If you’ve been feeling as though your dream is so far away and you wish you could just ‘be there’ and start ‘living the dream', take heart.
You CAN start living it: right now.
I remember hearing this and thinking: How?
How could I start ‘living' my dream life whilst I was still in England, in a demanding role, commuting to the office every day, so tired I could hardly function at the weekend, let alone travel, coach and do all the things I loved?
Theodore Roosevelt said this: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
I was clear that my dream life involved living Italy, coaching, speaking and travel. And while I was getting clear on the ‘grand’ parts of my vision, I also began to fill in the details.
What I ate. Who I hung out with. What I did when I wasn’t ‘working’.
The ‘big’ steps: moving abroad, transitioning to coaching and travelling weren’t something I could do at that point.
So I had to start with where I was and what I had.
I had a tendency to stay late in the office, pushing through for a deadline or crossing off a few more things on my to-do list. In my vision, I saw myself dancing a lot. So as part of my bringing my dream into reality, I booked some dance lessons. At least every Thursday I would leave on time in order to get to my dance lesson. It was a small step (and one I didn’t always manage) but it made a significant contribution to my levels of joy during my last year in London.
At the time, I seemed to always be hurrying from one appointment to the next. (I’d even become the ‘one who was always late’ so packed was my schedule. By contrast, in my vision, I had time and space to myself. So I began to say 'no' to more than I said ‘yes', and cleared my diary for meditation and chilling out. The first few times I said ’no’ were terrifying - even just for a drink with colleagues or to a party invitation. Before, unless I’d had a prior engagement, I used to say yes. I began to see what 'saying no' gave me, I grew in confidence and realised how much time and space I could create for myself, in the moment, despite a full time job.
In my vision, I wore clothes that suited me and were pretty. Yet my life revolved around work and most of my wardrobe was black and quite old (and, I’m ashamed to say, sometimes with holes). So my sister and I spent hours in changing rooms, up and down the Kings’ Road. I spent £200 and felt the value back in compliments by the end of the next week of work.
In my vision, I took walks in the middle of the day and ate smoked salmon sandwiches. So I would leave the office at 12:30, stop by the sandwich shop and sit on a park bench and people watch for an hour.
The small steps don’t feel like a lot on their own. Just a conversation here and booking something there. But with focus and a clear vision, they can effect amazing change.
At the time I felt as though I wasn’t getting very far. My coach used to encourage me with the progress I was making and tell me I was doing great. I used to think she had to say that (she didn’t!) because she knew persistence is such a bit part of the journey. But she was right. Saying no to a party invitation might not seem like a lot, but for me, it was a challenge. Not only was I consciously re-directing my energy and focus, I was also learning to stand in my power and prioritise my dream.
When there’s something in my life that isn’t yet looking like I want it to yet, I look back and remember that it works better when it’s small steps. I fill in the details around that part and I ask myself how I can start living the dream of it, right here.
I ask myself what I can do with where I am and what I have. And I start with a small step.
What can you do with where you are and what you have, to start living your dream right now?