To be living the dream-life. What does it really mean?
Are you living your dream-life?
Answering this question can be hard. It can be really hard. We’re surrounded by people who give us tons of advice and inspiration, and, usually – we do things because other people say it’s the right thing to do. Just like that, we go about with our life – without even questioning our own opinions, values, and theories – we fall back into the mainstream. We wish for things we don’t really want. We think that all those fancy pictures we see on Instagram are things worth fighting for.
I want to be able to travel more.
I want a skinny body.
I want to live in a big villa in a southern country with a pool.
I want to have these clothes.
I want to be able to spend my money on anything, without
worrying about my economy at all.
I want more followers and likes on Instagram.
If I’m not entirely wrong, most people think this when scrolling through Instagram every day. But is this really what you want? What is traveling? Is it going to a warm place, lying on the beach all day and taking lots of pictures and videos – just so that you can show all your friends how privileged you are?
The Fourth Chapter of “12 Rules For Life” by Jordan Peterson is titled: “COMPARE YOURSELF TO WHO YOU WERE YESTERDAY, NOT TO WHO SOMEONE ELSE IS TODAY”.
What does this suggest?
Stop looking at pictures of other people “living the dream-life” and start looking at your own actions instead. Think of yourself objectively. Scrutinize every action, every thought behind every word. Who were you yesterday? And who do you want to be? If you think about it, there’s always something you could have done better with the day before today. You probably could have done more, communicated something in a different way or treated someone a little bit nicer.
You could've thrown out the trash in the morning. You could've told the one you love how much you appreciate them. You could've called that friend who really needs you right now. You could've not said those horrible words in that fight you had. You could've worked those extra hours in the office. You could've solved a problem that you should've solved months ago.
Okay. If you failed to do some of these things yesterday, why not do them today? Why not become a better person instantly?
“You can only find out what you actually believe (rather than what you think you believe) by watching how you act. You simply don’t know what you believe, before that. You are too complex to understand yourself.”
WATCH HOW YOU ACT. It’s a more rational and direct way of saying (the cliché): Find yourself.
Find out what you stand for. Look for the things that speak to you – “Encourage the serotonin to flow plentifully through the neural pathways desperate for its calming influence.” And most important of all, don’t seek to be happy. Seek to make something out of your life – seek to create. Do that thing that makes you look back at your life with pride.
Jordan Peterson states: “Making happiness the focal point of your life, trivializes your experiences – because, in order to regard anything as truly important, you also have to regard its loss as truly meaningful. And that means that to open yourself up to experiences of meaning – also, simultaneously means you have to open yourself up to the possibility of deep hurt and sorrow.”
So … is it really that important to be happy all the time? Isn’t it more important to live a life that you’re proud of? To constantly compare yourself with who you were yesterday and to make necessary adjustments to how you choose to go about your day, every morning when you wake up? Doesn’t THAT sound like something worth fighting for?
Because this is what I've figured out: You can throw away the dream of living a fancy Instagram-life. Because it's not a life worth fighting for. And it's not necessarily a life to be proud of. Instead, compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Choose one (only one) person to look up to. Recognize the patterns, notice the things that this person does and the things that this person doesn't do. Aspire to be more and do more every day, like this person. Ask yourself: Traveling, skinny body, clothes, money - are these really the things that you want? Because, what is the dream-life? I'll tell you. The dream-life is working on something every day which will eventually lead to great results. You're not living the dream-life if you're not creating something. You can choose to do anything. You are THAT strong. So choose to live the dream-life. Choose to create something. Because no one is ever going to do it for you.
Aftur S. Nerdrum