Ever wake up, look around at where life has taken you and wonder, “How did I get here?”
The key phrase here is “where your life has taken you.” At some point, you lost control, you put things on autopilot, you just went along for the ride—we talked a little about that last week.
Taking control and redirecting your life isn’t easy, but it can be done. Last week, I suggested that you start with a list of the things that light you up. I want you to remember that list, to dream big. No one can get anywhere by dreaming small and staying stuck.
Here’s what trips most people up, though: when they start thinking about all the wonderful things that bring them joy, Mr. Reality pops into their heads with his negative talk. “You can’t sail around the world. You have bills to pay.” “You can’t start your own children’s clothing brand. You have children to feed.” It goes on and on. Pretty soon, that list is stuck in the back of a drawer, and you’re lamenting it. “Maybe when I retire . . .”
Is that really what you want for your life? Do you want to wish it away, or do you want to do something about it?
Let’s take the next step. We’ve already focused on what we want. Now, imagine that there is no way you will fail. How do we get to do all the things that bring joy to your life?
When you focus on making it possible, then a little part of your brain grabs it and goes. “This is possible. Let’s figure out how to get there.” This is where the real magic lies. This is how we get from stuck to free . . . and heading in the right direction.
So what do you need to make these things happen? Time? Money? Advice?
Let’s start with something simple. Let’s say that you love to read, but you’ve been so busy that you haven’t been able to read even one book in a year. How can you fit a book into your busy schedule? Do you spend a lot of time on public transit? Waiting for doctor’s appointments? Waiting to pick up your kids from school? Bring a book with you and make use of that time to do something you love! If you are in the car a lot by yourself, maybe commuting to work, pick up an audiobook to listen to.
How about something that sounds a little more out of reach? Let’s say you want to plan a trip to Europe. “But trips to Europe are expensive,” Mr. Reality says. So let’s solve the problem. Find a trip that seems more reasonable, maybe one city you really want to visit, maybe just a five day trip. Find out the cost, and determine how much you can put away out of each paycheck and still live comfortably. Take the cash out of the bank, and put it in an envelope marked “Europe!” Get excited about the goal! It might not be tomorrow or even this year, but you can set the goal and achieve it. How’s that for getting unstuck?
When you eliminate the idea that you will fail, your brain will look for ways to make it possible. Try it with your own list! Let’s bring the joy back to your voyage!