I know this post title might sound a bit out there. But today I'm feeling frenetic, in a good way. I live in Heidelberg, Germany, which I'm fast discovering might be the coolest city in all of the world. I am working for myself. I have two awesome dogs and a husband that is always two paces in front of me and usually knows exactly where we are headed. Life is by no means perfect, but I am undoubtedly happy. I do feel like I've made some of my dreams true and I think that starts by practicing the right mindset.
Why not live your dreams? Life is short and it's not worth it to feel depressed and without purpose. One of my favorite quotes from Steve Jobs goes like this, “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” We should all live our best life.
Here are some practices, in my opinion that will help you reach your dreams:
1. Strive to learn. Whether that means taking a class, studying on your own, or even just reading a book, this is the best way to help you continue to follow your path, and even illuminate the best one for you. When you learn, you adopt new skills, change and morph your thinking, and have a better understanding of those around us.
My Dad is one of the smartest people I know. He is always always reading and learning. You can't grow if you don't learn.
2. Set a goal. Many studies show that the more ambitious goals that we set, the happier we are. And when we decide our own goals, our happiness is not reliant on others. We choose what we want and we take ownership in what we achieve.
I remember when Michael and I set a goal to save $45,000. At first, it seemed preposterous. But as we began, we learned, and achieved more along the way and it helped us to further see what we needed to do to become successful. I think we should put goals in place no matter what stage of life we're in. This really helps to stay focused.
3. Choose your perspective. There is always more than one way to view a situation. If you look at it in a negative way, everything around it will have a negative connotation. Including your mood. My Mom has especially taught me to think positively.
My Mom was just 18 years old when her parents' house caught fire and he mom died. I recently asked her, “Did you hate the world at that time?” She plainly told me “no.” Her theory is that you have to take what life gives you. The world isn't out to get you and sometimes bad things happen. You have to pick up the pieces and choose to be kind to others around you. I always think about her incredible outlook on life whenever I'm feeling down or in a rut.
Chances are, we're pretty lucky. And sometimes life is rough but it's also pretty incredible as well.
4. Be kind to yourself. We all have things we can work on. We all have habits we can change. But that doesn't mean we should walk around beating ourselves up about it. Set a goal to change that habit, but also, focus on the good. You have some great qualities, so embrace those. Don't think about how terrible this or that is, and eventually you will start changing the bad.
In addition, be true to yourself. Stop trying to please other people. It’s better to be an original version of yourself than an exact duplicate of someone else. Your uniqueness is what makes you who you are.
5. Take action. Instead of waiting for something to change, do something about it. Be proactive and think about what you can do right now. Rather than thinking “what if” or “one day” think about what you can do now or next time. Create your own opportunities by seeking out what you do differently or what you've learned. Don't worry about the things you can't change, but focus on what you can to to make things better. This is not only constructive, but it helps to empower you and gives you purpose.
6. Discover your purpose. Your morals and values are what make you, you. It helps determine your decisions and pick your path. It's what drives you. Find out what your purpose is and define your personal commandments.
Some of the most important aspects in a relationship (with friends or romantic) are having similar morals and values. And I think this goes along with understanding your purpose. Michael and I have always gotten along because our values line up. We both want to travel the world, we both want to save money, we both believe in being the best person you can be, and we both believe in being honest. That's not to say that others don't believe in the same, but many of what we value goes along with our decisions and so it's easier for us to get along.I think that life is too short to not be lived to the fullest. I really think we all have a purpose and goals that we are supposed to achieve. We just have to go out and do it.
I know this was kind of a different post from my norm, so I'd love to hear your feedback. P.S. I'm in Munich at Oktoberfest today! You can follow along on Instagram to see all the action (@heleneinbetween).