What would you do if I gave you a simple (and fun!) exercise that could set you up on your path to living the life of your dreams.
Would you be up for it?
I thought so.
If you’re unsure why living the life of your dreams is something you might want to consider, read our last post that explains why living your dreams makes life meaningful. Hint: It’s the only way to live before you die.
So if you’re game, keep reading to find out what this exercise is all about and what it can do for you.
But first let me ask you a question:
What’s the very first step to living your dreams?
That’s an easy one, right? In order to live your dreams you must first understand what your dreams are.
If you don’t know what the life of your dreams looks like you can’t take any targeted action towards it.
Let’s make this a golden rule:
In order to live our dreams we need to know our dreams.
Got it? Awesome. Let’s move on and find out how you can get to know your dreams a little better.
How to find your dreams
Today, we’re going to use a special tool to get a taste of the life of your dreams. You see, the life of your dreams is not some boring concept or idea. It’s a vision that excites you, sets you on fire and motivates you more than anything else.
That’s why we’re going to use visualization as a tool to connect to your dream vision.
That’s right, we’re going to visualize. There’s a whole lot of science and hype around the power of visualization and guess what, it’s true. Now pull down your eyebrow and let me explain what visualization is and why visualization is a great way to find out what you’re dreaming about.
What is visualization?
Visualization basically means that you consciously imagine yourself being, doing or having something. There’s a difference between conscious and unconscious visualization. You’re already familiar with unconscious visualization: It’s what you do when you picture yourself chilling with your mates on Saturday night. Even when you’re thinking about yourself walking into the grocery store to pick up some shower gel, you’re visualizing.
In these cases you’re not using visualization as a conscious tool. That’s why it doesn’t have any big effect on your life. Conscious visualization on the other hand can have a huge impact on your life. When you consciously focus your mind to think about a certain situation, you’re allowing your whole brain to add to the conversation and bring up things that you might not be consciously aware of. That’s how we’re going to use it today. We want your mind to focus on what you dream about and bring it to your attention.
So now that we know why we want to live the life of our dreams and understand that visualization is a buddy that will help us find our dreams, let’s get down to the practice.
How to visualize like a pro
By now you understand that knowing your dreams is the first step to living your dreams. You also get that visualization is not some woo woo BS and that it’s going to be your partner in crime in uncovering your dreams.
By the way, even if you think you already know your dreams I suggest you take the time to do this exercise anyways. I do it regularly and it always gets me back on track and super focused.
Let’s get physical. Or shall I say, visual?
Step 1: Prepare for fuzzy feelings
It’s a lot harder to visualize in a crowded cafeteria than it is to do so in the peaceful quiet of your own home. Unless you’re a tibetan monk who’s able to focus no matter what’s going on around him, I suggest you go somewhere quiet. Also you might not wanna be starred at by your coworkers when you’re sitting there with your eyes closed and a smile on your face that makes you look like you’re high.
Take a pen and a few sheets of paper or your journal with you.
Step 2: Say hi to your dreams
Close your eyes. Take a few deep breathes and center in to this moment. Picture yourself in five years. Everything you’ve done has worked out perfectly. Total success. What does your life look like?
The goal is to envision yourself living this life in as much detail as possible.
And, as Tim Brownson likes to say: ”See what you’d see, hear what you’d hear and feel what you’d feel, and allow any tastes or smells associated with the event to be present too”. We wanna get really connected to our dream vision.
If what you see doesn’t excite you: Dream BIGGER. Think about this: If you dreamed in terms of your potential instead of your current capabilities, how would it change the dream?
Also, do your best not to judge or censor yourself. Whatever comes up is awesome. As long as it excites you it’s all good. Don’t worry about your dream being realistic, in fact it’s a very good sign if it seems quite unrealistic.
If you need some more inspiration to get your inner movie theater going, it’s a good idea to spend some time thinking on these questions:
What will you be doing?
Where will you be working? Will you be working?
Who will you spend your time with?
Where will you travel?
Where will you live?
How will you behave?
What will you look like?
What do you do on a daily basis?
What will an ideal day in your life look like? An ideal week? An ideal month? An ideal year?
Step 3: Write it down
Feeling inspired? Awesome. Now we want to capture the scene you’ve just seen in your head. Writing it down will help you remember the details and also make it feel more real.
Write everything down that you saw in your visualization. Attempt to answer the questions listed above. When you feel like you have an exciting and quite complete picture of your dream future, put your pen away, take a few deep breathes and read through it again. How does it feel?
If you start smiling, your heart starts racing and you can’t help but be in awe of the picture you’ve drawn, then you’ve probably hit on a vision that has the potential to become your personal dream vision. Your big 5 year plan.
Step 4: Commit
Surprise surprise, we didn’t just do this exercise for the warm fuzzy feelings in your belly, but because we want to know what you really want out of life. When we set out to create an extraordinary life, we need to know what the destination looks like before we can calibrate our compass and create a road map.
And once we know what that life looks like, there’s one important thing we need to do right now: Commit to making your dreams a reality. Yes, even the big “unrealistic” ones.
Does this scare you a bit? Do you think it’s impossible to live the life you’ve just envisioned? Is it just… too BIG?
Fear not, my dear. All big achievers and role models have started out in the same place that you are in right now. They experienced the same doubts, fears and insecurities. What made them different from all the others was that they decided to do it anyways. They were committed to make their vision a reality
Do you think Einstein was like “Yeah, maybe I’ll understand this relativity thing one day, but I don’t wanna work on it now ’cause I don’t have a guarantee that I’ll actually find it…” Do you think Beyoncé wanted to give this music thing a try or was she fiercely committed to being a singer?
The first step we all need to take is to commit to our dreams. If you’re not serious about living your dreams you can just crawl back into that boring cave you came from and stay there for the rest of your life.
So what do you think I’m going to ask you to do right now?
Here’s your homework:
1. Do the exercise and have fun with it. Go crazy. Paint a vision of your dream life that excites you so much you’d want to get to work right now. If your five year vision just seems too big, then do a visualization on your one year vision. It works the same way, but maybe it won’t scare you as much. Change the exercise up so it fits your own needs. But do. this. exercise. No excuses allowed.
2. Commit. Do whatever you need to do to make the commitment serious. Buy yourself a promise ring, meditate on it or simply say out loud “I’m committed to making my dreams a reality and won’t settle for a life that’s below my vision.” That’s how I did it and it works like a charm.
3. In the comments below, tell me a snippet of your own dream life. What’s the best part about it? And then let me know: Are you committed to making your dreams a reality? When you’re done, share this article with one person that really needs to start living their dreams. Just one friend. I want to see as many people as possible commit to their dreams, ok? Thank you.
“This post first appeared on Bright Little Socks.”