How to pursue your dreams
And feel great about it not only after they come true
Having a dream always requires transforming it into a set of goals or a system. This first step is best explained by James Clear. In short, having a dream is not enough. We need actionable steps to make a dream come true.
When we have that, a couple of steps are going to ease the way in.
Chasing something is a stressful job, even when chasing what we want. This is not an easy task to pursue and be happy along the way. It’s essential, though, to not relate our self-worth or happiness to external, future events.
Build your Safehaven
Only with a solid foundation, you can start exploring new things safely. You need to have your base. The place where you can return when life crushes you.
Your base represents the known, the order. It’s composed of your home, car, friends, and life when it goes like expected.
The idea behind having a safe place is to be prepared for chaos in the world.
For me, it’s more abstract than just having a place to sleep. That’s important as well, but I think of my base as something more:
- Being aware of that calmness in the background, which is always there, whatever happens.
- An auto reflection helps me draw conclusions from my mistakes.
- Resilience to face life as it is with fewer complaints and more acceptance
By working on the safe haven, I keep the connection to my true self stable. When something terrible happens, I can return to my core and start rebuilding.
Be courageous and explore
Enter the chaos realm, the realm of the unknown.
Here you get new ideas, here you develop yourself.
Here is where you get by “getting outside of your comfort zone.” You need to be here from time to time if you wish to improve yourself. Here is the place to start chasing your dream without knowing the end result, full of doubts.
Here you’re going to use everything you learned while building your safe haven. The goal is to extend its boundaries and transform what’s unknown into something known.
Here is where the pursuit is happening. Here you learn. Here you make mistakes.
Learn to love your mistakes because they’re the way.
Keep your desires in check
There is always something more to attain, some other country to visit, another person to meet.
Whatever you try to get, remember to accept and be grateful for what you already have.
This may be very hard, and life is hard, but what else can we do?
Note from the stoics is to remember that wanting to learn or read another book is the same as wanting money and fame.
They’re desires, and you need to control them instead of being controlled by them.
Nothing should cloud your vision of the present moment.
This is not to say you shouldn’t want anything. This is to say that nothing from the outside will grant you happiness or calmness.
Be mindful of what you want. A disciplined mind is a mind which can wait to be used and is not on all the time. Wanting and desiring requires a constantly working mind. Let it rest.
Do less if you feel overwhelmed
My memories about starting my journey are hectic. Productivity, journaling, spirituality. Everything was a way to build up my ego, to feel better, and when I didn’t meet my expectations, I felt guilty.
When I read another book, I’m going to be better finally. When I do another course, I’m going to feel satisfied.
When I gain another follower, I could say I’m a writer.
I wasn’t enjoying myself unless I did everything perfectly and perfectly meant more and more, faster and faster.
It wasn’t sustainable. The results were terrific, but I understood I focused too much on the outcome and too little on the process. The joy was there at the end, so I always waited.
This is where doing less comes in.
My step-by-step journey to better me leads to a place where I no longer want to do everything at once. Sometimes I still do, of course, but I dropped a lot of the stuff I thought were necessary for me to be better.
Surprise, there weren’t. None of them really is.
I don’t feel bad for dropping every side project I was involved in except for one.
I almost don’t feel bad for reading one book a month instead of four.
I don’t feel bad for learning only one language.
Now I have more time for my girlfriend, family, and friends, and I still read.
I have more time for writing and resting between sessions.
I’m learning how to let go of things, how to stop doing them because I’m used to them.
I know it’s hard to drop what you’re doing, but we need reevaluation sometimes. We have limited time, so we should focus on things that really matter to us.
Learn how to do less without feeling guilty. Let yourself do less and embrace the feeling of freedom, embrace the feeling of leaving something behind, forever or for some time.
Feel great, now
Feel great now. Feel happy now. Don’t wait for your dream to come true, don’t wait even if it’s not a dream but a system or a goal you’re on the way to attain.
Be here. Feel free now.
Depending on external events to get to the desired state of mind is a trap. Be grateful, like you already have what you want, because you do.
Postponing feeling good after getting rich, buying a car, visiting another country, or reading a book makes the current moment a way to an end. You no longer celebrate the gift of existence. You focus on the future and lose the only thing you truly have the present.
The past is the subjective record of events, and you reconstruct it every time you remember something. It doesn’t exist outside of you.
The future is your expectations, what you think will happen, and how you will feel then. It doesn’t exist.
The present is the only thing you experience. This is where you relive your past. This is where you’re going to live in the future.
Here you should feel great focus your forces because only by taking actions now you can influence your future.
Focus on the process
Let the outcome come by itself. You don’t need to wait for it. Give everything you have to do whatever you’re doing the best you can. Use your undivided attention to master the art of washing the dishes or writing poems.
Be as mindful about the action as you were for the first time you have done it. Allow yourself to see it without the mind telling you what it is. Leave the automaticy behind and meditate on the action itself. Let your whole Existence pour into the thing you’re doing.
Appreciate the magic behind you doing anything.
Let yourself feel the anxiety while working on something important.
Let your fingers feel the keys beneath them while writing.
Let the birds’ song enter your ears.
Just be and just do.
Whenever your attention is drifting, gently bring it back to your current action. Like in meditation, let yourself think about anything and when you notice you’re drifting away, return to now.