3 Realities to Living Your Dream Life

photo credit: Celestine Chua

When you graduated high school or college, were you challenged by a motivational speaker to live your dream life?

I’m often asked to speak at graduations, and as a graduation speaker, my job is to inspire students to apply what they learned in school to live their dream life. While I want to inspire them, I don’t want to be cheesy. Empty platitudes aren’t my thing. I wholeheartedly believe in pursuing a dream life, but I know from experience it’s more difficult than most graduates realize.

Here are three realities to living a dream life I often share as a graduation speaker. My hope is these realities will help you graduate to your dream life as well. Let me know what you think.

3 Realities to Living Your Dream Life

Reality #1: Attitude is Everything. You’ve probably heard this before. You might even think it’s trite, but it’s not. Attitude is everything! You can’t mix a sweet attitude with a sour attitude and expect to live a sweet life. It doesn’t work that way. Think for a moment, have you ever met a person with a sour attitude who is successful in all facets of life? I haven’t. This person might be successful in one or two facets, but all facets?

Bottom line, living your dream life means realizing success is 90 percent attitude.

Reality #2: Stuff Happens. I’m not talking nice stuff. I’m talking stinky stuff. This is just a fact of life, and while having a sweet attitude is good, owning your response is ever better. That’s the reason I speak about E+R=O at every graduation ceremony. It’s the equation for success no matter what happens in your life.

Bottom line, living your dream life means taking 100 percent ownership of your response even when stinky stuff happens.

Reality #3: Steps are Scary. Remember the first time you jumped off the diving board? You were probably in grade school with pudgy little cheeks and too much white sunscreen lathered all over your body. You shuffled out to the edge of the diving board and looked down. Your knees started knocking. Even though it was 95 degrees outside, a chill ran up your spine. The water looked so far away. Perhaps you chickened out your first time. Maybe it took all summer before you jumped. But when you finally did, it was exhilarating! And jumping off the diving board instantly became your new favorite thing to do at the pool.

Have you ever thought about what it took to jump off that first time? All you needed to do was take one simple step. Wait, let me rephrase that…all you needed to do was take one scary step. You see, before you took the step, it was scary. Yet once you took the step, it wasn’t scary at all. It was simple.

Bottom line, living your dream life means you take steps. Scary steps. Every day. But the great thing about taking scary steps is they become a lot less scary the more you take them. In fact, you’ll realize they aren’t scary at all…they’re simple.


Questions: What do you think? Empty platitudes or authentic realities to living your dream life? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.