It’s midlife. What’s your dream?

How do I live my dream lifestyle?
How do I walk away from a job I hate and find my dream job?
How do I start my dream business?
How do I travel?
How do I move to another city, state or country?
How do I get healthy and find my ideal body?
How do I make money from my passion?
How do I unleash my creativity?
How do I find the right relationships?
How do I live my next decade in the way I choose?

I don’t have the answers for all of these questions. All I can offer is my experience and what I’ve learned along the way.

I still have so much to learn, so much more to contribute to this world. And if you ask me if I have found success, I would give you a very definite “NO” in response. However, I’ve experienced successes and failures, I’ve felt the hardships of rejections, I’ve changed my life and redesigned it over and over again. And along the way I’ve accumulated many ways to approach new things in my life by the lessons I’ve learned over and over again.

Sometimes it feels like there are far more questions than there are answers. But if you truly want to achieve any or all of them, you have to learn to put things in the right order and do what’s most important to make everything a reality.

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One of my favorite quotes is:

“Live for a while like most won’t, so you can live long term doing what most can’t.”

So before you ask yourself any other questions, answer this:

Are you willing to give something up to let something else come to be?
We all want a life that’s extraordinary. And in most cases, we have a role model who fits our description perfectly. We want what they have, crave all that they do. The only problem is you’re not willing to let go of what you have in order to achieve it. Reinvention takes time. It takes refocusing on something new in order to replace something old. You can’t have change without first letting go of what you’ve had.

How desperately do you want it?
Will you take risks in order to achieve something new? Will you gladly say no to make the room? Saying and believing are two separate things. Many say we want to change, yet few do what needs to be done to make it so. Many talk the talk, but only a select few walk the walk. It comes from knowing deep down inside that you aren’t complete without it.

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Why haven’t I achieved it?
You’re talented. You’re a go-getter. You plan. You do. You learn. You grow. And yet you haven’t achieved all you desire. Why? Why does this envy continue to hold you back? How do you know when to give up on your dreams once and for all? How can you stop feeling so deflated, when success seems to be all around you, alluding you, making you more upset in the process? Milestones. Once you understand that your life is a journey, not a point in time, the happier you’ll be with the process. Maybe your goals or expectations are too large? Maybe your dreams are simply not to be. Maybe there are holdbacks for you to learn and grow more. Happiness is in the now. You are where you are to learn what you need to learn. You haven’t achieved yet because you still have more to learn. At my most difficult times, I stop and reflect on what’s good in the now. And in most cases, I find my good is a great place to be. I relish in it. I’m thankful for it. And a new path opens up almost immediately.

Dream Bigger
You can dream about making $1,000 just as easily as you can making $1,000,000. You can dream of living in a castle just as easily as you can dream of living in a small apartment. You can dream about traveling the world just as easily as planning your next vacation a few miles from home. It’s perspective. It’s your reality of what can be. A business coach from many years ago challenged me to establish goals and beef them up before I began working on them. The $1,000 goal quickly became $10,000 and $100,000. The one week a year vacation quickly grew into one week per month. It might not be believable when you first think of it. But once it sets into your mindset, you can’t get it out of your thoughts. You plan. You change. You grow. And reality changes forever.

My dream car from when I was 16. Hmmm...

My dream car from when I was 16. Hmmm…

Do you know what you truly want to do?
None of us really do. We morph and change all the time. Yet if I spent thirty minutes talking with you, I bet very quickly I could decipher a few things you’re passionate about. I’m passionate about education. I’m love writing. I enjoy cooking. And I’ll drop everything to travel; to go on a trip with a friend and see a new place on this earth. I do something related to each of these things every day. They make up my lifestyle. They make me complete. And at this age, I can’t imagine not having these things as a part of my lifestyle. When I discovered these things, learned to bring them into my life even more, I became happier with me. It didn’t take a lot of training or a lot of planning. Just a little soul searching and becoming self-aware of who I truly wanted to be.

Sounds good. But what should you do TODAY to get things going?
Sometimes the answers you find while on your journey bring you to places you truly don’t want to be. They tell you to quit your job NOW. They tell you to divorce your spouse NOW. They tell you to leave family and friends far behind. They tell you to make changes that take guts and risk. They make you question your sanity on more than one occasion.

They also start with a goal in mind. They give you a starting point. They help you plan. And they help you stay true to your goal, even when the doubters and nay-sayers start having their way with you.

I had a dream of traveling the world. I sold my home. Got rid of two-thirds of my stuff. Relocated for a couple of years to slow travel in a part of the world I’d never been before. Have future plans for moving and doing the same thing over and over, in many parts of the world. Do people understand? Nope. Do I get funny looks and odd comments? You bet. It’s even cost me some very close relationships.

But this isn’t about them, it’s about me. Occasionally I get a light bulb moment in the look of another person that says “wow”, I get what you’re doing. I wish I could do it too. Will you teach me? Can I follow what you’re doing and learn from you?

You bet. That’s why we’re all here. To learn and grow.

Do you see yourself? Welcome. It’s time to move forward.

Here’s my challenge to you this week:

Spend 30 minutes with yourself and write down all the things you’re passionate about. If you wouldn’t define it as passionate, just list things you enjoy doing. Look for the trends. Look for the joy. Notice where your happiness bubbles up a little more. Find areas where your mind automatically begins to think about more. Then spend another 30 minutes and discover how that one thing would bring change into your life if you let it. Let it fester. Let it grow. Start working on the details. Give yourself permission to do something about it.

It’s time for a little reinvention!