Are You Living Your Dream?
Do you often lapse into a daydream where you are living a completely different life? Are you sick of the city rat-race and long for a life in the country? Is it your dream to live abroad? Have you always dreamed of designing and building the home of your dreams? Or do you want to turn a passion or hobby into a successful business?
I’m sure everyone has aspirations and hopes for the future but what can you do to make your dreams a reality? Author of ‘Your Dream Life Starts Here’ Kristina Karlsson says, ‘You’ve only got one life, so why not make it your dream life?’ She gives helpful strategies for the thought processes and planning stages needed for a life change, from writing down the values that are most important to you, to making an action plan.
Sometimes, your dream might be an amalgamation of several different aspirations. I had always wanted to write and illustrate a children’s book. My love of reading as a child, in particular, books with beautiful illustrations, and my work as a teacher of young children fuelled many ideas for books. I also wanted to retire early so that I could have time to spend doing the hobbies I never had time for whilst in full-time employment. The other thing on my wishlist was to live on the south-west coast of Turkey in a warmer climate, where I could spend more time outdoors enjoying nature.
Five years ago, these goals seemed a long way away as I thought I would be working for another ten years and with a demanding job, the nearest I could get to achieving any of them was to have regular holidays to the place I hoped to retire to. I didn’t have an action plan or any idea of how to make my dreams a reality. However, Fate stepped in and I was forced to give up working due to a serious health issue. Suddenly, my life was turned upside down and I had to make some big decisions. It’s funny how having a health scare alters your perspective! Within three months of leaving
The following year, I began to write my first novel – not the children’s book I thought I would write, but a book that was part therapy and a chance for me to write about the many adventures I had had whilst living in Turkey. It was published in 2016. I was living my dream life!
I won’t pretend everything was easy. I had many sleepless nights worrying about money. Would my savings last until I got my pensions? What would happen if my health insurance didn’t cover the cost of my expensive medication? However, after the first year, I realised that I could live quite frugally, only buying clothes in the sales, not eating out unless I had visitors and thinking twice before I spent any money. It really surprised me how little I spent. I went from being someone who never looked at the prices of things I wanted, to someone who watched every penny. I realised that ‘stuff’ doesn’t make me happy. Living the life I’d always dreamed of does. I measure the quality of my life not by the amount of money or possessions I have, but by the amount of time I have to do the things I love. If it doesn’t make me happy, I don’t do it. What luxury!
I wouldn’t recommend making such a huge life change without thorough research and thought. I don’t have any dependents so only had myself to consider. But what I have learned is that life is too short to live a mediocre existence. If you’re not happy or have a burning desire to change something, do it. There might be some sacrifices to be made along the way and things might not pan out exactly as you had planned but if where you end up is better than where you were, it’s worth it, right?
What’s stopping you?