The summer is already over, the very scorching hot summer that we had! Can you believe it? It was just like yesterday that we all vowed to make changes to our lives, learn new habits, and unlearn the bad old ones! Make a big list of New Year resolutions, write up the names of the places we want to visit, quit our jobs and chase our dreams, make them a success and live a happy life.
How come then it is already the way past into the second half of the year, and we still find ourselves yearning for a different life, different day and new dreams?! The list we’ve made has turned into a faint and hazed blur of lines. We easily shrug it off or block and lock them deep into our minds saying it was an impossible list, and that we are not ready to lose the job, chase the dream and become the person we want to become.
So how do we ever change then? How do we ever make things happen, roll with the flow? I have some tips to share, if you are curious, then keep reading.
Tip #1 Don’t do it alone!
We humans like all the other creatures are a herd nation. We thrive when we are surrounded with likeminded people. Like good old saying: “misery does need a company”, but so does creativity and motivation. Yes of course, you can do the thinking and fine-tuning part alone, but all the discussions, sharing and listening can so nicely light up your creative part of your brain. In other words, if you want to change any habits, or learn something new, find your herd, your own tribe, and let the evolutionary science to kick in and put your brain into motion. (No wonder why in work places the toxic environment can affect the productivity and the quality of work decline over time, the only inspiration you can get from toxic people who want to control your creative and productive process is to finally say “fuck it, I deserve better” and leave…!)
Science does support that grouping with likeminded people actually boosts our confidence, lowers stress, anxiety, and fear. The key word here is the likeminded if you’ve been socialising with people who do not support or judge and criticize your ambitions and dreams, it won’t do any good for your will to overcome your insecurities and move forward. Ruthlessly ditch them and never look back. Of course, it is harder if those kinds of people are actually your own family members. You may not be able to ditch them for good, but you can definitely do damage control and compensate with choosing your friends carefully.
Tip#2 Tame the Fear
I cannot stress this enough how important of a feeling fear is. Yes, it is our primal, most evolved, most dominant instinct! Why?! Because it keeps us alive and safe, especially women. It sheds a light to potential dangers from miles away, warns us against harms and evil. And be prepared for fight or flight. But that’s it that should be all of its function! To support you when needed, give you strength when you have to run for life, but never ever control your free will and your limited time in this life! And if it is controlling your every decision and crippling your every step, then it has gotten out of proportion, it is not saving you anymore, it is caging you. So tame it, tame it hard and uncage yourself, bring the balanced level of fear and make a room for your other feelings, like love, taking (measured and carefully rationalized if you are like me who has too much fear) risks, seeking some adventures, chasing your dreams, and making your life colourful and find a purpose (or more than one!)
Tip #3 Dream your Vision!
Ok, so this one is important. Why?! because every quest starts from a dream, the world’s most amazing discoveries, beautiful arts, science, engineering achievements like airplanes, trains, cars, flying cars, space, deep of oceans, they were all products of a vast dreamland of some great humans. The world is moved by dreamers and risk takers, not comfort seekers and judgers, who are too scared to leave their cosy boredom. So, don’t be afraid of dreaming, dream big and dream a lot, not all of them will come true anyway (what?! Yes, I am a dreamer, but I also live in a real world with limited time and resources, so one needs to prioritize!). If you forgot how to dream, then try and reinvent it for yourself, seek out inspiration, read inspiring books. Don’t bother with the movies as much, very rarely movies stick to our cognitive mind. Scientifically our imagination works and develops much better when we receive the information through reading than watching. why?! Because your brain works harder to imagine the let’s say colours, emotions, sound and the temp of the music, shapes, locations, landscapes, sceneries, so on and on. As opposed to movies where everything is ready made for us, we are just watching movie makers’ creative imagination, it is like a junk food, too easy and too much and does very little good for our minds.
Tip #4 Always try to grow!
Duh, this one is not a brainer, of course we grow! Older wiser, stronger (maybe not physically but emotionally). But I mean, always keep nurturing your life machines, your mind, your body, and soul. This holy trinity can take you through anything, and I mean anything, if they are strong and resourceful enough, you can come out of any situation unscathed at best, and with the least losses and quick recovery at worst. Discipline your time, keep your curiosity alive, you don’t have to have twenty-eight different careers, but you can definitely try and see what other people are spending their time and energy on. You can try new activities, whether it is sports, arts, or science lectures, or a yoga retreat. Remember nothing in this world is a separate and segregated and have a detached life span. Everything is interconnected and scattered pieces of a big picture like a jigsaw puzzle. The more you learn about different aspects of the world, the more knowledgeable and skilled you will become. Yes, we all have too many commitments, to our families, friends, never ending jobs and “most importantly” our social media life… but try to invest and try hard to make time for your self-development. And if you absolutely have a very restricted time, then choose three activities: reading, exercise and meditation, and aim for at least three times a week. You have no excuse or justification to neglect the most important asset in your life: YOURSELF!
Tip #5 Plan small and big!
This one is a little bit harder for me to preach because I’m not the most organised person. I don’t write down my plans, if I do, I never remember where I put them anyway. My plans are always in my head, repeated, refined, and rehearsed relentlessly. Although with age and so much social freaking media distractions, I can’t remember anything anymore, so I am slowly getting into habit of writing them down and put them in a visible place so I can find them again. But it is important to have a plan and have your own process of making that plan stick and work. You can break down your tangible dreams and visions into small, achievable milestones. I say in order to keep your mind healthy and spirits high, don’t tie yourself up to every detail of your plan, because that can be a FastTrack to failure, and you might end up giving it all up all together very quickly. Plans are there just to map out your journey, they are not the ones which lead you through your life, you are the one who use those plans to go through your life. And the plans and milestones can be fluid and adjustable. By making them bulletproof, but at the same time flexible, you will make yourself a favour to prevent failure which then might damage your confidence and make you hesitant to try again. One of the best advices I received during my internship from one of the leaders in the organisation was to always have a plan A, plan B, C and even D. If one fails, you can quickly turn to the next best available option of action. I think I should also point out to prevent confusion that plans are not your end goals. While you should have your goals and visions fairly steady, plans are the ways a process which will lead to the achievement of your ultimate vision. Hence, they need to be kept fluid and flexible. Remember, there is no such thing as a perfect failure free plan, the best things in life have been invented or achieved through trial and error of many times. If a plan could work perfectly well and flawlessly, we would have invented everything under the sun millions of years ago. Even several lifetimes were required for certain things to be developed and achieved. So, forget the notion of a perfect plan, or a perfect skill, self, etc. just ditch anything which starts with perfect. It is very limiting and final after all. If something starts with perfect, then why even bother to change it right?!
And here is a bonus one!
Bonus tip: You must take the decision to act. You can dream and plan every detail of every single wish you have ever had, but ultimately you will have to get off your comfortable chair and start from somewhere. And if you don’t know where to start, as the King in Alice in Wonderland would say: “Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop…”