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Why Wait To Start Living Your Dreams?

| September 20, 2013 | 23 Comments

Turks & Caicos By Kayla Bellanca

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination”

–Carl Rogers

I’ve been told.

I’ve been told to make a plan, stick to it, and make it happen. I’ve been told to set a goal, set a date, and watch it come true.

I’ve been told to not set a goal. I’ve been told to let your course change as you go.

I just learned today that Christopher Columbus sailed in a Westerly direction. He didn’t sail for a destination, but he aimed in the direction of one.

How do we know which way to sail?

Do things you love.

I’m happy when I’m doing things I love. When I’m happy I help others. I bring them up. In order to help others, you need to help you. But how do we help ourselves?

Follow your passion pursuit. This means becoming an expert in everything you love. Chances are, if you really enjoy doing something, you will not only have an easier time excelling at it, but you will enjoy setting aside time, each day, to polish your skills at doing the things you love.

When you’re doing things you love you are re-energizing yourself. Every time you do something you love, you invest in yourself. You make yourself a better you. Ultimately you create an endless circle of productivity within your passion.

So why not do things we love all the time?

Sounds simple doesn’t it. I’ve found that one of my hugest struggles is getting over “doing things at the right time”. Too often, I convince myself that “if I only set aside a chunk of time later this week” or “if I only plan to give myself half a day to focus on this tomorrow”, then I could do things better; like bang out this design project, or write a blog post. What really happens is that I miss out on valuable time. I miss out on opportunities.

When I think about this perspective in terms of business, I laugh. If entrepreneurs always waited for the “right time” there would be no such terms as “beta version” or “MVP”. Everyone would wait to pull the red curtain to unveil their perfectly finished product. We know this isn’t the case. We know this doesn’t work. It makes most sense to strip your product down to the bones and get it out there, while its “hot”.

Live-Your-Dreams

 

So What Do We Do?

1. Start at the core. Find what works for you.

Starting at the core is essential. I’ve done this with my mobile startup. I’ve done it so well I still get squeamish explaining the raw functionality of it to users. But why haven’t I done this in my life?

I downloaded the app Lift after reading this article about practicing habits daily to make them stick. For those of you who have Lift, it’s pretty effing awesome to hit that big ? mark and watch it turn bright green, right?! So awesome, it makes you want to add tons of habits just so you can check them off every night.

Well that’s what I did. Except. I didn’t reap the satisfaction of checking them all off. I failed to even check half of them off. I wondered where I went wrong.

I failed at going to bed by Midnight. I even failed at going to bed by 1 am. That was my back up. How did that happen?

I broke it down and when I looked at the days I failed, I recalled where my time was allocated those nights…Finished the book “Life is What I say it Is” …Fine-tuned a blog post …Added a “Feel Good Box” to my website…

All these things were pretty awesome. I don’t regret doing them. And I’m not sorry about going to bed late. My creative juices were flowing and I had just enough ambition to complete these projects and share them with the world, fresh out of the creative oven.

I found a flaw in the habits I set up for myself. Flaw #1: I was I trying to do too much at once. Flaw #2: I was trying to do things that didn’t benefit me. Maybe going to bed early helps you get up at the crack of dawn, eat a healthy breakfast and jump on the early train for work. But for me, grinding away into the wee hours of the night helps me clear my head, narrow in on my focus, and crush life. I realized I needed to start making habits that worked for me. That benefitted me.

Strict schedules work for some people while others need more flexibility. Goal setting benefits some people, yet others find them limiting.

Find what works for you. There’s a million resources out there, a million different ways to be productive, to be efficient, to hit Beast Mode. Find the habits that benefit you. Stick to them. If they’re not working, change them. It’s your life. Your productivity. Your dreams on the line. Take control.

2. Identify your values & reflect on them

I thought back to my list of values. Connecting– feeling connected to people positively. Family, friends–> embracing human qualities, laughter, trust, love, listening and feeling passionate…Continued Growth– being a student of life, helping others and being around others that elevate me, meeting new people, opening up to new experiences……

When I zoned in on these I asked why I came up with them in the first place. What they meant and how they helped. I realized that my end goal in life is to achieve success. And success to me is valued by happiness. These values are what brings me happiness. Living parallel with these values, letting them be injected into my life, into my business, is what propels me on my path towards success.

To stick to my values, and stay true to myself, I reflect. I reflect on my wants and needs as a person, my dreams and goals. I do the things that will help get me there. These change over time. That’s okay.

The more you continue to pursue the choices that resonate with your values, the more you will continue on your path to success. 

This is what I call, the “passion pursuit”.

3. No more waiting around. “Do You. Do it Now.”

A new habit for me is to not let perfect be the enemy of “good enough”. By waiting around I miss my chances. I have a draft sitting in my GMail to an investor in California. I’m scared to send it as is. I’m scared it’s not good enough. But you know what’s worse? Mhhm– Him not receiving anything. One way to kick the habit is to make things public. Share everything you’re up to with your “cluster of comfort”. You’ll end up completing tasks earlier because you have committed to them publicly to friends and family. It’s time I start not only doing things I love, but start doing them now.

Life’s too short to only live out your dreams for a small duration of it. Do what you love. Do it now. Do it all the time.

And on that note– I’ve just completed my Indiegogo campaign to get my butt to Under30Experiences Nicaragua to make a positive difference globally.  Check it out.

Is “waiting for the right time” something you struggle with?

When was the last time you did something you love?

Kevin J. Diamond lives eccentrically, empowering people on their passion pursuit. He is the Founder & CEO of Squirr3l.com a mobile social network that lets you connect w/out connecting moment to moment. He is an aspiring +DifferenceMaker. www.kevinjdiamond.com Twitter @kevinjdiamond

Image Credit: Kayla Bellanca

Image Credit: http://msmoem.com

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  • http://www.transpiral.org/ Yasmine Khater

    Amen to that! I loved this article and applaud you for sharing so well the mental clutter that goes on in our brains :)

  • John Bate

    Nice article Kevin, I will be sure to syndicate this as much as i can

  • Cara Murphy

    Kevin, thanks for sharing this really insightful article. I can’t tell you how often I tell myself I’ll enjoy my life or be happy after I’ve accomplished or completed a task. But your question “So why not do things we love all the time?” is so simple and yet so thoughtful. Why waste time doing something you dislike or even hate? (I recommend you head over to Marcella’s blog and check out some of her posts, including http://theperpetualvacation.com/be-happy-now/. I think they’ll resonate with you).

    It’s also really important to find what works for you. As humans our nature is to compare and size ourselves up against the world (we organize the world into dichotomies because it’s easier to process-white vs. black, good vs. evil, right vs. wrong. But is anything really that simple? ). Ultimately, you only have one person to compare yourself to, and that’s yourself and your ideal self (who you want to be and where you want to take your life). I’m an introvert and I like to do things by myself. For a long time I’ve put pressure on myself to be more outgoing and try to “get out” more, but honestly I do my best work and enjoy doing alot of things, like reading and running, on my own. Like you say in your article- do what works for you!

    Hope to see you on an #Under30Experiences trip!

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Kevin, really pumped for you and your Indiegogo campaign to make it to Under30Experiences Nicaragua. You are a true hustler, and I’m looking forward to seeing how you do. Great stuff here.

  • Kevin Diamond

    Thank you very much @yasminekhater:disqus!! Glad you enjoyed! Yes, our brains can be our best and worst friends! Writing has helped me to clear, filter and understand this “clutter”. What are some methods that help you?

  • Kevin Diamond

    Thanks @john_bate:disqus!! One key way is to jump on a continual exploration of learning about yourself! Here’s a post you may enjoy about finding your true “color”. Look forward to hearing your progress! http://www.michaelpeggs.com/2013/09/18/what-is-your-true-color/#comment-1052948714

  • Kevin Diamond

    Couldn’t agree more @caramurphy:disqus!! This is awesome! A great post in iteself! Yes, understanding your thoughts, feelings and emotions, and digging to find w.h.e.r.e they are coming from is so key. It’s also very important at times to take a step back, embrace the moment, appreciate where you are right now, and give yourself a pat on the back for all the accomplishments and successes you have made.

    You are completely right, nothing is black and white and when times are tough, self compassion is critical. And yes– Marcella has been a huge inspiration for me, and has helped me to break down barriers and plow through in search of myself, my passions and my purpose. Love her!

    Look forward to connecting more and can’t wait for #Under30Experiences Time to get the tan on!!

  • Kevin Diamond

    Thanks so much Matt and for all your support! You’re doing awesome things with this community and I’m so amped to be a part of it! Lookin’ forward to those Cervezas! Ps. are we growing out the flow or going with the clean cut look?!

  • http://www.theperpetualvacation.com/ Marcella Chamorro

    So pumped to see you in Nicaragua. This *will* happen!

  • Patricia Dantzler

    My Uncle Anthony just got a stunning black Mercedes CLA-Class Sedan only from working part-time off a macbook… their website

    w­w­w.­­B­­­l­u­e­7­8.­­­?­?­?Check this

  • Kevin Diamond

    !!!!!!

    =)

  • Tyson Hartnett

    Kevin, beautiful article. I like it a lot. One thing I’m really trying to figure out with myself is what my passions really are. I know kind of what they are, but I’m trying to figure out how I can align that with how to make money, and develop a lifestyle out of it. And, like @caramurphy:disqus, I am definitely much more of an introvert. When I see people out partying, I wonder how long it is until I can get to my room and open up my book. I guess that’s weird to some people (and makes me a geek?), but I think it’s best if we stick to how we really are.
    Also, I hear a lot people saying, “you should wake up energized, ready to take the day”, or other things of that manner. I like to wake up calmly, then slowly start things. I then wonder, if I am doing something wrong. So, great points, and I hope you get that investment :)

  • http://www.transpiral.org/ Yasmine Khater

    the best technique i use is what i call a “brain dump”, i started doing this since I was 12, i write out whatever is on mind and then decide whats important, whats not important and what can be done later.

    Simple but highly effective!

  • Kevin Diamond

    Love this! I will definitely have to test this out! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Kevin Diamond

    Thanks so much Tyson Hartnett!! Really glad you enjoyed :) You bring up great points and strong concerns that a lot of people can relate to. One thing you definitely need to do is read this article http://theperpetualvacation.com/find-your-passion-heartbreak/

    It will help you clarify your passions by hitting your pain point and asking yourself what “breaks your heart in life”.

    Writing for me has helped me to understand myself and these passions by surfacing emotions I am sometimes not even aware of. I try to write daily even just for 3-4 minutes at night, letting the words flow without really thinking. After a few minutes my heart is laid out on the page in front of me kindly slapping me in the face explaining why I felt the way I did all day and why I feel a certain way now. It’s pretty helpful.

    As far as being an introvert, “geek”, reader, independent, learning enthusiast or whatever you prefer to call it– Excellent! Awesome! Embrace it Dude! Kudos that you know yourself! People reach that “belonging feeling” differently. Here’s a couple articles you’d enjoy on that as well:
    http://theperpetualvacation.com/who-will-i-solve-problems-for/
    ^ Who you want to solve problems for
    http://kevinjdiamond.com/a-letter-to-nicaragua/
    ^ The comfort in belonging

    As far as waking up calmly. Once again– props for understanding yourself! It took me the last two months, to test myself out and find out that I work best at 3 am, right now (3:52) typing away and having a clear insight to my thoughts. I enjoy waking up slow too, I shower then sit down and enjoy what I just named yesterday as “friendly finds” where I read every article I want to read, connect with awesome people, and build the relationships I enjoy in my life. Then I like to work out to exert some physical energy. My day goes back and forth. Throw in guitar here and there– I’m not great, but I’m gettinng there, add in a little reading, a phone call to the madre, all this stuff keeps me going through out the day, keeps me motivated, keeps me happy and propels me on my passion pursuit. It used to frustrate me that I woke up late some mornings, I felt “lazy” (even though I had been up so late working hard (I prefer to say being inventive, creative, or unique)). But I soon realized that it was important to learn what works for me. And I expect this to be a continual search.

    Our habits, our passions, are all destined to change. It’s up to us to keep up to date with ourselves and live to stay in tune with ourselves. That’s why creating, reflecting and moderating our values is so important.

    Now to make money with our values. That was another concern I ran into. First I have a hunch after you truly zone in on your core values your mindset will be tweaked in how you think about generating revenue. As opposed to seeing your work or your following of your passions as a way to “make money” you will start to see passion pursuit as a process that lets you “serve others”. How you serve others is totally unique. Only you can offer the world this. Understand everything leading up into your life, to where you are right n.o.w has molded and shaped you to define a skillset that can benefit others, its up to *you* to dig up that skillset and see what it is, and how it can benefit them. Once you understand how you can serve people, and who you want to serve, you can find a way to put a generic $ sign on it :)

    Hope this helps and look forward to hearing all your progress all the way! Feel free to shoot me an email at kdiamond33(at)gmail.com and I can send you my original first draft of the values I came up with, in my life. It can give you a good place to start!

  • Tyson Hartnett

    Kevin, Thanks a lot for the response.
    As for the passions, I think for me it is about re-defining my passions, and what I love to do. I started out loving basketball, now it’s writing and reading, and other things. I think we are constantly changing and growing, and we must accept it and move with the change. A lot of people who are stuck are not accepting this fact.
    I like the articles, want I’m trying to do now is just become multi-faceted, and learn about what I like to do and what works for me. This whole entreprenurship thing is a life-long process, so I think the more we understand ourselves, the better we can handle it all.

  • Kevin Diamond

    Your more than welcome, Tyson, and you’re totally right! Please keep me posted on all your findings! Very excited to be on the journey with you! All the best!

  • http://www.callboxinc.com/ Belinda Summers

    That was almost four years ago. LOL. When I started to work I always set deadlines for myself to allot some time for my other activities like blogging that aren’t really related to my job yet I just end up hitting the snooze or worst dismissing the reminder and forget all about it. Procrastination. I thought all the while that I’ll have that perfect timing for myself and to do what I love but yes, you were right Kevin, it will just be left undone if you’re not making steps to start. Great post. :)

  • Hassen Cali

    kevin beautiful article, loved it man ! do you have facebook or is there any way i can get in contact with you.

  • Kevin Diamond

    https://www.facebook.com/kevin.diamond.5855 Thanks @hassencali:disqus !! Glad you appreciated :) Look forward to connecting!

  • Pingback: Do You. Do it Now. | Kevin J. Diamond

  • http://www.transpiral.org/ Yasmine Khater

    this was soo great! I loved this and feel it came from the heart and it kind of along the same energy of crush it from gary

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