Updated: Sep 3, 2019
A year ago, if you would have told me that I’d be writing this from Milan, Italy, having just finished a business trip to London the week prior, I would have laughed at you. Hard. I’m happy to report that within the span of 365 days, this is my reality. And no, I’m not lying or exaggerating. No, I haven’t posted anything about this on social media. And yes, your version of a “dream life” is absolutely possible.
I didn’t think that living this lifestyle was a possibility or at least one that could come to fruition without a trust fund. A year ago to this day, I was working a traditional “9-5” job from a cubicle. I had just completed a full-time masters degree in business (picked up the degree from the Registrar on August 5th) while working full-time. Burnout was an understatement, and I felt like there had to be more to life. I knew the “traditional” role I was in did not fulfill the needs or employ the skill set of the dimensional person I am. But truthfully, as a professional and person, I didn’t even know what my needs or skill set truly were. I’ve always been one to dream, but felt like I had backed myself into a corner: subconsciously relying on external validation, affirmation, acceptance, and doing the “smart” or “right” thing when making career and life decisions rather than relying on my own inner voice. As a self-identified pathological optimist, I knew I needed a shift, but I didn’t know exactly how to make it happen or what next steps made sense.
Within the past year, I’ve created my own “Eat, Pray, Love” experience: circumnavigating the globe three times (and counting), getting very clear on the person I want to be and living that out, learning more about our world than I ever knew was possible, connecting the dots, learning to think differently, being challenged in more ways than I knew were possible, meeting new people, becoming immersed in different cultures, flexing into self-reliance, building my self-confidence, and showing up for myself every day–all while continuing to cultivate impactful professional experience doing work I love and making a livable income. While steering clear of the social media-sponsored projection of a journey this could have been, my lifestyle would not have been possible without the option to work from a virtual office.
If you’re looking to ditch the cube (I’m much more of a circle person anyway), here are a few tips to get the ball rolling:
1. Don’t be afraid to dream big: What would you do if there were absolutely no restrictions, no limits, and no other peoples’ voices in your head holding you back from living your dream life? Get clear on what your dream life looks and feels like: What does your ideal day look like? What does your ideal self look like? What do you wear? What do you eat? How do you interact with others? What kind of business do you do? Where do you live? How do you unwind? What do you enjoy? What is your legacy? What’s the point? What’s your purpose?
2. Identify where you are: Take a deep-dive into your current situation, lifestyle, skill set, and experience. What are you satisfied with (or not)? What are you grateful for? Look at things from a different/multidimensional perspective: What do the professional and personal experiences I’ve racked up have in common? Where am I looking to expand and grow? What skills have I “flexed-into” that are transferable between industries, roles or sectors?
3. Close the gap: You have “Point A” (where you are) and you now have a “Point B” (the big dream)–close the gap between the two. Get a game plan and create actionable steps to make your dreams into a reality. Feel free to reach out if you need help with this– “ah-ha” moments are a passion point of mine!
4. Get to work: Show up for yourself one day at a time. Fall down or stumble? Get back up. Give yourself grace, patience, time, and focus. Make it happen.
Sound simple? It is–or it can be.
The more I learn, the more I realize that we are the only things holding us back from creating the life of our dreams. Moving forward, I’m so excited to share this journey with you: tips and tricks of securing your first remote role, creating the life of your dreams (career included), redefining the legacy of your life, and truly living it.
We don’t have to be held back by the “limitations” of our current situations. It’s time to start living. It’s time to start planning. It’s time to start doing.
The life of your dreams is not out of reach, particularly with the privileges of liberty and freedom. We have the opportunity to choose and create the future of our dreams, and I challenge you to begin, today, and let me know if there are any topics of interest I can cover that would help you on your journey!
*This post was written in partnership with America's Future Foundation.