“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.” – Abraham Maslow
Have you ever felt that sense that there is more to life? That feeling that pulls you to do something bigger and bolder than you have done before? It’s not uncommon to feel this way. We all have an inner-GPS trying to guide us to experience a full and meaningful life. But instead, all too easily, we get stuck in a rut and keep living out the same daily routine over and over again. Nothing new or exciting happens. It’s just the same old same old, and our soul begins to wither and dry up from a lack of spiritual H2O. Quench your spiritual thirst! What ever happened to all the dreams and desires you used to have? What happened to living a life of purpose and significance? It’s easy to play it safe, stay practical, and stare off into the clouds dreaming. (By the way, I’ve been doing that most of my life, and it’s not worth it!) What if instead of wishing and hoping that things could be different, you started creating what you want to experience today?
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau
I know it sounds easier said than done, but why not try? Why not decide what would make you incredibly fulfilled; what would give you a sense of true aliveness and go for it. You don’t have to be irresponsible and risk your life savings or personal security. We all have our personal comfort zone we can stretch. Where in life could you start looking beyond the bubble you have surrounded yourself with? You just have to start dreaming again. How can you start dreaming? Start by creating your “life list.” The list of all the things and experiences that would make life complete. Who knows, maybe there is something you could even check off today.
Create your Life List
Step 1: Brainstorming session
Are you ready? Grab a sheet of paper, or something to write on, and title it “My Life List.” This is the list of all the goals, aspirations, and experiences that would make up a legendary life for you. Now, start listing and brainstorming all the things you desire to experience, create, and attain in your life. Don’t limit yourself. Get everything out of your head and put it onto this list. Here are some questions to help you get started. 1. What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? 2. What are the three most important aspirations you have right now? 3. If you only had six months to live, how would you spend your time? What would you want to do? 4. What have you always wanted to do but were afraid to try?
Step 2: Organize ideas
This step isn’t totally necessary but it can help bring clarity and order to your list if it’s long and random. So, after you have listed all your dreams and desires, put them into different categories to help you organize them. This might include family, health, personal accomplishments, finances, recreation, travel, etc. A good example for inspiration would be The Impossible List by Joel Runyon of Impossible HQ. (He happens to be one of the featured interviews in the Becoming Unstoppable course)
“We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough.” – Helen Keller
Here are some examples from the list I have been creating. Visit 1. Nepal 2. New Guinea 3. Ireland 4. Montreal Learn 1. Photography 2. A second language Accomplish 1. Getting a PhD in Psychology 2. Publish a children’s self-help book 3. Flying a plan 3. Starting a t-shirt company Attend 1. A Zen retreat 2. TED Conference I know this can seem overwhelming. How can I possibly do all of these different things, right? Fortunately, you have your entire life, not matter what age you are.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C. S. Lewis
And frankly, if you don’t check all of them off of your list, doing some is better than none, right?
Step 3: Set SMART goals
The next step after creating your list is to prioritize your dreams and give them a time frame. Break them down into long-term, mid-term, and short-term goals. Select a few that you want to accomplish or experience in the next year, a few to do in the next 6 months, within the next month, and even next week. Get specific about what you want to accomplish and by when.
Step 4: Support your Dreams
A last but crucial step is to consider how your current way of life lines up with these dreams. Explore the barriers or obstacles that could get in your way currently, as well as what you can do to stay motivated and committed. Here are a few ideas to consider.
- Connect with supportive people or find a partner in crime to keep you accountable.
- Create a vision board – Put together a collage of pictures, phrases, and images, that represent the manifestation of your goals.
- Take small daily actions to keep momentum moving. Start by doing some research and learning more about what you want.
Well, are you ready to make your list? If nothing else it can remind you of how amazing life can be. It’s up to you to take the next step. Have fun!