Dr. Dravon James, founder of Everyday Peace
Author of Freedom Is Your Birthright
If you could be doing anything with your life, would you choose to be doing what you are currently doing? Are you living your dream life? If you answered NO to either of those questions, then your next question should be “Why not?” What’s stopping you from living the life of your dreams? Is your answer money, time, spouse, kids, job, health? You may be surprised to know that most people report that their life doesn’t come close to resembling their dream life. According to a recent Gallup poll, 85 percent of people worldwide hate their jobs, and the divorce rate in America is hovering above 50 percent. Is living your dream life an elusive fairytale? No, not at all. There will always be challenges to provide opportunities for growth and development, but living your dream life is easier than you think. To create positive change in your external world, you must first develop an empowering, nourishing and secure internal world. Changing your reality involves changing your attitude.
Accepting Your Freedom
Your external world is an accurate picture of what’s going on inside of you, so it makes sense to clean up your internal environment when you decide to get serious about creating a life that makes you grin from ear to ear. The first step is to know that you and only you have the power to change your life. This is great news, because you don’t have to get permission from anyone. This is also the step that frightens most people, because when you have all the responsibility, you can’t blame anyone else if you fall short of achieving your goal. Internal freedom is available to you now. Right now, at this very moment, you have complete control over how you perceive, act and react in every situation. As you increase your conscious awareness and begin utilizing your internal freedom, your external world will begin to transform. To begin changing your approach to life, start looking at every difficult situation as a game—a game where the objective is to find a way to replace complaining and blaming with calmness and openness.
Recognizing Your Superpower
Have you ever thought of yourself as a superhero? Your initial answer may be no, because your image of a superhero is a fictional character with superhuman power. But if you look closely at your life and examine your skills, you will discover that you possess some amazing abilities. Perhaps you are a great cook, or a compassionate listener, or a problem solver. As you begin to change your approach to life, it is crucial that you begin with self-discovery. Perform your own skill assessment. Identify those things that you do well. We are all uniquely and wonderfully made. Your singular mix of gifts and talents were purposefully placed inside of you and are waiting to be tapped whenever you decide to create your dream life. Once you identify your gifts and talents, go to work on improving them through study and practice. When you maximize your strengths, you become the leader of your dream life quest.
Clearing a Pathway
Many of us continually hold on to the past because the past feels familiar and provides a sense of comfort. According to psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we all have a basic need to feel safe, so it’s no surprise that so many people cling desperately to the past. However, when you make the decision to change your life, you must change the way you deal with the past. You must choose to view the present moment as your safe zone. Get passionate about the potential that exists in the present moment. Choose to refocus your attention in the now. Every time you catch yourself dwelling on the past, make a quick decision to switch gears. Immediately focus on finding something to be grateful for in the present. Letting go of the past creates space for you to welcome new experiences. You are creating the life of your dreams, so you must focus your mind, emotions and body in the present moment, because your creative power exists now, not in the past. As you make the decision to switch your safe zone from the past to the productive present, it helps to keep your goal in front of you. I call this knowing your “why.” Why is it important that you change your life? Who will this change benefit? Most likely, as your life experience changes, you will be adding value to your family, your community and perhaps the world. Everyone benefits when you let go of the past and refocus on the present.
When you couple passion with skill, the result is success. It takes practice to take our focus off the past and place it on the present, just as it takes practice to hone our skills. Give yourself permission to start practicing today. Answer these questions to jumpstart your journey:
1. Why do I want to change my life? Who will benefit when I make this change?
2. What can I get passionate about?
3. What am I good at? How can I enhance my competency in this area?
The present moment is all that you have and all that you need. All your creative power exists in the present moment. You have the freedom to change your approach to life right now.