Your heart dreams of more – living with intentional choices that satisfy connection and bring value to life. Nonetheless, I relate. As a single mother, I get caught up in just being busy – on a continuous loop of week-after-week. And then, upon awakening, I find my centre because busy-me ignores my dreams, desires and goals. Busy leaves life empty and almost meaningless, at the expense of best.
Yes, I care for my daughter and get stuff done – but for what purpose?
Your heart dreams
Even when you are tired of surviving, focusing on the repeated checklist of “to do this week”, your heart dreams.
You may no longer hear what it has to say.
But it dreams and desires. Perhaps you have ignored the whispers for too long, paying closer attention to the voice in your head reminding you of all your responsibilities and obligations.
Worse yet, perhaps you allow yourself to feel the martyr – “there’s nothing I can do about this”.
That’s a lie.
You could choose to say “I am responsible for making my schedule and deciding on my priorities”.
You might dare to ask yourself “what do I want?” Is this life of swings and roundabouts what you really want? Perhaps you’re waiting until the end of the year to make changes. Or when the kids finish middle school. When you get that promotion at work. When you retire, perhaps?
What does your heart desire?
Allow yourself a moment to reawaken that beaten-down heart that no longer inspires the brain to think big. Perhaps you allowed your heart to get discouraged and tired. So, take that deep breathe, and give your heart permission to dream of chasing butterflies through the flowers without a care in the world.
What do you feel a passion for when you are truly honest and willing to connect within?
No matter the storm you may be going through, your heart is resilient. It may be timid and perhaps has lost faith that you will listen to it. Because it hasn’t been listened to in so long, it may feel neglected and ignored. Perhaps it has grown cold. But it can still awaken to passion and drive.
You’d be amazed at your emotional resilience when you are willing to get back in touch and acknowledge your feelings!
Thrive by choosing in favour of your heart’s desires
If you want to thrive, it’s not enough to visualise and daydream. Your head can create scenarios and dreams, but these are not the same as listening to the true desires of your heart.
Life if not just logical and planned. It’s also beautifully free and fantastical. If you use your imagination, connected with your heart’s desires, you get that magical moment of knowing what life could be.
Sometimes, all it takes is a little awareness. Sitting in silence, open to listening to your heart and its feelings.
Are you ready to listen to the desires of your heart, to bring more significance into your life?
Your head creates what your heart dreams.
Once you know what your heart wants, you can build a new definition of success. It can still have the numbers and the logical and analytical planning. But based on how you desire to feel when you are successful.
I’ve had empty success. That success that comes from meticulously working to plan, striving and hustling constantly. Only to wake up one day with everything you thought you wanted and wonder how it can be so empty.
Success without heart isn’t worth the money you chase!
Defining success, to build a different life
For me, the challenge was that I had built a definition of success that was only about my professional life and career. I forgot that success needed to be a life definition – one that encompassed relationships, health and wellbeing.
In the process of chasing that limited definition of success, I put my health and wellbeing at risk!
I failed to take into account what is required to maintain that level of professional success and build upon it. So, I sacrificed my health and happiness to an empty pursuit of the wrong definition of success.
What does a successful life look and feel like for you? How will you maintain that level of success?
Building mental resilience
Like having the emotional resilience of acknowledging your emotions, there’s an aspect of mental resilience that you will need to build success. In addition to feeling into what your dreams will look like, also acknowledge the challenges and adversities that you will face.
Mental resilience allows you to rise above the challenges, to deal effectively with the stress, pressure and tough moments. Adopting a mindset that allows you to face these, holding onto positive self-esteem and self-image in spite of difficulties, is fundamental to building that successful life.
Creating the plan to maintain success
Your plan for success also needs to have a profound look at your habits and automatic responses. To build and maintain a successful life, become aware of those habits that you adopted in order to survive. They probably will not assist you to thrive and will, in fact, hold you back.
Visualise what a good response and habit would look like, would feel like, then plan how you will adopt these new habits. It’s not enough merely to become aware of your bad habits. That’s step one. Step two is making a plan to change those habits and then implementing those plans.
Your vision needs to include the obstacles, the workarounds, and knowing how you will get through the tough moments of the journey.
Your guts motivate to move on your heart’s dreams
How hungry are you for a successful life? Motivation is what moves you to satisfy your needs. And although it’s very important to have your mindset right, there’s also another factor – do you have the guts to move forward?
It’s only when you connect your hunger with your dreams that you will truly move forward to build purpose in your life.
But your gut does more than just hunger. In their book mBraining, Oka & Soosalu mention how the gut is also concerned with security, safety and self-preservation. If you think about it from a medical perspective – 80% of your immune system is in your gut – deciding what is self versus what is not-self. What does it need to protect you against?
Consider where you feel fear, anxiety or even courage. Where does the fire burn within you to move forward?
Give yourself time to digest your dreams and the ideas and plans you have created. Ruminate on what to do, how to move on these dreams, and allow the courage to build in your gut, to drive you through the difficulties and hard times. Give yourself time to truly integrate these ideas as “this is who I am”, such that you are not fighting against yourself when you step up and into action.
Stay resilient through the hard times
As a coach, and in my own life, I see how failing to face fears sabotages my plans, goals and dreams. If you are truly hungry for success, face your fears – especially those ones gnawing in your gut!
You may have to go back to the drawing board and the vision of your dream and purpose – rekindle the fire of “why” and “what”, so that you move forward on “how”. When you are tempted to freeze because of the unknown and change – when you want to stay in the safety of your comfort zone – remember your hunger.
You will only sustain success when you truly identify with your dreams and your definition of success. It’s not enough to feel it and visualize it – you need to draw up from the hunger within you to make it into reality, against all odds.
Keep the momentum rolling – gain & maintain momentum
But, once you are in motion, you will find it gets easier. In Physics they say:
Objects in motion tend to stay in motion, unless acted upon by an outside force.
But this is also why it’s important to make sure you are chasing the right goals and dreams! Because once you are in motion, it’s easy to get caught up in the motion, rather than sticking to the goal and purpose. So, before you go running off, make sure you are running in the right direction!
One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals. (Michael Korda)
While it’s easy to get manically busy for a short period, working towards your dreams, in the long term you need balance. Finding that special zone of not driving yourself crazy with manic work, while not stopping even if you’ve achieved your milestone or goals. The secret is to never drive yourself over the edge while enjoying success.
A successful life is not about an end or final destination. It’s also about the journey and the process. Don’t make the mistake of swapping one treadmill for another!
Did you write into your plan for a successful life how you would enjoy the journey? Or do you need to go back and revisit the planning? Did you misunderstand what your heart dreams? Can you see it more clearly now that you’ve made your first attempt at capturing the essence of it?
Because if you are constantly doing too much, you will get tired and want to quit. On the other hand, if you fail to do enough, you get discouraged and want to quit! It’s all about finding that sweet spot in moving forward, completing your mile markers while enjoying the moments of the journey!
For some of us, this means celebrating the small successes – tracking the milestones and taking a moment to enjoy the achievements!
How to truly maintain success: following your heart’s dreams
A lifetime of success is more than just having a dream, making a plan and sticking to the plan. Life happens. Revisit your desires and check in with your heart: is this what I want and desire? When I defined success, was I truly able to capture the essence of what I wanted? Be willing to make changes.
The underlying desire and dream don’t necessarily change, but along the road, you may discover that the definition and plan need tweaking. If you discover that the definition you drafted of success isn’t creating the success you dreamed of, be willing to adapt the plan.
It’s okay to make mistakes and correct your course!
But when you look back at the journey you have undertaken – can you truly say you followed your heart, used your head, created the plan and then lived life to its fullest? That’s all you are really going to judge yourself on.
Give yourself the opportunity. Take a chance of pursuing what your heart dreams, using all the creativity you have at your disposal, and then moving forward with courage. Have the guts to try it!
Learning to listen to your heart dreams
I’m an mBIT Certified coach, which means that I work with clients to communicate with their three “brains” – head, heart and gut.
You know how people say – I don’t know how to choose – should I follow my heart or listen to my gut? I don’t know what I think…
You don’t have to choose between your “brains” or intelligence centres. Ideally, you should be using ALL of them, all of the time.
And with the mBIT process – I go through the process with my clients of listening to each brain and the different messages… sinking into the deep inner wisdom that they already have. Your heart dreams – what will you do with those dreams?