People spend vast amounts of time (and sometimes their whole life) wrestling with their minds, trying to figure out if their dreams are practical or ridiculous. Eventually most people give up, because they simply couldn’t make a decision.
The single biggest reason for unaccomplished goals and unfulfilled dreams, is the lack of ability to make a serious commitment. How many times in your life have you not done what you wanted to do, simply because you couldn’t make up your mind?
Putting yourself on auto-response (which I will explain in a minute) is about finding the means to silence your practical mind’s constant decision weighing and follow your heart, no matter how terrifying it may seem.
Most people know what their ideal life would look like. Most people know what they want and how the life of their dreams would look, feel and taste.
So if everyone knows what they want, what stops people from achieving their dreams? What could possibly stop them from leaving a dead end job and dropping unwanted commitments? It’s not that they don’t know what they want, they just don’t know how to get there.
The Myth That Broken Dreams Are Caused by a Lack of Belief in Yourself
Their is a common myth pervading the lifestyle design space that says: “The number one reason people don’t accomplish their dreams is because of a lack of courage and a shortage of self-confidence.” In short, the myth claims that people would follow their dreams, but they just don’t have the guts and self-trust to do so.
I, personally, think this is wrong. People don’t need more courage, confidence, or trust in their ideas. They know, deep down, that they can do it. They just don’t know how.
The problem is that your heart says, “Go for it, follow your dreams,” while your mind says, “How the hell do you think you’re actually going to make that happen?”
Despite your best intentions to listen your heart and follow your dreams, it’s not that easy to silence that big booming voice of practicality in your mind. All of this is even more daunting when you’re at project liberation: Ground Zero. (It’s hard to ignore the 7,000 feet you have yet to climb.)
I know what you’re thinking and it’s the same thing I’ve been contemplating since I started chasing the crazy idea of personal freedom: How do you overcome the voice of “reason” while trying to follow your dreams? How do you get pasts that intimidating feeling when you’re staring up from sea level at the summit? Let’s be honest, too: it wouldn’t be so bad either if you’ve actually climbed before, but you’ve barely learned to crawl.
So the way we overcome the screaming voice of practicality is:
Putting Yourself on Auto-Response
Putting yourself on auto-response means silencing your practical mind, in the face of the seemingly unpractical and ridiculous ideas. Faced with liberating your life, instead of thinking “I don’t know where to start,” your auto-response becomes “I’ll figure it out.”
This is especially useful when:
- You want to start your own business and you’re terrified of failure.
- You are tired of living your life based on a pre-assigned template.
- You want to quit your dead end job, but you don’t have a leg to stand on.
- You are ready to denounce your membership with the Cult of Productivity.
- You want to disengage from the cubicle machine (somethings wrong with your cog), but you don’t want to be homeless.
- You want to end the rat race and stop climbing the corporate ladder (and sacrificing your happiness).
- You’ve barely broken ground to start laying the foundation for your dreams.
- [insert your objective here]
Putting yourself on auto-response means you stop thinking about it and you start doing. You stop saying I don’t know. (Because we have all found ourselves saying “I’ve been thinking about starting my own business” or “I’ve been thinking about pursuing [insert what you love here].”) You correct things later and make it up as you go along. You act like you know what you’re doing, when in reality, you have no idea. You stop caring about not knowing.
You also stop caring about:
- Having an acceptable answer to the question “What do you do?“
- Being defined by the work you do and start caring more about the purpose of your work.
- Sufficing the idea that you need to complete prerequisites A and B before you can move on to C. You don’t necessarily need a degree in business to start one. You don’t necessarily need to have been a wilderness ranger before you decide to live off the grid.
- Failing and falling on your face. Eventually, though, you’ll probably learn how to create controlled falls and take calculated risks.
- Spending years (or a lifetime) in drudgery for future-promised happiness (ie. retirement).
Putting yourself on auto-response gives you the daily grit to keep plugging away when you’re tired and wondering if all this struggle is really worth it. It allows you to keep in perspective the reason for your constant pursuit of freedom from unwanted commitments. Most importantly it helps me remember that I’m doing this to serve my own goals (my own purpose) and not someone else’s.
Most of all, it allows your heart to have a say when confronted with the deafening voice of shoulds and social norms. It helps you keep things in perspective, when you have a long path to travel before your dreams are realized.
The End of The Internal Tug of War
There is a major conflict in our society between our mind and our heart. We struggle between what we love doing (our heart) and what we know is practical (our mind). Your practical mind is so loud that your heart –despite it’s screaming and flailing — can’t drown it out. But the goal isn’t to shut one of the two up. The goal is to harmonize them.
I have been reflecting a lot about what liberation means, whether it’s something you find out there, or if it’s something that comes from within. It hasn’t been an easy road for me trying to find balance between my heart and my mind. What has helped me more than anything is not finding more confidence, but having an unshakable commitment to pursuing only authentic endeavors.
True liberation to me is a labor of impeccability with myself and constant realignment when I wander off the course of authenticity. It’s the liberation from a culture that always puts happiness in the future. It’s short-cutting bliss and going directly to the source… not at some future date that never seems to arrive.
Right now I’m currently working towards someone else’s goals to pay the bills. It’s damn hard to keep the daily resolution to keep working toward owning my own business and achieving a goal that, quite frankly, I may never realize. The truth is, though, I would rather be striving toward that ideal my entire life and never see it realized, then surrender to live searching for some false sense of security (and to merely survive).
So what’s the point of all this?
The pursuit of liberation is the pursuit of a completely authentic life. It’s being fully in control of your life and your time. It’s freedom from the expectations of society, of the people around you. It’s freedom from your mind.
Liberation and lifestyle design means different things to different people. There is no “one size fits all” answer. The whole point of lifestyle design is: you are the architect of your life
Note: Liberation means something different to everyone. I would to hear your thoughts on what liberation means to you and what you’re doing to liberate your life.
photo by mckaysavage
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