Have you ever asked yourself this question- Am I living the life of my dreams? Well, if you have and the answer is in the affirmative, you are one of the lucky few but if the answer is negative, it means you need to do something about it. I asked myself this question when I was 22 and I realized that my life was light years away from being my dream life. This realization hit me like a lightning bolt when I read the book- The Hero written by Rhonda Byrne. This book made me realise that my life was akin to a rudderless boat, bobbing helplessly in a wild and choppy ocean. To make matters worse, I didn’t even know what my dream was? All I knew was that I was stuck in the quagmire of a wrong profession and life seemed like a grind.
It was with the help of the book- The Hero that now when I’m 26; my life doesn’t feel like a grind anymore and is instead a wonderful and joyous journey, like a canvas exploding with color. Some of the quotes in this book stole my breath away because they touched a chord deep within me and gave me the courage to chase my dreams.
Peter Foyo, a business executive and international telecommunications expert, who features in this book, has rightly said, “The absolute frustration of humankind is what do I do with my life?”
These were the exact words that haunted me and if my situation resonates with you, and if you too feel lost at sea, then this blog post will be like the North Star guiding you on the lonely dark road of life (which isn’t a lonely dark road at all once you figure out what you truly want to do in your life!J)
- Realisation is the first step towards your Dream Life
So many of us don’t even ask ourselves whether we are happy. We take life as it comes and often function on autopilot mode, not realizing that we can control our life by choosing how we want to spend it. We choose to live in denial because introspection can often lead to uncomfortable revelations and change is always painful. We are so comfortable with our life that till the frustration or lack of fulfillment does not impact us in a major way, we’d rather not do anything about it.
So stop being a rudderless boat and take charge of your life by deciding where you want your life to head. Realise that you may not be living the life of your dreams and tell yourself it’s never too late to start afresh. Realising means you have already taken the first step towards your dream life!
I realized that I was stuck in the wrong profession during my article-ship days. Doing practical work in the field as an auditor made me realise that this isn’t what I truly want because this work doesn’t make me happy. This realization was step one for me to take charge of my life and that’s when I decided that a change in my career was definitely in order.
2. Acceptance is the key
Often it is extremely difficult to accept that we may have made a mistake, that we may have been a coward and chosen a job that gives us security rather than take a risk and pursue our passion.
Honestly, accepting that I had made a huge mistake with my career choice was a bitter pill to swallow. I was unhappy and dissatisfied with my job, my articleship felt like a dismal thunderstorm that I had to brave every day and I was sinking in self-pity and shame at making such a colossal mess of my life.
This entire scenario felt like taking the wrong bus and realizing your folly when you are two stops away from the wrong destination and miles away from where you want to be! The day I accepted my mistake was the day I made my first real progress because acceptance is the key to the lock that holds you captive in the room of disappointment.
3. Follow your Bliss
“Follow your bliss and the Universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” Believe me when I say that these words said by Joseph Campbell are GOLD and absolutely true. I have experienced the magic of these words and therefore I can confidently vouch for the authenticity and veracity of these words. When I followed my bliss which was reading, I gradually came to realise that I don’t just enjoy reading a good book but also enjoy creating one. I realized that I want to be a writer and create fantastic stories, lovable characters and build a whole new world that in spite of being fiction seems as real as real can get. I want to see my words in print and I want to be a bestseller fiction romance writer! I realized that being a writer was my calling by following my bliss, which is reading.
Mastin Kipp in The Hero says, “Look at those moments where you are feeling blissful, moments when time just flies by, when you really feel lit up, when you really feel inspired. Think about where have I been most inspired? Where have I really been happy? Even if it was a few moments in your life, those were doorways showing you what your dream is about.”
To follow your bliss means to do things that make you happy, that makes your heart soar and makes you feel as light and buoyant as a feather floating delicately in a cool breeze. Doing it just makes you FEEL ALIVE and for me that happens every time when I am lost in a book. I now feel that I am no longer clueless because now I have a dream, a goal and a destination I want to arrive at!
4. Have the courage to follow your heart
After you have gone through all the above stages, the final one is to have the courage to follow your heart. This might be the toughest thing to do because the claws of fear and failure can hold a vice like grip on your determination but you must learn to break away from the shackles of doubt and cowardice. Being optimistic in trying times is a real blessing and it will definitely help you to be successful and create the life you want, a life that makes you happy.
If courage still deserts you then you only have to read Steve Job’s famous quote to get you all fired up to follow your passion- “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle.”
Have the courage to wait till you find what makes your heart beat faster and if you’ve found it then you just have to take the first step in faith and the rest will become easier, I promise!
At first, when I decided not to pursue CA anymore, I won’t lie and tell you that I wasn’t scared; I was terrified because taking this leap of faith felt like walking into a long dark tunnel with no source of light to illuminate my path but gradually, things fell into place. I went to a career counsellor to gain more clarity and in the process even bagged a job during my drop year with the same counsellor despite zero experience and qualifications. After working for a year, I went on to pursue a post graduate diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Xavier Institute of Communications (ranked as the third best Media Institute in India) and have even earned a Master in Arts (English) degree from SNDT Women’s University. Both these courses have helped me immensely to hone my skills as a writer. Things have finally fallen into place for me now and this was only possible because 4 years ago I decided to follow my heart!
I hope that my personal anecdotes and pointers are helpful and it is my fondest wish that you too choose to live the life of your dreams. Remember- Never settle for anything less than perfect and live life to the fullest because you deserve to live a life filled with passion, purpose and bliss.