How To Live The Life You Want: Follow Your Dreams
“This is a declaration of authenticity, an act of spontaneity, and a call to live deliberately.”
Living deliberately is a topic I focus on here at Serene Journey. I cringe at the thought of having life happen TO me as opposed to actively creating the life I want, the life that will make ME happy.
The book Reclaim Your Dreams: An Uncommon Guide To Living On Your Own Terms, written by Jonathan Mead of Illuminated Mind, is very much in line with my way of thinking. It’s a great motivational read that encourages you to step out of your comfort zone, go against the norm and start living your life deliberately. This book offers encouragement and practical advice on how to identify what it is you REALLY want to do with your life and HOW to go for it.
There are two main sections that make up this 84 page book.
Section 1: Creating room for your dreams to grow
This section is devoted to showing you how to overcome the obstacles that are standing in your way of living your dreams. It’s full of practical advice and exercises. In order to start moving forward you need to know and understand what is holding you back. In the first three chapters of this book, Jonathan helps you sort out how to:
- resolve the conflict between your heart and your head
- realize what truly matters to YOU so you can better focus your energy on caring about things that really matter to you
- evaluate whether the current path you are on is making you happy. If you’re simply following the beaten path because that’s what you should do or because that’s what’s expected of you then it’s probably time to re-think it. It’s NEVER too late!
At the end of section 1 you will have completed a detailed introspection and should have a better understanding of what you really and truly want out of life. By applying the tips and suggestions you will be successful in creating the space for your dreams to flourish.
Section 2: How to make your dreams a reality
This is where the book gets really interesting. Jonathan does more than just tell you what you should do and he is by no means vague or cryptic (read: he offers a lot of value). He walks you through the “how?” and the “what do I do now?” of living your dreams. He gives specific practical examples, challenges conventional thinking and encourages you to push your boundaries.
Now that you have identified what’s holding you back it’s time to identify your dreams and make them happen. Really, what’s the point of having dreams if you’re not working towards making them a reality? The highlights from this section:
- how to connect your life to your values
- how to create a personal manifesto (Jonathan includes his own as an example to show you how)
- how to create and use a dream sanctuary
Jonathan starts with three exercises that get you closer to sorting out and having a deep understanding of what your dreams, purpose and values are.Once you understand these things you put them together into a personal manifesto or a mission statement to live by. This is one of my favorite exercises in the book. I’ve give my manifesto a great deal of thought and it’s something I’m still working on; not to make it “perfect” but I find the more I reflect the more “Aha!” moments I have and it changes things up.
I found this second section very motivating and it provides advice and specific strategies to clarify your dreams, values and purpose so you can start living your passions. One thing that really sunk in this time, despite having heard it before, was the concept of making a “to-stop” list not only a “to-do” list. It’s easy to use, “I just don’t have the time”, as an excuse for not pursuing your dreams. Making a to-stop list lets you to free up time as it’s a great opportunity to re-evaluate and remove commitments from your life that are non-essential, that are not adding value or advancing your goals in someway.
The book ends with a promise to yourself and reminds you that living your dreams isn’t just about reaching some end goal. Living your dreams is more about pushing yourself beyond your limits and creating a better, happier and more fulfilling journey towards a better “now”.
You could easily scream through Reclaim Your Dreams: An Uncommon Guide To Living On Your Own Terms in an hour or two but I would strongly encourage you not to do that. There is so much information and insight in this book that could easily be missed if you were to simply gloss over it. I would suggest reading a chapter (or two) at a time, digest the message and try to apply it to your own life. While less edgier than most of his posts at Illuminated Mind Jonathan’s no-nonsense, get excited about living for yourself, enthusiasm still shines through.
If you are currently living the life of your dreams and are completely happy with the path you are on then this book, while still a good read, won’t be much use to you. If you’re like the rest of us however, who still need a little more work or a kick in the butt to start realizing and living life on our own terms this book is well worth the $24.95 investment (but I’ll let you be the judge of that ).
You can check out more from Jonathan Mead at his blog Illuminated Mind.
Please note that if you do decide to purchase this e-book through one of the affiliate links on this page you will also be supporting Serene Journey so Thank-You!