It’s not that you hate everything in your life.
It’s just that… everything is less than you expected.
Your marriage, your friendships, your health, your house, your finances, your job, your impact, your social status — it’s all less exciting than you thought it’d be when you were a kid with endless hopes and ambitions.
It’s all… dry.
When you were young, you had dreams. Maybe you dreamt of building a wildly successful business. Or maybe you dreamt of writing books and becoming a best-selling author. Or maybe you dreamt of having a marriage with ceaseless passion. Or maybe you dreamt of becoming a professional surfer, skier, or tennis player.
The point is, you had dreams and now your life amounts to far less than you thought it would when you were young. It feels like there’s no way to reclaim your gusto and live a life that excites you… not now — you’re too far gone.
Quiet down for a second.
- It’s not too late.
- Stop taking advice from the idiots.
“Don’t dream your life, live your dreams” say the idiots.
Let’s be real: this whole “dream life” thing is cliche AF.
Every wannabe self development “guru” and their dog is spouting off nonsense about how you need to live your dream life, right now! Without inhibitions! Go. Do it! Why aren’t you doing it?! Hurry! Stupid, you’re still not doing it! I told you to do it! I’m the guru, here, and I told you to live your dream life! Dream. And then live your dream. It’s so FUDGING SHIMPLE!
You get the point…
A quick Google search for “live your dream life quotes” brings up advice like the following:
- “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”
- “Follow your intuition… have the courage to live your dreams!”
- “If you never chase your dream, you will never catch them.”
Geez — it’s no surprise that 99% of people are struggling to live a life that excites them!
What good does that advice do?
After reading the above quotes, do you know what the next step is to changing your life permanently? Can you stop reading and go live your dream life? Are we done here?
No. Of course not.
The fact is, that advice sucks.
It might be inspiring and it might get your blood pumping, but it also leaves you directionless, without anywhere to go.
And that’s the crux of the issue — not that you need inspiration to live your dream life (you already want that!) — but that you need to figure out what the fuck your dream life is.
But… what’s your dream life?
Let me be blatant for a minute.
(Mike, you’re always blatant…)
There is only one reason that you’re not living your dream life right now. There is only one motha’ fuckin’ reason that you don’t wake up every single day excited, with a bright inner fire pushing you toward a destiny that you crave.
Only. One. Reason.
You haven’t made a real decision about what you want.
Seriously. That’s it.
The only reason that you’re not excited to get out of bed every day, the reason that you’re not satisfied with your finances, your marriage, your friendships, your job, and your impact is because you haven’t decided what you want out of life.
Put a different way, you’re not living your dream life… BECAUSE YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOUR DREAM LIFE IS!
After all, how the fuck can you be satisfied with anything if you don’t even know what you want out of life? If you haven’t made a final and real decision about what you want, then you’ll always be dissatisfied. Even if you were making millions of dollars with a great marriage, you’d still be unhappy because you wouldn’t know if that’s what you’re supposed to be doing. You wouldn’t have the internal confidence that a purpose-driven life creates.
The painfully obvious fact that most people ignore is, if you never make a real, clear decision about what you want, you’ll never be capable of getting what you want (talk about dis-empowering!).
But, of course, making a life-long decision about what you want is easier said than done.
You can have anything you want. But you can’t have everything.
Most of us want everything.
You want to have hot sex with tons of people and you want to have a happy marriage.
You want to build a million-dollar business and you want to be employee of the month at your current job.
You want to become an inspiration to others and you want to sit on the couch and eat potato chips.
You want to become a pro surfer and social media influencer, write a bestselling book, travel the world, build a 7-figure business, get promoted, lose weight, eat great food, buy a bigger house, get out of debt, have more friends, and spend more time alone.
But the truth is… you can’t have everything you want out of life.
You can have anything you want. But you can’t have everything.
Because when you chase after everything within ear shot (like you’ve been doing), you make no progress toward anything and you lead a mediocre and unsatisfying existence.
It’s a vortex of misery. You want everything. But because you want everything, you get nothing.
What would happen if you finally made a decision?
You’re not lazy, you just have un-motivating goals.
I know what you tell yourself…
You think that you struggle to get out of bed in the morning because you didn’t get enough sleep, or because you’re just a little lazier than most people. You believe that you aren’t writing that book, working on your marriage, exercising, eating healthier, or travelling more because… well, you’re just a little bit less capable than most people.
You’re not lazy. You’re just unmotivated.
And you’re unmotivated because your goals don’t excite you — that is, you don’t have any goals at all or the ones you do have are lame and uninspiring.
Thomas Edison once said…
“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”
You are capable of achieving anything you want.
Really. You are.
But the first step to embracing that reality is to finally decide what it is that you want.
Then, everything else falls into place.
When you know where you’re going, when you know what your destiny is, when you are crafting a life that you’re excited to live, it’s all so simple. Waking up at 5am? Easy. Writing that book? Done. Fixing your marriage? No problem. Building that business? Let’s do it.
The problem isn’t that you’re a special fucked up case, it’s just that you haven’t decided where you’re headed (or you’re not excited about where you’re headed).
Let’s change that.
How to make a real, life-long decision about what you want.
If I asked you what you want out of life, you’d probably mention a lot of arbitrary things that don’t really help.
“I want to make more money.”
“I want to lose weight.”
“I want a happier marriage.”
“I want to be a better parent.”
The problem with those statements is that they are wayyyy too vague. If you want to live a life that excites you, then you need to get crazy specific about what you want out of life. The more specific you are, the better.
But first, we need to dig up your childlike joy and figure out what really motivates you.
Let me take you through the exercise that my coach took me through a few months ago.
Grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down five times in your past when everything was perfect, moments when you required nothing and you were perfectly happy.
This is what my list looks like, for example.
- When Andie was born.
- When I got married.
- When I learned to snowboard.
- When I rock climbed with friends.
- Whenever I write or public speak.
These are times when your inner fire was burning bright. What we want to do is find the common denominators between these moments to find the essence of what excites you.
For example, the reason that the moments I mentioned above were so exciting to me was because…
- I was making a positive impact on the world around me.
- I was engaging with something that allowed for longterm growth and mastery.
- I was being creative.
- I was connecting authentically with other people.
And what I’ve found is that it doesn’t much matter what I’m doing… so long as it checks at least 2 or 3 of those 4 boxes, I’m excited and my passion is burning bright!
So what makes you feel fulfilled?
Look at the moments you wrote down and find a few of the common denominators. What really excites you?
Write down 3-5 things.
Now… choose something that fulfills all of those basic needs! For me, building Get Your Gusto Back checks all of my boxes — it allows me to make an impact, it allows for longterm growth and mastery, it’s a place where I can be creative, and I can connect authentically with other people (you! :D).
It doesn’t matter what you choose to dedicate the next phase of your life to, it only matters that it meets your needs for feeling happy and fulfilled!
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
So choose something. Seriously. Make a decision right now. Write it down. Ignore your self-imposed limitations and dream a little: What are you going to do? What are you going to create? What is it going to be like once you’re finished?
Answer those questions on a piece of paper. The more specific you get about exactly what you’re working to build, the easier it’ll be to manifest (the “how” will just be a matter of taking the right steps and adapting as you learn).
Have you made a decision?
If you have, throw it in the comments and let’s talk about it!
If you haven’t, why not?
Do you still believe you’re incapable? Are you still buying into your negative self-talk? Do you not trust yourself because you’ve already failed too many times to count?
Who fuckin’ cares!!
This is your life and it’s never too late to start owning it.
You’ll be glad you did. 🙂
Mike is a writer for SUCCESS, AdWeek, and Addicted2Success. He’s been quoted on Forbes and Entrepreneur for his expertise in marketing and personal development. He’s also the owner of Get Your Gusto Back where he helps people reignite their inner fire.