Norton: Livin’ the dream
This could be one of the greatest replies to the question, “How are you doing?” The problem, as most of us who use this reply know, is that we really don’t mean it. It is just our way of telling the world that we would prefer not to talk about how we are really feeling right now, or we hope that our sarcastic response will say all that needs to be said.
Maybe what we want to say is that life is hard right now, or that we wish that we were anywhere else but where we are, or that our job is stressful, or that we have just lost hope. But we can’t bring ourselves to say that, can we? Maybe to a very close friend or family member, someone we trust, but never to a co-worker or casual acquaintance or someone we pass in the grocery store. I mean if we told everyone how we really feel, they would either walk away as quickly as possible or would come in closer and try and help us figure things out. So instead, we just say, “You know me, livin’ the dream.”
Are we livin’ the dream? If not? Why not? Typically, we associate dreams, nighttime dreams or daydreams, with happiness and joy, with peace and fun, with success and achievement, with vacations and faraway places. If not, well we call those nightmares.
If you have caught yourself saying this or replying sarcastically to the question of how you are doing with, “livin’ the dream,” I would ask you to take a moment and reconsider, unless of course you are truly and happily “living the dream.” If it’s the former, and your response is a way of deflecting and guarding how you really feel, then it’s time to change what is going into your mind, heart, and field of vision. If it’s the latter, you added the “g” to livin’ and you are intentionally and purposely “living the dream” — your dream.
Zig Ziglar said it best when he shared, “If you don’t like who you are, what you are, or where you are, you can change who you are, what you are, and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.” One of my very favorite quotes and absolutely so very true.
There is another old familiar saying we have all heard before: “What you see is what you get.” And what people see when they hear the sarcastic response, “livin’ the dream,” is usually not someone they want to work with, work for, or have as a part of their team. However, what they see in a person who responds enthusiastically with, “living the dream,” is a person who they want to hire, a person they want to partner with, and a person who just brightens their day. Our tonality and body language will let them know which one it is.
Take a look around you, what do you see? Do you have books on your shelves with words in the titles such as Kindness, Hope, Journey, Success, Happiness, Dreams, Faith, Winning, Love, or other positive and encouraging words? What are you listening to on the radio? What are you watching on television? Who are you hanging out with? Are they also just, “Livin’ the dream” or are they excitedly and passionately “Living the dream?” It really does go back to what Zig Ziglar taught us, that we can change what we want to change by changing what goes into our minds. Our input determines our output.
So how about you? How are you doing? My hope is that you are living the dream and that you surround yourself with strong and positive people, encouraging and motivational words and messaging, and a solid goals program to help you achieve those dreams. I really would love to hear your story at firstname.lastname@example.org and when we can be “Living out our dreams” it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is the Chief Revenue Officer for Eventus Solutions Group, a strategic consultant, business, and personal coach, and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.