I’ve been writing about Doing What You Love for the last few weeks, and in the process have encouraged you to live by the mantra of Carpe Diem/Seize the Day.
This is all well and good, but what happens if you’re not sure what your dream specifically is – in other words, how can you do what you love if you’re not sure what that might be?
Don’t feel guilty if you’re not sure of what it is that feeds your passion, because most of us make life choices based on expectations.
We go to college and do what is expected of us, and along the way we get married and settle down and have kids, because that’s what everyone else does.
Dreams then become buried deep down to the point that you don’t even know that you have them; yet, even with this, the dreams still will come through as a kind of itch, ache or longing.
Life is meant to be full of passion and chasing after desires, not going from life to death without experiencing joy. If you think you might be one of those people who has buried your dreams so that you could live how others expected you to live, you don’t have to continue like that.
Here are seven ways that you can rediscover your dreams and add passion back into your life and start doing what you love.
1. Talk to your preteen self
Before we started worrying too much about growing up and settling down, we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted out of life. A child has fantasy dreams and adults for the most part worry about being grown ups and being responsible. Our preteens selves, however, had a good mix of wonder and practicality. Are you doing what you wanted when you were that age? And if not, can you explain why without using the words “I grew up?”
2. Do something out of your routine
Many of us live using the autopilot. By breaking our routines, we open ourselves up to making conscious choices and to shaking ourselves out of a kind of stupor. Once we’ve broken the bonds of habit, our desires and dreams can start sliding through the cracks in the wall of comfort we’ve built around ourselves.
3. Think about what terrifies you
Think of an action where your response is “I could never do that” then ask yourself why not? Most things we say that about we secretly want to do it but we’re just scared.
4. Ask someone else what they think your dream is
Often our friends and family know what we want more than we are willing to admit to ourselves. In your question do not use the words should or need – that’s asking for their opinion which means they will project their own desires onto you. Ask them instead to start the sentence with “I believe you want to…” and they will have a harder time telling you their own hidden dreams.
5. Pretend you have amnesia
While we are shaped by our past, too often we let it define us and box us into making certain choices. By pretending to have amnesia the only things open to us are the present and the future. Given how you feel in the moment and forgetting everything that has happened in the past, ask yourself what you want for the future.
6. Write “I want to…” thirty times and start filling it in
Asking ourselves what we want usually produces a quick answer, something habitual, but if we go deeper and keep asking the same question over and over we force ourselves to find hidden desires and dreams. If you can complete the sentence “I want to…” thirty times without struggling, up the number to 50, or 75 or 100 – whatever it takes to start pulling out the dreams you’ve hidden in dark corners of your mind.
7. Throw away your plans
While some people live too much in the past, others live too much in the future. They create plans and set them in motion following through on them without thinking. Trouble is people and situations change. Plans need re-evaluating. We need to stop the plan and ask ourselves whether we still really want this dream or whether we are just moving forward with momentum instead of passion.
Pick one of the above actions and do it today. Don’t wait. You deserve to fulfill your dreams. Now.
It’s a surefire way to live a Low Density Lifestyle.