The Process of Going After Your Dream Life
Ep. 208
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This week I want to talk to you about how to go after your dream life. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’ve been in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for the past month. Taking this trip with my family is one way I’m going after my dream life. And the process is actually really simple, it’s just two steps. I want to show you that the things you want are possible because whether you think you can or you can’t you’re right. So this week I’m sharing the two-step process for going after your dream life and how I’m applying that in my own life.

Show Transcript
Hey, welcome to Lessons From a Quitter where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you spent getting to where you are, if ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams.

Hello, my friends. Welcome to another episode of Lessons From A Quitter. I'm so excited to have you here and I'm so excited to talk to you about this very important topic: how do you go after that dream life of yours? What is the process of creating this dream life? Because you are creating it. You are building it brick by brick. There is no destination where you all of a sudden wake up where it's like you achieved something. You got a degree, you made a certain amount of money and then all of a sudden you wake up and everything is fantastic. Exactly the way you wanted. You don't stress. You don't get mad at your kids. You just know how to rest a- without shaming yourself. You don't have anxiety, right? Like that just does not exist. And so what has to happen is that you have to build your life, the life that you want brick by brick. And I wanna talk to you a little bit. I realized recently about how I've been doing this. I didn't realize how I was doing this. I didn't realize there was a process, I should say. And the more I've been thinking about it with my own life and I'm watching some other people that really inspire me, I've wanted to share this process with you so you can start building and deciding on one area, right? We don't have to change everything. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. It can just be like what's one area of my life that I wanna change to get closer to that dream life that I want, to get closer to a life that's perfect for me. Right. That's great for me. A way to start this, I would say is like just get um they have those wheel of life, life wheels. I don't know what it's technically called. You can Google it. Super simple. It's basically just a circle that's cut up into like, you know, 6, 8, 10 different pie pieces, right? Like you just draw lines through the circle until it makes however many slices you want. And then you label each one one part of your life. So like health, money, family, fun, rest, you know, space, whatever it is, like your home, your environment. And then you rate it from the center of the circle to the outside. You go zero to 10 and you just rate where you are on each thing. And you can start seeing like reflecting, you know, if I put a four for something or, you know, less let's say on health or on my environment, what is something I can do to lift that number? Right? What can I do right now exactly where I'm at to start lifting that? And with each thing that you do, you start getting closer to where you want to be in your life, right? Not that you're not gonna have any problems or all of a sudden it's gonna be rainbows and butterflies but that you're getting closer to a life that's perfect for you. And the reason I wanted to do this episode is because I, if you guys follow me on social media, then you've likely been seeing, but I haven't mentioned it I know on the podcast, my family and I are getting we're at the tail end we're just finishing up when this podcast comes out, a month in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. So I live in California and we decided to rent an Airbnb in Jackson Hole, Wyoming which we've never been to and we didn't know anything about for one month with our kids. And we decided to do that in June. And I'm gonna explain why we decided to do this. We came here for a month. Now, when I'm recording this, I haven't left yet. I'm doing this beforehand because I don't wanna record podcasts while I'm in Jackson Hole on vacation with my family. So I can't give you an update of how it went. I guarantee it was 50/50. As we're getting ready, I'm constantly asking my husband like are we insane? Why did we think going somewhere with just our children alone for four weeks was the right call? I don't know. We were much more hopeful and dumb a couple months ago but hopefully it's been a fantastic trip. And I will give you guys an update when I get back. But I just wanna talk to you about the process of making this decision, okay. And how this is getting closer to my dream life. So here's the reason we did it. My husband and I, for as long as I can remember, for years and years, we've talked about going on vacation for longer periods of time. Now this was before the pandemic where everybody worked from home and everybody worked remotely. Okay. This was right, I think after we had my son and we just talked about like when they get a little bit older, when we have kids and we're kind of done with the we didn't wanna travel with them a lot like this when they were babies cuz I know you can, I just didn't want to, it's not what I consider fun. Uh lugging around all of that equipment and having to deal with like diapers and that was a no for me. But we were like when they're a little bit older, my husband and I really like slow traveling. We're not the type of people that like to go on a vacation and wake up at dawn and hit up every tourist place and try to get to as many cities as possible. We like to go somewhere and just stay in one city for, you know, let's say a week or two weeks and just sit at cafes and mosey around and not really need to sightsee. And so that's the type of traveling we did before we had children. Obviously, it changes when you have kids and as most Americans know, you typically don't travel for that long. You typically travel for one week at the most. And I remember when I was a lawyer, I took two vacations that were three weeks long. And it when I went to tell my boss, I remember it was like as if I had two heads. It was like wait, what? But one of them, I was going to Iran and you just can't go to Iran for a week. It takes two days to get there basically. And so with the time travel and the amount of family I wanted to see, it was just not gonna be possible to go less than a couple of weeks. And I remember I did that and nobody ever did that but I remember those trips were so necessary. Like it was time that I needed to recharge and reset and be able to keep going. So I say all this to say like this is the way that we like to travel. And before the pandemic, I obviously had worked from home but my husband doesn't and he works at a business where he very much needs to be in there every day. But he had started working from home a little bit and then the pandemic happened and obviously everybody started working from home. He still went into the office but things started all going online. They had to adapt for other people. It started becoming easier for him to work from home. So I say all this to say that we had been in discussions about wanting to travel for longer periods of time when our kids were a little bit older and what we thought that would look like. And what we had talked about, what we had dreamed about is, you know, maybe we could go to the south of France and rent an Airbnb for like a month or two months and work from there while also being able to kind of see more of what life is like there or like Italy or, you know, some other country. And it sounded lovely. It sounds so magical except I know that the way our brains work and it's like it would always just be some far off dream. I realized that we kept talking about this but talking about it in very abstract kind of nebulous terms like one day we'll do this and because I'm onto my brain, I know that like one day will just never come because either the kids are too young. Then as they start getting older, you know, logistics are hard. Then they start getting into more sports and other things and they can't leave in the summers and everything becomes difficult and there's never a good time. And, you know, my husband can't leave his business and blah, blah, blah. We all know how it goes. And so I started realizing like this is never gonna happen. We're just gonna keep saying it. It's gonna sound great to say, you know, like yeah, we would love to go to another country for a couple of months. Now, again, this is just our dream because like some people might have a dream of actually moving to another country. I know that's not feasible for us. We're not gonna do it. It's not something that we want. I mean, I think in an ideal world I would love that but it's not something that I'm going to do with my children. So for me it was like okay, let me take a step back from that. And maybe I can go for a couple of months. And I think with the pandemic, it actually did show me that it's more possible because everybody then started working from home and it wasn't this crazy idea to go like live remotely somewhere and work and be able to kind of experience another country or another culture. So this is where the dream was up until like a six months ago. And then me and my husband started having like more serious discussions about it. And I kept saying like we need to put a date on things. We need to decide if we're gonna do this, what summer are we gonna do this? When are we gonna start planning this stuff? If these are really our dreams then we need to like take them seriously and we need to get more concrete about how this is happening. And one of the things we realized was that maybe for us, for some people this isn't an issue, but for us, we like to take baby steps into things. So we're not really big at kind of huge, massive shifts in our lives. And so I was telling him like I don't see it being very feasible that we just pack up and go to France for three months or two months. Right? Like that sounds fantastic in theory and maybe I could push myself to get there but I don't know because I think my brain would come up with way too many what if’s and doubts and fears and all that other stuff that comes up. And so we started talking about like okay, what is something we can do? Maybe we don't go to France right now or Italy or, you know, some other country. We've definitely wanna do a summer in Iran. So anyways, we'd been floating around some ideas of where we would start. And so we just started thinking like where can we go that’s closer, where it's not that long of a flight, we don't have to go for two months. We can start with one month. Um we'll be on like similar time zones to the people that we're working with. We know there's like good wifi. We know we'll have access to the things we need to work. And we can still have like a really fun, unique experience that we don't typically have for both us and our kids. And so long story long, we thought about a bunch of different places in America to go that we hadn't seen and because of some friends who go to Jackson Hole all the time and had recommended it because of all of the things to do out there, we decided to pick Jackson Hole. And so we did. And then that's when really kind of like the research around it started and figuring out where we were gonna stay and when we were gonna go. So we ended up renting a house for a month and we're go- well, by this time we will be done with our month in Jackson Hole. And I'm just gonna tell you from the the place I'm at now, before we leave, like I am so utterly excited and also terrified. And I know it doesn't sound like it's scary cuz it's like well, that sounds amazing. But I just want you to know that like when you're doing something new, even something exciting, even something that's part of your dream life, your brain is constantly going to bring up what if’s or should you be doing this or is this a good move? Or like I just said, you know, I started realizing well, we're gonna kind of be away from everybody we know, but, I mean, I have some family coming out to visit while we're there cause they wanna see Yellowstone and and Jackson Hole and all those places. But a month could be a long time. How is it gonna work? We don't have any childcare if when we do need to work there. All of these things keep coming up as I'm doing all the logistics for getting ready from there and trying to re- batch record all the podcasts. And I was trying to do the launch before I left, you know, I kept thinking like why am I doing this? Like it's everything is so pressurized. I have to get everything done before we leave. Right? Like all of the sort of stress and anxiety. We think like even when we're doing really fun things like it's just gonna be all fun but like when your brain has been trained to look at all the things that could go wrong and obviously you wanna plan for them, you wanna like make sure that all of your bases are covered. In one sense, it's good. In another sense, it's just like your brain is then just constantly scanning for why this is a problem and why it could go wrong. And it was interesting for me to watch my brain during this because this is something that should be like a bucket list item for me and super exciting. And yet I find myself, if I'm not actively managing my mind, going to the places of like everything that could go wrong while we're there. But I say all that to say that like even as I've been working through all this and it's been a lot more work, like on the outside it looks like oh yeah, we're just getting up and we're going to Jackson Hole. But obviously like that's not the way things work. I realize like this is still a step for me towards my dream life. Right. And I really want you guys to understand this that like it's not as though you just all of a sudden become a different human being that's going to like be spontaneous and go do really like not care about risks and just like, you know, throw caution to the wind and go do these amazing things. Like that may just never be your path or your personality and that's okay. But when you start figuring out like what is it that I want to do? How do I start getting there? And you start taking baby steps like one step after another. And through those steps you learn and you decide and you pivot and you evaluate and then you go to the next one. And I say this, again, I don't know how this month went. I may have been in Jackson Hole and then decide like this was a ridiculous idea. I don't ever wanna do this again. I definitely don't wanna go to France or somewhere with two small kids. I don't know. I mean, maybe. I hope not. Hopefully I'll come back and rave about how amazing it is but I don't doubt that that it's also possible that I don't like it but I can never know until I do it. Right. We have these ideas that like if I've told everyone I'm gonna do this and then I don't like it, what does that make me seem like? Or I can't tell people. I have to like put on an air about how great it is. And I just did it that episode on normalized changing your mind. And I feel like this is just the path to figuring out the life for you is to try a bunch of stuff and get closer to the things that light you up and kind of be more conscious and present about what it is that you like and keep going until you figure out, right? Keep pivoting, keep taking the next step, go two steps forward one step back, make a hard right. Wherever you have to go until you start figuring out like oh, this is what I actually want. Right. So I started realizing as I was doing this like this is how I'm building my dream life. Like I'm doing it, yes, with my business. And even with my business, I've talked a lot about this is I'm constantly evaluating, right? Like I'm constantly thinking well, can I try to work four hours a day instead of eight? Right? Why do I think I have to work a full 40 hours? Like 40 hours is not what creates the value in my business. Me doing things that move the needle forward do like how many hours do I really need? Right. With each thing, I'm just like taking one step after another towards a life that I want. Like how can I put value out and create value and create a community and help people but also have more time, make more money and have more impact and be with my family more. Like these are the things that are important to me. And when I know those things, I can start trying little steps. I can start mapping out like where do I want to be in a year, two years, five years? Where do I want like it just in this season, what do I want? And how can I take one step towards that? How how is there one thing I can do instead of trying to like wait for a day where I will feel ready and I will feel calm and I will feel like I've done everything. I've checked off every to-do list. And now is just a great time to uproot and leave. You know, like that never comes. It's been interesting. My husband gets mad when I talk about him on the podcast and he's gonna be listening. But like, you know, it's interesting watching him go through the same thing where it's like as we're getting closer like oh, should we have done this? Is this a good time to leave the business? Right? Cause those things are natural. It's just inevitable, when you're gonna change something that, even if it's for fun and even if it's quote unquote a vacation or whatnot, there is the anxiety of what can go wrong. And well, if I'm not in the office, what's gonna happen? And oh, I didn't know these things were gonna come up in this month, right? Like we never know half the stuff that's gonna happen and you just have to plan and keep going and take the next step and the next. And I think about a really great example of this. If you guys wanna follow someone, Okeoma Moronu, you can follow her @TheHappyLawyerProject on Instagram. She is such a huge inspiration to me and I'm set on getting her on the podcast but she's out busy enjoying her life. And I respect that. So we will just have to wait for her but she is just such a prime example of being so intentional about going after her dream life. She is in law. She is a very high-powered attorney and she works for the start-up, Zipline. She is like this powerhouse. I don't even know what the her position is because it's so insane and amazing. She basically leads all of their legal for the flights of these drones that deliver medication to remote places. So she's constantly working with the FAA and anyways, but she does all of this from Costa Rica. She works remotely from Costa Rica with her family of four and she's constantly planning out the next dream that she has. Some have included like buying a hotel, a small boutique hotel and just traveling the world with her two boys and her husband and all of these things that she loves doing. And she just is such a great example because she shows how intentionally she incorporates the things she wants. Like this year, her goal was to just try new hobbies, new things that she hasn't done. And she has like a fear of the ocean and yet she just started taking surfing lessons. She's now doing like skateboarding lessons. And she just shows, like I think a lot of us have so many false beliefs about what it means to be a lawyer or what it means to have this high-pressured job because we don't know how to put up boundaries. And she's just the most beautiful example of how she sets boundaries, how she protects her time, what she does and doesn't do, how much she delegates, how much help she gets. Just everything. Anyways, I I'll stop gushing about her but I just mean like she's a great example of showing that like there's so much more possible for our lives than we like to believe. And it requires kind of believing first so that you can start setting out intentionally to create it. Like if I want to live in another country, how do I do that? If I want to start setting boundaries and working only a certain amount of hours, how do I do that with baby steps? Right. If I want to start a side hustle or, you know, have investments, whatever it is, like what is the first step for me to do that? And I don't have to do it all at the same time. I think about now, with my husband as well, I feel like it's really interesting to look at the seasons in our lives and like when certain things were more important. Of course, it's like at one point maybe saving and investing and we started getting into like real estate investing. And then there was a time where like that wasn't as important and it was focusing on having kids and the baby stage of our children. And then now it's completely different. And it's like thinking about how we wanna create more fun in our lives and more, we're not spontaneous people so not spontaneity but more adventure. We're we're also a little too risk averse. So just things like that like what do we want in the next couple of years? And that's why I say the wheel of life is really helpful because as long as you realize you don't have to change everything like you don't have to have the dream job and health and family and house and whatever. It's like what's one area that I can work on in the next three months or six months? And so I want you to think about this with your own life. And it's funny, as I was trying to think about this process quote unquote, I kept changing the numbers between the steps. I kept switching one to two and two to one and then back and forth because it's sort of circular. I don't know which one is the first step. It's just that these are the two components that you need. Okay. And you're gonna go back and forth a little bit but one is knowing the direction you want to go in. Okay. This is so important. If I ask most of you guys, what do you want in your life? Where do you wanna go? Like what's your dream life? What's your dream job? A lot of people don't know. A lot of you would tell me like I don't know. I haven't thought about it. If I ask you what do you not want? Right? Like what about your job do you not like? What do you not want? You could give me a laundry list of things that you don't want. Now that's a fine place to start cuz oftentimes knowing what what you don't want helps you figure out what you do want. But I want you to think about how we are all running away from things instead of running towards things. We are running away from what we don't want and that's more important. That's where our focus is is getting away from pain rather than seeking pleasure. And I don't mean it in the sense of like pleasure like dopamine or like getting some like a, I just mean we would rather focus on can I just get away a little bit from this unhappiness instead of figuring out like what is gonna blow my mind about my life? Like what kinda life would really just be the coolest thing I could have and then start intentionally working towards that. And the thing is you have to be able to admit that to yourself. So for so many of us, and I've talked about this a lot especially when it comes to our careers, oftentimes before we're even like able to say it out loud, our brain shuts us down. Like that's not possible. That's not available for you. That can't happen. Don't be silly. Who are you to think you can have that? And so we don't even admit like I want more money. I want more time. I want more love. I want more rest. I want more fun. What do I want more of? Right. What do I want to experience? And why do I think it's not for me? Why do I think I can't have that? Where is that thought coming from? Because it's just a thought. If somebody else is doing something that means it's available for you. And so you have to ask yourself like why am I not creating kind of the biggest vision I can have? And it is oftentime because we're trying to self-preserve, right? We're trying to be like oh, I don't wanna want for too much because then if I don't get it, I'll be disappointed. So I'm just gonna disappoint myself ahead of time. I'm just gonna sit in this unhappiness of the fact that like I know this isn't it but I can't admit to myself what I actually want. And I want you to just be brave enough to admit it. It's okay. You can be disappointed if you don't get it or you can know that you can get it or you can work towards it. And even if you don't get it wherever you end up, it's gonna be a hell of a lot better than sitting in that disappointment. Right? It's like that old what saying like shoot for the moon and you'll end up amongst the stars. At least you'll be, you know, in a better off position than you are now. And maybe we can be okay with that. And that's sort of what we work on is like in my programs or even through this podcast is like just the actual destination doesn't matter. It's just like am I becoming this person that does this? Like I was thinking about this with this trip for me. Like if we end up ever getting a house in the south of France that will be very, very cool but I don't actually care. Like not that I don't care that that happens but I'm just saying like part of it is like I'm becoming the person that's gonna take this bold step, that's gonna put up the money to rent a house, that's gonna leave for a month, that's gonna do the uncomfortable thing, that's gonna like try something new that's a little bit more adventurous, that's gonna go do outdoorsy things when she is definitely not an outdoorsy person. We're gonna see how that goes. Um but like that's the person I wanna be. That's the future version of myself I wanna meet. So I'm gonna try it. And so like the one step is to know the direction you wanna go in and you have to admit that to yourself and the second, and this is why I say I don't know which one comes first. I think it just goes back and forth until you kind of crack the door so wide open that you can tell. But the second part of that is you have to believe it's possible for you. That doesn't have to be a huge belief in the beginning. Okay. It doesn't have to be like oh, of course, I can do this. Right. If you thought that, you'd already be going after it. It just has to be a little crack in that door. Right? Like the light has to come in a little bit and that might just be like maybe that's possible for me. Like could that be possible for me? Just a question. Like maybe if they can do it, then certainly maybe I can figure it out as well. Right. Maybe that's just where we start. But there has to be that little basis because, again, I've probably quoted this Henry Ford quote maybe a million times on this podcast cuz it's just so like on point. But it's like whether you believe you can or you believe you can't you're right. So if you have told yourself and, again, it's not a blaming type thing, a lot of the beliefs we have have been handed down to us, have been given to us by society. So if your belief is that I can't have that. I can't make more money than this. I'm never gonna be able to go on vacations. I'm not gonna be able to take off this much time. I'm not gonna be able to whatever, fill in the blank. I can't own my own home. I'm not gonna be able to get married and find real love. I don't care what the dream is. If that's your belief, then that's gonna be the truth because you're not gonna go after it. The actions that you then take are going to ensure that result. It's like a self-fulfilling prophecy, right? Because like you're not gonna do the thing to try to build the business or go on the dates to try to meet the partner or whatever the case may be. There has to be a little bit of belief. I remember for me, when I started this podcast, I went to a conference and on the stage at the time there was actually I had her on um the podcast. Kayse Kayse and I I'm blanking on her last name right now but she was on stage and she was talking about the fact that she used to be an elementary school teacher making like $50,000, $60,000 a year. And then she started selling resources to teachers like her class resources on teachers pay teachers and made over like a hundred thousand dollars on that. And then she quit and she started teaching other teachers how to make it basically into a full-time income. And I think she'd made like $300,000 in that month or some some insane thing in in one of her launches. And I remember just thinking, and I remember at that conference, I had a lot of conversations with other people who were doing these like online courses and and teaching people a variety of things. And I remember saying like but I have nothing to teach people. I have nothing to help people with which is like laughable to me now but I mean, we all start somewhere. But I remember that it cracked the door a little bit open like a little bit of light got in when I heard her speak and I kept thinking is it possible? Is that possible? Like would that be possible for me? And I started questioning a little bit like maybe if that's possible for her, could it be possible for me? Right. Could I think of something? Now, I didn't have like a clear way that I was gonna sell things to people or whatnot but it was just enough belief that started getting me to think about this podcast in a different way and think about like well how could I help people? And is it really possible to make more than most people have told me it is, right? Like we're so conditioned to believe that the amount of time you put in is how much money you make and, you know, blah, blah, blah. Like let's be realistic and you can only make this much. Anyways, I just say that that's like it was that belief that had me going, right. It was that belief that was like maybe I could figure something out. I don't know how. I have no idea how I'm gonna do this. I have no idea how how long it's gonna take. And it's been over three years since that conference. Right. So it's not as though I'm like oh, and then within a year it was all figured out. But it it was like the seedling of a dream for me where I was like maybe I could make more than I ever considered working less. Like could that be possible? Could it be possible to do something that I love and actually make a lot of money? I don't know. Right. And so I say like you have to have a little bit of belief and if you don't, you have to question why. Why do I believe it's not possible for me? Why do I believe not making more money or having more time or whatever it is that you want? Why do I think that's not possible? Where did that come from? Is there anybody, is there any example out there of somebody that is doing that? Could I look at them as an example of what's possible? Could I look at them and see like maybe if they could do it, I can do it too? Maybe I don't know how. Maybe I don't know how long it'll take but at least I know where I want to go. At least I can stop running away from what I don't want and figure out what it is that I'm working towards. Because once I figure that out, then it just becomes step after step. Right? Then it becomes managing my mind so I don't quit so that I can keep taking each step and pivoting. But like this is really the only two steps. This is the process of going after your dream life. It's believing something is possible for you. It's believing in that dream. It's believing that there's a chance that you could have something that you want and knowing that direction that you wanna go in and then taking one small step. A small step, as small as it has to be. And then another one and then another one. And with each one, you start building your confidence that you will figure it out. Not that it goes the way you want but that with each thing you'll tune in more. You'll figure out what you like. You'll start trusting yourself more. You'll start realizing that you do know what you want.

You'll pivot. You'll evaluate. You'll realize that you won't die if you fail. All of these things then build upon each other. And it becomes brick after brick after brick. And then you build that life that you want. It doesn't happen overnight but it doesn't have to cause guess what? You have the rest of your life to build it. And so if you stop kind of this all or nothing thinking and you stop thinking that you need to get to some place in order to be happy and you start slowing down and figuring out what's the direction I wanna go in? What do I believe is possible for me? And what is one step I can take towards that? You will be amazed at what you can create.

I hope you all go after the biggest life possible. And I hope you blow your own minds. I love you all. And I will give you an update when I am officially back from Jackson Hole and I will let you know how my dream life is going. Alright ya’ll, I'll see you next week.

Thank you so much for listening. If you liked this episode, share it with someone else. I promise you know somebody who also hates their job and wants to quit, so why not share the love? And if you want to come follow along for more, come join me on Instagram at LessonsFromAQuitter and make sure you say hi. I'll see you next week for another episode.