Living the Dream

M1. Living the Dream is a cliché, but this is the straight, non-sarcastic version that makes sense to me. There are plenty of people out there living their dream. Perhaps, they are financial advisers working a few hours a week and living on a boat in the Caribbean, or professional online poker players living similar kind of life, or even CEO’s of Silicon Valley start-up companies.

These people all have a few things in common. They follow their passions and focus all their energies to take big risks and love life.

So how does it work for you? Is your dream life and dream job working out for you? Or is it a nightmare of long hours, poor pay and bad conditions, even though you are almost a celebrity chef, or almost a successful advertising executive or working your way up the greasy pole to become an investment banker?

In this sense, a dream is a cherished aspiration, an ambition, or some fantastic ideal you have. It’s all about your hope, ambition or aspiration meaning you are desperate for success in society and on its terms.

Success Formula

According to the original success guru, Napoleon Hill, author of “Think and Grow Rich”, you need to find the one thing that you can do better than anyone else in the world, and there lies the means to your success. You need a Burning Desire because that is the factor that determines whether you have any chance of success or not.

Then the Crystallization of that desire to create a Definite Purpose is what yields a plan with enough Appropriate Action to achieve your goal. To achieve anything you must know what you want when you want it, why you want it, and how you intend to get it. Remember to place all your eggs in one basket and then watch that nobody kicks it over!

Finally, you need to create your own Mastermind Group of supporters and collaborators to help you to turn your plans into reality.

Find Your Burning Desire

According to motivational psychologist Abraham Maslow, finding your burning desire or personal quest in life is tricky because:

  • It isn’t normal to know what we want. It is a rare and difficult psychological achievement
  • If you deliberately set out aiming to become less than what you are capable, you’ll probably be unhappy for the rest of your life
  • What is necessary for a person to change is to change one’s fundamental view of oneself

Long ago, actor Bruce Lee, the original Kung Fu genre film star, had a burning desire that worked for him as follows:

“I, Bruce Lee, will be the first highest paid Oriental Super Star in the United States. In return, I will give exciting performances and render the best of quality in the capacity of an actor. Starting 1970, I will achieve world fame and from then onward till the end of 1980 I will have in my possession $10,000,000. I will live the way I please and achieve inner harmony and happiness. “

Your Destiny

Destiny is a belief that you have a purpose in life that is pre-ordained. Many people think it is your unavoidable fate. To the person of destiny, all obstacles miraculously melt away, one-by-one. All you need is a cubic centimeter of opportunity and you alone spot it and act upon it immediately. Destiny is like an invisible path that only you, the person with that destiny, sees.

Destiny has a habit of calling you up on more than one occasion in life. Likewise, your refusal of that call is not a one-time event, but unfortunately, some people don’t follow their destiny and give their reason as their “good judgement”.

For example, they may well have other important duties, obligations, the need for security, enjoyable pursuits, etc. and actually, they probably feel pretty comfortable at the moment, and they may not want to rock their boat.

But destiny can be a rough ride out of a mundane existence.

For as the great thinker Joseph Campbell said, rather bluntly,

“a refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative” and “your flowering world becomes a wasteland of dry stones and your life feels meaningless”, then “all you can do is create new problems for yourself and await the gradual approach of your disintegration”

Balance

It may feel like a bit of a roller-coaster to try and live the dream, so let’s conclude with a little balance.

It is a common viewpoint that if you want to succeed, you need to make a difference in the world. The opposite is also an accepted truth, and that is that unless you can change the world for the better in your lifetime, then you have in some way failed as a human being. It’s commonly said that we all need to leave a positive legacy.

So there are endless self-help books that promise to make you rich, or happy, or healthy or whatever. John of Ruysbroeck, the 14th Century mystic said that you need to balance your action and inaction,

“Then only is our life a whole, when contemplation and work dwell in us side by side, and we are perfectly in both of them at once”

Your ambitious actions may not need to be so extreme that they produce heroic results. It may simply be better to re-balance your life to include some time for inner experiences as well as external ones. I see the most important result of a destiny call is to be able to integrate the lessons of the experience

I see the most important result of a destiny call is to be able to integrate the lessons of the experience into the whole person. Perhaps the essence of success or failure in our lives can depend less on what we achieve and more on who we become as people.

Maybe just being here and experiencing life is all that is required of us. But you do still need to take the adventure to have the experience. You can’t simply adopt a philosophy or ideology and hope that is enough.

You have to taste the experience and remember it or acknowledge it in a physical ritual of some sort, otherwise, you are not living the dream that is truly your destiny.

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