Isn’t it about time you get what you want?
Over the last year I have designed a life I love. Lisbon is my first stop on a 1-1/2 year journey I’ve created to live a global life – traveling around the world and meeting with architects and designers to share their vision for the world they are creating. Although this isn’t a vacation, I’m definitely enjoying the warmer climate, the café culture, great food and music, and a chance to do something I’ve always loved – immersing myself in a culture and living as a global citizen.
Many of you have expressed to me how much you would love to do something like what I’m doing, or you have shared with me one of your own dreams that you keep putting on the back burner. I’m here to tell you that you CAN create what you want, just like I have. And I’m going to share with you my five tips to making your dreams a reality!
(See full transcript below)
Hey everybody. It’s David Bradley. Welcome to my home in Lisbon, Portugal! As many of you know, this is the first stop on a year and a half long journey that I created about a year ago to live a global life, traveling around the world, meeting with architects and designers and sharing their vision of the world that they look to create. Although this isn’t a vacation for me and I am working hard, I’m definitely enjoying a warmer climate, delicious food, wonderful people, and a chance to do something that I’ve always wanted to do: to live life as a global citizen and immerse myself in different cultures. (Check out some of my adventures on my Instagram account)
A lot of you have expressed to me how jealous you are – “Oh, I wish I could do that” – or you’ve shared with me similar dreams that you have that you keep putting on the back burner. I’m here to tell you you can create whatever it is that you want, and I’m going to share with you five tips to make your dreams a reality. Let’s get to it!
Step #1 – Lose the Excuses
Step #1: Do yourself a favor and take all the excuses off the table. I’m serious. When I ask people to create possibility, all of a sudden a huge number of objections show up. I don’t have the time. I don’t have the money. I have family responsibilities. I don’t have the training. I don’t have the resources. This is where people get stopped right out of the gate. Now, it’s not that difficult to do. We’re not saying that these conditions and circumstances don’t exist, but I’m going to ask you to just acknowledge them and set them aside. If you have to, write down on a piece of paper all of the reasons why you can’t do something, look at it. Set it aside. We’ll deal with that stuff later. The idea here is to create a clean slate so that you can generate possibility and dream big.
Step #2 – Create the Vision
Step #2 is to create a vision of what it is that you actually want. This is your opportunity to play. You’re a creative individual. This is your forte. Go out and figure out what it is that you want and use a medium that makes sense to you. The thing that really brings out your creative spirit. Maybe it’s writing, maybe it’s model making or sculpture. Maybe it’s songwriting, I don’t know. But just use whatever medium it is that really gets you connected to your heart and your desires and then think big. I’m talking blue sky, wide horizons.
Now I want to be really clear; It doesn’t mean that the thing that you want has to be grandiose. It really doesn’t. It can be very simple. It could be something like, I want to get a promotion or I want to go on a vacation. It doesn’t have to be massive or grand. But it does have to make your heart sing when you think about it.
Form a clear objective
The next thing to focus on is creating an objective. Now there’s only one question I want you to consider when doing this and that is: “what’s the experience of life that I want to create?” Think about it. When you have this dream in your life and it’s a reality, who would you be in the world? What would your life be like? How would you enjoy yourself? What would shift? What would change? This is really the place to look when you’re creating the objective.
I’ll give you an example. My objective in creating this was to create myself as a global citizen and my life as an adventure filled with travel culture, purpose and wonder. As you can see, there’s nothing terribly specific in my objective. I’m not putting any metrics in it, but it’s a description of the experience that I want to have once I’ve created this thing. It’s who I want to be and how I want to see myself and experience my life once I’ve made this dream a reality.
Let’s talk metrics
The third part of Step #2 is to now put measures to the vision and the objective that you’ve just created. This is where we actually do look at the metrics. We look at what are the deliverables. I often use with my clients the analogy of, let’s say, I’m walking down Michigan Avenue in Chicago with my Starbucks and we bump into each other and the person says, “Oh my God, David, I just created that thing that we talked about a year ago!” My response would be, “that’s awesome!” How would we know? What are the things that we could point to that would actually indicate that you had created the thing that you really wanted?
Again, going back to the example of my situation, my metrics included some of the following. I wanted to spend winter in a warmer place than Chicago for a significant period of time. I wanted to have structures in place that would support me. That included having consultants or whatever I needed in order to keep things running smoothly, and I wanted whatever I did to source my business and allow me to travel extensively when and where I want. Those were my metrics and they were things that I could actually point to once I had created this global life. So, you’ve put all the excuses to one side, all the circumstances, and you’ve created a vision and objective and measures for the dream that you really want to create.
Step #3 – Deal with Resistance
Step #3: Deal with the resistance that shows up. I’m going to tell you this is where 99% of all dreams die because we end up coming up with all of the reasons and excuses that we can’t have the thing that we want. We don’t deserve the thing that we want. We don’t have the ability to create the thing that we want. There’s always some kind of story or experience that we turn to and we start collecting proof as to why this big blue-sky, wide horizon dream isn’t possible.
I can tell you from my own experience, the thing that showed up for me was finances. I had this big dream about traveling the world and meeting with people and living this really awesome life and I had no idea how I was going to create it because I didn’t have the money at the time. That story and the fear that I had around the money was getting in the way of creating my dream.
What I ended up having to do was get super clear on my experience in the past, the story that I had about my ability to pay for this or to create the funds for it and move that thing out of the way. What I had to do was get super clear about how things had gone in the past and the story I had about my ability to pay for this or raise the funds and then move that out of the way. In the work with my coach I came to realize that because of that experience in the past I’m actually a different person now, and with the benefit of hindsight, I have the tools, skills and insights moving forward to have it go differently.
The purpose of this exercise is to allow space for faith and trust in yourself as the creator and source of your own possibility.
Step #4 – Close all the exits
Step #4: Close all the exits and commit. This is going to take some courage, but at some point when you’ve gotten past the resistance, if you want that dream to become a reality, you have to commit. Take a leap. It’s going to look different for everyone, but what you need to do is take one irrevocable action that moves your project forward. It could be signing up for a class. It could be making a down payment on something. It could be sharing it publicly with the rest of your network so that there’s no backing out.
For me, it was buying a nonrefundable roundtrip ticket to Lisbon, choosing dates and just saying, I’m going to be there. The idea is to create an urgency that will fuel your endeavors and propel you forward by making this irrevocable act and committing to creating your dream. You’re drawing a line in the sand. You’re saying to the world, the universe, everyone: I’m going to create this thing and I’m fully committed to making it happen. From that point, the only thing that was left to do is actually create it.
Something that I noticed for myself when I bought that nonrefundable airline ticket was that my speaking went from what I call “wallowing in maybe-ness” to actual conviction. Instead of telling people, well, I’m hoping to go to Lisbon. I’m planning to go to Lisbon. My intention is to go to Lisbon. All of a sudden I became “the guy who was going to Lisbon”. It became real. There was an urgency to it and as I put it out there, I was actually committing myself publicly because I didn’t want to be the guy who said he was going to Lisbon but wasn’t.
Step #5 – Create your plan and COMMIT
Step #5: Create the plan and make it happen. This is the point, now that you’ve made the commitment, that you pull together all of your resources, rally your network, bring to bear everything that you can to address the concerns that you’ve set aside in Step #1. Those circumstances are just that – circumstances. But they do need to be addressed. What you’ll find is that now that you’ve committed, the universe will conspire to give you opportunities and solutions to address those circumstances.
The minute I committed by buying a ticket to Lisbon, opportunities started to flood in. That made things possible that I hadn’t even imagined. I had friends and family and people in my network tripping over themselves to offer me support and advice and contacts and referrals. The abundance of possibility that showed up was absolutely incredible, and I have it that it would not have shown up if I had just stayed “wallowing in maybeness”.
The other thing that you need to do, and I really encourage you to do this as part of your commitment, is broadcast to your network. Make it public. That not only leverages all of your resources, as I mentioned before, but it creates an urgency. There’s something about putting your dreams on loudspeaker that makes it real, that makes it something that you’re stating, this is what I’m going to do, and the power behind that is really palpable. Finally, what you want to do is put in place accountability and support structures that will keep you on track, help you set milestones, make sure that you get to your goal. Don’t do it alone. It’s way more fun sharing your dreams with other people anyway!
Now it’s your turn
So, what’s the thing you would create if you could? Would it be a new job, a new career? Maybe start your own firm or fund a retirement full of adventure? Perhaps you want to grow a relationship you already have or start up a new one. Maybe you want to grow your family or get the kids off to college? Perhaps you’d like to invent something, patent a process, create your legacy? Or maybe it’s something that seems small, but it’s significantly important to you? I’m talking about the thing that just makes you smile and fills your heart when you think about it. I’m here to tell you, you can create it. I wanted this global life and I created it because I said so.
If you follow the five steps in this video, you can have what you want. But now is the time to create it. Life is precious and urgent. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. If you’re telling yourself, “well, I’ll do it someday,” – I’ve got news for you. Someday never comes. If you’re telling yourself “I’m going to wait until the circumstances are right,” – I’ve got news for you. There is never, ever a perfect time to create the life of your dreams. It’s simply a convenient excuse to live a mediocre life. Isn’t it time that you put yourself in the driver’s seat and took control of your life?
Treat yourself to a quick experiment
Take a few minutes and treat yourself. Sit down, clear your head and consider what the unlived life looks like for you. If you’re brave, share it with me in the comments below. And if you’re ready to create it, reach out and connect with me. Send me an email. Connect with me on social media. Go to my website. But let’s have a conversation about what it is you truly want to create in your life. The only thing you have to lose is regret. And what you could gain is an intentional life, full of purpose and joy.
Thanks for being with me on this video. Thank you so much for dreaming and thinking big. And until we see each other again, make it a wonder-filled day.