A cobbled street with old architecture; a vegan café serving the crispiest of croissants. Me with a walk-in wardrobe and an apartment overlooking a spectacular view. A career in writing which makes Carrie Bradshaw jealous, and friends who continually wish to see me on a weekly basis. My ideal life surrounded in beauty, from the 5* destinations abroad, to the streets my home overlooks. There’s just one problem – will these dreams ever make me happy?
Despite wanting children and hoping for a romantic partner, my true dreams don’t place emphasis on family. I sometimes ponder, but I can’t picture my wedding or me running around with a baby.
Are our life dreams actually true?
Ask a typical stranger what the ideal life is, and they’ll state wealth, happiness, love and maybe a CEO career. Within those categories, you’ll often find what a person envisions for their future.
Sometimes, ambitions are based upon a need to prove others wrong, or even a childhood set-back. Perhaps a person grew up without lavish things, and now they crave expensive items. Maybe they were told they could never be famous; the hunger to prove doubters wrong has inspired them to desire stardom.
Regardless of how these blasé goals form, these type of life dreams are unrealistic – and not because they have a low chance of becoming true.
Can life goals make us happy?
Psychology Today, wrote a piece on the different types of beliefs and economics regarding happiness, placing emphasis on Buddhism. While society strongly promotes the concept of man-made oriented living – materialistic wealth, Buddhism believes happiness is about attaining true freedom. Instead of waking up and picturing an Armani handbag, it’s about waking up and feeling gratitude and finding joy in the world around you.
Which my favourite book: Seeds for the Soul also discusses. A section in the book mentions if you can’t find happiness where you are, you can’t find it anywhere. Our thoughts may cover up and act as excuses, because heck – if we lived a lavish lifestyle, how could we not be satisfied?
These life goals are unrealistic, because they are too simple and uncomplicated. How do we know they will fulfil us? Is our ideal life carefully planned out? Are we naïve enough to assume once our money problems are gone or are love woes are behind us, ever-lasting happiness will play out?
The recipe for the ideal life
I once wrote I wanted to live as a successful author. I wanted a wide collection of best-selling books in my name, sold in all parts of the world. Why would I want that, when I love writing short-form, blog-style posts? Why would I want an entire collection of books?
I think the trick to truly dissecting our plans, is to drum-out the noise of other people’s aims. We as humans are like sponges who flock towards similarity. We go on social-media and see red lipstick everywhere – now we want red lipstick. You may have never conjured up fantasies of back-packing across the globe until your favourite influencer chose to – now it’s all you can imagine.
When you sit and contemplate life in the next 10, 20 years, you have to get specific. How can you really want, what you don’t know you really want?
An apartment on a cobbled street is absolutely pointless, if I can’t select the area this cobbled street will be on. If your dreams are not tangible enough for you to believe you can realistically achieve them, it’s wise to rethink them.
Specify and categorise
A piece on Mind Body Green advises to divide your ideal life into categories. You can then measure up how far away you are from your career, friendship, family, fitness and money goals etc. When you divide goals, it’s easier to break-down how to take meaningful steps.
More importantly, the ideal life is one that needs specifying. I’m talking, actions so specific, you will have no reason to not begin your ideal life strategy.
As an example, a full-time blogger is not note-worthy. A full-time blogger specialising in helping others to reach their career potential is better; a full-time blogger specialising in helping others to reach their career potential, writing posts on various techniques, using psychology research and designing a social-media structure to add an extra 500 viewers a month, is stronger still.
If that was your aim, from there you can break-down your social-media structure. You can take each individual social platform and dedicate a couple of hours on a Sunday to looking at area to improve and what your competitors are doing.
The ideal life – why I’m dreaming wrong
This article has made me much more aware of my laziness. My inability to put my mind into accomplishment. My ideal life will never be ideal, if I don’t take a seat back and figure out why I have the dreams I have, and what can I do today to help live them?
In one sentence, how would you describe your ideal life? And if you could change one area of your life now, what would you change?