Living Your Dream Life (?)

What Does It Take?

The world is changing. This is not news. The traditional way of working is becoming obsolete. There are many signs of it. People like Richard Branson and many others are telling us, and we can either embrace the future or suffer being a part of a declining paradigm. Taking on a new way of working can be your way to grow as a person. Getting what you want out of life. Embracing your new life will be easier if you let good people help you.

Father and daughter on the beach at sunset
The possibility of spending more time with your children

På dansk: Lever du dit drømmeliv?

The journey I am on with The Six Figure Mentors is more one of finding myself than anything else. In fact it is a culmination of occurrences over the past almost 10 years that has led to an epiphany. And the scope of it is only now slowly dawning on me.

I was not really looking for it, consciously anyway, when I joined the program. However it soon became apparent that in order to make the shift from an ordinary lifestyle to “the laptop lifestyle” it was helpful – and even painfully necessary – to take a leap of faith and start taking on a new way of thinking. And it turns out that it has been a natural follow up to the previous development over the years.

For me it has been a serious change of mindset going from a 9 to 5 paradigm of having the basic schedule naturally laid out for me at the outset, just filling in with my professionalism, and just following the goals and visions of my workplace – to placing my trust in myself to create a schedule for my own goals and purposes.

I have been preaching to leaders for many years how important it is to create and maintain a clear vision, mission and goal setting to be able to effectively manage a business – or even parts of it. Now I am in a position where I have to take my own medicine. 

What Do You Want?

The gift of …

So what is it that you have to do to create that dream of a work life which is fulfilling and in line with your values and aspirations? Well, it all comes down to asking yourself the simple question: “What do you want?”

We all know – but don’t always live – that we only have limited time on Earth. It isn’t easy to acknowledge. But then it is also what makes life what it is and defines the frame for our happiness. If life was endless why would we make an effort of anything?

So why on Earth would anyone live a life not in line with his or her dreams and wishes?

Well, it is an age old enigma (read also my article on How Do I Get Freedom in My Life?) which is founded in conventions and expectations. However, events – often traumatic, but also often seemingly insignificant or trivial – can take you to a crossroads where you have to make a choice to either keep living a life defined by what you think others expect of you or start down a new path defined by your own goal.

To be faced with this choice can be so overwhelming that many people simply choose to stay where they are, or are not sensitive to the revelation and do not let themselves be moved by the feeling – not consciously aware that anything happened.

The thing is, however that you have to trust your feelings if you want to be true to yourself and your purpose. You know it, because Obi Wan Kenobi said it (Star Wars reference).

The Path

Where to?

So what could a path to living your dream life look like, at the moment when you realise that you have to make the choice?

Well, along the lines of my experience as a coach one way to go about it could be methods to starting to define what you want. Now that the crossroads has been reached, a new path seems to present itself through the mist and the vision of a choice becomes clear, envisioning what lies out there at the end of the new path becomes more and more crucial and unavoidable. 

The Method

Defining what you want is really important. However, to be able to do it, it is necessary to take action and not dwell too long on contemplating. Goals have a way of not being absolute, anyway. When you set a goal, the path towards it often opens up new horizons which lead to new goals along the way. And sometimes you have to take a detour to get to where you want to go.

So the “how” becomes important right away. You may even have to experiment and try to plan out your way to different goals to see which path seems more attractive.

The plan

At a practical level what you have to do is: 

  • Envision your goal. 
  • Try to imagine that you have already reached it. What does it feel like, now that you have made your dream a reality? I mean: Really feel? Who is with you? How do(es) he/she/they feel? What have you achieved? Really explore this place.
  • Which obstacles did you have to overcome on the way? Put them on a timeline – going from now to “Goal Reached” – as milestones. How did it feel when you overcame every one of them? How did you celebrate? Who was with you? What did they say? What could be done now that could not before?
  • Now, make a plan to reach the first milestone
  • Walk the path and reiterate and adjust every once in awhile according to new realisations on the way

The Mindset

More than anything happiness is a choice. 

You may think that the life you lead now is wrong for you and you may feel that choice of a new way presenting itself very clearly. But if you think money is going to lead you on the right track or even make it easier choosing the right path, you are almost certainly going to be disappointed. 

The choice

With money being your goal, as soon as “your new life” becomes the norm, you will be in the same unhappy mindset looking for the next “thing” that will surely make you happy. Only YOU can make YOU happy. It is all about the mindset, not something any thing or any one in your surroundings can do.

Ask yourself if someone who is trapped in a third world, war torn country who has lost their family would be grateful for our “stressful” jobs, our “roofs over our head”, our clean running water. For them that would be the most incredible thing they could imagine. So why don’t we appreciate it? It is because we are not present, and we are not grateful. 

Trade your expectations for appreciation and your world will begin to change.

The method here starts off very much like the one above: Envision yourself being happy. Try to imagine that you are ultimately happy right now. How does it feel? Explore the feeling.

But this time stay there … if you can.

What is required of you now is training your ability to …

  • Appreciate what is there in your life
  • Forgive
  • Be present … now
  • Feel

Tools to master these things could be …

  • Meditation
  • Exercise
  • Keeping a diary
  • Get in touch with people you love
  • Helping other people

It is important to realise, however, that you cannot expect to “reach Nirvana” in this life. Nobody is perfect. Nobody is happy all the time. Not even the Dalai Lama. 

But the next best thing can be attained by sticking to the path – keeping up the routine, whatever your chosen routine is. If your way of staying on course – staying in your happy mindset – is say meditation, exercise and a healthy diet, scheduling that, scheduling the way to meet your goals and staying on track is the key to happiness. That is what people of achievement do.

The Law of Attraction

Taking it even a step further a routine made to get you to where you want to be and staying in a happy place can also create the foundation for simply attracting all the things you want. 

Have you ever been in a state of flow, where you felt that whatever happened everything would turn into something good? A period in life where you could do nothing wrong and everything good would come to you?

But have you also, like me, had the experience that these states of flow do not persist? 

Well, what I have found (I am not at all perfect at it and probably never will be) is that if you stick to your plan and your schedule and you are disciplined in doing so, the states of flow persist for longer. 

There is a whole movement along this paradigm which is called The Law of Attraction, claiming it to be The Secret to success and happiness that all succesful people have lived by since the dawn of time. Check it out.

My Dream

What would you do if you had the opportunity of a lifetime? What dream would it help you achieve? 

For years I led the life that was expected of me. Or so I thought. 

When I was young I was a brilliant saxophone player with lots of talent. Playing with some great professional musicians. I was good at sports as well. Had a lot of talent. I did well in school. I was a good kid. Too good. I almost always behaved well and did what was expected of me. Even though my parents supported me, bought me a saxophone and loved to hear me play, they somehow also installed in me that being a musician is not a good way to make a living. 

So being the “good kid” that I am, I went ahead and got a university degree and a job in consulting. I married and had two wonderful children. Got a mortgage, a car, and all that you would expect of a good family life.

Slowly but surely I abandoned my musical ambitions and became a true professional. 

For many years I lived the perfect family life. And my kids grew up happy and well cared for. My love life was good. I was happy. 

However, equally slowly and surely dissatisfaction snuck in. About 10 years ago I started to feel increasingly fed up with my employment. Started to think: “There must be something else, something better suited for me.” 

Through my whole career I found myself feeling dissatisfied with my job after a couple of years. And if not, something would happen that I would loose the obtained good conditions which I had created, and I would have to find a new job.

Years later my father died. And even though he was 94, it was traumatic, and I came down with stress at work and couldn’t work for more than a year. I was happy to be able to get a new job which suited me and my professionalism well and I felt content for awhile. But fate would have it that cutbacks meant that I had to leave that job, too. Six months later, here I am.

Within the last 3 months I have had the pleasure of getting to know the people inside The Six Figure Mentors community (see how that came about in my other articles). The journey here is much more than simply learning the skills of setting up an online business. It is also …

  • Getting to know and appreciate an altruistic network of peers. Hundreds of good people who are living the same journey and being there for each other all around the world, day and night, wanting you to succeed
  • A spiritual exercise of reaching into your heart and discovering who you really are and what you want out of life
  • Discovering skills and values that you didn’t even know you had

This means that for me the community and the program has helped me realise my goal and my potential. And it has helped me set in place schedules and plans to go where I want to go.

Also the coaches and the network is constantly delivering inspiration to keep up momentum and pick you up whenever you feel stuck or slowed down for whatever reason.

So

The fact is, nobody really expects anything definite of you. Nothing that you can’t change. Because the only thing that matters is what YOU want and what YOU think. If you change what you want and how you think, the world changes. Take the chance and make the change. If you don’t do it, the world does it for you. But if you are stubborn and you are not willing to follow your heart, not willing to make the choice, the world will give you things you don’t want. Things that are not aligned with your heart. 

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