5 Ways to Make Your Dreams a Reality

ExploreFiji

I was a high school English teacher. For eight years, that’s how I defined myself; for the rest of my life before that, I was a student. I was content in life. I was content with my career. I was content with my location. I was content with my extra-curricular activities. I was content in my marriage. I was content. I thought that was enough. I figured no one actually lives their dream life or finds complete happiness so having a roof over my head, a permanent job, and enough money to get by were plenty. Then I woke up. It literally happened over night. I was no longer okay with “good enough.” I wanted my daily life to be better than vacation. I wanted to feel like I never had to work another day in my life because my job was so great that it was more like play. I have something to offer the world and I’m worth more than a content life. So I did it. I made my dream life a reality.

Here’s how: 

1. Jot Down Your Goals
That’s right, pen and paper! I call it a bucket list but you can call it whatever you like. It’s important to write down legitimate, measurable goals. Saying, “A dream career” is not enough, but saying, “A career in travel writing as a blogger/journalist” is a step in the right direction.

2. Focus on Your Dreams Completely
If you are serious about living your dreams, you may have to put a few things on the back burner for awhile or let go of the past. I was a school teacher for eight years but it wasn’t my dream job. I needed to accept that just because I went to school for eight years to be a teacher, doesn’t mean that my life should be confined to that career. Figure out what’s meaningful to you so you can be who you were born to be. Don’t waste your life fulfilling someone else’s dreams and desires.  You must follow your intuition and make a decision. While many of us decide at some point during the course of our lives that we want to answer our calling, only a select few of us actually work on it.  Remember, life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Achieving your dreams can be a lot of work.  Be ready for it.

3. Seek Inspiration
Follow those who inspire you. Seeing others achieve their dreams is extremely inspiring. You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with.  If you spend your time with the right people, you will be far more capable and powerful than you ever could have been alone.

4. Lose the Negative Attitude. Think Positively
Negative thinking creates negative results.  Positive thinking creates positive results. That’s it. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  The mind must believe it can do something before it is capable of actually doing it.

5. Measure your Success in Baby Steps
Don’t measure your success by looking at your final goal but instead by each and every baby step you achieve along the way. Sometimes we discourage ourselves by withholding cheering for our accomplishments until we reach our final destination. Cheer, cheer, cheer and build momentum along the way.

214 thoughts on “5 Ways to Make Your Dreams a Reality

    • Yes, it’s totally a great post and as I’ve said before, these are the things I tell people a lot and Lesley did an excellent job at describing it through this post. Anything is possible and can be done, any goals can be reached if you set your mind to it and stay positive!🙂

      GPGolfReport.com

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  1. I love following what you do & honestly since I’ve embraced the bucket list idea in life I have found myself SO much more open to adventure.

    Thank you for always keeping life a joy!

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  2. Hi Lesley, this is lovely. I’ll link to this from your Wodara article. We’ve been without internet for two weeks whilst in the jungles of Borneo and on a tiny island off the main one – so just now getting back to working through the stories that need posting. I’m doing them in order of receipt so yours is coming up shortly; I’ll be in touch with the final draft before long. Cheers, Krista

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    • When I was teaching, I worked 2 other jobs on the side to make travel a reality. I decided what was important in my life (travel and experiencing new cultures/adventures) and I stopped at nothing to make it happen. I eliminated the needless spending on things like dining out, make-up, and expensive clothing. I bought all of my clothes second-hand, cut my own hair, and bought good, but cheap, beauty products like shampoo and conditioner. I didn’t live in an expensive house or drive an expensive car; I lived within my means for the things that weren’t important to me so I could spend my money on things that mattered. It’s as simple as that. Now that the blog is much more successful, I can often travel for free or get paid to travel. Travel & adventure were my two biggest desires in life, besides family, so I found a job that incorporates both of those aspects perfectly. Everyone’s dream is different though. You just have to decide what yours is

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  3. Thanks for this, working on my bucketlist now! Out of curiosity, how long did it take you before you felt like “yes! I’m there”? always looking for details on how to make that transition from writing as a hobby to paid full-time job.

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    • When I was teaching, I worked 2 other jobs on the side to make travel a reality. I decided what was important in my life (travel and experiencing new cultures/adventures) and I stopped at nothing to make it happen. I eliminated the needless spending on things like dining out, make-up, and expensive clothing. I bought all of my clothes second-hand, cut my own hair, and bought good, but cheap, beauty products like shampoo and conditioner. I didn’t live in an expensive house or drive an expensive car; I lived within my means for the things that weren’t important to me so I could spend my money on things that mattered. It’s as simple as that. Now that the blog is much more successful, I can often travel for free or get paid to travel. Everyone’s dream is different though. You just have to decide what yours is😉

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      • thanks for the reply Lesley, I appreciate it.I’m already doing most of the things you suggest. I am able to travel some, but not nearly as much as I’d like. I guess I’m just too fearful now to take off not knowing how I’ll be able to make things work, make my finances last as long as I would like. I took my chances when I was younger and I did make things work somehow back then. I need to just get over it and just DO it again!! Thanks for your inspiration.
        And thanks for deciding to follow me😉

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  4. Thank you for this post!! “4. Lose the Negative Attitude. Think Positively!” is probably the most difficult for people. Humans tend to think negative thoughts more than they should and they never realize their full potential. If people would just replace the negativity with a positive attitude and spirit more and more people would accomplish so much!

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  5. Wow, Leslie, I had no idea! Thanks for sharing that personal info about your life. Most people tend to stay stuck in their lives, their marriages, their jobs. The alternative can be quite difficult. I’m a struggling writer/single mother who has had to make a lot of sacrifices to follow this dream. At what cost, I’m not so sure yet. It sucks to be poor, and have to work twice as hard at things–ie: a job to pay the bills, plus my dream job. My father doesn’t understand and thinks I’ve wasted my college education, so he’s disowned me. Yes, it is indeed a tough road sometimes. It’s certainly wonderful to see the success stories like yours!

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    • I don’t think that education is ever a waste. I have a few university degrees that don’t relate to writing but they’ve shaped my view on life and made me who I am today. There’s nothing wrong with that.

      I’m sorry to hear about your father; I hope that one day he accepts you for you. We don’t have to understand the choices of our family members to still show them love and support. Hopefully you will use the emotion you feel toward your father to better connect with your child. Is it a boy or a girl? My daughter is 17 months old and I’m sure she sees me as a god.😉

      Regardless of what happens in life, look at everything you’ve achieved and be grateful for those accomplishments. (I’m sure your child sees you as a great success.)

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  6. I’m curious if your husband and daughter (think I got that right–sorry if not!) go with you when you travel.

    Thanks for sharing! God bless!

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    • It depends on the situation. This week I’m going to Dominican Republic for four days without my husband and daughter but next week we are going to Hawaii together. We try to find a balance that works for us as an entire family. Sometimes my daughter and I go alone, sometimes we all go together, and sometimes I go without them. When we do travel together, we make sure to include activities for everyone. Even though my daughter is only 17 months old, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t get a say. It’s all about balance for us.🙂

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      • That is pretty amazing you can work all those scenarios! Thanks for assuaging my curiosity.🙂 I am guessing you are blessed with an excellent caregiver for her when you go alone. Have a wonderful family trip next week, be safe.

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        • She usually stays with my mother-in-law, my mother, or my siblings (on either side). During short trips, she sometimes goes to daycare during the day and stays with Dad at night, but this is more for the socialization aspect. We like for her to be around other children regularly.🙂

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          • That is awesome you have so much family to help when need be–cherish it (I’m sure you do!).
            Take good care, Ann

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  7. I’m seriously in love with your writing. I’m hoping to embrace risk and adventure by traveling to the Middle East to learn some Arabic next summer! Absolutely inspiring article🙂

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  8. Pingback: 5 Ways to Make Your Dreams a Reality | Don't Gamble or may be you can !

  9. I am going after my dream of making designing and drawing into my full time career and I can definitely identify with all the points mentioned! Great advice! I have bookmarked your post so that I can refer to it if I ever have doubts on my dream!

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  10. LOVE you and this post! I completely agree and after spending 20 years in the Air Force as a Medic and concurrently raising my grown kids and being a supportive wife decided that its time for ME to be what I want to be when I grow up! Since I turn 50 this year, I knew it was now or never🙂 I’ve been traveling my whole life and taking pictures and sharing my love with anyone who will listen so finally made it my official “job”. No paycheck but the satisfaction of knowing I may inspire even 1 person to get off their couch and see this beautiful world is MORE than enough! I started my blog and website in February and attended my first Travel Media Conference in Toronto in June. Here is a post I wrote on starting my new and final career: http://www.ttstrippin.com/1/post/2013/05/hey-im-a-trablophotant.html

    I love traveling solo but also love going with my husband, girlfriends, grown up kids and granddaughter. I have a saying “I don’t travel to make me happy, I travel to make me whole” and a few more that I’ve turned into my own inspirational photo posters🙂 (you can see some of them on my TTs Trippin facebook page in the photo section). You are now added to my list of bloggers/writers that inspire me! THANK YOU! So happy I found you!

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  11. Start saving, whatever is do-able, every month. I did for years, even though I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Then, when the idea came, the money was there to do it.

    Now I’ve just got back from a one year round the world trip, during which I trained as a yoga teacher.

    Anything you can put away now is an investment in a better future.🙂

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    • Yes, that is great advice. Save, save, save! I’m a college student on a very limited budget but I try to save as much as I can in a monthly savings account. I read a really great book recently, called “Walden on Wheels”, which was written by a guy who graduated from college with about $30,000 of debt. He worked backbreaking 70 hour weeks in an Alaskan tourist camp, along with many other menial minimum wage jobs, and paid his debt off in about two or three years. The book really inspired me!

      It’s great to cut down on non-essential items and have savings instead!🙂

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      • I came out of university with $70,000 debt and no job but I worked in northern Canada, in a remote community, to pay my bills and gain experience. When you want something badly enough, you find ways to make it happen🙂

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        • “When you want something badly enough, you find ways to make it happen” – absolutely! I find your blog posts very inspirational. I especially like hearing more about how you made “it” happen and get to the stage you are at now. Of course, getting paid to travel is amazing and an opportunity which a lot of people don’t have. But I admire you for putting yourself out there and building publicity!🙂

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  12. That is so true, it is also a scary thing to take that first step. I feel like every aspect of what I want to do needs to be planned out or written out in detail and the detail is where I get caught up. Anyways thanks for the reminder!

    Iiona

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  13. Pingback: Mondays Ain’t So Bad | RoseReads

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