As I write this I’m sitting at a table in the corner of the Starbucks down the street from the place I’m staying right now. To the left of me are two people–a guy and a girl–sitting with their Teavana drinks and talking about work stuff.
They clearly work in an office and are likely on a team of some kind together. The guy is talking animatedly, making his pitch for why they need to move in this specific direction with their project.
The woman seems to be there. She’s looking the guy in the eyes as he talks, she’s nodding at everything he says and she’s even throwing in a, “uh-huh” and “yep” every now and again. All signs point to she’s paying attention.
Except her posture and the emotion on her face. Her posture says this is the last place I want to be right now. And her face says my eyes are looking at you, but I’m really imagining myself thousands of miles away, swimming in the tropical waters of the next vacation I plan on taking when I have enough vacation time built up.
So essentially her body is present, but her mind is elsewhere.
And the sad thing is, this is life for many people. They’re constantly going through the motions but their minds are never present, because they’re always day-dreaming.
Dreaming about that thing they really want to be doing. That creative thing. The one that calls to them from somewhere deep inside. The one they keep pushing away by numbly going through the motions in their daily lives and telling themselves that it just is what it is.
Most people don’t believe they’re meant for greatness. And many that do still don’t believe it’s actually possible for them to achieve it.
So they settle. They call the reality they see around them currently their life and they plant roots by buying a house they don’t really want (’cause what they really want is to be off traveling the world), working a job that makes their soul feel dead (’cause doing anything but your soulwork will always make you feel that way), and numbing out with food and TV and alcohol and whatever else they do instead of doing the thing they really want to be doing. They just give up on their lives being any better, so they go through the motions that they’re told they should be going through each day–get up, go to work, come home, cook dinner, clean up your house, watch TV, go to bed, do it all over again–and wait to die.
Now we’re obviously all dying, and since we’re not vampires in Twilight, we all get closer to it every day. But it’s what we do with the days inbetween the day we’re born and the day we die that actually matter.
And sadly, most people are not really living.
Most people are on autopilot, going through the motions, ignoring the stuff they feel inside them and numbing out. Because they think this is just how it is. Because they’ve been told that this just how it is.
Because they choose to believe that this is just how it is.
But you don’t have to fall for that bullshit. You can choose, right now, to wake up and LIVE.
You can choose to never live another day on autopilot. You can choose to never again have a conversation with someone where you’re nodding and pretending to listen to what they’re saying when you’re really daydreaming about the life you really want to live.
You can choose to go let go of a life of complaining about how bad things are and how much things suck for you, and step into a life of gratitude and freedom.
A life that you love. A life that feels like a dream. A life where you get to wake up every day, do the things you love doing and get paid to be you.
You can create a life where you have it all (however you define “it all”) and all on your terms.
That was a belief I took on as a young child… that I could live a life that where I have it all and on my terms. And that belief is what has allowed me to create the life I’m living right now.
A life where I get to choose. How I spend my time. What I do all day. The projects I work on and who I work on them with. How I work, when I work and where I work.
I no longer feel like a victim in my life. Because I’m choosing everything now, intentionally, instead of living on default, like I used to when I was still working my soul-sucking corporate job.
Back then I was just like this woman sitting to the left of me, doing stuff I didn’t really care about, spending 8+ hours a day adding value to someone else’s business while the dreams I had were slowly dying inside me, complaining all day (and night) because life is so unfair and that was not how I wanted to be living.
Until I finally decided to take back control.
There’s a misconception that just because you have a dream means you’ll eventually live it. Not true.
I had a dream and felt on every level of my being that it was meant for me, but that didn’t mean I was gonna live it. And the same goes for you.
You may have big dreams inside you (and I know you do ’cause you wouldn’t be here right now if you didn’t), but that doesn’t mean you’ll ever get to live them.
Not if you continue to live a life of default where you just look at the reality around you and call it “your life” and then spend your days reacting, by default, to the things that happen to and around you. Default living will never get you to your dream life.
Your dream life is absolutely and totally out there and available to you and possible for you. But it’s not just gonna magically show up one day.
You have to go out there and create it. You have to take action, daily, with intention and purpose.
You have to decide that you’re no longer gonna hit the “snooze” button on your life. You have to decide that you’re gonna wake the fuck up and LIVE. Right now.
You have to decide that your dreams and the stuff you hear and feel inside you is what you’re meant to be doing and spending your time on. No matter how unrealistic or illogical that stuff may seem.
It wasn’t realistic OR logical for me to quit my $70k+ a year corporate social media strategist job five years ago to pursue a calling I felt in my heart to be a full-time writer, entrepreneur and creator. It was actually a pretty stupid decision in most people’s minds.
Why would you ever leave a job that paid so much to go and do god only knows what and have no idea where your money will come from? That was the question on most minds when I told people what I was doing.
Without a plan. Without a savings account. Without knowing what would happen next. I just jumped and believed it would work out.
I just decided to WAKE UP AND LIVE.
Now your version of waking up and living may look totally different than mine. For you, waking up and living might mean finally calling yourself a writer and allowing yourself to put words on the page or hit “publish” on that book you’ve been revising for years. Or it may be something else completely.
The point isn’t what you do when you finally decide to wake up and live, it’s that you finally decide to wake up and live and then actually go and do it.
I get to live my dream life every single day now, because of the decision I made 5+ years ago that I was no longer gonna settle for anything less than my dream life.
It hasn’t been an easy road, I’ve had a lot of setbacks and struggle moments and times when I thought I made the biggest mistake of my life and should just go back. But I didn’t. I stuck with it and I stayed the course.
And I still am.
Because living your dream life is not a destination. You’re not ever gonna get to a point where you’re done and you can just hang up your hat and retire. Living your dream life is a constantly evolving and up-leveling and shifting journey.
A journey that starts with a decision to finally wake up and live.
Dream life or bust,