How to live the extraordinary life of your dreams?

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5 steps towards a daily dream life

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

The clicking of her keyboard filled the office. She was the only one there yet. It was about 8 am and she was exhausted already. She had, had a great night of sleep and woke up energized. Her body felt alive, but her mind was dragging along. It was thinking of the day to come. It had exhausted her before she could even get dressed. His shoulders hung and she released a big sigh. She closed her eyes for a moment and dreamed away. Hoping that when she opened them her office would have been a bad dream. But it wasn’t. She opened her eyes and the computer screen was still flashing with emails coming in and alerts of all kinds of messages that came in. She leaned back in her black leather office chair, her brown long hair hanging over the back of the chair. She looked up at the ceiling and wondered if she would ever be able to live her dream.

Her colleague dripped into the office one by one. Greeting her. They talked about their weekends and the fun things they had done. As well as in unison complaining about the new work week, and the news. It was the usual routine and she felt content with that. Her colleagues made her work bearable, at times even fun. Especially when one of them made a joke or started to loudly complain about something. It was pure entertainment. On that particular Monday, her work felt dragging. No one of her colleagues seemed energized that day. By 11 am she had already finished most of her work. If no one interrupted her this was the usual case for her. The work was easy and could be done highly productive, which left her with loads of time to research all about plants.

She opened a new tab and left the software she needed for work open in another. This was her quick escape when someone, especially her boss, would stroll by. She didn’t want them to think that she wasn’t doing anything. Her hands felt cold, after all, typing and moving her mouse weren’t particularly energizing tasks. And the office was always cold. All of them wore thick hoodies and cardigans. The male in the stall across from her even wore a scarf, that was decorated with parrots in all sizes and colors, beautifully contrasted with a sky blue background and some leaves and branches. “It looked both comfy and fashionable,” She thought to herself knowing that she had no eye for fashion at all, so it could as well looked awful. “Who cared?” She thought. “It is all about what I think of it, and I love it.” She got up and moved to the coffee machine grabbing a Styrofoam cup and filled it with tea. A delicious and useful thing to do, considering the fact that her hands were freezing. Moving back to her desk she stopped to talk to one of her friends at work.

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A dream that didn’t seem to come true

“HEE, how are you?” The woman asked her friend. Her friend was an attorney, a considerably better job than she had. Her job was only customer support, making sure every email got to the right person and new clients were welcomed and helped quickly. It wasn’t the job she loved, but it paid the bills. Her friend on the other hand loved being an attorney. “I am doing great!” The attorney replied. “How are you? How was your weekend?” “It was fine, didn’t do much except dream of quitting this job.” She laughed, but also knew that this was the sad truth. Her attorney friend laughed uncomfortably, she too knew the dream of her friend. “Oh yeah, did you do anything to make that dream come true?” The attorney asked.

The women looked down at the red, stained carpet that was filled with smudges of coffee. She hated to say that she didn’t do anything about it. She wanted this dream so badly, but man she just couldn’t get her damn head to wrap around it. Using every minute she had to make it come true. She was in a split second blaming herself. Blaming herself for every decision she made that weekend. She had so many opportunities to work. She had no obligations, no friends to speak with, no family that came over. All she had was a comfy pair of sweatpants, a cup of coffee, a large bowl of chips, and movies to watch. That had been her entire weekend. She had many moments that she thought of doing something but… “He Alisha? Are you still listening to me?” The attorney had broken the cycle of bad thoughts for a moment. “I am sorry,” Alisha replied. “I didn’t do anything. I just watched movies all weekend long.” The attorney noticed the embarrassed and painful look on her face. The suffering Alisha felt inside was captured by every wrinkle, every twinkle in her eyes. She was fighting the biggest battle of them all. The fight to pursue her dream and to do what is best for her and the world.

“So did you come up with any new ideas around your big dream?” The attorney asked, wanting to cheer her up. “I did actually!” And a small sparkle of hope and joy appeared on her eyes and was carried out by her tongue. The tiniest of smiles released the tension on her face. I wanted to start a literal email list. Not one online but one that people can subscribe through and I will send them postcards, with new seeds for indoor plants to grow and a guide on how to do it. “WOW!” The attorney shouted, ecstatic about this idea of her friend. Some of the other workers turned their heads around seeing what was happening and why the attorney shouted so loud. “That is an amazing idea! You should get to building that idea!” She had been encouraging Alisha for more than a year now to pursue her dream. But it hadn’t worked…

Yet.

There is just no way

Alisha had to go back to her desk and see if anyone needed her help. The attorney needed to continue on her case as well. So they thanked each other and decided to speak to one another soon again. The day went by and Alisha felt more rejuvenated and ready to go. She always walked to work in the morning and did so back in the evening. The clouds gathering around in the distance didn’t mean any good for a dry and peaceful walk home. So she hurried, big steps made strong egos in the empty alleyways towards her apartment. It just started to drizzle as she turned the corner to her apartment. An orange door with a damaged golden-colored doorknob was the entrance to her house. A staircase leads up to her living room, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom all in one place. She threw her back on the large chair in the middle of the room and flung her coat over the armrest. She thought of the conversation she had with her friend at work. She didn’t think someone would like the idea.

She looked around in her apartment and saw all the beautiful indoor plants she had been keeping and growing over the last year. This was her dream, this was her passion. She adored keeping these plants and growing them. She had often given away cuttings of her plants so others could grow them too. She had even sold some occasional seeds for plants, and this new idea she had last weekend must be a great one! After all her friend wasn’t always that excited about her new ideas. She decided to start working on that dream after diner.

She looked in the fridge and found a few leftovers from the day before and decided to just warm those up. It wasn’t much, but it was enough for her alone. She quickly ate all of the Bolognese and drank a glass of water after. She grabbed her laptop out of a small grey cupboard under the table. “What was she gonna do?” In an instant, she didn’t know what to do? She wanted to create this mailing list, but were to start? “Ask friends and family? No, they didn’t want to pay for that.” She thought out loud. “Maybe this wasn’t the right thing to do? How would she be able to make enough money to pay her rent, let alone buy food and have something spare to put aside?” In a quick spiral, she glided, down and down, deeper into doubt and fear. Her laptop was still closed. She didn’t dare to do it. She was much rather safe than doing the thing she wanted most but terrified her as well. In anger, she pushed her laptop away. Kicking the wooden chair she sat on. It tipped over and made a loud bang. She was frustrated with herself. “Why the fuck couldn’t she do it!” She thought to herself.

She walked to the couch and sat down. She didn’t even want to watch a movie, she just wanted to sit there for a while. And so she did. She sat there for an hour as the clouds outside kept pouring out rain. She heard a big stream of water rushing down the streets filling the sewers. Her anger had slowly been decreasing. She looked around again and saw a book on a small table beside the TV. She once received this book from a friend that thought she should do something with her dream. She never opened it though, the only lines of text she read off the book were the title, the subtitle, and the author’s name. That was it. But she felt strongly drawn to the book and decided to get up and grab a cup of tea and huddle down to finally start to read it.

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A small toe forward made the world change

“Create your dream life! A guide on creating a life you love living.” The title of the book read. Alisha always thought that the book was about creating a life full of luxury. The kind of life she didn’t want to live. With yachts, villas, sports cars, and stacks of money. The cover of the book was simple. Just plain white with the titles underneath one another and two hands folded together as a sign of gratitude. She started reading the first paragraph of the book after skipping the introduction and acknowledgment. “You want luxury? Women? Cars? Expensive holidays? Well, then this book is not for you.” The first lines of the book read. “Wow, wait what? This isn’t about having all of those things.” A few lines of words had changed her entire perspective on the book and she vigorously continued reading. “Creating your dream life starts today, this is not some simple cheesy line, this is the truth. You can not build your dream life if you do not make a simple gesture towards it. Your dream life has one very important thing, and that is LIFE! To live your dream life you should live. Without living you can’t experience it. It is that simple, start living now. I could stop the book right now and you’ll have everything you need to know. But I won’t” The writer had barely started the book and had already shared all its secrets. The women started to shift. That energy she had felt at work and throughout the entire afternoon was back. She was determined to read this book and start building her dream life.

Each day for the rest of the week she got home, ate a bit, and read for the entire night. She couldn’t seem to quit. She read about how small incremental habits were the building bricks of a dream life. Most people, including her, tried to make a difference, an extraordinary beginning. But the only change that mattered was life long change. It wouldn’t matter if she today had finished her entire website but didn’t do anything with it for the rest of her life. It would have mattered if she decided to do 1 hour of work and build her website over a few weeks. Not because this was the quicker way, but because this was the lasting way. It would not only build her website but it would also create a habit around what she wanted to do. Her dream life wasn’t about everything she wanted to achieve in the future, it was about doing what she loved here and now, each day again. It didn’t necessarily mean quitting your job and working entire days on your passion. It was more about first spending every hour you had to do what you loved until the point where it had become second nature. Then was the time to quit. That was the moment when the magic happened and her dream life would take shape.

She loved the book so much that she decided to read it every year again. She turned it over and put it flat on the table once she finished it. On the back, it said nothing more than. Today I Lived. Three simple words, yet the core of this book. It was all about living. Living here and now and building a life of your dreams right now. The woman had turned into a finder of beauties far beyond the human world. By just reading an extraordinary book she had transformed her mindset and soon to be the experience of life.

The finder of beauties

She had thought of the nights she read the book often. She had started to create small changes in her life each day. She changed her walk to work into a moment in which she listened to podcasts and audiobooks all about plants and building a business. Once she arrived at work she sped through her work and then used the remaining time to write emails to people asking them if they would love to receive seeds and tips on growing plants. Many of the people replied and her email list had grown each week, each day to be precise. She used every moment to build her dream life, not only that but she lived her dream life already. She did what she loved and that was all that mattered. She found beauty in everything because of it. She experienced life as it was and that made her a finder of beauties and an experiencer of life. But those changes didn’t just happen overnight. They happened over the day. She decided to make a change every 66 days. It first started with the walks to work, then writing at home, then writing at work, then working out, then getting up earlier to make more of her day, then watching fewer movies and the cycle continued. Each 66 days something in her life had changed. For the rest of her life. The 66 days were the days for her new ways of living to stick. She didn’t like to call them habits, it sounded as if she was a robot. She would rather call them a moment of joy because they were. She loved them so much.

Her apartment was an entire jungle by now, she had tried out so many new species of plants and flowers. New methods on growing them, new tools and she radiated with love for them. They were the real reason why all of this was possible. They were the real heroes of her life story. After months of increasingly growing her business, she realized that the one thing she wanted was to quit her job, and she had completely forgotten about it. But now she realized that she could. She had enough money to do it, over the past couple of months she had saved up most of her income and even started making money from the people who wanted new seeds each month.

The final walk

That morning she walked to work with her headphones on, and a podcast playing. She was excited and the sun was greeting every time it could peek around a corner. As usual, she was the only one there already. It was 8 am, just as that same morning when everything started to change. Yet the office was not filled by the clicking of the keyboard, she just looked around. Not working, not doing anything. She just wanted to take it to the office. After a few minutes, she got up. Walked along the red-stained carpet and opened the door into the office of her boss. It was a kind woman with short blond hair, she had never been cruel to her because she too loved what she did. She was a good boss, a good leader, and helped where needed. The boss looked delighted and knew what was about to come. The woman who was now a finder of beauties sat down in a round black leather seat and the boss smiled at her. “How are you?” She asked, following her first question with another. “I’ve been waiting for you to enter this office for a year now, and I am so glad you did!” They both smiled at the same time…

Your dream has just begun

Your dream life isn’t necessarily a rich one. We do not always need the luxury to live a dream life. That luxury only gives us the feeling of safety and financial independence but never the satisfaction of joy. If a luxurious life is your dream life you will need to work towards it. But if your life is about joy and living whilst doing what you love doing, then you can begin today. Because it is about the things you do each day that make it your dream life, it is about the experiences you want to have and the road towards that dream. It’s about the incremental small steps, they create your dream life and not the results at the end of your walk. In this story, I wanted to show you how powerful a small change like reading a book can be. This can be different for each one of us. Someone would much rather listen to an audiobook, listen to a podcast, or anything else that could bring you a life-changing experience. From that moment on, you would most of the time want to go full in. Doing everything you can at once. Exercising, getting up early, building your business, or working your dream job, reading and learning, spending more time with friends and family. So many things you want to do in a moment of inspiration and motivation. Hold that feeling! Hold it tight for as long as you can. But how? Do it bit by bit.

How amazing would it be if you first nailed doing daily exercising and then follow it up with something new and build that? It would sustain that inspiration and motivation all the way. That’s the power of creating your daily dream life instead of just focusing on the result.

5 Steps towards your daily dream life

What would your daily dream life look like? What things would that day be filled with? How would you feel?

  1. Visualise your daily dream life, from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed again.

Visualization sounds vague and spiritual, and that’s because it is. But let’s not forget that even though you are not spiritual you are still doing this, only unconscious. You are probably visualizing the future with fear or doubt. Thinking about what if… that is visualization too. Yet not used in an effective way. If you use it to feel, see, hear, smell, and experience your future the energy and feelings within you will shift towards that future as well. It will be as if you already achieved it and you are just going along. Visualization is about creating a shift in how you feel right now so that your future isn’t the future anymore, but it is already achieved in the present moment.

One thing we all have in common is that we want to be happy. Everything we do is in a desperate attempt to be happy someday. But what if you could be happy right now? Even if just for a moment?

  1. Be thankful for where you are and the dream you have

Gratitude is the tool to be joyful, anywhere, at any time, in any condition. There is always, always, always, something to be grateful for. Express that feeling. Write it down, feel it in your body, share it with friends and family, but make it come alive. Make sure you feel grateful for whatever you have and for the future that will be ahead. No matter how hard, life is never meant to be a drag or meant as punishment. It’s filled with wonder at each moment.

And if you know what your dream life looks like and feel joy for everything right now you can start to build your daily dream life. Alisha in this story had visualized her dream life many times, every weekend she would think of it. Still, she was grateful for everything she had. It was only the combination of the two that gave her enough energy to start with the creation of her daily dream life.

  1. Start with small steps towards your big achievement

Habits, tiny fractions of your life that you can create. Yet the tiniest changes create the biggest impact on the whole system. It’s just how the world is structured. The smallest insect is necessary for this entire planet to function. It might even be more important than you and me because if it wouldn’t exist, we wouldn’t exist.

So each small step you can make towards that dream life is one further than before. Even if it is taking a moment of rest, so you can go further again tomorrow. As long as the decision is made to get to your dream life you are moving forward. I would highly recommend that you make a list of habits, of daily things, or weekly things you want to do and start executing them one by one. Doing them for 66 days in a row or on one specific day for 6 to 7 weeks. Once again, the smallest of changes can make a life-changing difference.

The first thing everyone should do is to learn. This is one of those habits that should be somewhere on the top of your list. If you want a dream life you should learn about every aspect of that life. The work you do, your financial stability, and so on.

  1. Practice a habit of learning and growing

This to me has made the most impact on my life. Each day making sure I read and listen to books and capture as much of the information as I can, and figure out ways to implement and use it in my life. So that I do not only learn but also grow and that is the most important thing of this habit. A simple way of starting is to get a book or an audiobook and create a goal for yourself to read 10 pages a day or listen to 10 minutes of audio. This is consistent and can be done easily. But over time you will have read through a book.

  1. Live with joy

This is the most important one. Live with joy. Even though you are down try to feel joy. It might not work and that is okay, tomorrow will be a new day to try it. Don’t blame yourself for it, because that would be the opposite of joy. No joy is within all of us, all the time. I thought that this was just some sort of bullshit, but it is here all the time. If you turn down your own opinion and feel your heart beating nothing else matters. That is when joy can flow freely. Because knowing you are alive is the biggest gift of them all. It is the biggest source of joy. Never forget that!

I hope you loved this story and can make steps towards your dream life now. If someone in your surroundings would need to hear this please share it with them. It’s a perfect source of good karma! And if you are stuck, I would love to help you build this dream life of yours, so feel free to send me an email at daan@todayilived.com and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible!

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