How to Live the Life You Want

Have you ever felt like you’re stuck in a rut? Maybe you’ve achieved all the goals you’ve set for your life. Things are perfect. And yet, deep inside, you feel this emptiness that nothing can fill. Or maybe you’re experiencing a significant upheaval in your life, and you’re stuck at a crossroads. Life goes by in the blink of an eye. If you want to feel at peace with yourself, you need to learn how to live the life you want.

How to Live the Life You Want

If you’re like millions of people around the world, there’s a part of you deep inside that’s not satisfied with the life you’re living. Maybe you have a job that you hate, just because it was something your parents wanted you to do. Or you’re in school studying the wrong major because society has convinced you that you should care more about stability than passion.

As humans, we’re prone to making mistakes. And one of the biggest ones you can make in your lifetime is to let someone else control your life. Allowing someone else to make decisions for you can put you into a position where you’re miserable. And worse, you’ll resign yourself to always being that way because you’re not doing the things you want.

Psychology Explains the Situation

According to psychologist Abraham Maslow, to live a truly fulfilled life, we have to have self-actualization, which means we have to meet the needs that relate to the meaning of life. There are five levels of self-actualization, and each of them is important to achieve if you’re going to live the life you want instead of the one others have planned for you.

  1. Physiological needs – what we need physically. Food, water, oxygen, air.
  2. Safety needs – a house, a car, a job. Things that we need to keep us off the streets and safe
  3. Love and belonging – Healthy relationships. Companionship. Friendships.
  4. Healthy self-esteem and confidence. Having faith in yourself and getting respect from others.
  5. Self-actualization- creative self-growth. When you work to realize your potential and give it life so you can become the person you were meant to be.

Before you can move on to the next level of self-actualization, you have to obtain the lower levels, starting with one. Many people realize on their deathbeds that they never achieved true self-actualization. They never learned what might have been had they lived the life they wanted instead of the life they were told to live.

If you want to live a fulfilling life, you have to find the things that make you happy. And once you know what those things are, do whatever it takes to get them.

Getting the Life You Want

It can be difficult trying to move your life in a different direction. You may feel like it would be easier to stay on your current path than risk making changes. Trust me. I get it. A few years ago, I faced a major life upheaval. I became a single parent to my four children. While I have spent time off and on throughout the years on my own, this time, it was permanent.

And I was frozen with fear. I had to make a decision, probably one of the biggest of my life. Give up on my failing marriage of over a decade and move on with my life. Or stay in limbo and take a break before trying miserably once again to make it work. It took every bit of strength I had to say, “Enough is enough.”

I was tired of spinning my wheels in a dead-end situation. I had to make a change. Even though it meant leaving behind a life, I’d become accustomed to it for years. My life was tough, but at least I knew what to expect. There were no surprises. I could deal with the crises that occurred because I had experience with them. But I wasn’t happy, and it wasn’t safe. I had failed to achieve step two of Maslow’s hierarchy. I had to call it quits.

A Second Chance at Life

Once I decided to take control of my life, I felt this spark inside me reignite. Suddenly, the future was full of possibilities. Instead of saying, “I wish I could,” I started to say, “Let me see what happens when I try.” I felt reborn. This time, I was going to make my life go the way I wanted it.

As a mother, I am a role model for my children. They watch everything I do. They listen to everything I say. How can I tell them that they can do anything, be anything they want if I never followed my own advice, and chased my own dreams? Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, I was ready to start life as a new person.

Tip One – Make Goals

Once you’ve decided it’s time to live the life you want, you’re ready to get the ball rolling. You’ve already done the hard part, which is to admit that you need to make some changes. Now, it’s time to figure out what you need to do to revamp your life.

Search your soul. What is missing in your life that would make you happy? Is your ambition building your dream home? Do you want to start a new career? Maybe you long to backpack across Europe for a summer. Or you could have hopes of turning your hobby into a profession, as I did. Which allows you to escape the hassle of a regular job.

Once you know what path you want to work towards, it’s time to start preparing. Start by setting goals. Your top goal should be what you want to achieve. This is usually something significant and, therefore, harder to obtain. Set a logical time frame for when you’d like to reach your goal. Don’t expect to buy a house next week if you’re barely working a part-time job.

When you look at a dream in its entirety, it can be overwhelming. It can seem so far out of reach that you doubt the reality of making it come true. That’s how I felt when I thought about turning my love of writing into a means of income. I just knew I’d never be able to support my family on a writer’s salary. My ex was right – at first.

How to Make It Possible

Chances are your dream is something elaborate that is going to take some doing to make into a reality. That’s good. It means you have a vision for your future. You have the motivation to put in the effort that it will take to get you across the finish line. And you acknowledge that you’re not going to get everything you want overnight. It’s going to take time.

With your goal in mind, think of smaller goals that you can set, which are more easily obtainable. Make sure each of these does something to bring you one step closer to fulfilling your dream. Smaller goals make it easier to measure your success so you can tell that you’re making progress.

If you’re driving towards your main goal without taking into account all the things you’re accomplishing along the way, it can make you feel like you’re failing. Make a list of three to four small goals you would like to achieve in the short term that would move you closer to your main goal.

To help me fulfill my dream of being a professional writer, I decided there were a few things I needed to accomplish to get me there.

  • Put together a portfolio
  • Get my work seen
  • Find a writing platform
  • Establish clientele

Tip Two – Develop a Plan

So now you’ve got your main goal, and you’ve got your smaller goals. Next, you need to formulate a plan to get you on the path to working on obtaining said desires. If you’re a fly by the seat of your pants kind of person, you might be balking at all this talk of goal setting and planning a way to get the goals.

I used to be the same way. For years, I stumbled along in the writing community. I knew that I wanted to connect with my readers. I started with novels. While fun, I didn’t feel a passion for it. I switched to research and academic writing while studying psychology. It was fascinating, and I loved being able to share my knowledge with others. But still not what I enjoyed doing.

Then came a low point in my life. Around this time, things were spiraling out of control. I gave up on everything and just focused on making it day by day. It was touch and go for a long time. Things eventually balanced out, but they were still pretty bad. And then the ship sank.

This time, I decided to let it sink to the bottom. It was time for a new adventure. I was broke, with four kids, living back at home with my parents. Due to various reasons, I hadn’t worked outside the house in years. I’d make a little money here and there doing small things, but that wasn’t going to cut it now. Kids are expensive. Especially when only one parent is doing the supporting.

How to Plan

When you find your purpose in life, it’s like seeing the world in a new light. You see possibilities that never would have occurred before. You have a hunger to achieve what you’ve envisioned. It drives you. It courses through your veins and thrills your soul. You feel at peace. Everything is right in the universe.

At least that’s how I feel now that I’ve accomplished the ultimate goal of living the life I wanted. You see, once I had my short term goals decided, it helped me figure out my next steps. If you haven’t figured it out by now, Google is your best friend. Do your research. Find out everything you possibly can that applies to your goals.

For me, I started by searching for freelance writing jobs. It was super easy to find hundreds of different options. Then I searched about information on being a blogger. I researched affiliate programs. How to make portfolios. The list goes on and on.

I spent months collecting data and reading everything I found on how to become a professional writer as I navigated my way around the minefield of freelance writing. I did it all wrong before I learned how to do it right. Finally, I had a plan for what I needed to do to move from being a lowly writer making $3 off a 1,000-word article to being able to support my family with my dream job properly.

Try a Dream Board to Keep You Motivated

As a writer, I’ve learned hundreds of ways to get what’s in your head out into the world. My favorite is using a dream board. All you need is a corkboard, thumbtacks, and some clip outs of what your dream would look like.

Maybe you’re putting up clippings from different magazines so you can design your dream home. Or you’re filling it up with job listings and ideas for that new part you’re dying to be cast for the smaller commercial, which could lead to your big break.

As you fill up your board, you’re bringing your dreams from out of your head into the real world. It’s easier to obtain something when you have motivation staring you right there in the face. If your dream is to shed some weight, post a picture of your ideal size on the board. Maybe some cute outfits you’d buy. Be detailed with your dreams. Envision them and see where they lead.

Tip Three – Stop Being Afraid to Try

I can’t tell you how many people I talk to that tell me how much they admire me for my bravery of chasing my dream. Most people will go through their lives without ever knowing greatness, even if it’s self believed. They let the fear of failure hold them back from trying to make their dream into a reality.

If you’re serious about living the life you want, you have to learn how to put aside the fear. To live a life of freedom and peace, you need to learn how to overcome your self-doubts. You have to be willing to work for what you want. Even if it means having everyone in the world tell you you’re crazy for trying.

I’m not going to lie and tell you that it will be easy on your way to achieving your goal. It’s going to require a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. You’ll have to start at the bottom and claw your way to the top. To get ahead, you have to pay your dues. Don’t be shocked if you have to take ten small steps to get to one more significant level.

How to Escape the Fear

Y’all, getting over my fear of failure was the hardest part of my new journey. I consider myself a realist, which means when I look at a situation, I can see the right ways that things can go. But I can also see how things can turn out if things don’t work. The glass isn’t half full or half empty with me. I can see that there’s room left if I feel like I need more. But there’s still some left if I can be content with finishing what I’ve started before I get a refill.

This is a lot like life and working towards achieving success in living how you want. You might find yourself in a situation where you’re stuck on middle ground. But instead of considering how far you’ve come (how much liquid you’ve removed from the glass), you’re focusing on the fact that you don’t have everything you’re wanting (a full glass). Sometimes, you have to finish the task you’re on before you can move onto the next. Finish your cup before you get a refill.

As I was trying to work my way up to living my dream life, I often found myself frustrated. Things were taking too long. I wasn’t advancing as I expected. But I wasn’t putting myself out there to earn a spot higher up in my career path. I realized that I was letting fear hold me back from taking the chances I needed to take.

Fear can be paralyzing. It can make you panic. Or freeze. Being scared of rejection can make you miss out on a once in a lifetime shot. Don’t let your fear of failure make you lose the chance to make your dreams come true. Even if it feels like a long shot, take chances in your life. You’re not going to live the life you want if you don’t learn how to stop playing it safe.

Tip Four – Don’t Settle

As we get older, we start to crave different things than when we were younger. Youth gives you the blessing of being optimistic about the future. You dare to dream big. But when real life kicks in, we often abandon those hopes for stability. We become responsible. Ugh, I shudder at that word. It makes me feel so old.

But stop and think about your life for a minute. Are you doing your dream job? Or is it something you stumbled into because it had great perks? When you were young, did you plan on being a white picket fence type with 2.5 kids and a minivan in the garage? How does your life look now compared to how you imagined it when you were graduating high school? College?

Being an adult sucks. We’re so busy trying to deal with the day to day that we don’t take time to let ourselves dream bigger. And even when we do, we file it away under “pipe dreams” and move on. But what if you didn’t? What if, instead of abandoning your dreams for a stable, mundane life, you take a chance?

Be Inspired

Adulthood has a way of molding us into people we never planned to be. Often, we become strangers to ourselves and those around us. When you deny yourself the chance to live out your dream, you’re crushing a piece of your soul that you might not get back. It’s easy to become bitter when you realize everything you’ve worked for means nothing to you.

Take the time to get back in touch with yourself. Learn who you’ve become and see how the traits you’ve acquired can help you work towards your goal of living the life you’ve always wanted. When I finished studying psychology, I wanted to kick myself in the butt. I thought there was no way I’d be able to use the information I’d learned while writing blog articles.

Haha. Look at me now. Just because you took a different path than you envisioned on your way to your dream doesn’t mean that you have to abandon hope. It just means that you have to clear a new path to your destination. One that wasn’t on the original map. If you’re serious about living the life you want, stop settling for average, and aim for exceptional.

Tip Five – Stop Waiting for the Right Time

A lot of people use the excuse that it’s not the right time for them to make drastic life changes. So they drag their feet and come up with excuse after excuse. Maybe you’re planning to wait until the kids are grown. Or until you’ve racked up enough savings. Or you want to wait until you retire so you can live off your savings.

If you keep putting off making the changes you need to live the life you want, you could run out of time. Instead of waiting for the time to be right, you need to learn how to make the time right for you. Even if you’re not ready to make a full leap into your new life, you can go ahead and start preparing for your future.

Start with making one or two minor changes to get you started on the path to obtaining your main goal. If you want to buy a house eventually, start by working on your credit and come up with a saving plan so you can have enough money for a down payment. Although you’re not making the giant leap of taking on a financial burden you’re not ready for, you are actively working towards one day achieving it.

How to Make the Time Right

You may feel like there’s so much going on in your life you couldn’t fit one more thing. Boy, do I understand that feeling. If only there were six more hours in the day, I’d never feel another ounce of stress. But life isn’t fair. You rarely get handed something you want.

Time is one of the most priceless gifts we have. Sometimes, it seems like the day will take forever to end. Other times, you might blink on a Monday and realize it’s Thursday. Unfortunately, that happens to me more than I care to admit. Although you might not know it, time goes by faster than you think.

If you want to make changes so you can live the life you want, you have to stop putting it off. Instead of wasting thirty minutes scrolling through Instagram, read a few articles that can help you prepare for the upcoming changes you’ll face. The internet is full of helpful advice. All you have to do is search.

Even if you’re only taking a few minutes each day to focus on your plans, at least you’ve started. Once you begin to feel the excitement of what could be, you’ll likely start to devote more time to your dream. Before you know it, you’ll decide the time is right. It’s right now. And you’re ready to begin living the life you want to live.

Tip 6 – Believe in Yourself

If you’ve decided to chase your dream, be prepared to have a lot of people put in their two cents. When someone gives up their hopes and settles for the mundane, they often try to persuade others to do the same.

Maybe it’s because they don’t want anyone else to have success when they didn’t. But more times than not, it’s because the other person has tried and failed at their dreams, and they don’t want you to experience the same hurt.

When I informed my family and friends that I would be writing for a living, I got a lot of negative feedback. No one doubted my abilities. They knew I had talent. But they did question my decision to try my hand at such a fickle career. What would happen if no one wanted to read what I wrote?

Forget What Others Say

Never, ever let someone else’s fears and thoughts stand in the way of you making your dreams come true. Just because someone else decided they didn’t have the guts to fulfill their life’s ambitions doesn’t mean you have to be the same way.

If you’ve found something you are passionate about and that you want more than anything else in life hold on to that inspiration. Use it to fuel you as you work towards obtaining the unobtainable. Let it be your motivation to work harder. Ignore the doubters, the pessimists who tell you it could never happen.

Just because they couldn’t reach self-actualization doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to. There are two types of people in this world: the doers and the talkers. Talkers always have ideas about the future, yet they never take steps to turn these ideas into reality. The doers often do their own thing, even if it means taking an untraditional route and proving everyone wrong.

This is How to Live the Life You Want

No one wants to spend the last few hours they have on Earth thinking back on their lives and wondering at all the things that could have been if they had just tried. Don’t waste your life waiting for the time to be right before you make a change. Your time to be happy is right now. Find out what kind of life you want to live. And work every day, using our tips, to make your life turn out the way you’ve always wanted. Happy living.

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