work to your benefit.
5. BE A FRIEND
Sharing your dream with others really works in two ways: 1) It inspires others to go for their dreams, reignites hope and 2) It will most likely serve others. Writers give readers material, musicians give listeners music, chefs give foodies food, and car salesmen give people their dream cars! One of the best ways to reach a feeling of fulfillment or meaning is to help others. We are all connected and designed to learn from each others successes and mistakes. Role models exist for this reason and bad examples for another reason. Take your dream and identify the reasons why you living your dream would help others. This highlights the purpose of your hard work and also motivates you to get it done even more. Being a friend is as simple as sharing and caring enough to share. Someone out there needs you to live your dream, so start to think outside of yourself and live into your true purpose.