Don’t just have dreams, or say you “always wanted to do that.” Actually try and make it happen; it’s sometimes easier than you think! For most, the hardest part is starting. Here’s some help for several types of “I always wanted to do that”:
-Run a marathon: Try a short one first and go with friends. Walking is also fine, but only if it’s not a zombie marathon.
-Learn to ski/snowboard: I learned how to do these a few years ago and fell on my butt a lot. I mean a lot, but it was lots of fun once I figured out how to stay standing.
– Start a family: Okay, I don’t have a lot of advice for this one–yet. I’ll let you know when I find the right girlfriend!
– Buy a home/condo: I did this when people said I wouldn’t be able to financially manage it. With some major research, I proved some people in the business wrong. Take advice from friends and family, but always do your own research. Sometimes, even people in the business don’t know about all the programs out there to help you. There were lots hoops to jump through, but it was worth it
-Learn a language: Choose one from somewhere you want to go; it will add to your enjoyment when you finally get there. Unless you watch lots of anime, in which case, learn Japanese so you don’t have to wait for the translations
– Invent something: I’ve done this, but it was to0 expensive to patent, research and do all the other little things, so I stopped. I’m back, though, with another invention idea and ready to go through the process again. Don’t go through the invention companies; they take thousands of dollars and you don’t really get anything out of it but debt. Trying selling and marketing it yourself after some research to make sure it doesn’t exist. Do a patent check and patent it with one of the KNOWN and BBB-verifiable companies such as Legal Zoom, for example.
– Go to a famous festival: Oktoberfest in Munich; Brazilian Carnival in Rio de Janerio; Mardi Gras in New Orleans; Carnival in Venice, Italy; Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada; La Tomatina in Valencia, Spain: All are festivals worth the effort to attend! Be careful, go with friends, know how to get back to where you are staying, don’t take an open drink from a stranger or leave it with them while you step away for a moment, etc. (which goes for concerts such as Coachella, or even just going to bars, too!), and enjoy the hell out of it!
– Learn a musical instrument: I’m currently trying to learn piano/keyboard. It takes time–you need to invest time to practice and get good. My goal is to learn how to play “the walking away” song from the Incredible Hulk
-Solve the Rubik’s Cube: I did this when I was a little kid; apparently, I was a lot smarter back then! You can find help online, but it’s more fun to puzzle it out on your own.
Here a few specific dreams I’ve heard others talk about and how I would approach them:
1. “I’ve always wanted to write a book.”
Put some self-imposed pressure to jump-start your novel. For example, try Nanowrimo in November. The purpose of Nanowrimo is to try and write 50,000 words in the month of November. That may seem impossible for someone who has never written that much, but thousands of newbies around the world manage to do it during Nanowrimo. The great thing about this is that there are people doing this everywhere, which means at least a few people locally where you live might be doing it as well. Give it a shot by going to Nanowrimo.org!
2. “I want to change the world.”/”I want to make a difference.”/”I want to matter.”
The most rewarding yet most difficult way would probably be adopting a child. Why is that the most difficult? Because it is not a momentary commitment, but a lifetime one. Come hell or high water, you are responsible for that child and how that kid grows up and affects others.
Another rewarding way would be to donate, not just your funds, but your time. I’ve done volunteer work since I was a kid. I don’t have much time to do it with all my projects, my TV-watching (ha ha), and my regular job, but every year I try and volunteer on Thanksgiving. For you, it could be Thanksgiving, or it could be helping Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, or some other small non-profit in your area. It’s not a lot and it won’t bring peace to the world, but it’s still good to help out and it might bring a glimmer of hope to someone.
Other ways to make a difference:
-Pay attention to those around you. This has two meanings:
a) Pay attention to your friends and family. We sometimes forget that we affect those around us. We’re not trying to be hurtful, but sometimes it comes out that way. Be conscious of what you do and say and how someone else could view it. Something as simple as changing how you say or do things can make someone else feel much better. And don’t forget to always hug your kid and pet your pup.
b) Pay attention to those you don’t know or don’t talk to. Whether it’s a person you’ve never seen before or a kid that is always super-quiet who you see every day, just pay attention. Sometimes, these people may need someone to listen to them, or they may need to know that someone out there cares about them without expecting anything in return.
3. “I’ve always wanted to travel”
Most people say they want to travel; a lot of people never get to. The best way is to travel in groups. If it’s your first time and you are a little scared or are bad at planning stuff out, you can try a company that sets up travel tours. These are usually pretty pricey and there may be hiccups along the way, but they plan most of it for you and you may even make some new friends.
If you can, go with friends; it helps divide the cost, lets you pick where you want to go and do once you get there, and most importantly, you already know if you friend will write on your face while you are sleeping :p
Do your research about where you are going: What’s the culture like? Where are the best parts of that country/city to visit? If you are going to a foreign county, make sure to research the food, what parts to stay away from, any tips that people may have online about that area, and if you need to modify your phone usage or buy a prepaid phone to use there.
Some tips I’ve learned are to keep some amounts of cash on you, but not a lot since it might get stolen. Keep $20 or $40 hidden on you somewhere in case your wallet or purse are stolen. Travel wallets that hang around your neck are useful to keep your money, passport, and other flat valuables out of sight. Keep your backpacks and purses in front of you since people try to take them or unzip them while you aren’t looking.
Make sure your credit card doesn’t charge more for using it in foreign countries. Also make sure to call your credit card companies so they are aware you are traveling, or they might put a hold on your card when you need it the most.
P.S.: If you are on or reading this on EpicGeekdom.com, then you are most likely into geeky, nerdy stuff. If so, go to a convention outside of where you live. That way you get to travel some place new, but it’s still familiar enough to go alone. Enjoy
4. “I’ve always wanted to Break a Guinness World Record”
Not sure on this one yet; I’ll let you know how I do it
One final tip: Don’t forget to work to live and not live to work. One of the major things people dreaming about is working on their passion, but a lot of people have jobs that are meaningless to them and drains them emotionally day after day. Learning to live how you want to live is the hardest dream to accomplish. As long as you don’t hurt anyone or affect anyone negatively, then live life the way you want, not how others want you to live. Don’t regret not going after your dreams or the girl (or guy!) of your dreams when you had the chance; your dying breath shouldn’t be “I wish I had lived more.”
For myself, job after job, I’ve always tried to move forward on my personal projects, from writing a short novel and putting it on Amazon, to making some game apps, designing geeky smash-ups, and starting other projects that could lead me to a job I may actually enjoy one day. My goal has always been to at least try. I always wanted to write a book, so I tried and I did. I wanted to swim with dolphins, so I did. I wanted to make game apps for my niece, so I did. I wanted to travel, so I did. Some of these things sounds like it takes more intelligence then it actually does, but it doesn’t. It just takes a little research and a lot of trying, so please try and make your dreams happen!
(If you have other things to add to this let me know, I tried to keep it as general as possible)
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