Are there days at work when you look out your window (if you’re lucky enough to have one) and dream of where you could be, or what you could be doing? It pains me that most people consider this “normal” and “inevitable.” I’m here to tell you that you cannot only dream fantastic adventures, but there are practical steps you can apply to actually step out of that window.
Here are four ways you can begin to live what has been called the Good Life or the Rich Life – basically the life where you optimize your time and experiences. I fully believe that achieving a full, robust existence includes being phenomenal at what Tai Lopez calls the 4 Pillars: Health, Wealth, Love & Happiness. I also have a fifth pillar that I think is rather important: Purpose. So, when I introduce these four tips to you, keep in mind these five Pillars and apply it to your answers.
1) If Money Was No Issue (Spoiler Alert: It Isn’t)
This is a very famous question posed by British philosopher Alan Watts. What would you be doing right now if money were no object? If you had enough money to last one hundred lifetimes, what would you be doing this Wednesday morning?
Think of the Pillars: if money was not an issue, would you be doing something to improve your health? Wealth? (Trust me, there are other ways besides money to be wealthy.) Love? Happiness? Purpose?
For me, it’s bettering myself at all five. I work out in the morning, early, because I know my body comes first. Then I will read for a half hour and then write for another 30 minutes (like I am now). These attribute to both my Wealth and my Purpose, because becoming a great writer is my purpose and reading helps with that, as well as enrich my life with new knowledge. I’d then want to spend time with the people that I love to cultivate relationships. And because of all of this, combined with the fact that I accomplish all of this before some people even wake up, I have entire afternoons to do what makes me happy. (And of course I’d have all the money in the world, so I would take trips galore!)
Find out what makes you healthy, wealthy, happy, etc. and do that. Because it is the truth – money is no issue when it comes to living out your dreams.
2) Set a Deadline
Interestingly enough, if you don’t plan out your dreams, they remain just dreams. Shocking! If you actually want to do something, the only one stopping you is you, as I’ve said before. So, to deter this mental block, begin physically planning out your dreams. And the first step is to create a deadline.
What do I mean by a deadline? Well, if you were ever in college or had a project due for work, chances are you procrastinated. But there was an end date and time, and somehow miraculously you pulled it off and came out with a decent product from your time-crunched efforts. The same concept can be brought to your dreams.
For example, I want to take a trip to the Dominican Republic with my girlfriend in February, which means we’d have to book it in December. December 1st, to be exact. In order to do this, we have to save a combined $500 per month. Originally we had the trip planned for October of next year, where we had to save around $250 instead. Why the change? Because I knew we could do it. We juggled our budgets a little bit and bam! We’ll be at an all-inclusive resort on a white sand beach in no time.
How does this relate to your dreams? Well, a deadline is by definition a finite amount of time to accomplish something. Life itself has a deadline. So whatever dream you have – running a marathon, writing a book, starting your own business – needs to have a timeline where it challenges you in some way.
And while we’re at it…
3) Put Some Stakes On It
In 1990, Jim Carrey wrote himself a check for $10 million and dated it for Thanksgiving Day five years into the future. He noted the reason as “For Acting Services Rendered.” Because this was his dream, he was confident that he could cash that check in the time he allotted.
Fast forward 5 years: literally that Thanksgiving day, Jim got his first check for filming The Mask for $10 million. Now, whether that is strictly accurate or not is not the point. The point is he bet on himself and won. Won BIG.
Why can’t you win big? You are the safest and surest bet to ever take. I’m taking a chance on myself to become a fantastic financial advisor and make money on the side through my writing. So why can’t you open that bar, quit that job, turn that passion into passive income? Put stakes on yourself, like writing out a check to someone else pre-dated with your deadline and make it so you don’t have to pay them that check. (Don’t go into debt though. Not suggesting that.)
It’s nearly fail-proof if you are determined and what you are chasing is your dream. And if you fail, you have learned something new and can try again.
4) Dreams > Goals
Huh…those last two sound more like goals then dreams. Are our dreams the new goals?
No. Absolutely not.
A goal is something you work towards that will help you feel accomplished. A dream is something you accomplish that you’ve wanted to do all your life. One keeps you busy, the other keeps you effective for what you want in your years here.
So, even though goals are good and can be useful to stay productive and focused, dreams need to be seen in the highest regard. Which would you rather have: read 20 books in a year or read 1 book while on the beach in the Caribbean in between zip-lining and snorkeling and fantastic food and drinks? The former is a goal, the latter is a dream. Both can have deadlines, both can have stakes, and both can be achieved if money were no issue. The difference is the memories. You’ll barely remember the titles of 20 books you read over 12 months on your coach in your house (snore…), but I guarantee you’ll know which book you read while the ocean lapped against your feet with a Mojito in your other hand.
So enrich your life. Money is not the end game. It’s a means to an end, meaning it should be seen as a vehicle to what you want in life. Just because you have millions of dollars does not mean you have a rich life, and just because you have $500 in your bank account does not mean you don’t. It’s a matter of the right perspective. Strive for a strong 4 Pillars, with an extra one for even more support. Become rich with dreams, and then PLAN those dreams into reality.
Motivation is over. It’s time to go out there and do it. Never be on the wrong side of the window again.