How To Realize Your "Crazy" Dreams (Hint: Find Your New "Normal")
by Live Better
“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”
- Thomas Jefferson
Simple as that. Going after what you want in life requires sacrifice.
Pursuing your “crazy” dreams requires a little bit of “crazy” thinking. In an age where we can instantly compare ourselves to millions of other people and businesses, it gets easy to follow trends instead of starting them, iterate instead of innovate, and modify instead of invent.
The first step in getting to where you want to go is getting rid of the things that are holding you back. We can look to identify the patterns, behaviors, and processes in our lives that define who we are, guide our thinking, and encourage (or discourage) our actions. We can also identify our social support networks that should be on our team. Take an honest review - when you go after something new, who says, “Hell yeah, get it!” and who says, “Why would you ever want to spend time doing that?”
Cut the former out of the next conversation. People will call you “crazy,” but can you blame them? They’re conditioned to take the safe route, the guarantees, and the comfort. They avoid struggle and challenge because they can’t handle the adversity, the unknowns, and the anxieties of taking full control of their decisions. Having decisions made for them is easier - they follow the trail of breadcrumbs back to their warm beds at night.
We're talking about going after the full loaf. Baking it yourself, in fact. We must establish a new “normal.”
You want to run a fast marathon? Surround yourself with people who run fast. Getting up at 5am to run is “normal”…even "fun" for them. They like the grind, the release, and the satisfaction of a run well done.
You want to start a new business? Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs. They will understand your struggle, your wants and wishes, your fears and doubts, and working twice as many hours as you did in your corporate 9-to-5.
You want to lose weight? The self-sabotaging friend who goes out five times a week, complains about their weight as they shovel in unhealthy food, and refuses to wake up to exercise because “they’re not a morning person” is NOT the person you want in your ear on your journey.
You must establish a new normal, where doing "crazy” things is a daily habit.
I want to make a very important point - “crazy” is relative. I’m not (necessarily) referring to breaking the world record in the marathon; maybe it’s doing your first 5k race. I’m not talking about quitting your job to move to Mexico to become a yoga instructor; maybe it’s just taking your first yoga class (even though you’re terrified to look “silly”).
I am referring to going after what you want in life. Those dreams you had as a kid before the world corrupted your thinking into believing that receiving a business degree guarantees a happy, long, and fulfilling career. I’ve met people who hold degrees in dance that founded tech start-ups, accountants that now run wellness retreats, people who’ve worked in sales for 20 years that go back to medical school at 40.
There is no time limit. There is no age limit. There is only your ongoing decision to either:
A) Live the life you want, or
B) Live the life that everyone tells you to live based on your background, upbringing, socio-economic status, height, gender, age…
It’s your choice. You own the right to respond to the world around you; mold it, modify it, invent it, shape it, and squeeze happiness and fulfillment from every corner of the bag.
But, you’ll never get there by doing the same things you’ve always done. You must establish a new normal, whether that means environment, mindset, friends, mentors, people you follow on Instagram, the books you read, TV you watch, where you exercise, where you eat, or where you travel.
You know those little butterflies you get in your stomach when you get excited about something? Follow those. Find other people who get butterflies doing the same thing.
People will stand in your way until you find success, then they’ll beg you to let them help. They’ll question your motives, your “legacy”, your ability to retire at 60, and your comfort; let them…because the next question will be, “Tell me how you did it!”
Here are three easy suggestions on how to set up a “new normal”:
1) Does your environment need to change?
You won’t get healthier asking people for nutrition advice in a McDonald’s. It’s harder to learn Spanish walking around in China. Be where you need to be.
2) Does your mindset need to change?
Do you find yourself complaining regularly, tired after work, gossiping to friends, creating self-doubt about your abilities, discouraged to try new things, or unable to shake that feeling of being “stuck?” Maybe it’s time to move laterally instead of trying to go forward. The most important conversation you have all day is the conversation you have with yourself. Look in the mirror, and be honest ("constructively critical") about what you need to do.
3) Does your social circle support your desire to change?
Do you rely on a team of people to get you to the next level? What does the conversation sound like? An important thing to keep in mind here is that this doesn’t always need to stroke your ego; people that really care should be honest, and this includes disagreeing with you. A good mentor will say, “I like your idea; but have you ever thought about doing it this way?” A bad influence will say, “You’re an idiot, you should quit and not try again."
Crazy dreams are really not all that crazy - they're just different. People label them crazy because they're incapable of visualizing themselves achieving success. You're different.
The "best day ever" is truly the pursuit of our crazy dreams.
And we say, "HELL YEAH, GET AFTER IT!" (right now).