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How to Live Your Dream Now

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Have you banished the dream of living life on your terms because of the  fear of failure? Have you allowed dreaded “If I …” to interject a question mark on claiming your ultimate freedom? If so, you’re not alone!

We have heard many “If I …”  while talking to someone.

1.  If I have million dollars in the bank, I will quit my job and retire.

2. If I can make extra $10K, I will tour the world.

3. If I win the lottery, I will build a school in my home town.

My life story is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. When I embarked upon my dream to own my business, I was nervous. I had not given enough focus to all of my “If I..” to feel confident that I can deal with unknowns. Nonetheless, I made the plunge.

Our lives are dominated by strings of events, that revolve all around us, as a consequence to anything we do —  be it quiting your job for another, starting your first business or just walking down the street. Every kind of activity or action that we undertake, no matter how small, has an effect on us and on the people around us.

Once you throw off the bowlines and sail on your own, you will be the captain of your destiny. Until now, someone made decisions for you. Now, you will make decisions for yourself.

Every action, has an equal and opposite  reaction .This unfortunately brings with it a lot of pressure — for most individuals — when faced with a more or less important decision. Fear of  failure cloud their judgments, and they soon begin to become indecisive.

Decisions make you powerful, active, focused, and ready to face your day. Indecision makes you procrastinate, lose initiative, gumption, and get up and go. So, in truth, making a good decision isn’t necessarily conditioned by outside variables —  like having plenty of money in your bank account; other people or events and so on – but rather by your ability to make bold decisions.

There aren’t set of  ”If I..”  you can check mark to make bold decisions – after all it’s just a conviction you harbor between your two ears.

Fate of your dream largely depends on your ability to make bold decisions now!

I’ve used these timeless techniques to make plunge from a wage earner into a dream earner. These techniques will help you overpass the hump of uncertainty and help you live your dream life now.

1. Embrace unknowns.

No training or preparation will ensure outcome precisely. Understand and acknowledge that there will be bumps on the road when you start living life on your terms. Living life on your terms gives your strength to deal with unknowns that are sure to pose challenges along the way.  I didn’t know all aspects of the business when I decided to start my own business. I dealt with fair share of my challenges, and I made plethora of mistakes along the way.  Regardless, I won’t do any other way if I have chance to do it all over again.

2. Think fast.

When faced with a decision, do it fast. Don’t think too much about what might happen after you undertake the respective action. What’s done is done.  You have to do some information gathering to make decisions. But your gut instinct and street smart approach will let you make bold decisions quickly. The more you do it, the faster you’ll become and the more decisive you’ll become.

3. Believe in yourself.

Keep telling and believe in yourself as a decisive individual and the outcome you desire. Don’t denigrate yourself for being indecisive.

4. Squash the bug of procrastination.

Some decisions, no matter how much you think them over, can’t seem to reach a favorable end. The longer you think about them, the more problems and obstacles you’ll find in your path. This is where you have to turn to your natural instincts, to guide you through. Let your gut speak out.

5. Get out of the box.

Forget about your preconceptions and fixed ideas about anything in particular. Clarity is extremely important for taking a bold decision, so keeping an open mind is a great way to put things into perspective to make the best decision.

6. Don’t be afraid.

Earlier in the article I mentioned that the biggest cause for indecisiveness is fear of the failure. While having reserves, before taking an important decision, is very natural you shouldn’t let them overwhelm you. Don’t be afraid to make a decision and learn to embrace failure as much as success.

7. Visualize the outcome.

Look at yourself from the outside and picture you as a decisive person. How would I act then? Also when faced with a decision, visualize yourself in the completion process and then in the aftermath. Then start asking yourself, like you’ve already taken the decision and completed the task: was it worth my time? did the benefits outweigh the disadvantages? and so on.

8. It’s okay to screw up.

Sometimes life takes us into directions we’d wish we never went. A thought of going back in time and taking the road on the left, always crosses our minds, but what’s done is done and you should keep it that way; such things in life are inevitable, so the first thing you should do when it happens, is not to feel bad about it. Just look at it as a life experience, as a step up in your progression towards a complete life. There’s no such thing as a good or bad decision.

Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today – Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Third president of the United States

9. Act Now.

Don’t sit on your butt all day, thinking how to act. Be proactive, take the initiative and act without fear of the outcome. Any decision is better than none at all. When I made that dreaded decision to quit the job and embark out on my own, I had not planned every possible “If I…”  that I was about to face. I’d trained my mind to be aware of these challenges, and I was prepared to deal with them with best of my ability. I had decided that time to pursue my dream is now or never.

I’m glad that I decided to throw off the bowline and took control of my lifeboat to sail away from the safe harbor. I knew that there would be obstacles along the way. But I also knew that no planning or learning could ever overcome these challenges that were destined to arrive. I decided to embrace the challenges as happily as the successes, and to take action and to never look back. It’s a decision I haven’t regretted since.

Will you ever retire if you are doing what you love to do? Think about it. We harbor thoughts of retirement more to visualize having freedom. If you learn to live life on your terms now then retirement may never entice you. Do you agree?

How soon not now, becomes never – Martin Luther (1483-1546) German priest and scholar

(Photo courtesy: Noemiji)

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Comments (24)

Great post! So many people think that the successful are just plain lucky. While there has been an element of luck for some, it’s usually those who prepare the best who are the luckiest.

No matter how much you prepare though, it is those who actually do, rather than those whjo only think that ultimately experience the most success.

Your post highlights the most severe problems exhibited by those who can just not seem to make it. It matters no how intelligent you are, what you know, who you know, where you went to school, or how well you plan.

If you never do, well, you just never do.

Thank you Steve for your kind words. It’s always better to make mistakes than to do nothing.

[...] Street Smart Finance’s “How to Live Your Dream Now“ [...]

Your strategies for realizing your dreams are magnificent, and would have helped me a great deal in my early years. The one problem that I think kills more dreams than any other is the fear of failure.

The questions that I’ve always been curious about are “where did fear come from, and why does it have such a strong hold on our lives?” Is it because the media spoon feeds us corrupt thinking? Is it because our parents didn’t train us or encourage us to believe in ourselves? Was it our teachers? Our surroundings?

Personally, I think that the point at which we destroy (or at least manage fear), is the point where we begin to live our dreams.

Anthony, all of your questions are very thoughtful. In my case, I was raised by parents who instilled a sense of confidence early on in my life. I had polio at age 5, and I felt that I was inferior because I couldn’t run or play cricket as other kids did. My mother kept telling me that I can and will do whatever I conceive in my mind. I ended up playing cricket for my school team and did very well. We all have power to lift ourselves to do whatever we can think of and work hard for.

Hi Shilpan,

Yes, I agree! :) I love your philosophical approach, and thanks very much for the mention!

Kevin, your article is very inspiring to those who want to take control of their own destiny.

I think letting go of the fear of failure is the one huge leap everyone needs to take to live their dreams. Instead of fearing failure we need to learn from it and then try again.

    Well said Katie! If we overcome fear of failure, we can achieve beyond our wildest imagination.

Believing in yourself + hard work + perseverance = success. Every millionaire mind book I have read says visualize the outcome. This is also what superstar athletes do. Tiger Woods always said he would visualize the ball going in the hole before he made a putt.

Amen! That’s the surest path to success.

Great recommendations! If you embrace the unknown rather than fear it, you will find there is a whole other world waiting for you (and it is brighter than you once thought). Most importantly is the action to actually do something. Sometimes doing nothing is failure by itself.

Absolutely. It may sound too naive, but when I embarked on my firs business, I didn’t have all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed perfectly. I knew little compared to what I didn’t know. But, if you stick to your guns, it works out in the end. Have faith in your dream. It will happen.

I think thinking outside the box is the hardest sometimes becuase when you’re inside the box, you just can’t even think of what else could be!

It really means that you’ve to be unconventional in your thinking. Don’t follow the herd mentality; don’t afraid to be creative in your effort to increase odds in your favor.

A decision to stick to your dream is very important. Living a dream is about making a decision. A decision that you would selflessly stick to your dream no matter how tough things become.

Working on a dream is tough especially when other people do not realize its value. When people work on there dream but cannot earn a living from it leads to lot of social and economic pressure to quit his dream.

I remember Steve Jobs once said in an interview that living a dream is so tough that any person who thinks logically would quit sooner or later. It is only if a person intensely love his work he would stick to his dream.

So living a dream is also about sticking to your dream. A day would come society would realize your passion. Your effort would be recognized.

Karunesh, thanks for those beautiful words of wisdom. I love it!

[...] How to live your dream now [...]

A wonderful book I like is the Marine Corp Book of Strategy. It says that speed and rate of fire win the day. I try to apply that to my everyday existence.

AJ, thanks for sharing. Speed indeed matters when it comes to making decisions.

I love this. You do need to not be afraid to act. But I also think there is a line. There are some things that may be best mulled over. Our actions have consequences, and while living boldly is a wonderful thing, living brashly is not.

[...] How to Live Your Dream Now Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain Have you… Read more [...]

Love the points you emphasize here. As you grow more aware of how you think, the words you use and how you feel, you are incredibly empowered. To focus on the past of future is like giving your creative power away. Rather than focus on anything negative, you can also simply decide yo uare living the dream in this moment and imagine how it feels. The manifesting catches up with the power and focus of your thoughts.

[...] How to Live Your Dream Now on Street Smart Finance [...]

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