Showing posts with label Psychology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Psychology. Show all posts

Sunday, 1 January 2023

Happiness: A Key To Life’s Satisfaction


According to Wikipedia, "Happiness, in the context of mental or emotional states, is positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Other forms include life satisfaction, well-being, subjective well-being, flourishing and eudaimonia."

 

According to VeryWellMind, "Happiness is an emotional state characterized by feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment. While happiness has many different definitions, it is often described as involving positive emotions and life satisfaction."

 

Psychology Today says, "Happiness is defined differently depending on who you ask. Some people define happiness as a positive emotional experience. Others define happiness as having two parts called hedonia (pleasure) and eudaimonia (thriving). Outside of the scientific world, most of us define happiness as a mixture of positive emotional experiences and a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in life."

 

According To PursuitOfHappiness.org, "Leading Positive Psychologists claim that happiness has three sources, i.e., that the “Happiness Pie” has three slices: Slice 1: Our genetic makeup. Slice 2: Our environment. Slice 3: Our actions.”

 

Sonja Lyubomirsky, an author and researcher on positive psychology, describes happiness thus, “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.”[2] So, there is an evaluative component here, along with a felt one. How we think about what we feel matters as much as what we experience.

 

In a rather unhelpful fashion, dictionary.com defines happiness as “the quality or state of being happy.”Fortunately, the second definition elaborates with “good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.”[1] What’s clear is that happiness is a subjective experience, it is something we feel, and hence it is lived individually, isn’t guaranteed, and can be transitory.

 

What does happiness mean to you?

 

Days Go By Swiftly

 

This experience becomes more evident the longer you live. Amidst the rush of seconds, minutes, and hours filled with work, family, and friends, it can be easy to lose track of where we are. Without care, we can end up in places we didn’t intend to, simply because we weren’t paying close enough attention, steering deliberately, and sometimes pumping the brakes.

 

To go where we want to go takes conscious effort. Most of us would like to experience a fulfilling life. A key way to achieve this is through doing things that bring joy to our worlds. Herein, we’ll discuss how to cultivate happiness and in doing so, unmask the key to living a satisfying life.

 

How To Cultivate Happiness

 

To make happiness a lasting feature of your life takes a bit of self-knowledge. Are you communally minded? Then harmony will be a necessary ingredient for you. Are you more of an individualist? Then a lived experience of personal joy will drive you.

 

In any case, the context you live in, complete with work, friends, family, home situation, cultural elements, and personal values, will all factor into how you find satisfaction. In addition, how you look at the world and treat others plays a role. These factors put your happiness, at least partially, in your hands.

 

According to Psychology Today, “regularly indulging in small pleasures, getting absorbed in challenging activities, setting and meeting goals, maintaining close social ties, and finding purpose beyond oneself all increase life satisfaction. It isn't happiness per se that promotes well-being, it’s the actual pursuit that’s key.”[3]

 

In other words, life is a process, and when we make the process itself valuable, rather than focusing on destinations, we create the potential for greater enjoyment. 

 

Furthermore, when we consciously develop our ability to see the good in our lives, even amidst hardships, we can begin to master ourselves, fostering an internal equilibrium. In doing so, our happiness is no longer in the hands of others or circumstances outside our control. Instead, we see that it is a lived thing that we must continuously cultivate.

 

The Takeaway

 

When you become clear about what matters to you, and you focus your efforts on pursuing those things, you bring meaning to each facet of what you do. Missteps and foibles don’t throw you off your game because you understand them to be a natural part of life’s equation. This internal locus of control gives you a sense of efficacy, something that benefits everyone. 

 

Since you experience happiness from within, make it a goal to prioritize helping it to grow. Foster ways of thinking and behaving that increase your enjoyment. You may not be able to control the world around you, but you can have a say in how you interpret it. So, choose happiness and watch your life’s satisfaction multiply. 

 

References:

  1. “Happiness Definition & Meaning.” Dictionary.comhttps://www.dictionary.com/browse/happiness. Accessed 19 October 2022.
  2. Lyubomirsky, Sonja. The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want. Penguin Publishing Group, 2007. Accessed 19 October 2022.
  3. “Happiness.” Psychology Today, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/happiness. Accessed 19 October 2022.

 


Navigating Life’s Big Decisions


Things are always changing. One minute you think you have it all figured out, and the next, you are struggling to make big decisions that could change the course you are on. For some people, making these big decisions can seem like a breeze. They can take a look at the options and decide without even slowing down. For others, these big decisions can be enough to derail them and may leave them frozen in their tracks. 

 

Everyone needs help when it comes to navigating the big decisions in life. No matter what crossroad you find yourself at right now, there are a few easy things that you can do to make sure that you navigate these big decisions with grace and ease. These include:

 

Be Gentle with Yourself

 

Even if the change you plan to make is a good one, it is still hard to accept and allow change into your life. You like the status quo, the way things have always been, and any kind of change, whether it is good or bad, can be a little scary. As you make some of the adjustments in life and move forward with that change, remember to be gentle with yourself and allow time for you to get used to it. 

 

Know Your Why

 

As you make some big changes in your life, it is a good idea to know your why and remember it. There may come times when you make big decisions when you will need to return to that why remembering why the change or the decision was so important for you in the first place. For many people, this why is going to be like a big compass as they try to navigate the unknown. Remembering the why can help them stay organized and will lead them on the right path as they go. 

 

Keep Your Routines

 

According to the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, a good routine is going to be imperative when you are going through major changes. This routine will help give you something to fall back on, something you can rely on again, ensuring that you won’t feel completely lost or in uncharted territory. 

 

You can choose the type of routine that you would like to do. Maybe you have a special morning routine that includes waking up, doing some exercise, taking a shower, and enjoying a cup of coffee on the porch. You may have the routine in the evening. You can choose how to implement a routine that gives you a sense of security as you try to get a lot done. 

 

Do Journaling

 

Processing your complex emotions in your head can be a challenge. Taking the time to a journal can make a big difference. There is no judgment when you write down your thoughts and emotions and no one else has to see the information. 

 

You can then go back through the pages and see how you are feeling and watch your emotions and thoughts change as the events in your life unfold. And in the end, you may see that the thing that caused you anxiety or made you upset in the past no longer has a firm hold on you. 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Whether you are excited about a change that is coming your way or you feel a lot of apprehensions, just know that others around you are dealing with the same thing. There are a ton of life decisions that you need to think about, but when you have a plan in place and give yourself some grace as you navigate it all, you will find that these life changes no longer have to be as scary and can lead you to something amazing in the end. 

 


5 Ways to Simplify Your Life


Do you dream of simplifying your life? Are you always looking for ways to help you stay on top of work, keep your home organized, and keep up with family and friends? All while juggling bills, eating right, and social media?

 

If you’re nodding in agreement, then know you’re not alone. Luckily, I’ve put together a list of tips and tricks to help you simplify your life and finally manage this balancing act we call life.

 

Let’s get started.

 

1. Set Simple Monthly Goals

 

It’s become a custom to make a list of New Year’s resolutions. Then, a couple of months later, we lose interest and, then, are racked with guilt.

 

So, why not save yourself the hassle and set 1–3 goals each month? Breaking down your goals into smaller, more manageable chunks makes them easier to get through.

 

This way, you can tick them off your to-do list, boost your self-esteem, and don’t have to deal with any guilt.

 

2. Apply the 50/30/20 Budget Rule

 

Managing your finances can be tricky and make you feel stressed, especially when you don’t know what to do and what not to do. Unfortunately, many of us were never taught how to budget our money once we get out into the real world.

 

As I was doing research, I came across the 50/30/20 rule. So, I decided to try it out. After all, it couldn’t be worse than what I was going through.

 

Yet, I’m happy to report that it actually works! This is coming from someone who’s never been good at saving, so for this to work for me means anyone can do it!

 

Here’s what you do: spend 50% of your income on living expenses. Then, 30% of your monthly income should go on lifestyle expenses, and the final 20% should go to your savings.

 

3. Declutter Your Closet

 

You might be surprised at how simple your life becomes once you declutter your closet. So, get real with yourself and start getting rid of clothes that have been around for years and still have the labels attached.

 

Think of it this way: you get to free up some space in your closet for new clothes. Plus, you also get to experience what it feels like to have a well-organized, clutter-free closet.

 

4. Prepare Your Lunch The Night Before

 

Making your lunch the night before may remind you of your school days when your mother used to do the same thing. But it turns out that she was onto something!

 

First of all, preparing your lunch ahead of time means you save money because you buy everything you need for the week at once. Plus, you won’t order out as much, which is also a great money-saver.

 

Not only that, but you’ll also be able to make better, healthier choices. You know that feeling when you’re so hungry that you can’t wait to make something nutritious? That’s when it’s so easy to grab a donut from the fridge or reach for that bag of chips sitting on your kitchen counter.

 

The best part is that you won’t have to stress over what you’ll have for lunch or how it’ll cost you.

 

5. Save Files To The Cloud

 

Are you having a hard time finding files and documents on your computer or smartphone? Why put yourself through the hassle of searching through piles and piles of digital files when you can just save them to the cloud?

 

Thanks to the numerous cloud service applications, you can now upload almost all types of files and save them to the cloud. Then, once they’ve been safely uploaded, you can breathe a sigh of relief. Then, delete them all from your device and save tons of space.

 

The best part is that, now, you can access them from anywhere at any time and from any device. If that’s not simplifying your life, I don’t know what is!

 


Friday, 30 December 2022

5 Steps to More Confident Decision-Making


How do you make a decision? Do you know the steps?

 

If you’re having trouble feeling confident in your actions and wish you had an unwavering self-belief in your decisions, maybe it's time to look at your decision-making process. Decisions made impulsively or without careful thought might not always turn out the way you hope they will.

 

Of course, there's something to be said for instinct and even dumb luck. But what if good decisions were inevitable rather than occasional? Imagine for a moment how it would feel to know you're right before you even act.

 

This is because there are steps you should be going through when making a decision. Let’s take a look at those now.

 

Start With an Open Mind


Do you automatically have all the answers? Probably not. Some of your beliefs might be biased, faulty, or illogical. Accepting you might have things to learn is the first and most crucial step to making decisions. Take a step back from everything but the raw facts regarding what you're trying to decide. 

 

Get the Facts

 

Do you have all the information you need to make an informed decision? Are there things you need to learn? What about examining the options? Have you considered multiple solutions? Take time to put the work in to gather what you need to proceed with confidence.

 

Predict the Future

 

Once you have some choices in mind, try to imagine how they're going to play out. Sometimes what looks good might be a great temporary solution, but you're going to need to do something different in the long run. If you make a certain decision right now, ask yourself if this will still be a good decision in the morning? What about next week? Or next year? 

 

Get Another Opinion

 

Do you have a mentor or someone you can trust whom you could talk to about this? While you might skip this step on the small stuff, it's worth having someone you trust weigh in with their opinion whenever you make a big decision. They might see something you're missing. 

 

Act

 

Sometimes the hardest part of making decisions lies in making the actual decision. It’s tempting to go back over the research a few more times or keep looking for other alternatives. At some point, you’re going to need to act. Take your best solution and move forward with it with confidence. You’ve done all the work. Now comes the part where you put this newfound trust in yourself into action. 

 

The best part? The more you run through this process, the more confident you’ll feel about making decisions in the first place.

 


Decision Making Skills


Are you good at making decisions? The skill is natural for some people while others struggle to make even the most basic decisions. While personality types can play a role in one’s ability to make decisions, it’s also a skill that can be learned.

 

One reason people don’t like to make decisions is they don’t want to be held responsible for the outcomes. This reluctance is a defense mechanism as others may criticize you if you don’t choose wisely. It could erode the confidence others have in you regarding your ability to make decisions. However, you can take steps to reduce it from happening.

 

One of the main factors in decision making is confidence. Therefore, building confidence will help you make decisions. Others will also follow your lead as they will respect your confidence. When you make decisions with confidence, they have no choice but to recognize your authority.

 

Decision making requires finding out the right information. You won’t get far if you start making decisions without information to back them. You need to be informed when making your decisions which means you have a bit of detective work to do. You have to get as many of the facts as you can before making most decisions. 

 

Often, you won’t get all the facts you need for one reason or another. In this case, you will need to take a leap of faith and rely on your confidence when making decisions. That’s an unfortunate part of the process and one that makes people choose wrong directions sometimes. But, as long as you decide using the information you have available, you can defend your choice.

 

As part of the decision-making process, consider coming up with alternatives. List out all possible alternatives based on the current information. You can rate the alternatives on a scale of your choosing. This rating can help you when making the decision. You can choose a star-rating system or a percentage system (0-100), etc.

 

Another technique people like to use is to list out the pros and the cons. To do this, take out a blank piece of paper and write a dividing line in the center. Create the heading “Pros” on the left, and “Cons” on the right. Then, list out the pros and the cons. You can use this to guide you with your decision. Try not to make this process too mechanical as the list may contain several subjective items.



How to Overcome Bad Decisions


There is nobody on earth who can lay claim to never making a bad decision. People make too many decisions for them not to make bad decisions once-in-a-while. Hopefully, those decisions have little impact. However, there will be occasions where you make some that have big consequences.

 

It’s going to happen. You try to do everything in your power to avoid these bad decisions. Perhaps, the information you needed was not available at the time you made the decision. Or, someone gave you the wrong data, whether intentionally or not. It’s possible you made a rash decision without giving much thought to the consequences of the decision. Whatever the case, the result may turn into an unpleasant and stressful situation.

 

You need to face up to the consequences. Take ownership of the decision and don’t pass the blame. It’s possible you will have to deal with someone if they didn’t give you the right information or they deceived you in some manner. Their action may be the cause of the wrong decision, and you have to choose if you should let that person go as a result. However, if you were the one that was responsible for making the final decision, then the consequences of that decision rests with you.

 

Stay confident and don’t panic. Learn about what happened and why. Then, try to find ways to reduce the impact of your decision. If it is a business decision that costs your company some money, make sure you let your management know about it right away. Don’t try to ignore the problem thinking that management may not notice. They will be upset when a mistake costs the company money. But they will be even more upset if you don’t make it known in a timely fashion.

 

Don’t be afraid to talk to someone who may be able to help with the situation. It could be your boss or a mentor. They may be able to shed some insight into the situation. In fact, you could be blowing the situation out of proportion, and they will know how to get you out of it. But, they can only help if you give them timely information about it.

 

If the situation requires presenting your case to higher-level management, try to prepare alternatives on how to reverse the situation or reduce the impact. If these managers see that you have taken control of the situation, they may decide to let you run with the alternatives, although probably with a watchful eye of your manager.

 


What Is A Decision?


Some people contend, that in its simplest form, life is a series of choices. This is, in some sense, true. Except that it's not that simple, because life itself is not that simple. The complexity of life or, rather, living a life, means that the choices the average individual faces over the course of a lifetime are equally complex. These choices range from simple survival decisions (Should I eat that mushroom?), to difficult moral personal choices (Should I speak out against this injustice and incur increased personal risk?) Obviously, the one thing that all these decisions have in common are the option of choosing action and outcome. However, because the nature of these various actions, and their potential outcomes, vary wildly, no one strategy can encompass the process of deciding between them This is where an understanding of what a decision is becomes important.

 

A decision is, of course, the action of deciding something. A person faced with a choice, makes a choice. The most basic example of this is the proverbial fork in the road. When facing a fork in the road, you have the choice of going left or going right. You stop for a period of time while you think, then you decide to go either left or right. Once the decision has been made you take the path you've chosen. 

 

That's straightforward and obvious, right? To some extent, the answer to that question is yes. To a greater extent, however, the answer is no. To become a more efficient and more focused decision maker, you need to understand all the processes that went into making the simple decision above.

 

First, there was a problem. The path you were walking on divided into two. Second, there was the nature of the problem. Because the path divided, you were forced to go either left or right to reach your destination. Third, you needed to choose between these two options in order to continue. Fourth, you utilized your experience, knowledge and intuition to decide which option was best suited to your needs. Fifth, you actually made the decision. Finally, you, once again, began moving forward towards your destination based on that decision.

 

As you can see, the simplest of decisions entails a number of steps. In most cases, we handle these steps subconsciously, without really being aware of what it is we are doing. When the decision we are faced with is simple, this "autopilot" method of choosing isn't a problem. However, when more complex decisions need to be made, not understanding the process can give rise to difficulties.

 


How to Make Daring Career Decisions


People head to work each day and complete the tasks required of them. They do this day in and day out, even though it isn’t rewarding for most. So why do they do it? They like the security of having a steady paycheck.

 

There is more to life than a paycheck and many are starting to realize this. It could be that it’s easier than ever to start a business. Before the internet, the only real choices were a brick-and-mortar type of business. That is still viable for some. But, for others, an online business is the way to go.

 

Still, it can be quite scary to throw your entire career away to start up something new. Just because it’s easy to start a business today, doesn’t mean business is easy. The competition is growing daily. And, the competition is from people all over the world. Giving up the security of that paycheck is not a decision to be made lightly. 

 

One push for people to start something new is they are finding that their jobs are not as secure as they once thought. Layoffs and downsizing happen at regular intervals. Even people who survive the cuts will be expected to work harder and longer hours. Often, their salaries are reduced and bonuses are something for the history books.

 

People get to the point where they don’t feel secure and they resent having to do more work for the same (or even less) pay. This can give them the motivation they need to branch out on their own. The good news is many people can start these businesses on the side and continue to earn paychecks until their new business earns money. When this happens, they take on a new mental outlook of hope knowing that a better life is possible.

 

They also learn they can charge to coach others to do the same. This movement feeds off of itself as more dare to realize their dreams of owning their own business. It can be related to their field or they can branch off into something entirely different. Imagine getting paid for something you love! The possibilities are endless.

 

Don’t quit your job until you know what kind of business you are going to start and come up with a business plan. Also, seek out help from qualified people. You may have to pay some money upfront for their expertise, but it may be well worth the effort later.



Wednesday, 21 December 2022

How Aspirations Change Over Time


What are your lifelong achievement goals? What did you dream of as a child? Has that changed? Aspirations are those dreams that we conjure up throughout our lives. As children, it may have been a career goal of becoming a fireman, a ballerina, or the President. Then, we age and gain new responsibilities. 

 

Our perspectives change, making new things take on more importance. Aspirations are not a one-and-done kind of dream. They evolve as you grow, and life throws some spitballs your way. Understanding how your long-term plans will change helps you understand that you are not failing if life takes a detour. 

 

The 4 Stages of Aspirations

 

Life seems to run in stages – so do aspirations. Typically, you may find yourself in any one of these stages throughout your life:

 

1. Unadulterated Optimism

 

This stage is more common in our youth when we don’t have the same fears and responsibilities as our older years. This is the stage to identify your weaknesses and build your knowledge and skills. You create a better opportunity for success when you are aware of what you don’t know, and you work to grow in wisdom. Since we don’t know any better, we can dream freely and pursue our dreams.

 

2. Worldly Reality

 

Life does happen, and we get burdened with responsibilities. We start jobs, buy houses, and have families. This is part of life. Your aspirations will seem like they die at this stage, but they don’t. Instead, they are weighed down and go into hiding. You may find that you struggle to find a work-life balance so that you can continue working toward your dreams.

 

3. Renewed Dreaming

 

As time goes by, our responsibilities lighten or shift, and we find ourselves willing to dream again. For some, this may result in a mid-life crisis. It is easy to become distracted. For all of us, it is the time to take a renewed look at our dreams and how we can refocus and refresh our outlook. Often, the result is a firm footing and a renewed perspective on what we want to do with our lives.

 

4. Realignment and New Momentum

 

After renewing our aspirations and shifting as needed, we get the desire to jump in with a sense of purpose. We may feel young again, and others will notice a bounce in our step. Our fears are lessened like in our youth, and the momentum builds to accomplish our hopes and dreams.

 

Aspirations take a lifetime to accomplish, and you will go through many stages. Understanding those stages makes sense of what is happening and adjusting to achieve your dreams.

 


Saturday, 10 December 2022

Should You Keep Your Dreams to Yourself?


In 2010, Derek Sivers participated in a TED Conference. His speech lasted just three minutes and in it, he encouraged people to not share their goals with their friends, family, co-workers, or anyone around them. Derek backed up his reasoning with several scientific studies (listen to his presentation here).

 

In his speech, Derek says, “When you tell someone your goal and they acknowledge it, psychologists have found that’s called a social reality. The mind is kind of tricked into feeling it’s already done. Then because you’ve felt that satisfaction, you’re less motivated to do the actual hard work necessary.”

 

Derek goes on to point out how talking about an important life change or goal can make you less likely to succeed. But those aren’t the only reasons you may want to keep your latest ambition a secret from everyone else. Here are three more reasons you should consider keeping mum:

 

Talking about a Goal Destroys Your Stamina

 

How many times have you told someone else you were going to do something hard? Maybe you told a co-worker that you’re planning on losing 50 pounds. Perhaps you told a family member that you were going to get out of debt this year. 

 

You may think doing this pumps you up and makes you more likely to accomplish your goals. But talking about doing something hard can actually drain your energy. You start to come up with all the reasons you won’t achieve it. You might tell yourself, “Well, I just can’t say ‘no’ to sugar. I don’t mind debt that much and I don’t want to change my standard of living.”

 

Sharing a Goal Can Discourage You

 

You’re really going to do it. This will be the year that you quit the factory job you hate so much and start your work at home business. Then you make the mistake of sharing a goal with someone else. 

 

The problem is the other person is negative and quickly points out all of the reasons you’re bound to fail. They may say unsupportive things like, “You don’t have a degree. You don’t have the time. Where are you going to get the money?” 

 

Within a few minutes, you start feeling discouraged. You’d felt so energized and were determined to act on your motivation earlier. But now, you’re filled with self-doubt and negativity.

 

Telling Others about Your Goal Can Damage Your Reputation

 

You’re always the one in your circle of friends with the big dreams. You love sharing your visions and ideas with other people. After all, your new goal is going to work out spectacularly.

 

The only problem is your goals change frequently.  You’re always pursuing something new and you rarely see a goal through to completion. While being a dreamer has its advantages, if you don’t pair your goals with follow-through, you can end up damaging your reputation. People will describe you as flaky and no one will trust your word.

 

Before you tell a friend or family member about your next goal, consider carefully if you should do that. You may accomplish this dream and become more successful if you keep it to yourself rather than sharing it with someone else.  

 


What’s the Dream You’re Afraid to Share?


You have a dream in your heart. It’s the one that’s so precious, so fragile, and so important to you that you don’t share it with others. You hold it close, in the hopes that by protecting it, you’ll one day get the chance to live it. 

 

That’s what Maddie did. She’d dreamed of being a writer since she was a kid. She wanted to write books and see them sold at bookstores around the world. She never shared the dream with anyone and by the time she graduated high school, she decided she needed a practical career.

 

So, she went to college for years and got a degree. Then she began a career as a dentist. She enjoyed getting to help her patients but she still went home every night, feeling unfulfilled. She daydreamed in the quiet moments about the books she’d write.

 

Why Does This Dream Scare You?

 

Are you like Maddie? Do you have a dream that you’ve managed to quiet over the years? Maybe you’ve told yourself that you’ll write that book when the kids are grown. Maybe you’ve decided that you’ll have time to travel when you retire. Maybe you’ve said that one day you’ll go back to school and pursue that career dream, just as soon as you have enough money.

 

But stop and think. Ask yourself what you’re really afraid of. What makes you so frightened of going after the dream? Are you afraid of what people will say? Do you worry that your spouse won’t be supportive? Are you concerned about being shunned by others in your community?

 

How Will It Change Your Life?

 

Sometimes, we fear fulfilling our dreams because it means change. Even good changes – like finally working in a career that makes you happy or making room in your life to travel as often as you want – can feel scary. 

 

Before you can go after that dream, you need to ponder how your life will change. You need to imagine the day you’ll leave your job. You should visualize the moment you step on the stage and receive the diploma you’ve always wanted. You need to close your eyes and create the life of your dreams in your mind.

 

Are You Ready to Pursue It?

 

There is a chasm between the life of your dreams and your life now. The space in between the two will be filled with hard work, bitter tears, crippling setbacks, and intense pain. But if you’re willing to persevere, you’ll find the life you want is on the other side.

 

Maddie followed after her dream of becoming an author. She started writing books. She took writing classes. She networked with other authors. She began submitting her work to publishing houses and got feedback that helped her improve her work even more. She hasn’t sold a book yet, but she’s close. 

 

It takes courage to pursue your dreams and it’s tough. But it’s not nearly as hard as sitting on the sidelines of your own life, hoping that one day you get a chance to live out your deepest longings.



Are You Journaling Your Dream?


You’ve decided to get serious about your dream. But the dream is big and you feel overwhelmed. You’re not sure where to start or how to breathe life into it. You only know you want it so badly that you can taste it.

 

You’re first step could be journaling your dream. Find or buy a journal. Pick one that fits your personality and inspires you to fill each page. Some people like buying fancy leather bound journals while others prefer notebooks from a discount store. It doesn’t matter what your journal looks like or what material it’s made from, it only matters that you love it.

 

Capturing the Journey

 

If you’re not sure how to begin your journal, begin by writing about your dream. Talk about when you first remember becoming aware of the dream. Did you know you wanted to write books when you stepped into the library as a little kid? Did you know you were meant to be on stage when you participated in the theater club in high school? Did you only just discover your dream? Write about it!

 

It’s important that you remember this journal is for your eyes only. You don’t have to worry about perfect spelling and grammar. You’re not going to be graded on your sentence structure or expected to use the right punctuation. You’re free to let everything out in this space.

 

Praying for the Dream You Desire

 

Some people use journaling as a way of connecting with God and praying over their dreams. For example, one woman would start her journal entries with the words: “Dear Heavenly Father…”. She viewed each entry as a love letter to God and found it helpful to share her dream journey with Him.

 

Another woman used her journal to draw images that depicted her life. If she had a bad day and experienced a setback, she would sketch her frustrations and pain. When she had a good day, she would depict her feelings in the forms of cartoons. 

 

Speaking Your Dream into Existence

 

After you’ve dreamed or doodled your goals in your journal, it can be helpful to brainstorm your mantra. You can then repeat these mantras when you’re working on your goal and when you’re tempted to give up and let your dream die.

 

For example, Lesley’s dream was to become a public speaker despite the fact that she suffers from social anxiety. She wanted to spend her time motivating teenagers who felt like everyone had given up on them. 

 

As she began looking for speaking opportunities, she would repeat to herself, “I believe in myself and in my dreams. The world is filled with hurting teenagers who need to hear my message.” 

 

When it comes to your journal, there are no rules. If you want to doodle or draw all over it, do it. If you want to fill it with letters to God or the universe, do it. If you want to write your mantra down a hundred times a day, do it. Remember, this is your safe space where you’re free to dream.