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The Real Reason You’re Not Living the Life of Your Dreams

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this is why you're not living your dreams
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In August of 2018, I was sitting on the couch and complaining to my wife. The Oregon fires had caused a summer of smoke which meant we weren’t spending much time outside due to our one-year old daughter and my wife’s asthma. My waistline was slowly expanding and I was growing tired of living in the same place for over 25 years (my wife and I had settled down in the town where we grew up; a southern Oregon city of about 40,000 people). To make it worse, we had visited Cairns, Australia in May of 2018, which made our antsy desire to do something else with our lives even more unbearable. We couldn’t stop day-dreaming about travelling the world!

That’s when my wife says, “Well, we have our vacation to Rome scheduled for one month from now. What if we just didn’t come back?” What? Crazy. Don’t come back? Where would we go? Despite immediate objections, that one question is now responsible for making us sell our home, travel the world for an entire year (we’ve visited 11 different countries, from AirBnB to AirBnB), and ultimately, create a life that excited us.

Pain Will Push You Forward

Tony Robbins wrote that, “The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.” And he’s right. 

You and I — all human beings — are primarily motivated by two things: pain and pleasure. When I made the decision to sell my house and travel the world with my wife and a one-year old daughter, I was motivated by the pain of my current situation.

What I didn’t mention earlier was that my wife had actually made that suggestion several times before. In the four months between when we visited Australia (the original trigger for this decision) and when we finally bit the bullet, she must have brought up the idea of “not coming back from Rome” at least 5 or 6 times. Each time, I said “No way. We need a plan. We can’t just up-‘and-leave like that.” But eventually — finally — the pain of my current situation was great enough to drive me toward a life I would be excited to live.

In fact, if you haven’t changed something that you want to change — lost that weight, built that business, travelled more, or improved your relationships — it’s probably just because you don’t associate enough pain with your current situation to drive real change. The truth is, you’re still okay with the way things are. And until you can’t stand it anymore, until the pain is unbearable (or at least, you perceive it as unbearable), you’re not going to change — plain and simple.

I know that seems to leave life-changing decisions up to fate, but it doesn’t, because it empowers you to make life-changing decisions whenever you want. 

According to research, your brain can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what you imagine. If you spend time imagining the painful result of your current actions (in as visceral of detail as you can muster), you can increase the amount of pain you associate with your current situation, which will encourage you to make real, life-changing decisions, without actually experiencing the ultimate repercussions of your bad habits. I find that journaling about those pain associations helps me internalize them.

You see, there are only a few reasons you haven’t changed yet and you’re not living the life of your dreams. Either your perceived pain of your current situation is less than your perceived pain of change or you don’t know what you want.

Once the pain of your current situation becomes greater than the pain of changing, you’re ready to make massive decisions and take massive action. But in which direction should you run? 

“I am always doing things I can’t do; that’s how I get to do them.” – Pablo Picasso

You Must Get Clear About What You Want

If you don’t know what you want, then you’ll never be happy with whatever you get. I believe that the number one reason people don’t live the life of their dreams is simply because they don’t know what their dream-life is. They’ve never sat down and considered with immense specificity, “What do I want out of life?”

If they did, they’d find that the things they want out of life, whatever they are, are relatively easy to get. Sure, making a million dollars, building a 7-figure business, or becoming the CEO of a Fortune 500 company will take some time, but it’s not hard. It’s just a matter of taking the right steps over a long period of time and never losing sight of your end-goal.

But that’s the problem, isn’t it? We’re constantly losing sight of what we want. We’re human beings so we often forget what we decided at the beginning of the year (heck — at the beginning of the week!). Which is why, once you decide what you want out of life, you should write it down and review it every single week. Make a dream board if you’re into that sort of thing. Get as specific as you possibly can. What do you want? Why do you want it? How are you going to get it? The more specific, the better.

Once you’ve done this — I call mine my “Manifesto” — you’ll find that accomplishing what you want is easier than you ever thought possible. You’ll realize that you are capable of building the life you want, and you’ll have immense clarity about what to do next.

When you know what you want, the “how to” is easy. You just have to make a committed and real decision. 

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Real Reason You’re Not Living The Life Of Your Dreams

You’re not living the life of your dreams because the pain of your current situation isn’t great enough to drive you forward — you’re still content and you haven’t decided what your dream life looks like.

Change those two things, visualize the pain of your current situation and make a real decision about what you want out of life. This way, you might just find yourself on a one-way flight to the life of your dreams. I know I did.

What is your dream life? Share it with us below!

Life

How to Write a Personal Destiny Statement in 3 Steps

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We all have a God-given destiny to fulfill that we were each born with. I personally believe it is buried deep down within us. The number one secret to success is to let it emerge out of you and release it to the world. What is my destiny you may ask? It is the thing you would regret not doing before leaving Planet Earth. (more…)

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Life

Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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Life

Why You Never Have Enough Time and What You Need to Do About It

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Has this ever happened to you? You had an assignment, and the deadline was far away. You didn’t work on it much, but in the back of your mind, that insistent little voice was always whispering, “I gotta get this assignment done.” (more…)

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Life

6 Unusual Exercises to Effectively Increase Your Creativity Faster Than Ever

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Although a vast majority of people think that creativity is something you are born with, the truth is a bit different. While we cannot deny that you need natural talent to a certain extent, stimulating creative thinking is indeed a matter of practice. If you give this thought a bit of thinking, you can realize pretty quickly that even the most fascinating and creative minds have faced the lack of creativity at some point in their lives. (more…)

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