“Live your best life!”
Sound familiar? This phrase is being thrown around like confetti, popularized by #inspirational Instagram accounts and more and more people encouraging their tribes to pursue their dreams.
But, to many of us, this proclamation may feel out of reach. How can you “live your best life” when your time is taken up by your current list of obligations?
When our calendars are filled to the brim with requirements and responsibilities, how can we possibly make time to live the lives that we want to live?
Ding, ding, ding. This is the first sign that you might be looking at this problem from the wrong angle. The key to living the life you dream of is to make the things that you love, the things that light you up, a priority. They should be the first items you write on your to-do list in the morning, the tasks you can’t wait to accomplish because of their potential results. They should be the things that help you grow into our best self so you can live your best life.
Join a community of like-valued professionals who are living their dream lives on a work and travel program
This is the basis of work-life balance, and something that we strive to champion as a work and travel program. Where there’s freedom and flexibility, it’s easier to allow our passions to flourish.
In the pursuit of your dream life, you must take a step back and consider the ways in which you have to evolve in order to achieve your goals. To get to where you want to go, you have to become the person you want to be. That’s why any idea that you have to achieve your dream life should be rooted in personal growth.
What is Personal Growth?
Personal growth is a pursuit in which a person sets out to become a better version of themselves through education, new experiences, or a deep shift in mindset.
This type of growth can come in a variety of formats. Some people want to set out on a path to personal growth because they want to become more well-rounded. They’ll try new hobbies, take classes , and read books on new topics.
Others want to grow because they’re dealing with a tough moment in their life. They may be experiencing feelings of uncertainty, pain, apathy, “stuck-ness” - even depression. They want to grow so they can climb out of the hole that they’ve fallen into, expanding their perspective so they can see the world from a different point of view, and maybe even gain a new lease on life. These people may look for an opportunity to join a community of like-minded people, they may decide to pack up their bags and head out on a life-changing adventure, or they may make it a point to look for ways in which they can give back to others in need.
Ready to write your own growth story? With personal development as your catalyst, we’ve put together 7 inspirational ideas to help you live your dream life.
7 Inspirational Ideas to Help You Live Your Dream Life
Read personal growth books
When it comes to setting out on your own growth journey, it’s best to turn to the experts. There are new personal growth books being released daily and you can get them for a discounted price (and with less environmental impact!) on your Kindle or other e-reader.
Consider searching for growth topics that relate to your interests like: health and wellness, business, relationships, finance, meditation, etc. You’ll find that you’ll be able to take a lesson or two away from each read, and apply it to your life in a way that makes sense for you.
The reason that we recommend starting here is because it is a low-risk, low-cost option to determine which area you want to pursue first. Do you want to get a hold on the way that you view yourself or your relationships with friends and family? Or do you want to pursue a new avenue of fulfillment through health and wellness? The choice is up to you.
Make the most of your mornings
Starting your day off on the right note can make a major impact. While a lot of people roll over first thing in the morning and grab their phones, willingly inundating themselves with the news and opinions of the day, you can get a leg up on your life by being intentional with your time.
Tomorrow morning, try waking up and taking a few minutes to stretch. Before you grab your phone, make your cup of coffee, eat a breakfast that is nutritionally fulfilling, and visualize your day. Perhaps you can fit in a workout before your day begins. Your mornings have endless potential and if you can take advantage of that time when your brain is fresh, you can have an impact on your own well-being before tuning into the day’s responsibilities.
Move your body
There’s nothing that will make you feel inspired and motivated again quite like getting up from behind your laptop and pursuing fitness.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying that you have to immediately start training for a marathon (more on that later) - this change can be subtle, as long as it’s a change. Sign up for a yoga class that you’ve been meaning to try or, if you’re already a dedicated yogi, try a circuit-based weightlifting class.
When your body is happy, you’ll have more energy to pursue the things that excite you.
Take a new skills-based class
Your mind, just like your body, can get complacent. If you continue to “exercise” it in the same ways, absorbing the same information over and over again, completing the same intellectual tasks over and over again, you will cease to grow. And, if you’re not growing you’re not living.
Sometimes you need to put yourself in a new situation, and ask your brain to do something new. Maybe you want something that is more mentally stimulating instead of physical: painting or creative writing may be the right outlet for you.
Even if these skills don’t exactly align with what you’re hoping to do with your future, they’re still breaking you out of your comfort zone. Painting could lead to calligraphy which could lead you to opening an Etsy store filled with personalized products. You’ll never know what your life could have looked like if you don’t try something new.
Seek out a new community
Growth isn’t easy to do on your own. We need people to express their support, offer ideas and guidance, and encourage us to keep moving forward, even when it feels like we won’t succeed.
Have you ever wondered why successful businessmen, leaders, and organizers seek out communities? There are young professional groups, work and travel programs, entrepreneurial masterminds, alumni organizations, Greek societies, and more. The reason that people form their own communities is because they know that with the help of others, they can do more than they could on their own.
This is one idea that could have a major impact on your path toward living your dream life. Creating connections with others, real, authentic connections, can open doors that you didn’t know existed and can inspire you to forgo a traditional path in favor of one that you created for yourself. And, to be honest, it just feels good to have an inspiring conversation with someone new. The people that you meet in your newfound community could be the important impetus for your next big growth moment.
Take a trip
Mentally getting outside of your comfort zone is one thing - but have you thought about getting physically out of your comfort zone? Booking a trip to a far-off destination could be just the thing you need to see yourself in a different light, and determine how you can improve in order to live the life you want to live.
Travel has a way of shocking your system and reminding you of who you are at your core. It forces you into situations that require ingenuity and problem-solving skills, things that you probably don’t encounter in your everyday life if you’ve fallen into a routine.
Not only is travel exciting and inspiring, it also opens you up to the viewpoints of thousands of people around the world. Even when issues may seem black and white to you at first, by getting to know locals in each city you’ll be introduced to a million shades of gray. These experiences will help you to grow in ways that you never could have imagined, and encourage you to continue to pursue opportunities to prove yourself wrong.
There is no better feeling than being able to help someone else and, often, you end up helping yourself just as much.
Giving back doesn’t have to be monetary, so don’t feel deterred if you feel like you can’t spare a dime right now. What you probably could spare is time. There are so many incredible organizations that exist to help you offer your skills and services to people who could use them.
If you’re a skilled HR professional, perhaps you could host a resume-writing seminar for people who are having trouble finding work. If you’re handy, you could volunteer a few hours a month with Habitat for Humanity or a similar organization constructing homes.
Not every personal growth experience has to directly involve working on yourself. If you use your time to give back to your local community, or to communities around the world, you’re working towards creating a better world for everyone. What could be more life-changing than that?
Reflect on your progress in a journal
How can you know if you’ve grown if you aren’t keeping track of where you’ve been? Journaling is a great exercise in awareness and reflection. It requires you to look at your day and wonder if you would have done anything differently. Do you wish you had spent your time on something more meaningful? Writing in a journal gives you a place to set goals and intentions for the following days.
Start small - just a few minutes a day counts - and don’t put yourself down if you miss a day or two. That’s not what this exercise is for. Journaling can help you decompress and tune out the overwhelming craziness of our ever-connected lives. Instead of becoming concerned with what other people are up to (either on social media or in the fictional worlds that are portrayed on television or in film), you can focus on your own desires and lay out your plans toward living a life of purpose.
So go ahead, use these seven inspirational ideas to live the life that you’ve always wanted to live. Make yourself a priority for once and put society’s pressures on the backburner. This is your time, and you’re going to use it to its fullest.