The Freedom Experiment

The Freedom Experiment

Everything is possible

How to make a dream life love list

208af93f3bcd8d1bfbdf53c57483ca37 Do you have a big dream? Do you set huge goals for yourself? Do you aim for something magnificent?

I know I do.

And recently, I have noticed that I'm always living one step ahead of myself.

Everything that I do seems to be part of this master plan. And there are so many things about that dream - not just the simple definition of it, but layers and layers of smaller dreams that gently contribute to the bigger castle in the sky. And like this, I catch myself thinking "if New York happens, then I'll ..." And what follows is a huge list of smaller things.

I'm sure you recognize the dangerous pattern: If/when/not until [...] happens, then I'll do [...].

In other words, it's easy to think that if only [Big Dream] happens, then I'll be [happy.]

And sadly, that's not the way it goes.

What if that big dream just isn't in the cards for you? What if you realize Big Dream, and then feel exactly the same about your next dream? What if you suddenly fall ill and have only 4 weeks left to live? What if you figure out along the way that Big Dream just wasn't your dream at all? Life changes - fast - and if you are always putting off living, you might end up not having lived at all.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

- from Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Putting all our efforts into one area of our life can be awesome, super-exciting and lead to great results. But it can also be very destructive, especially if you get caught up in the "If only"-trap. If you think this concept sounds familiar, just think about how a lot of people who suffer from Anorexia think about weight. (And not just people with eating disorders, but a lot of other people too). It's so easy to believe that everybody will like you as soon as you hit that target weight. But we all know that it just doesn't work that way. Similarly, it's easy to think that you'll have lots of friends if only you realize your dream of being self-employed. Or you'll think that you'll wake up in the morning loving yourself if only you get that book published. But it doesn't work that way at all.

The key to overcome this is to focus on the here and now. What parts of your dream life can you achieve here and now?

Make a dream life love list

I encourage you to sit down for a minute with pen and paper. Reflect on your Big Dream and try to identify the different ingredients in your cake. If you close your eyes and think about your dream as a done deal - what do you feel? Where are you? What does it look like there?

Here are two of my own examples:

Dream One - Living in New York City being a location-independent writer I feel like everything is possible I work from cafés I wake up early and walk the streets before everyone else is up I have friends who also are writers We drink coctails in the evenings I'm part of a reading circle that meets somewhere with a fireplace I get double soy vanilla lattes to take away I go to concerts, art exhibitions, poetry readings I walk and discover, write and reflect, walk and discover, have great conversations I spend time deciding what to wear in the morning, always put on make-up and I wear gorgeous heels I get my nails done regularly (because I'm a writer - I work with my hands!) Did I mention that I have lots of writer and artist friends? I spend my free time learning French, yoga, meditation, Japanese, I read novels and write poetry I take tons of pictures of everything beautiful I jog in central park

Sounds awesome, doesn't it? At least that's my dream. What does your dream life love list look like? Make one for each dream if you have several.

Dream two - Speaking Fluent French I read Vogue Paris, Elle, L'Officiel and Jaleuse (in French of course) I watch all the cute French movies I argue passionately with my lover (who also speaks fluent French in my dream) I wear really simple clothes, but I still look laid-back, cool and feminine I have a small huge summer house in south of France I know what vines to order + I know how to taste one at at posh restaurant I read French books in their original language I order macarons from Laduree (Trois macarons, s'il vous plaît!) French people will actually like me I can write french poetry

Oh, yes.

Well, here's the deal. It might take years and years before I manage to support myself being a location-independent writer. I might not even get a visa that will allow me to stay in NYC for more than 3 months at a time. I might never take the time to learn French. So let's look at the dream life love list from a different perspective. It's still the same lists, but I have removed the impossibilities, keeping only what can be done right here and now:

Dream One - Living in New York City being a location-independent writer I feel like everything is possible I work from cafés I wake up early and walk the streets before everyone else is up I have friends who also are writers We drink coctails in the evenings I'm part of a reading circle that meets somewhere with a fireplace I get double soy vanilla lattes to take away I go to concerts, art exhibitions, poetry readings I walk and discover, write and reflect, walk and discover, have great conversations I spend time deciding what to wear in the morning, always put on make-up and I wear gorgeous heels I get my nails done regularly Did I mention that I have lots of writer and artist friends? I spend my free time learning French, yoga, meditation, Japanese, I read novels and write poetry I take tons of pictures of everything beautiful I jog in central park

Dream two - Speaking Fluent French I read Vogue Paris, Elle, L'Officiel and Jaleuse (in French of course) I watch all the cute French movies I argue passionately with my lover (who also speaks fluent French in my dream) I wear really simple clothes, but I still look laid-back, cool and feminine I have a small summer house in south of France I know what vines to order + I know how to taste one at at posh restaurant I read French books in their original language I order macarons from Laduree (Un Trois macarons, s'il vous plaît!) French people will actually like me I can write french poetry

Do you see what I see? Most of my dream life love list ingredients can actually be put into my life right here and now. I don't have to live in NYC to go to concerts, jog in a park or have writer friends. I don't have to know French to watch French movies (thank you, subtitles!) or learn how to order and taste vine. I would be awesome if I did live in NYC and knew how to make passionate arguments in French. But I don't have to put off everything until that happens!

Implement your dream life love list in your daily life

From the lists you've created, identify at least two things you are doing already:

1. I am already working from cafés most of the time 2. I do already wear very simple clothes and I (hope I) already look laid-back and chic

Then make a list of at least three ingredients to your dream life that you do not already do, but can implemented in your present:

1. Buy french magazines, read what I  understand and look at the pictures 2. Jog and/or walk in a large park 3. Start a reading circle and find a location with a fireplace to meet regularly

Et voilà! That's your dream life love to-do list right there. The timing will never be right. Do it today.

 What does your dream life love list look like?