“If only I had the time …”
We’ve all said it. If only we had the time, we’d write a novel. If only we had the time, we’d start a small business. If only we had the time, we’d travel the world.
The truth is, though, that even if we were granted an extra hour each day, most of us would still probably fill it up by thinking about our dreams rather than taking action and actually achieving them. Either that, or we’d waste even more time watching Netflix or scrolling through our social media accounts.
So, how do we actually go about following the dreams we have? How do we stop wasting time by taking action? Let’s take a look at a few ways in which you can rescue your time and become truly happy.
Wake Up Earlier
We know how it is: It’s Saturday morning and you think that it’s your right to lie in bed until 11am. You’ve worked hard all week, and now you deserve an extra hours underneath the sheets.
The problem with this kind of thinking is that you’re wasting more time. Rather than using your Saturday morning to be productive and get to work on your dreams, you’re instead snoozing because “it’s your right.”
To achieve anything in life, you have to make a few sacrifices. And one of the biggest sacrifices you could make right now is giving up your Saturday (and Sunday) mornings in order to turn your dreams into reality.
Plot During Your Lunch Break
A lunch break is another of these “divine rights” we get a little bit too precious about. We’re given an hour off work each day, and we strongly believe we should be allowed to use this hour to relax, chat to friends, eat our lunch and take it easy.
This kind of thinking, though, could be holding you back. Instead, why don’t you use your lunch break to flesh out your dreams? If you want to write a novel, why not working on it during your break?
Tell Your Friends You’re Busy
When I first started trying to get my dream off the ground, I was held back by friends who demanded a lot of my time. It was hard to tell them that I couldn’t hang out tonight because I was busy with “personal work.” As far as they were concerned, there was only type of work – the 9-5 job – and that the rest of our time should be dedicated to fun.
If you’ve got friends who don’t understand where you are in life right now, you might need to have a chat with them explaining that you love them, but you can’t see them too often at the moment. You need to put yourself and your dreams first.
Set Specific Goals
If you don’t write down a series of specific goals, it will be very hard to get started on achieving your dream. If you can’t picture the end result, how are you going to know what kind of journey you need to take?
Spend some time writing down your goals. Make sure they are specific, measurable and realistic. Write a long-term goal as well as a series of short-term goals that will help you to achieve the long-term one. Set deadlines, too.
Find Someone Who Has Achieved What You Want To Achieve
The illusionist David Blaine once said that as a magician he believes anything is possible. What he said spoke to me in a powerful way.
When I was growing up, I’d always been taught that not everything is possible, and that some of us are better at achieving certain things than others.
I now realise this is not true. Anyone can achieve anything, and the best way to achieve something is to find someone who has already done it and then copy their habits and decisions (a great way to do this is read biographies of people who inspire you).
Expand Your Network
Although we can achieve some dreams by ourselves, there are certainly some dreams we will need some help with. Steven Spielberg would not have broken into Hollywood without contacts, and similarly Keith Richards would not have become such a famous musician were it not for his connection stub Mick Jagger and the London rhythm and blues music scene.
Contacts are important, which is why you should do what you can to network and meet new people. You can make contacts both online and off-line, and these can help to motivate you to push yourself, as well as equip you with the necessary means to achieve your dreams.
Focus 100% On What You Want
A dream won’t materialise unless you focus 100% on it and commit. If you decide to take the odd day’s off now and then, it will never happen.
Remember that it takes months to build a Rolls Royce and just a few days to make a Toyota. If you want the best in life, you have to be patient and you have to be obsessed.
To follow your dreams and be happy, you need to have some degree of flexibility. When I was younger, I wanted to go and live in California as a writer. But because it wasn’t possible to do that straight away, I dismissed the idea and fell into a drag 9-5 lifestyle.
But then someone made me realise that a dream doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing thing. If we’re flexible enough, we can make a few changes that allow us to take a slightly longer route to achieving our dreams.
Eventually, I got to California. It took me some time, but because I was willing to be flexible, I made it.
Isn’t it so frustrating when you wake up in the morning feeling really lethargic. The last thing you want to do as you nurse a cup of coffee on a cold, rainy morning is follow your dreams. All you want to do is curl up on the sofa and go back to sleep.
To chase your dreams and win, you need a lot of energy. How do you get more energy? You could meditate, practice tai chi, fix up your diet, improve your lifestyle, work out and so on.
Energy is super important. When you think of all the people who have made it in life, they’re all made up of explosive atoms bursting with the life-force.
Follow Your Heart
Lastly, it’s important that you shake off all inhibitions – such as thoughts of the past and your fears – and follow your heart. Forget everything you know and have seen, and just listen to the desires of your beating heart.