When we were young we dreamed a lot. We had these huge ideas of what we would do, what we would become, where we would go.
And then we matured and “got real”. Our dreams didn’t seem so reachable all of a sudden, so we released them , piece by piece. We forgot about them and go on to live our “lives”.
Most people don’t even know what it is that their hearts desire. The life they live is so difficult to juggle as is that they don’t have the time to think about what really matters to them. But what kind of life is that when you can’t remember what it means to have a dream, a vision, what it feels to be fully engaged, to be exhilarated. Where’s the joy then?
If you’re not sure how you stand, here are 3 signs that you’ve stopped following your heart.
Sign #1: Your life has nothing in common with your true passions
The first one is obvious: if you’re a talented writer who works as a salesman; you have an adventurous spirit that drives you to spend your days outdoors, but you work in a cubicle from 9-5; you love animals and you once dreamed of becoming a vet but now you’re working at a butcher’s shop.
This, sadly, is truth for many people: they know exactly what they’re passionate about, but the life they’re living is completely the opposite of it, because they don’t do anything to change that situation. They’ve accepted it, and now they’re living it. They’re not happy about it, but hey, it’s life!
Well, it doesn’t have to be. There may be some things that require you to stay in this situation (for now), but there has to be a way – there always is – to implement your passions into your life. Let your passion have a stronger presence in your life, and eventually you will become more driven to find a way to live it to the fullest.
If you haven’t before, take a look at this cartoon, it may help you to rediscover your passion and include it in your life: What If Money Was No Object?
Sign #2: It’s really, really difficult to get out of bed
When you wake up in the morning you first have to do some persuasion with yourself to get out of bed (because you have to), and everything that follows is just a set of routine actions: you drink your coffee, take a shower, go to work, come back from work, perhaps see some friends, and back to bed. The next day, same ol’ same ol’.
Nothing in your life awakens in you the burning desire to get up before you have to, no natural excitement that would make you wake up energized and joyful about the new day.
If this is how you want to spend the rest of your life, that’s cool, but don’t you think there should be more to it?
Find something that excites you! There has to be something you sometimes dream about – a hobby, a new career, some travel… It doesn’t really matter as long as it keeps you awake at night. Remember your childhood dreams, connect with your true passion and, for starters, start imagining what it would be like…
Just be careful not to fall into the trap of only imagining. Allow yourself to feel that excitement that comes from following your heart, and follow it!
Sign #3: You’re letting others make decisions for you
You became a lawyer because your mom thought it was best for you; you bought an apartment downtown because your dad thought it was a good investment; you went to a cruise because your wife said it’s a fantastic way to spend your vacation.
Do you enjoy any of that?
If you’re not, then why the heck are you listening to others? People have their own opinions, experiences and beliefs, and these are very rarely a match with your desires, dreams and beliefs. There’s no law that says you have to honor the wishes of others – you’re the one allowing it.
If your heart isn’t at the center of your decisions, then these aren’t your decisions. After all, you’re the one who has to deal with the consequences of your decisions, so be free to say no to what you feel isn’t right for you, and stop wasting your life trying to make others happy!