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The Life You Live Vs. the Life You Want to Live:
How to Finally Achieve What You Really Want



Take a break for a few minutes from whatever you were doing before reading this article. Clear your mind of errands to run, projects to complete, racing thoughts of all kinds. And think for a moment about your life and these two words:

Are you ready to stop dreaming and start living? Keep reading for five tips to achieve the life you really want.

  1. Certainty

  2. Uncertainty

These two premises, one being an outcome that is without doubt, the other a circumstance that nobody can predict or guarantee, are capable of explaining your whole life … and why it’s not exactly how you wish it were right now.

When we have great "certainty" there is an urge for most of us to seek “uncertainty.” For instance, some people when surrounded by great certainty -- such as in a steady, secure job or a committed long-term relationship -- say they are bored or are not feeling alive. They feel they’re not using their talents to the maximum, not feeling that excitement in their marriage, not feeling like they’re living the life they always imagined.
Yet, when we have great uncertainty in our lives, as many now do during these financial times, we seek greater certainty. Suddenly a steady marriage feels supportive and necessary, a secure job a blessing. 

Likewise, when we have great certainty we’re willing to take greater risks in order to achieve a certain level of uncertainty, but if we are living with great uncertainty suddenly even the smallest of risks seems like too much.

Whichever side you are on right now, certainty or uncertainty, really isn’t important, however. What is important is that you realize you are likely always seeking out that which you do not have.

It’s a classic case of “the grass is always greener on the other side.”

The solution? Embrace the present moment, whatever it may be.

Change is Good, as Long as You’re Living in the Present

Always seeking what you do not have keeps you in a constant state of unrest. You are continually wishing your life were different in some way, and in this way can never truly feel content, fulfilled or even happy.

But this is not to say you should never strive for change. Rather, you should embrace what you have right now, and then take the steps to go after your dreams. It takes effort on your part to do this -- to accept and embrace the here and now while opening yourself to whatever the future will bring.

Again, this is not about wishing for the future to the extent that you miss out on today. Always at the forefront of your mind should be living in the moment.

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This deceptively simple premise is very difficult for many people. A major part of the problem is that most people are living their lives to please other people, or they are living the life they think they should (rather than the life they really want). In so doing, they often want to ignore the present moment because it does not feel true nor right to their hearts.

Your first step, then, should be to identify what it is you want … then start taking the following steps to get you there.

Are You Ready to Have the Life You Really Want? Then Follow These Steps

In the tips that follow you’ll learn ways to set realistic goals and achieve desired outcomes that you will achieve by being in the moment everyday with what you want to do, will do, and that you then do -- to achieve exactly what you want to in your life journey starting now … today!

  1. Focus on living in the present, feeling neither regret for past events nor fear or anxiety about the future. Always embrace your life as it is now.

  1. Choose to have a positive attitude. A positive attitude trumps just about everything when it comes to success and happiness, and this is a state of mind that you can choose. In other words, YOU control how you view a situation and whether you perceive it negatively or positively. So if negative thoughts enter your mind, do not give them any attention.

Instead, focus on the many good things in your life and be grateful for what you have, especially the things you may take for granted, like food, shelter, your health and people who love you, and whom you love in return.

  1. Write down your goals. Writing about life goals is associated with enhanced well-being, according to the Positive Psychology Center. Remember to phrase your goals as though you have already achieved them, such as “I enjoy being at my ideal weight.”

  1. Laugh and smile -- doing so will help you to live in the moment and maintain a positive outlook (both of which will also help you stay open to new opportunities coming your way).

  1. Use daily affirmations. Similar to a mantra, a positive affirmation repeated after you wake up, before bed or anytime during the day can help to displace negative thoughts with positive ones and reaffirm what is most valuable to you.

The goal of these steps is three-fold:

  • Allow you to feel happy and at peace with your life how it is right now
  • Help you achieve and maintain a positive mental attitude
  • Remind you of the importance of living in the present

As you naturally begin to adopt these three premises, you’ll find you’re satisfied with your life rather than continually seeking something different. Yet, at the same time you’ll notice positive opportunities await you each and every day. They’re there now, and yours for the taking -- as soon as you stop focusing on what you do not have and embrace all that you do.

Recommended Reading

Optimists Live Longer and Other Top Reasons to Stay Positive (and HOW to do it in This Economy)

Taking Risks: How to Take Calculated Risks to Get Ahead in Anything

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