Remember when you were a kid and you never felt as awkward as you do now, or at least you didn't overthink the awkwardness? And just as easily as not overthinking, you kept dreaming and imagining all the big things you could do with your life? You dreamt of actually going to the moon and never questioned the silly thoughts and wonders that crossed your mind.
You never thought you were crazy or immature. You just went with it and kept on dreaming.
You played sports or maybe drew a lot of pictures with your No. 2 pencil. No one fussed at you for being childish or criticized you for making art instead of balancing your checkbook.
You just followed your child-like instincts to do what floated your boat, and you probably didn't question your every decision about whether it was setting up your life to be perfect or following the American Dream. You just were, and that was enough.
WHAT HAPPENED TO DREAMING?
Today, we are faced with the evolution of technology and comparing our lives to our friends and family more than ever. Bob is engaged, Sue is on her 4th kid, and by golly oh gee- Stacy is making it big in real estate! What the f*ck am I doing with my life?
It's easy in the hustle & bustle of today's society to forget what actually lit your fire as a kid. Work consumes most of our productivity hours in the week and Netflix & Chill is marketed to us like it's 90s Space Exploration.
Do you still draw like you used to or paint just because you enjoy it? What about piano lessons or learning that song on an acoustic guitar?
For some reason, it is drilled into us as we enter the Adult Realm that our creativity doesn't matter as much as it did when we were kids. We feel guilty for taking time to paint a picture or sit down and just breathe.
Yet, you are praised for getting promoted in your job or working overtime until your fingers fall off and you can't think for yourself.
I am here to tell you, your CREATIVITY MATTERS. #CREATIVELIVESMATTER
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
I'm calling it. I am sick. I am tired. I am sick and tired of not dreaming (Thanks, Wanda Sykes).
If you dig deep enough in that little soul of yours, I promise that child-like wonder you had from your Tonka truck days still exists. You may have to nourish it and put some effort into rekindling the desire and curiosity, but it's still in there.
And not a soul in this world is going to dig it out but you.
NO ONE WILL MAKE YOU DO IT.
I want to preach. Because I feel like too many dreams are out there dying in today's world.
If you are waiting around for your family or friends to get on your rear and tell you to get back to dreamin', good luck. People got their own problems they are worrying about. Ain't a person on this planet gonna make you do it but Y O U. And I am giving you permission to FOLLOW YOUR GUT on this one. See where it takes you. If you fall, get back up and try again. Try, try again.
And if you're a parent yourself, that doesn't mean it's too late. You are never too old to stop dreaming. Never. In fact, your kiddos will know when you are passionate about something and maybe even get inspired from it. Be an inspiration.
MAKE A LIST.
What is something you did as a kid that really stoked your heart up? Write it down and make it a point to do it once a week or once a month if your life has gotten so consumed by other "priorities." Grab some paint at the Dollar Store and slap it on notebook paper just to get the creative blood in your veins again. Wipe the dust off that instrument in your closet and give it a little TLC, even sign up for a music class.
Stop Meme-Sharing and actually buy the random ticket to God knows where. Just go and do it already.
We don't live forever. The clock is ALWAYS ticking. Show your family and friends extra love and draw them a handmade card. I know it's inside of you, because I have been trying to dig mine out of me. And it takes some work. It takes a hell of a lot more work to chase your dreams than it does to get up and clock in everyday. It doesn't always pay the bills, and it sure as dog poo doesn't always please everyone in your life. But how about you focus on pleasing you for a change?
DREAMING IS FREE. THE HUSTLE IS SOLD SEPARATELY.
To create and live a life of your choosing is probably the hardest thing you'll ever do. You have to throw in factors like what's best for your family, meeting your basic needs, and there will always be sacrifice.
You have to wake up every single day and GET AFTER IT. Chasing your dreams is not something you will ever have a solid answer for. There will always be missing puzzle pieces, and it keeps life interesting. We are always changing.
And in return, always chasing. It's human nature. It takes energy and effort to wake up and love what you do with your day. Write it all out. What is most important to you?
I sat down and drew a sketch of an elk the other day and took my time coloring inside the lines. From there, I felt inspired. Inspired to draw more, like I used to. Inspired to take a trip and see more wildlife. Inspired to be myself.
We get older, but that doesn't mean we have to change who we are to adapt to acting like adults.
Share your dreams with me! I would love to hear what you are truly passionate about and what you want to do with your life. What made you happy as a kid? Sports? Travel? Art? I want to hear all about whatever it is! Drop me a comment below or send me a personal email! Tell me about your dreams: email@example.com :)
Life should be anything but ordinary. If every single minute of every single day was planned out for the rest of your life, how would you feel about it? Some of you may prefer it that way, but the essence of life would be stolen. And you probably couldn't stick to all those plans regardless.
Dictionary result for life
We were lucky enough to end up as life in the world distinguished from inorganic matter. And on top of that, we have the mental capacity to study and understand what the heck that even means. We are ALIVE. So what do you do with this big something of life?
Sure, you can play by the book and keep it safe. Go to school. Pay a large sum of money for the right books and tools to get educated. Maybe, most likely, even accumulate quite a bit of debt before you fully understand what a credit score even is. Work your butt off studying for a degree you aren't sure you even want while working a minimum wage job to feed yourself Ramen.
Deciding what you want to do with the rest of your life at the age of 18 is a pretty big deal. Yet if you say you aren't ready to make that decision at a not-yet legal drinking age, you are given the look of disappointment and immediately labeled as uneducated, ungrateful, or a simple lazy bum. All because your unripened brain couldn't commit to one major to focus on for the rest of your l i f e.
CAPACITY FOR GROWTH
According to a not-so-recent article published by NPR, the parts of the brain involved in critical decision-making are not fully developed until age 25 and in some cases, 30. How the heck are we supposed to commit our lives in debt to a lifelong study of whatever degree the dart lands on before we are truly even capable of choosing between Frosted Flakes or Fruity Pebbles for breakfast?
The trick to feeling like you are making the right and best, greatest decision for your future is simple. Don't. Don't rush into anything that makes you acquire guilt, confusion, or insecurity. If you are doing it for someone else, it's a mistake. Step back and breathe. Contrary to what we are taught from books and school, it's okay to relax and take time for yourself. To just be.
To be able to Learn and Grow, we must first hold ourselves accountable for our own decisions. You went to college because your dad made you? Not buying it, you walked through the door with your own two feet into orientation and signed those papers. You dropped out because life at home wasn't peachy? Nah, you left because you had other priorities in mind. We are the only ones who can be truly held accountable for what we do with our one, precious life.
Life is a sum of all our decisions. And then you have the little bits of surprise and chaos thrown in there that spice up those decisions and might even pull you down a new path altogether.
YOU AREN'T LAZY FOR LIVING
There is always someone out there who will not agree with whatever path life takes you. Your parents are probably just trying to help you avoid the mistakes they made and help you have a better life. Your grandparents just want you to be happy and are likely a little detached from our generation's way of doing things. Anyone else can say whatever they want, but it's up to you to let it get to you and affect decisions you make about your life.
It's okay to not have everything figured out between high school and college. And even after that. Hell, I just turned 28 and am still figuring things out.
Get up and get after whatever it is that makes you feel alive. You will fall, inevitably make mistakes, and you'll get back up and learn from them. And along the way, you will begin to understand who you are and what it is you seek from life. It's a great accomplishment to understand what it is you are actually looking for to start with.
Maybe you will decide to pursue a higher education with confidence in your decision of which degree to get after. Maybe you will travel the world. Maybe you will stay in your home town to be near family, because you will realize the importance of being close to the ones you love. Or maybe you'll say to hell with it and buy a van to live in down by the river.
Whatever it is you decide, it is up to you to be happy and content with the life that spawned from those initial decisions. And I have to say, my initial decision to drop out of school led to some pretty cool outcomes. Not easy by any means. Not ideal. Not preferred or planned. But beautifully chaotic.
Who would have thought? Reproduction is a naturally occurring part of life. It's almost scary to think of the reproduction rate and ever-growing population of our planet, but it's natural and it's why we are here.
The odd-ball chance that you and I ended up with a shot at life in this world is pretty amazing. Pretty spectacular. It should be anything but ordinary. And you can decide what ordinary means to you. For me, it means structured and routines, full of plans, and set dates. All those words make me cringe. There's nothing wrong with plans and structure, but the thought of knowing what I am doing day-to-day for the rest of my life is daunting.
I enjoy the unknown. The surprises of life. But that doesn't mean you have to. I do believe plans have their place and help alleviate stress, especially when you combine into a family.
The picturesque Get a Degree, Get a lifelong job, and Start a family scene that was in all of our elementary school books growing up doesn't always pan out. And the pressure of anything out of that ordinary picture is surreal, because we live in a society that has told us what to do with our lives since we were like 5 years old.
It's okay to think different. You can still contribute to society and have a family in your own creative lifestyle. Screw Stepford.
After you own your responsibility to decide for yourself and create a life worth living, WHAT NOW? Well, you have to take care of yourself. You have to preserve your body and mind and allow them to both develop alongside your direction of life.
There are three essentials that support your Functional Activity: Physical, Social, and Psychological Well-Being.
Keeping up with your physical health can also help maintain mental health. Sweating, breathing hard, and burning cals rids stress hormones and replaces them with endorphins. Cortisol- bad. Endorphins- good. Study up on it here.
What I am getting at is this. You are either a person who loves to be physically challenged or you are not. Maybe you're half-n-half. Either way, you can either create a life that makes physical exercise a priority or you can spend time creating a balance to include physical activity along the outskirts of other priorities.
The same goes for Social and Mental Well-Being. You likely don't just have people knock on the door nightly to conversate about the place the world exists, politics, and state of the nation. Maybe you are that popular. But the rest of us have to make that stuff happen. And if you're anything like me, you run from people and social gatherings altogether. Like physical maintenance, social health also requires a bit of effort and priority placement. Even if just a little bit of effort to meet the Functional Activity levels of life. Join a book club or something that makes you speak to people outside your comfort zone at least once a month.
Mental well-being is the most important of the three but also affected by the others (physical/ social). To be able to make reasonable decisions in your life, you need to provide a healthy environment for your mind to flourish. Try meditating, seriously. It doesn't make you a hippie and will help you grow the ability to be mindful in ways from what you eat to having healthy arguments. A healthy balance of all three Functional Activity essentials is key to living a good life.
We are always changing, and it's great! Even when we try to plan things down to the tee, we are still incapable of completely preventing change. Every single day, we do something different from yesterday. Sometimes it can be scary how similar our Facebook statuses are to those one year ago on that damned Timeline Throwback whatever that we are faced with in the mornings. But nonetheless, we are different and always evolving. Isn't it exciting!?
To be alive and considered life, we must have the capacity for continual change. Hey, if you don't like the path you're headed on, guess what? Time for a change! It is never too late to go back to school, travel the world, or ask that chick on a date (unless she already tied the knot, just make sure it's worth putting yourself out there for). Human beings are always changing and evolving. The technology we have created over the span of 10 years is inconceivable, and we just keep growing our knowledge and capacity to exceed our wildest dreams.
Mark Manson wrote a really cool article here about trying to change yourself. He explains it better than I ever could, so just read it. Change isn't about being or becoming someone you're not; it's about the decisions you make and the actions that follow.
Do something with your life. Let it flow, or don't. Bring your thoughts into actions, and work towards something extraordinary. You only live once, or so they say. Get off the damn couch and go make something of your life!
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