How to get out of your own way and live the life you want

Excuses. We’ve all got a million of them. We find every reason under the sun to justify our inaction. We insist that the time isn’t right. The weather is too cold. We’re too fat, too poor, too indecisive, too finicky,  too (insert your own excuse here).  I’m not trying to alarm anyone, but unless you believe in reincarnation, this is the one life that you get.  Are you using it to its full potential?  Or are  you just burning daylight?  At some point,  you have to take stock of your life.  Have you accomplished the goals that you’ve set for yourself or are you just leaving everything to chance?

If  I could be frank for a minute, there are people who are living like they are literally waiting to die.  They have very little  ambition, no drive, no sense of purpose.  Somehow, they have allowed life’s circumstances to beat them down, to kill their spirits.  They have bought into the lie that their dreams don’t matter.  If plans don’t pan out the way that they’d hoped, they take it as a sign that they are being unrealistic; that they are reaching for the unreachable.  They become easily discouraged, not realizing that the race really isn’t given to the swift but to the one who endures.

"The reason why your windshield is larger than your rear view mirror is because where you're going, is greater than where you've been. Go. " - Kirk Franklin

Sometimes, these things do not happen in a vacuum.  If you find yourself always discounting the things that you really want to do, the places that you want to see, then it’s time to get out of your own way.  You’ve heard the old saying that sometimes we’re our own worst enemy.  There’s a lot of truth to that.  Once we allow fear to permeate our thoughts it takes on a life of its own.  The writer, Fulton Oursler, once said “Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves – regret for the past and fear of the future”.

While you can’t change what has been,  you certainly can make new choices that will be more life affirming.  Besides, if we aren’t at the ready to shoot down our own dreams, there are always others who are all too happy to take up the slack.  I call them “emotional vampires”.  These people will find seven ways to Sunday to convince you that you are being stupid for thinking that you have the right to create your own destiny.  They seem to take pleasure in making you doubtful and miserable because that’s the path that they’ve chosen and like crabs in a barrel, they will do whatever it takes to pull you down with them.  I mean, who do you think you are?

Your attitude determines your altitude

Surrounding yourself with people who look at life in a more positive way can become infectious.  They can show you all of the possibilities that life has to offer.  You will begin to get a new sense of yourself and notice that things can become less cloudy, less uncertain.  You will find that things actually get easier when you believe in yourself.  Like attracts like, so if you are around negativity, you will become more negative and vice versa.  Try to seek out the good things that life has to offer but know that not everyone is happy to see you prosper.  Some people rejoice in another’s misery, but you can’t let that stop you from trying to attain your goals.

So start doing whatever it is that you’ve always wanted to do.  Whether it’s changing careers, moving to another state or country for that matter,  taking a round the world trip, do it.  A little careful planning is the key, not the obstacle.  If it’s big enough to dream about it’s realistic enough to go after it.  For me, personally, that is the one common thread that I have found in the travel blogging community.  There is a positivity amongst its members who come from every corner of the world, every faith, every religion but they share a commonality: A love of the world and the people who inhabit it.  They seek to learn something new every day about their global community and nothing makes them happier than a full immersion in the experience. Moreover, they are all too happy to help you to achieve your own dreams.  Sometimes, you have to let go of friends you’ve outgrown and find other like-minded kindred who share a love of the same things that motivate and inspire you.

Photo credit: gwennypics on Flickr

What obstacle have you personally overcome that allowed you to accomplish a lifelong dream?  In what way has that changed your life?

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