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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!

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A Simple but Effective Technique to Be More Confident

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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