“How many people could say they lived the life they dreamed?” That’s the headline of a recent Boston Globe article by Beverly Beckham that got my attention. There’s a photo of a young Mike Ippolito who died too young. But he lived his youthful dream of getting married, having children and becoming a sportswriter. “He did it all.” says Beckham’s son, Ippolito’s childhood friend. Are you living the life of your dreams?
It’s not strange that this article made me stop in my tracks. I had just finished answering the journal prompt “What did you dream of doing and having in your life as a child?” This is the 33rd entry in a year-long program that I am pursuing which is designed to create concrete goals and results in the areas of health, wealth and wisdom. My goal as a health coach is to assist my clients in accomplishing their health goals. This includes goals in all aspects of their lives including but not limited to nutrition, exercise, relationships, career, home environment, spirituality, finances, creativity and at the top of the list, JOY. So I constantly seek opportunities to practice what I preach by setting new goals and seeking new ways to accomplish those goals.
I was unable to find a study that determined what percentage of people at the end of their lives say that they lived the life they dreamed. There does, however, seem to be an understanding on the internet that the number is below 10%. If you are aware of a study on this subject, let me know. There does however, seem to be ample scientific evidence that a very small percentage of people who set goals actually achieve them.
What Does This All Mean For Me(And For You)?
As a result of these two serendipitous happenings in my morning routine(Beverly’s article and the question in my journal), I decided to examine what this all means to me and what my advice is to you.
For many, many years, I wanted to have a dream(what I understood as my purpose in life). I had great difficulty pinpointing exactly what that was. I pursued multiple jobs throughout my life including waitress(I only lasted one day.), news carrier(in my car, not on my bike), receptionist, lawyer, real estate broker, chef, chef instructor and now health coach. At long last, my search is over as I do feel that I have achieved the goal of understanding my purpose in life or at least of having a career that brings me great joy. But have I “lived the life I dreamed?” And if I haven’t, am I going to regret that on my death bed? I think this is a much more complicated question than it initially may seem to be.
The answer to my journal prompt is a definitive NO. As a child, I dreamed of being a famous courtroom lawyer(a la Perry Mason), having a lavish wedding, and owning a big, big house. And therefore, I have not “lived the life I dreamed.” But on reflection, I see this as a positive thing.
I did become a lawyer(although not the famous courtroom type), but I was never truly happy practicing law. Again, that reflects back to not feeling that I knew my true purpose in life. I had a lovely wedding(actually two), but neither of them was “lavish”. Through the years, my homes have been just the right size for me and my family and not the big, big house that I dreamed of. I don’t regret that I have not lived the life of my dreams. Those were my childhood dreams, and in many ways, they never really belonged to me. They were a product of what I thought my parents wanted and expected me to be.
The Top Five Regrets Of The Dying…
According to Bronnie Ware, author of The Top 5 Regrets Of The Dying, those on their death beds had the following regrets. They wished
..they’d had the courage to live a life true to themselves, not the life others expected of them,
..they hadn’t worked so hard,
..they’d had the courage to express their feelings,
..they’d stayed in touch with friends, and
..they’d let themselves be happier.
My wish for you…
My wish for all of my clients as they go through this journey of life is not necessarily that when they reach their dying day, they have lived the life of their dreams. I am joyous for those who, like Mike Ippolito, have lived the life of their childhood dreams. For many of us those dreams have changed and developed over time. As our dreams and goals are accomplished, we can say “We ARE living the life of our dreams.” For me this means,
- Having dreams authentic to the true me
- Visualizing those dreams in detail
- Setting short and long term goals to make these dreams come true
- Being brave
- Enjoying every minute as the process unfolds and
- Celebrating as each goal is accomplished and each dream is realized.
My prayer for my dying day is to never have stopped dreaming and moving forward in the direction of those dreams. It’s ok that I didn’t live the life of my childhood dreams. It’s really ok for me and for YOU.
And PS, if your childhood dream is still your dream today, then go for it! Be brave! Take action today.
Are you living the life of your dreams and what does that mean to you? Let me know in the comments below. I love to hear from you.
“Make your life a masterpiece, imagine no limitations on what you can be, have, or do.” — Brian Tracy
New Private Facebook Group For Women
And if you’re a female over the age of 21, I hope you’ll consider joining my new private Facebook group Chasing Health and Happiness. This group is where the action happens to move you in the direction of positive changes for your health and happiness .
It is also a support system and community where you can ask questions and connect with other members.
On Monday through Friday, I’ll be posting challenges, tips, recipes and health and happiness information in the group to guide you on your path. Because….and it’s important to remember, change takes place one small step at a time. You’ll also see announcements about upcoming events/webinars and have access to free resources. Come on over and join us. Here’s the link.
You might also enjoy these posts from Chasing Beans…
Disclaimer: The information included in this blogpost is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any illness or disease. is for general educational purposes, has not been reviewed nor approved by the FDA and is not intended to take the place of advice from your medical professional, licensed dietitian or nutritionist. You are solely responsible for your health care and activity choices.