Who this post is NOT for:
- Those who want a (quick) “how-to” on living the life of their dreams.
Who this post IS for:
- Those who want help (slowly) bridging the gap between dreaming and living.
***Side Note: This article is the brainchild of my previous post. Click here if you want to read that one first.
I’m not sure a room has ever been so quiet. Especially considering how deafening it was with emotion.
My small family stood there, crowded into an even smaller room. Staring blankly at what would be my grandfather’s death bed only moments later.
Minutes crept by… yet time seemingly stood still.
Eventually a small crackling voice broke the silence. Snapping us all back to reality.
“I wish I had been more lost.”
It was my Papaw that had spoken, but this time it was different.
His voice had never sounded so dead.
But his words had never seemed more alive.
I looked up just in time to see my grandmother wipe away a single tear. Everyone else still motionless and unsure of what (or if) to respond.
“Everything I’ve ever seen left me the same person. I never lost myself in the old and I never found myself in the new. With each new thing I’ve seen I should have returned with new eyes. I never allowed myself to let go, afraid of what would happen…
…Now I know.”
For that moment I felt the life inside of him, ever fleeting as it was, as if it were my own.
And as he took his last breath, I closed my eyes, and we fell asleep.
Daydreams all begin the same way.
What if I just kept driving?
What if I quit?
What if she said no?
What if he said yes?
We’ve all had these thoughts.
Some more than others and some of us less.
But regardless of how often they come- they eventually do.
And when they do, we all tend to react the same way. We experience the same funny phenomenon. We allow our consciousness to slip away into an alternate-reality that is only real within the vision we just created.
You imagine not taking the exit home.
Following the road until pavement meets sand.
And then until sand meets ocean.
Peering out over an endless body of water.
Trying to visualize the curvature of the planet.
A completely meaningless experience from the outside in.
But an absolutely meaningful experience from the inside out.
Sometimes these dreams linger. But eventually, just as similarly as these dreams began, they end all the same.
With us snapping back to our current reality and disregarding that vision as nothing more than fantasy.
So we move on.
Secretly wishing we could go live that daydream.
Openly questioning whatever it is we’re currently doing.
Wondering why we are stuck going home and feeling like this.
When there is a whole world that could leave us feeling like that.
Most of us would love to spontaneously just leave for a day or two.
And of those people, many of us realistically could do just that.
But we don’t.
Where is the disconnect? What are we missing?
Why don’t we?
Or more accurately… Why won’t we?
Let me tell you a story:
Most weeks are long. Some just so happen to seem longer than others.
And this week? It had taken the cake.
It was a Friday night around 9pm and I had just finished up with my last client for the week. Excited to get home and relax, I gathered my things and headed out the door.
Filled with visions of Netflix reruns and far too much reading, I hopped in my car, and began the drive home.
For some reason though, this time was different. I didn’t turn on my typical tunes, and I did not (irresponsibly) start scrolling through Instagram.
I’m not sure if it was due to exhaustion, or something different all together, but I just drove… and thought.
My mind started floating.
Floating in the kind of way that leaves you feeling as if you’re 10 feet above your body.
At that point I promptly slipped into one of the aforementioned daydreams, imagining itchy sand, salty water, and everything in between.
“What if I just went to the beach?”
When I first muttered those words to myself, it was done almost subconsciously. Only mid-sentence did I realize what I was actually saying. Originally I began to disregard the thought, chalking it up as nothing more than a stupid dream. But, as I began to ponder it more, I came face to face with one big-ass question…
“Why the fuck don’t I?”
563 miles and 10 hours later- I got to see for myself just how itchy the sand was.
Oh, and the sunrise wasn’t bad either.
Now before you go off assuming I’m some super cool dream chaser, I need to make a few confessions.
Nothing instantly life-changing happened on my trip.
I spent roughly as much time driving as I did on the beach, drank a few over-priced (and surprisingly gross) mimosas, and ignorantly ended up with a shit-ton of sand stuck in the crevices of my new car.
None of which was overly pleasant.
My whole world hadn’t changed.
But the way I viewed it had.
It was only a short trip to the beach, but I had a dream and instantaneously snatched it by the throat. I had bridged the gap between a dream and reality. It was small, but it illuminated the exact place most people slip up.
Supposedly, when attempting to live a dream, it all starts with one simple question:
That’s the first break through.
Because somewhere in your mind, you’re beginning to imagine something else. Something new. You’re no longer content with the status quo and you’re starting to visualize a new reality.
It can be something huge.
Like investing all of your money in a questionable new start-up.
Or it could be something small.
Like walking across the room and asking a girl to dance.
Whatever it is, we see something and it sets off a trigger in us. Those dream-like fantasies start kicking in and our emotions start churning.
Funny enough, the greatest things in most people’s lives started this way. But for some reason, at this very point, we almost always stop. As if the glimpse at something special was enough.
We know that isn’t the case and we know we want whatever it is that we’re visualizing.
But, something stops us.
Maybe it’s the fear of failure and being broke.
Or maybe it’s the fear and humiliation of being publically turned down.
Whatever it is- it’s some scary shit.
That fear paralyzes us. Not allowing us to see past that very moment.
We had the first breakthrough. Now though, due to fear, insecurity, or whatever, we become blinded to the second one. Convinced the next step requires some big elaborate process.
That isn’t the case.
If Breakthrough #1 was:
“What if I went to the beach?”
Then to find Breakthrough #2 all you need to do is a little addition by subtraction:
What ifI went to the beach ?“
Remove the Question.
Reveal the Action.
It sounds overly simple, I know.
Because it is.
The missing gap between your dreams and your life isn’t some complicated bridge. It is simply the courage and willingness to go out and grab what it is you want.
To take that step. To ask that question. To say no. To say yes.
Regardless of how outlandish or unpractical it may seem to the rest of the world.
The next time you find yourself asking, “what if?“, ask yourself one more question.
“Is this what I really want?”
If it is, go do it.
Drive to the beach.
Ask the girl out.
Invest in your dream start-up.
Maybe you get turned down. Maybe you’re wrong. Maybe they say no.
Maybe it doesn’t work out.
But hey… what if it does?
Sono andato a pescare nel profondo del mio cuore – Questo è ciò che ho catturato
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