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It seems a lot of people have dreams they want to get to once “x” happens. “X” could be saving enough money, earning enough money, losing weight, getting married, whatever.
And I notice some of my friends (who are mostly past that phase and into contribution) getting judgmental about this.
It’s so frustrating to me.
I feel like people need to get their survival needs met before they can feel good about living their dreams.
It’s the whole airplane oxygen mask scenario – you’ve got to put your mask on before you can put on anyone else’s. Most people need to earn money before they can fully give themselves to their deepest desires.
Sure, it sounds romantic to forget everything and jump into your passion. And I DO think the universe conspires to help you when you do that.
But the reality is, there’s too much of a disconnect for most people. It’s hard to go from living a life you’re not very excited about to going full steam ahead with your passions. It’s too much, too fast. It’s not realistic. And most people would be in fear mode (“How will I pay the rent?”) to really give themselves fully.
It’s just too much of a disconnect to go from zombie-life to full of passion immediately.
So I’m totally on board with people giving dreams some kind of date (as long as they mean it). I’m on board with getting through the “drudge” work before you completely jump into what you love.
What I’m NOT on board with is shaming yourself for wherever you are.
What I wish for everyone is to love where you are. If you’re doing things you don’t love doing… infuse as much love into them as you possibly can anyway.
You’re doing them no matter what, so why be miserable and resentful when you can choose another feeling?
(And as a fun side note, I find that doing this is the fastest path to getting to where you want to be.)
Here are 7 ways to love where you are:
I came up with a few ideas to make your current situation as fun as possible. Take whatever sounds good to you and ignore the rest:
1. Make your environment beautiful. Even if you work in a cubicle, you can make it your cubicle. Surround yourself with things that make you feel good.
When I work from home, I love having candles near me, fresh flowers, and pictures that inspire me. I also always make sure my desk is clean.
And whenever I can work from cafes, I do. I love being near people.
2. Play music that makes you feel good. If you can wear headphones, do it.
I personally love playing classical music. This particular kind plays at 60 beats per minute and makes me very productive.
One of our Staying Accountable clients says she loves motown. Whatever will get you feeling good… go for it.
3. Take dance breaks. I used to push myself through things – especially things I didn’t enjoy doing. I figured the sooner I got them done, the sooner they’d be out of the way. But the problem with that was that I’d be absolutely exhausted when I finally finished.
So I started taking dance breaks. I’d take a couple minutes in between tasks, dance to a few songs, and just get back in my body and in happiness zone. This extra few minutes helped me get out of misery-mode AND ensured I wasn’t totally depleted for the rest of the day.
4. Spend a little time working towards your dream every day. 20 minutes of working on what you’re totally passionate about will ignite such a spark in you that it’ll be equivalent to getting 10 hours worth of sleep. The key with this is not to feel judgmental when you go back to whatever your full time job is. Bring that spark into whatever you’re doing. Love it. And know you’re working towards your dream.
5. Get off the computer wherever you can. For example, if we’re friends on Facebook you probably saw me post this picture yesterday:
Business planning with markers and wine = FUN.
Yesterday was Wednesday – my call day. On Wednesdays I have mastermind calls, calls with coaching clients, and yesterday I had even more calls because of something I’m selling.
At the end of the day I was feeling a bit exhausted and getting cranky.
I knew I wanted to schedule out my August plans, but the last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of more technology (the computer).
So I walked to CVS, got a sketch pad and markers, and drew out my (colorful) plans over a glass of wine.
Not only did it feel way more fun, but it was WAY more effective too. I successfully fleshed out an entire product in just 15 minutes. I’d probably have sludged through it at home.
6. Infuse your passion into what you’re doing. Whatever your dream is, I’m positive there’s a way to infuse it into what you’re doing.
If you’d rather be playing music than selling insurance, make fun songs about your insurance policies. It sounds nuts, but I guarantee people will remember and like you. They’d also probably be way more likely to do business with you, even if you don’t have the best prices, just because of the human connection.
If you’d rather be teaching kids than doing accounting, bring that passion of teaching when you’re working with clients so they actually enjoy hearing about what’s going on. Whatever you’re excited about, try and bridge it with what you’re currently doing.
7. Celebrate. Celebrate yourself – no matter what you do. If you start a project, celebrate. If you empty your inbox, celebrate. If you don’t empty your inbox, celebrate. Start feeling proud instead of shaming yourself. When you celebrate, you get in expansive mode… and it’s way easier to make magic happen from a place of expansion than one of contraction.
(Celebrate to yourself, on Facebook, to your family, to Michaela and I. Whatever. But celebrate.)
What do YOU think? Do you have any ideas I haven’t mentioned? Or does something sound particularly good – or not good – to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!