31 Things That Happen When You Finally Decide to Live Your Dreams
You've been thinking about this for a long time, haven't you?
You've reveled in shallow friendships, numbed yourself in trivial distractions and justified low-living for long enough. You've tried convincing yourself—to no avail—that you're not the person you can't seem to escape.
Over time, you've disconnected with your environment and relationships. You've started, little by little, to be more authentic with yourself and the world around you.
What took years to hide only took a moment of honesty to recover. And now, here you find yourself, on what feels like the edge of a cliff.
You're terrified of what might happen if you allow yourself to go there. Will everything fall apart?
You're tempted to turn around and go back to the lie you've been living. Where it's easy, convenient and less demanding. You've done it so many times before.
So why is this time different?
This time is different because you've caught on to the fact that there's really nothing behind you. It's all nonsense. At this point, going back would be more painful than the unknown before you—no matter what that might be.
So actually, you can't go back. How you see yourself has fundamentally changed, and that's why this time you will succeed. As Zig Ziglar tells of his friend Tom Harmon: "Tom recognized that the image of himself had shifted. Despite the fact that he still weighed more than 400 pounds, he no longer considered himself fat."
Here's what you'll find after you take the leap.
1. You'll see "it" everywhere.
"Our eyes only see and our ears only hear what our brain is looking for." —Dan Sullivan23
Once you commit to living your dreams, the lids blinding your eyes will be lifted. A completely new world will be opened to your view.
You will notice opportunities that have been in your reach all along, ones your conscious mind simply didn't pay heed to. From a psychological perspective, your selective attention will zoom-in on what you want in microscopic detail. All other sensory inputs will be outsourced to your subconscious and forgotten.
The fundamental change taking place is your self-identity. This is the point of no return. Once this shift has happened, your whole world changes.
- Nothing becomes impossible to you.
- Your only limitations are your consciousness, which is quickly expanding.
- Whatever you want quickly becomes yours because you see what most people don't.
- Now that you can see it everywhere, you are sprinting.
2. You'll have boundless energy, fueled by purpose.
After you've crossed the threshold of decision, you will find a new wellspring of energy—one that appears to be infinite.
You'll no longer need to rely on willpower.
Willpower is garbage. It is for amateurs. It's for people still conflicted about what they want to do.
Once you've moved beyond will to why, you no longer have to coax yourself into action. The decision has been made. Your internal resolve and zeal trump external stimuli—no matter how difficult.
Rather than focusing on defense against further damage, you're on the offense, sprinting to the top of your mountain. From your perspective, you're already at the top.
3. You'll learn, grow and understand quickly.
Once you've made the leap, you'll have a thirst for knowledge, wisdom and understanding. You become both student and teacher.
You will become a sponge, soaking up everything you can, creating loads of neural connections and schematic networks. You'll learn the left-brained logic and rules so your right brain can have limitless freedom to break the rules and create.
With enhanced consciousness, time will slow down for you. You'll see things in several more frames than others. While they're trying to react to the situation, you'll be able to manipulate and tweak the situation to your liking.
You'll make connections others don't see. As a result, you will cement your knowledge by generously sharing it with others.
The teacher is always the one who learns the most.
So you will teach and share abundantly. You will experience far more joy seeing others benefiting from your teaching than by experiencing success yourself.
4. You'll apply what you're learning.
Thriving is all you understand anymore. Mediocrity is a mismanagement of your innate human potential.7
As a result, you are constantly applying new information to accelerate your progress. You're a scientist of life, experimenting and trying new things.
When something doesn't work, you don't persist. You cut your losses and move on, detached from the need to be right. Instead, you want to progress and understand and serve. Humility is your banner.
5. You'll realize all of your previous fears were unfounded, thus allowing you to embrace future fears.
Someone who has gone from overweight to fit understands the process. It's now logical to them. Similarly, a person who has learned how to make millions of dollars understands the process. The magic is gone. Theory and experience are two completely different things.
But the person who hasn't yet reached their goal is still clinging to often highly ambiguous theories. The process doesn't make sense. There's still doubt about whether things will actually work out.
But when you fully commit to your path, you are freed from this dichotomy. Like Tom Harmon, you'll have a completely new self-image. In your mind, you already are where you plan to be.
When the why is strong enough, the how is easily found.20
So you don't worry about it anymore. You see fear as part of the process, as a signal you're moving in the right direction.
Related: Face Your Fears
6. You'll stop worrying about—and instead anticipate—the future.
"Your future is as bright as your faith." —Thomas S. Monson
Once you've made your decision, you have nothing to worry about. You are a magnet attracting nothing but brilliance. Every day is a step closer to your ideal than the last. The future is only getting better and better. You are in creation mode.
You're no longer chasing happiness. Happiness is within. You have embraced who you are, so you're not trying to compete with some external indicator of success.
You know success is inevitable because you're in alignment. Every day your external world more closely matches your internal reality. As Dan Sullivan said, "You can have everything you love in life as long as you give up what you hate."
7. All of your needs will be met.
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation): that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now." ―William Hutchison Murray
Beyond your point of no return, luck and miracles become your norm. All of your needs are met—be they material, financial, intellectual, spiritual or relational.
The right people will come into your life. You will have enough time and money to get moving. The right books, articles and audios will find their way into your life at just the right time.
You have become a vector for everything you need to accomplish your task. Don't question why—just gracefully, humbly and gratefully receive. The shocking truth is that receiving is far more difficult than giving. Receiving, at a conscious and evolved level, is your purpose. The universe wants to give you everything as soon as you are ready to receive.
You will be given everything you need when you need it. And you no longer question that fact. Here you are.
8. People will enter your life to help you.
"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." —Unknown
When you are on a dedicated mission, people will come to your aid to help you make it real. This is the essence of Seth Godin's book Tribes. When you are ready to go, here's what you will find:
- Mentors who will teach you and radically accelerate your progress.
- Fans and supporters.
- Students who want to learn.
- Haters (these are just as necessary as the others who enter your life).
Your relationships are by far the most important aspect of your journey. You will begin attracting the right people in your life when you start doing the work.
It begins with initiative and openness. Once you're ready to learn, you'll have teachers. Higher up the mountain, your work will attract the very people who will help spread your message and forward your cause.
9. You'll have bouts of doubt, but they won't last long.
From time to time, even after countless pieces of evidence that you're on the right track, you will be tempted to revert. Doubts will creep in. You'll question everything about yourself and what you're doing. You'll go through periods of time without success. Things will appear to be falling apart.
This is a crucial part of the process. Indeed, far more fundamental than what you do is who you become. Growing in consciousness and progressing as a human being is intended to challenge you to the core. Most people take the path of least resistance and this is not that path.
Living your dreams is not a "cheap experience." It is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of your soul.
So even when you're tempted to quit, you will dig deep. And if for some reason you decide to quit, that will haunt you until you rectify that decision. As Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said, "A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." You can never go back to the way things once were, even if for a time you pretend to.
No matter how devastating your doubts, you will eventually regain the hope you once had. But now it will only be stronger and more solidified.
10. You'll feel inclined to do things you never considered before.
You are no longer rigid in your thinking. You're open to whatever you feel inspired to do, even if—in the moment—it feels extremely uncomfortable. You no longer operate based on how you are feeling in the moment.
You expect to be inclined to do things yourself and others might be uncomfortable with. You are completely open. You are moving.
You no longer stall or question when you get a prompt. You respond immediately and automatically.
And when you act on these impressions, you never regret it. You only regret when you don't act, and are left to wonder what might have been.
The more open you become, the more you find yourself in places you never thought you'd be. But you don't question why, you just keep going. Along the way, you "connect the dots looking backward."
11. You'll see past the broken approaches most people take.
The conventional approach is broken.
Most people haven't committed to what they feel they should be doing. They remain unaware of who they are, what they stand for and who they are becoming. They are living in fear and confusion, simply waiting to be told what to do. They want the easiest path. They are following dogmatic assumptions.
Even worse, most people will go against their own values to fit in with the crowd. One of the most famous psychological experiments—the Asch Experiment—discovered that people will conform even when it's obviously the wrong decision.
But when you're liberated from conformity, you quickly discern more effective and efficient approaches. This comes from making connections others either haven't made or are too afraid to make.
Related: Are You an Original?
12. You'll progress quickly at anything you undertake.
Carol Dweck, a Stanford psychology professor, has revolutionized our understanding of intelligence. Most people are taught that intelligence is fixed. Either you have "it" or you don't. However, Dweck redefined intelligence as a fluid and flexible entity where the most resilient come out on top.
Those with this "mastery" approach, who seek learning with an intrinsic desire to improve, are the people who become the best in the world at what they do.
Success is not born; it is made.
Once your decision has been made, you're no longer restrained in your abilities. Instead, you are enhanced and consecrated in your performance. Where most people rely solely upon themselves, your abilities are channeled and heightened by a source beyond your own.
13. Nothing will seem impossible to you.
"You need to aim beyond what you are capable of. You need to develop a complete disregard for where your abilities end. If you think you're unable to work for the best company in its sphere, make that your aim. If you think you're unable to be on the cover of Time magazine, make it your business to be there. Make your vision of where you want to be a reality. Nothing is impossible." —Paul Arden
Believing something is impossible is arrogant.
It was arrogant of people to believe we'd never fly. It was arrogant of people to believe we'd never put a man on the moon. It was arrogant of people to believe we wouldn't have satellites in the sky guiding global communication.
We don't know what we don't know. Why put a cap on what's possible? Why live in the past?
Anything and everything could happen. And being open to that fact allows you infinitely more options than those who put an invisible barrier on possibility. Without question, you must believe what you're doing is possible. As Napoleon Hill said, "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve."
14. Luck/miracles will become commonplace.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect."
Similarly, Bruce Springsteen said, "When it comes to luck, you make your own."
Dan Sullivan said, "Luck and God favor those with good habits."
When you decide to live your dreams, you expect radical and amazing stuff to happen. You don't define what that must be; you simply trust that things will work out. Your daily habits regularly attract beautiful things from the outside world.
Some will call you lucky. Others will call you blessed. Whatever the case, it's your new normal.
15. You'll have little interest in what most people are entertained by.
"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." —Eleanor Roosevelt24
Beyond your point of no return is freedom—freedom from triviality and mediocrity. No longer will you be able to engage in gossip or other destructive activities. These things simply don't make sense to you anymore.
Your entertainment is learning, growth, connecting deep rather than shallow, and grand adventures. Since you no longer limit what you can have in life, you regularly travel. You regularly meet new and interesting people. Even the small and simple things become significant and allow you to be fully entertained with a few moments of thought by yourself.
16. You'll live holistically.
"When a man makes his thoughts pure, he no longer desires impure food." —James Allen
After you've have a radical shift in identity, you realize that human beings are holistic. When one area of your life is out of alignment, every other area of your life suffers. And you're increasingly aware when your top priorities are being neglected. You protect the essentials.
Furthermore, when you improve one area of your life, you grow in all areas—you are the system. Consequently, every small and incremental victory you experience creates a surge of momentum toward your ultimate ideal.
17. You'll no longer fear success or wealth.
The most crippling and pervasive fear is the fear of success. Many people genuinely believe success is a sin, or that it's not intended for them. But once you have a compelling vision, you stop focusing on yourself. Money is simply a means to an end. Money is a tool.
Not only is your success inevitable, it's essential for accomplishing what you feel inspired to accomplish.
18. You'll no longer fear "losing it all."
You are already complete. No form of success or failure will change that. Consequently, you're no longer attached to your reputation, accomplishments or possessions. If all of it was somehow lost, you'd have complete confidence that you could continue moving forward. You'd adjust and continue to expect the universe to conspire for your good.
This perspective allows you to be more authentic and free. You're no longer trying to please everyone around you. You are going to do what you believe you should regardless of the outcome. If things fall apart, you don't perceive it as a negative, but a positive. As Ryan Holiday wrote in The Obstacle is the Way, "There is no good or bad without us; there is only perception. There is the event itself and the story we tell ourselves about what it means."
19. You'll consistently do what's right, even when it's not popular.
Most people can eat healthy for one day. Most people can be positive for a few minutes. But when things stop being fun, most people's resolves crumble.
Not you. Not anymore.
Zig Ziglar used to tell a story of traveling one day and not getting in bed until 4 a.m. At 5:30 a.m., his alarm went off. He said, "Every fiber of my being was telling me to stay in bed." But he had made a commitment, so he got up anyway. Admittedly, he had a horrible day and wasn't productive at all.
But he says that decision changed his life. As he explains:
"Had I bowed to my human, physical, emotional, and mental desire to sleep in, I would have made that exception. A week later, I might have made an exception if I only got four hours of sleep. A week later, maybe I only got seven hours of sleep. The exception so many times becomes the rule. Had I slept in, I would've faced that danger. Watch those exceptions!"
Similarly, Harvard business professor, Clayton Christensen said, "100 percent commitment is easier than 98 percent commitment." When you justify incongruent behaviors once, you open the door to a lifetime of justifications.
20. You'll have more responsibility.
Spider-Man's Uncle Ben once told Peter Parker, "With great power comes great responsibility." Unfortunately, he had it backward.
The constraints of responsibility force you to think more creatively. Responsibility qualifies you to show up at a higher level. Hence Benjamin Franklin's saying, "If you want something done, ask a busy person."
The president of the United States doesn't have responsibility because he first had power. Rather, he has power because he assumed a huge responsibility.
Most people avoid responsibility. They'd rather someone else carry the load. They'd rather not have to deal with the consequences. Fear of failure (i.e., their ego) stops them from trying in the first place.
When you start taking your dreams seriously, you will not initially be qualified. But as you take on greater responsibility, you'll become qualified to do what you need to do. You'll grow into your responsibilities and have increased power and influence.
Taking on the right forms of responsibility can put life on easy mode. It's like injecting yourself with motivation steroids—urgency and desperation.
When you're desperate to be healthy, you eat right and exercise. No excuses. When you're desperate to be successful, honing your craft is far more appealing than mindlessly surfing Facebook.
21. You'll often be questioned and criticized for what you're doing.
When you begin living your dreams, you will often receive unsolicited critique. If something is noteworthy, there will be haters. As Robin Sharma, author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, has said, "haters confirm greatness."
When you really start showing up, the haters will be intimidated by you. Rather than being a reflection of what they could do, you become a reflection of what they are not doing. This isn't about you. It's about them and their own insecurity.
But the majority of people will support the hell out of you. Most people are inspired when someone lives their dreams.
22. You'll often be misunderstood.
By nature, having a sense of vision is weird to most people. Being real and authentic is weird. It's unusual and it's rare. It's peculiar. And many people will misunderstand you.
A lot of people won't get what you're about or why you're doing what you're doing. Most of them mean well. They simply don't get it, and are afraid of what they don't understand.
Others will understand you. They'll support you and cheer you on. Don't take these people for granted. You need them more than you know.
23. You'll stop caring about what is just and fair.
Social exchange theory is a psychological and sociological perspective on why people do what they do. Essentially, people only engage in activities and relationships that benefit them. If an exchange isn't perceived as fair, the relationship ends. Consequently, people are seen as purely self-motivated in all they do.
But there is a four stage hierarchy of motivations that allows for the possibility of genuine altruism.
At stage one, you are motivated by fear: living on the defensive to avoid punishments. At stage two, you are motivated by reward: focusing only on exchanges that most benefit you. At stage three, you are motivated by duty: where you no longer care about fairness. You're going to proceed regardless of punishments or rewards.
At the pinnacle—stage four—you are motivated by love. Your aim is to bring as much joy to each individual as you possibly can. Your love transcends human reasoning. It drives you to do things most would consider crazy. You no longer live by conventional rules or wisdom. You are directed by the highest and purest power in existence.
24. Your goals will manifest quickly.
As an evolved person, you are connected to your higher source. You've learned how to create the results you want quickly—often instantaneously. You believe it and quickly you see it. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen."
25. You'll be completely transparent about the good, the bad and the ugly.
Most people inflate their goodness and minimize their failings and shortcomings. However, beyond your point of no return, you no longer care about looking stupid. You're more concerned with the truth.
You want deep and intimate connections. Your relationships are a sacred space where you and those you love can be completely authentic. Your faults intensify the love other people have for you, and vice versa.
Furthermore, you're humble enough to admit when you are wrong or if you've changed your mind. At the same time, you're not hiding. You're not afraid of being "seen in all your glory," as Jim Carrey says. You're not afraid of admitting you rock at something and that you want to use your skills to help.
26. You'll make things right with people you've wronged.
Embracing—rather than avoiding—reality requires that you carry no unnecessary baggage. You want to be completely clear so you're able to create and flow.
As a result, you openly apologize for things you've done wrong in the past. You seek forgiveness, which is really more about you than the person you harmed. It's not your choice how people respond to your genuine apologies.
27. You'll be more authentic in public. Who do you have to impress?
Once you know what you want—and you're completely set on doing it—you stop caring about ridiculous stuff, like what you're wearing that day.
Steve Jobs wore the same outfit every day. Even among the world's leaders, he didn't wear a suit, and people were fine with it. Because he was fine with it. Mark Zuckerberg is similar.
These people are less concerned with fashion and more concerned with efficiency. They don't care what other people think. They are far less concerned about how they appear and far more concerned about the work they do.
This doesn't mean you have to be a slob. But if, for some reason, you have a wardrobe malfunction, you won't let it ruin your day. Beyond clothing and appearance, you are wholly yourself—rather than what society would tell you is proper.
28. You'll put yourself out there more.
It will initially be embarrassing to start putting yourself out there. But you're not going to let your ego get in the way of your vision. So you'll put yourself out there at the expense of looking foolish.
You'll put yourself out there at the expense of being wrong because fear no longer drives your behavior. Even if you are unsure of what you're doing, you'd rather act in faith than hide in fear.
You'd rather accept the consequences of trying your best than hiding your talents.
29. You'll be genuinely happy for other people's success.
As an evolved person, you are happy when other people succeed and sad when other people fail. The success of others is seen as the success of the whole.
You genuinely want what's best for everyone, even those you consider your competitors. Jealousy and envy are the ego, which operates out of fear. You've moved beyond that. As Ryan Holiday writes, "Ego is the enemy."
30. You'll need more alone time for the deep work.
"Delegate everything except genius." —Dan Sullivan
Once you're serious about living your dreams, you'll need to build a team. In the beginning, you'll probably need to manage most of the logistics yourself. But the sooner you delegate, the more energy you can put into the work only you can do.
Eventually you'll want to delegate everything accept your superpower. You are the creator and your team makes it real. As Dan Sullivan said, "There are all kinds of great things going on in the company that I know nothing about."
Deep work is essential for creation. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to do. You will need to be vigilant against endless distractions and time-wasters.
Only you know your body and mind, but most of the world's highly successful people do their creating early in the morning. They wake up and get to work. No email, no social media, no communication. Just sitting with themselves, their ideas, their resources and getting breakthroughs.
If you're highly focused (i.e., you regularly get into psychological flow), you'll be enormously successful and prolific with only three to five hours of work each day.
31. You'll have way more time.
"You have to work less to make more money." —Dan Sullivan
When you commit to living intentionally:
- You will excrete the elements of your life that don't fit.
- You will repel people who poison your spirit.
- You will attract mentors who help you progress.
- You will build a team that multiplies your work and takes care of the moving parts.
In short, you will have way more time than you're used to having.
- Your life will be simpler.
- You will be focused exclusively on those things which matter most to you. Your No. 1 priority will be your family.
- You'll be holistically healthy: You'll make time for fitness, learning, engaging with others, rest and recovery, and adventure.
- You will be living the abundant life. This is the most natural way to live. It's the life of creation and power.
This post originally appeared on BenjaminHardy.com.
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