We are talking about ANSWERing the call to live your dream life. I trust that you will. As we have stated, only you can ANSWER the call to live Your Dream Life….YOU must choose to be all that you can be by living the life of your dreams. The first step in the process is to become aware of the circumstances and opportunities around you. Next we looked the power of now and how living in the now is a gift and something that many of us struggle with.
Today we are going to look at how choosing sincerity will truly make or break the journey of the dreamer!
To choose sincerity means that I am straightforward and honest with myself about the progress I am making. It means that I give myself permission to move forward and not worry about the end results. In a way this is the difference between goals and outcomes; a goal is something that I achieve or I don’t based on a specific set of measurable that I set forth, while an outcome is something that I will always achieve as a result of effort. The challenge of outcomes is that I am moving towards something and learning along the way, the focus is on impact of the journey and not just the destination. Being sincere means that I am happy with progress as a result of honest effort and that I learn from every experience along the way.
So many times I find that we are not honest with ourselves and therefore we don’t make the change that we need to make in order to reach our dreams…and we as a result don’t celebrate the successes in our lives. Being sincere means to be whole hearted and honest about both the positive and negative things in our lives. We have been conditioned to only allow that which is positive into our lives and to avoid that which appears negative. Let’s use an example…what happens when you read the term “melancholy”? Many may think of sadness or depression. Some may even feel an oppression or darkness overtake them. Others may hear a son of discord and dissonance.
We have been conditioned to think that the term melancholy is such a bad state of being but when you stop and think about it melancholy is beautiful! Melancholy can also be defined as a soberness of thought…pensive.
With this additional definition we see that melancholy allows us to see life fully and completely. In a pensive and sober state, we are able to see the sadness and the happiness from a different perspective and experience a holistic approach to life. I consider this joy…a state of being that sees beyond the current circumstances and finds strength in the whole process or journey.
I currently live in Phoenix Arizona and it’s gorgeous here 90% of the time; 0f course minus the heat. When you consider that we have blue skies and sunshine most of the year, one would think it’s the best place in the world to be. But honestly having an abundance of blue skies and sunshine makes me miss the clouds. It’s almost an event whenever we get clouds or rain. In fact when it rains here a lot of times you’ll see children, and sometimes adults, outside playing in the rain!
It’s all a matter of perspective.
This is what we mean we say to choose sincerity. I’m sure that most of us can come up with the list of mistakes, failures, shortcomings, regrets or opportunities missed in our lives. For most of us that would not be a hard list to make. Probably right now as you’re reading this you’re mind may be flooded with those thoughts but what about the positive moments in your life? What about the positive things that you have done? What about the positive impact that you had on others? Being sincere means that are are straightforward and honest with ourselves taking the good with the bad in order to round ourselves out.
[TAKE ACTION] Here’s an exercise that I would encourage you to do in order to help bring balance to your life.
- Take a Journal, hopefully by now have one and you are writing in it
- Draw a line down the center of a page in your journal or down the center of a sheet of paper
- On one side write successes at the top and on the other write opportunities
(Let me stop here and say that I don’t simply believe that there is a reality as “success or failure”. I don’t believe that things that happen in life can simply be labeled as “good or bad”. I do believe that we quickly label circumstances as bad or evil or failures when they have missed our expectation and this these labels are deceptive. If we simply reclassify them as “an opportunity” to grow or to attempt a different approach we open the space for endless possibilities!)
Back to the action!
- Now that you have two columns, take 15 to 30 minutes and begin filling up your page
- Fill each side of your paper.
- Remember we are going to take the good with the bad.
- Be sure to write down the opportunities to grow and the opportunity to become stronger.
- Really focus on are the areas of success in your life!
Please don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate the successes in your life, understand that at times you may feel that something isn’t really a big deal because it comes naturally to you but if it added value to your life or to the life of another, it counts as success and should go in that column.
You may be asking yourself right now what does this have to do with dreaming? The answer is simple. Along the journey of achieving your dreams there are going to be some huge successes and triumphs! You should reach out and grasp those moments and celebrate the sense of accomplishment that they bring. There will also be missed opportunities and missed expectations. There will be moments of doubt and discouragement…and you should embrace those moments as well and learn from them.
The point of this exercise is to help you see that just because an opportunity or an expectation wasn’t met doesn’t mean it’s a failure! It simply means it’s a new opportunity for you to grow and to do it next time.
This is part 2 of a series on answering the call to live our dream life. To answer the call means that we choose to do something. Choice is so important because we do it out of our power and out of our strength. The first element to answering the call that we looked at was to choose to be aware that is to choose to be aware of our surroundings and pay attention to what is happening in our lives and to the opportunities that come up in our lives.
To choose “now” has a few meanings and implications on life.
- First to choose now, means that right now, in this moment, I choose. It’s easy to push off our choice to make change until we get things in order but that only leads to regret and inaction. In the same way if we have made the choice before and find ourselves stuck and inactive, then stop, accept that reality and choose to begin again.
- The second meaning of “choose now” is to focus on the present…it’s about using this moment as a reference point in life. We tend to get stuck in the past or paralyzed by the prospect of our future, we must live in the now and make the choice now.
If we look at the first element of this step a little more closely we see that what we’re talking about is to stop procrastinating. If we’re honest with ourselves most of us continue to push our dreams out into the future. We do it for many reasons, some of them are valid and others or not. Sometimes life happens and things get in the way of our plans and dreams…and we get delayed. But truth be told there are times that we simply give up and make excuses for our inaction. We need to look at the reasons that are not valid and to move past them if we are going to live the life of our dreams!
[TAKE ACTION] Here’s an exercise that I would encourage you to do in order to get past some of these not so valid excuses. When you think about your dreams, let’s take one specifically, why do you keep pushing that dream off into the future? What are the reasons that you keep moving it out and keep procrastinating?
- Take a sheet of paper and write down a dream that you have that you have been putting off.
- List out reasons that you have been using to push that dream off.
- It could be lack of time.
- It could be lack of ability.
- It could be lack of a plan.
- Lack of finances.
- Lack of clarity.
- The list could go on but I want you to take some time and dive into this and be sincere with it.
- Cross out those reasons that are valid…but get very clear on the validity of those reasons. Don’t just accept an excuse as an reason if it’s not valid.
- Circle the reasons that are remaining…these are the excuses that you make to keep you from living your dream life.
- Now we get to work…beside each of those excuses, I want you to write down actions that you can take in place of the excuse. You are creating the basis for an action plan.
Let’s say that a valid reason for you is lack of time, you now have that excuse circled and you are going to write out the side of it “make time”. Now how are you going to make time? You’re going to schedule it in your calendar. Even if its blocking off 15 minutes a day to work on your dreams isn’t it important? Isn’t it worth it? Aren’t you worth it?
Now do that for all of your excuses…turn them around and create action from inaction! You are worth it. Now let’s go do it! Are you in?
Hopefully you read the first in the series and know what we are going after here. If not, please take time to do so. I am asking you to make a choice, to use your power and choose…for no other reason than you want to. Choose to answer the calling to live your dream life! There is nothing more powerful in the world than a man or woman that has made the choice to live at the fullest potential…that is what the dream life is all about.
The first step in ANSWER the call is to choose to be aware!
Being aware of your surroundings means that you are paying attention to every opportunity that presents itself and acting on those that move you in the direction of your dreams. We are presented with opportunities everyday, the challenge is to distinguish the great opportunities from the good opportunities and embrace the great opportunities.
Awareness happens when we live eyes wide open and remain present!
Please understand I’m differentiating between great opportunities and good opportunities. There also opportunities that present themselves to us that are unhealthy and in some cases toxic. Hopefully we can quickly evaluate and identify those and get them out of our way quickly. So we are differentiating between good and great like Jim Collins does in Good to Great….not everything that is good for us is GREAT for us. I only want to take the time on great opportunities.
Awareness is important to bring up too because it’s actually something that we are not very good at. When was the last time you took time to simply notice what was taking place around you. Most of us probably can’t get really clear on what has happened throughout our day. There’s so much noise in our lives that we only pay attention to those moments in life that are important or urgent and not on everything else is happening around us.
That’s why it’s important to raise some awareness to the need for awareness.
[TAKE ACTION] I want you to do today to be aware of your surroundings. Grab a journal (or simply start with a sheet of paper) and write on an hourly basis what happened to you in that hour.
- Who have you come in contact with?
- What did you snack on?
- What did you work on?
- What were some random thoughts or ideas that you had?
Take some time to get really clear on what happens in your life. Take some time to become aware and choose awareness. I am sure you will notice patterns in your life the more you do this…are you up for it?
You have been wrestling with your dream life most of your life. There has been something nagging at you, stirring in your heart and possibly keeping you up at night.
Let me introduce you to your dream life and it is calling to you.
Will you answer?
To answer the call, you must simply make the choice. You must choose to answer the calling on your life, nobody can make that choice for you. I have intentionally used the word choose and not decision. A decision is typically the result of two options that have been presented to us and we decide one over the other based on several different criteria or reasons. The problem with decisions is that if things don’t go the way we expected, we have the ability to play the victim as a result of being “forced” into an undesired outcome. A choice is not based on any certain criteria but simply my power to do so.
I am challenging you to choose to answer the call of your dreams on your life…and make a choice to live the life of your dreams!
To ANSWER the calling of your dreams is to choose:
Awareness: Being aware of your surroundings means that you are paying attention to every opportunity that presents itself and acting on those that move you in the direction of your dreams.
Now: To choose “now” means that right now, in this moment, I choose AND to focus on the present.
Sincerity: To choose sincerity means that I am straightforward and honest with myself about the progress I am making.
Wonder: To choose wonder means that I choose to live with my heart wide open and that take every experience and circumstance as an opportunity to learn and discover something new.
Excitement: Choosing excitement is to respond to an emotional response that happens within us and harness the energy of the choice to propel us forward.
Reality: To choose reality means that we choose to focus on what is real and not what is not.
Keep coming back over the coming weeks for a deeper dive into each of these areas…it could change your life!
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