7 Steps to Begin your Journey
Many people during their midlife become utterly discouraged and downright depressed because they haven’t fulfilled their dreams. What is a dream? It’s a desire to create something, build something or do something that results in fulfillment of accomplishment or providing solutions. The accomplishment or solution can be personal or it can help others. Once a dream is realized, an internal strength demands dreaming some more. Dreams never go away but may change over time.
Are you discovering that there should be more to life than what you are experiencing now? Do you have a dream to go somewhere or create a lifestyle or develop solutions for life’s problems? What is holding you back?
Most people simply wish their lives were different. They can’t really put their finger on it, but they are restless, bored, frustrated with life and allow life to happen to them. Others want to make a change but aren’t sure how. This article is for those people. If you don’t know you have a dream, you probably wouldn’t read this article. Or maybe it’s not a priority to you right now.
The main reason people don’t pursue their dreams is because they really believe they can’t or don’t have what it takes to realize their vision. They will usually blame lack of time or money or both.
Midlife is the perfect time to hunker down and pursue unmet dreams relentlessly. Time may be of the essence, and if you’re anything like me, you don’t want to die having never pursued your dreams.
Consider Rob who for most of his adult life was an attorney. Rob decided that he wanted instead to be a high school teacher. Because his wife is also working, he was able to go back to school, get his certification to teach history in high school and is now gainfully employed by a school district to teach history. He could very well have left that option on the table and never realize his vision, but he chose to go for it.
JoAnn was a successful yet burned out broadcast journalist who became ill from reporting too many negative and depressing stories. She is now a yoga teacher and owner of Inspiring Productions. She produces positive video stories for corporations and non-profits while using her skills in television.
If starting a business, building a non-profit, going back to school, developing a ministry or any other dream is in your head and you haven’t yet taken the first step, let’s do that together right now.
Step 1: Write down on paper your main dream or vision. Be specific. Is it a vacation you want to take? Do you want to ride your dirt bike again? Would you like to create a passive income through investments or business opportunities? Write down what that would feel like once you accomplish that goal. I also recommend writing a vision statement for your entire life. Begin with the end in mind. Looking back, what would you have wanted to achieve? How would you have wanted to serve?
Step 2: Read two books to gain confidence and move forward. I recommend “The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win your Inner Creative Battles” by Steven Pressfield and “The Think Big Manifesto” by Michael Port. The War of Art will identify the big “Resistance” factor in moving forward with your ambitions. Once you recognize it, you can have your armor ready for battle. Your battle is usually in the mind but can be instigated by your loving family and friends. “Think Big” encourages you to move forward by allowing you to broaden your thinking into massive action once you realize you are not alone in your desires.
You will be your biggest enemy to realizing your dreams. The truth is, once you’ve set your mind right and begin taking action toward your dreams, you will have tons of support which will catalyze your success.
Step 3: Create an action plan on paper. Read it, review it and change it if necessary. This could be developing a strategy for earning enough money to make that trip or start your business. Maybe it includes your research plans to determine what elements you will need to realize your dream.
Step 4: Meditate or pray over this plan and ask for support. Ask for the perfect ideas, situations and contacts to make your dreams a reality. Begin writing down every idea that pops into your head. Write on your phone – whatever you have handy – and refer back to it.
Step 5: Take action. Every action will lead you to the next. Stay focused and be patient. Some dreams take months to accomplish, some take years. Just keep plugging away.
Step 6: Write an article titled, “How I began my journey to…”. Your article will begin with “I have always had a dream to…”. “What held me back was…”. “Since then, I have taken the following actions toward realizing my dreams”. Then list your action plans. Summarize with, “I am currently working on…and my next plans include…”. This article can be around 200 – 400 words, which I believe is very doable for someone who may not be used to writing articles.The point of writing it is to get used to the fact that you can articulate what you want and learn the skill of writing about your passion. This is a powerful exercise and you should not skip this step. It can later be used for publication if you decide to use writing in your new venture.
Step 7: Reward yourself for taking action. Do something fun to celebrate your new venture. But don’t get too carried away. You’ll need to stay focused like a laser beam to accomplish your goals. You will have many obstacles – again – mostly in your mind and some will be real, but you can do it.
The satisfaction and overall blissful feeling of accomplishing your vision will be well worth your trouble to follow through on the hard work ahead. (Nothing of great value is free, right?) Seeing your dreams come to fruition not only benefits you, it benefits others. Surely you offer the world something more and that will have a ripple effect through generations – no matter what you do.
For more information and solutions to midlife issues, visit http://www.midlifelivingwell.com