blog

What If Tomorrow Wasn’t Promised? 

if tomorrow wasn't promised

It’s six o’clock in the morning.  I just told you that today is your last day on Earth.  What would you do differently?  Would you lay in the bed contemplating your existence?  Wondering where you went wrong and about all the time you wasted.

Or would you get up out of the bed and be accountable for your 86,400 seconds for this single day?  See, we all seem to think that tomorrow is promised to us.  This should not be a shock to you, but it’s not.  Nothing in this life is permanent.  Not a relationship, a job, etc.  Nothing lasts forever and what you are doing now is temporary and in the moment.

So if today was your last day, you should be doing your best to accomplish everything you have been procrastinating about.  But it shouldn’t take this ominous event to get you to take some action should it?

No, this is the very reason for the saying, Carpe Diem, which mean Seize the Day. And that is how you should be every damn day.  You should ready every day to make the most of each second.  To not waste it frivolously.

So get up and get started.  Yes, right now.  Don’t waste this day.  Stop reading this.  Start doing what you need to do to conquer your dreams.

It’s time to get to work.

-alv

blog

You Are Worthy

you are worthy simply because you exist.
The world is not fair.  Some people get all the breaks in life.  I will never amount to anything.  Why am I even here?  Sound familiar?  Any of it?
Each of you reading this today can identify with these sentences.  At some point in your life, you will say one of them or something similar.  You will feel like no matter what you say or do, you can’t get any further in life.

Ok.  Well, I don’t agree with you. I know that the entire world is not fair, but mine is.  My world is everything around me that I can affect.  I don’t care about the chaos going on around me. You know why?  Because I know my worth and you should, too.

You are worthy simply because you exist.

Yes, it’s just that simple.  There is honestly no difference between you and the next person.  Especially a celebrity.  Well, at least, one thing: they realized their worth earlier than you.  That’s it. They knew that they had someone to offer the world and they knew they could do it.

That’s what being worthy is about.  Recognizing that you were born this way and that you can do and be anything you put your mind to. I know there are some skeptics out there.  People who say that this is all lies and everyone is not born with the same advantages.

But I am telling you the truth.  There will be tough times and obstacles. There will be times that you feel like quitting and giving up.  But you can’t do that.  Too many people do in life already.  Be different.

Be different and believe in yourself. Be different and know you are something special created by the cosmos to be exceptional.  Be different and ACTUALLY believe these words and act upon them.  Don’t pay lip service to your worthiness.  Use it as fuel and realize your potential is beyond imagination.

No one is better than you.  No one wants it more than you.  So now prove it to yourself.  Prove that these words aren’t falling on death ears.  It’s not going to be easy, but nothing worth having  ever was.  

-alv

blog

Success vs Failure

  
Time and time again I see this come up. Comparing ourselves to others and feeling let down.  Why? Why would you compare your life to others?  No two lives are the same.

Even if we live in the same house our successes and failures will never be the same.  Be steadfast in your convictions.  Remember your goals and why you are doing them.

Stop comparing yourself to others and do the damn work.  Do what is necessary to create your definition of success. And by the way, success is inevitable.  You just have to choose when you want to have it in your life.

-alv

blog

Dream Your Dream

Keep dreaming. Don’t allow people to tell you dreaming is silly. Don’t allow people to tell you that you need to grow up and be responsible.

Dreaming is responsible. As long as you are acting on them. As long as you trying to elevate your life and that of others.

Keep Dreaming with your eyes wide open. Don’t miss a thing.

-alv

blog

Healing Ourselves On The Page (Guest Post)


I have always wanted someone to guest post for Living the Dream but was very hesitant about how that would affect the message.  Well, the Universe connected me to an extraordinary  writer at the right time. Recently writing about my own battles with depression I feel like it was only fitting that this post be published now.  


Please welcome Shawna Ayoub Ainslie to LTD.  She is a writing coach in Bloomington, IN. You can find her at her online home, The Honeyed Quill, editing its sister site, On the Verge Magazine, or coordinating the Four Paws for Noah writing competitions. Her writing has recently appeared in The Archipelago, [wherever], RoleReboot, The Manifest-Station and Art Saves Lives International. Shawna offers resources for beginning your own practice of writing for self-care here.  Please read her post below. 

Healing Ourselves on the Page

by Shawna Ayoub Ainslie

I teach expressive writing for traumatic release and recovery. The individuals that come to my classes and retreats or work with me one-on-one are a fascinating mix of old, young, parents, students, teachers, and retirees. Some show up because they need to let go of addictions or persistent fears. Many show up simply because they want to write, or just because my class fit into their schedules and they wanted something to do, not because they consider themselves wounded in any way. But the truth is we are all wounded. This means we are all capable of healing if we do the work.

A lot of what I teach is acceptance. I was abused as a child. I never forgot, but I did move on. The birth of my first child jerked me roughly back into the mindset of a victim. I lost myself for a time. My present became the wait for the next flashback, a monitoring of now for then. I was unable to move out of that cycle because I refused (actively) to accept the extent to which my childhood trauma still hurt me. More specifically, I was afraid of accepting my past because I knew it would make me angry like my abusers.

Eventually, I connected with a therapist who took note that I am a writer. She aimed me toward my anger and put a pen in my hand. “Write it all,” she told me. “Every terrible bit.”

I did. I wrote until my hand cramped and the page tore and my shirt was wet with tears. I wrote until my throat was raw from screaming because sometimes my voice on the page wasn’t enough. I kept writing until I looked up and found myself at a fork in the road. One path led toward a light. The other remained in darkness. I had written my way to acceptance in the process of release.

I turned toward the light and took the first steps toward recovery. For a ways, my anger came with me, carrying me when I wearied. It is still with me so many miles later, a support that perpetuates my transition from wounded to healing. From victim to survivor.

We are all wounded, but we have not all chosen to heal and survive. Some of us are still walking in the dark. Teaching expressive writing is my way of offering a hand to those I see lost in their shadows. It is also a tool to steady those who come to the page with no expectation except to write, but find themselves leaning precariously over a yawning gulf when a memory unexpectedly dragged them to that cliff. I remind them, “You are in charge of your story. You can always write your way home.”

Which is exactly what I do for myself. I write my heart free of restraint. I write myself whole. It is not always beautiful or sensible or even true, but it is work I can do to heal myself. It is work you can do as well.

blog

Pay Attention To What’s In Front Of You

I will be the first to admit that I am completely wired to the internet.  Building a brand here at Living The Dream has had me constantly on the world wide web working on it.  But that has like anything come at a cost.  What cost you ask?

Time.  Now that I am here in Saudi Arabia (you didn’t know?) working and living I am thousands of miles from my family.  And the eight hour time difference doesn’t help either!

See, time is a commodity in my world.  The time I take to interact with people is engagement that pays off in the long run.  But what about the people physically there with me in the same space?

That time is more important than anything else.  Honestly.  Be mindful of being present in the moment and fully engaged with who has chosen to spend their time with you.  Even if it’s not in the presence of another, make sure you do it whether on Skype, Google Hangout, etc.

Listen to them speak and watch the emotions in their face. Actively listen and pay attention to their words.  Show them that you value their time and what they are saying.

I am going to make an effort to be more engaged this month, this year, and this lifetime. Will you?

-alv

 

blog

Don’t Waste Any Opportunties 

the time is n.o.w.

 

When are you going to start working on your dreams?

I know you want to be the best version of you.  I know you want to make life easier for you and your loved ones.  You want to help those people in your community who are less fortunate.  You made the necessary plans and have them tucked away for when the time is right.

And when is that? When is the time ever right for anything?  The Wright Brothers didn’t wait until someone came along to perfect their plane.  They devised a rudimentary machine and set about trying to get it to fly.  They didn’t wait until someone showed them how to do it.  They just did it.  Yes, it didn’t work the first couple of times. But all it took was one time.  That one time changed the entire course of history for how we all travelled around the world.

When I knew that I wanted to leave the military, I didn’t wait.  I put in my retirement orders and began working on the foundation for my family’s new civilian life.  And as solid as I thought my plan was it still had holes in it. But you know I still too the leap of faith.

 Steve Harvey’s recent video below after a taping of Family Feud has gone viral.  In it he talks about jumping (doing it now) and not waiting.  Check it out.

http://youtu.be/NZmsDA1JVHw 

Great, huh?  See we all have a parachute (our dreams) and many of us hold onto it for years.  And like he said, some people never even open theirs.  In fact, many people go to their grave with them still strapped to their backs.  No, I am not trying to scare you, but you have to have a sense of urgency and jump. Jump into your destiny because there is no other perfect time to do so.

N.O.W. stands for No Opportunity Wasted.  We don’t have the time to sit around and let others realize your dreams and implement them.  We don’t have time for others to criticize us and tell us that it will never work.  Today right now at this very moment is the time.  There is no better opportunity.

Les Brown, the motivation speaker talks about you laying in your death bed and the end of your life.  Surround all around you are the Ghosts of Missed and Past Opportunities. They are standing above you and they are angry.  Angry that you didn’t take at least one of them and go for it.  They are angry at you that they now how to go to the grave with you.  Missed opportunities.

Now I don’t know what it is that you want to accomplish.  I don’t know your dreams.  And honestly, I don’t need to. Stop whatever you are doing and start on one of your goals.  No excuses.  Just stop and come back to this blog if you have to.  Bookmark if you want, but go and realize your dreams.  Take the first step closer to your legacy.  Remember, no opportunity wasted.

Live your Dreams.

-alv

What’s one goal that you would start today right now at this very moment?

blog

Love Is Not A Weakness

  
Feelings are an integral part of the human experience. To not display them to the world is selfish and a waste of your gifts. 

You should tell others how you feel when the opportunity presents itself. You should live and love with your feelings. 
It’s time to stop letting people’s opinions of you guide your life. 
Show your love and live your life. Strive for greatness. 
Who are you going to express your feelings to today?  Comment below. 

blog

What Do You Deserve In Life?

What exactly in life do you think you deserve?  A big house?  A nice job?  A beautiful spouse on your arm?  What if I told you that you honestly don’t deserve any of it.  Not one bit.  Not if you don’t work for it.

Many of us, not all, have someone been raised with a sense of entitlement.  As if because we were born, the world owes you any and everything that you want and desire.  That because of the work that our parents or ancestors have done we someone is entitled to a pass over hard hips, turmoil, trials and tribulation.

I want to tell you that if you feel that way and you are reading this blog you are in the wrong place.  My blog is not for you.  Though I love having followers and talking with you all, I can’t deal with those who feel that particular.  I don’t do entitlement.

Well, let me take that back.  I don’t care for people who have a sense of entitlement and have done nothing to warrant it.  I do, however, feel that we are all entitled to achieve our dreams.  We are entitled to be always striving for greatness.

But do you deserve it?  I say yes and can say it with conviction.  I know you deserve to not struggle your whole life with money, weight, or self-esteem.  I know you deserve to come out on top as much as possible.

But you and only you can get you there.  Only you can get what you deserve.  You can have all the right mentors, friends, coaches, etc. But if you don’t put in the work, it will never work for you.

We don’t simply deserve something because we are living and breathing on this planet earth.  Every specimen on this planet has to work hard for what they deserve. Why would you be any different?  Really.

Time is of the essence.  We don’t have to debate what you think about the subject.   Stop telling me your hustling.  Stop being everywhere but on the journey to fulfilling your dreams. It’s time to do work.

Have at it.

 

-alv