A Personal Development Guide to Help you Follow your Dreams and Change the World

I so need to FOCUS a bit more on the simple things in life~EXPLOREDCreative Commons License

Do you ever wonder how some people can make such big changes in their lives and the world, but you can’ t seem to fight your way out of a brown paper bag?

Maybe that’s a bad analogy, but the point remains. The movers and shakers of your world who are connected to everyone and doing things on a daily basis to better their lives and those around them, must know something you don’t, right?

The truth is, most of the well known world changers and those “living the dream“, are just like you and me. Most of them haven’t always had it easy and have put in more work than you could imagine.

And like you they have the same fears, doubts, and time constraints. They have the same ability to make excuses or reasons as to why they “can’t” do something. Point is; they’re human, you’re human. Which means if they can do it, you have the potential to as well.

So how do they persevere and succeed where you can’t? 

Honestly, it’s different with everyone. There are certain strategies and processes you can take, but not everyone ends up in the same place.

My journey has taken me from wanting to become my own boss and make a shit ton of money because why the frick can’t I–to…I want to live my life on my own terms because I am tired of being a victim of my circumstances and the status quo, and I want to show people the truth about what’s possible with a minor adjustment to the thought process.

By changing the way you look at the world around you and your place in it, you can start a process that will take you on a journey of self growth, perceptual change, and a new found feeling of connection to the world around you. It’s as much a spiritual journey as a journey of self growth.

The following is a recollection of my journey to following my dreams and changing the world, along with the people who helped me the most along the way.

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Almost two years ago, I found an article on Problogger that changed my life. The article is about moving to paradise and getting paid to change the world by Jon Morrow.

I can’t remember how I found the article, but I’m sure I was searching for personal development, and dabbling around with blogging at the time.

I remember reflecting on that inspirational piece of writing for more than two weeks. It’s all I could think about.

Around the same time period, I started a sort of spiritual journey of personal growth and discovery. I was looking for some meaning and purpose for my life. I didn’t want to continue living the way I was living. I wanted to quit my job, move to paradise, and change the world.

More importantly, I wanted to stop wasting my life away by working a job I didn’t like and doing things I didn’t even want to do.

Within the next few weeks after reading Jon’s article, I decided that I wanted to do something to change my own life circumstances and do so by trying to make some sort of difference in the world.

I started a blog in hopes of using my new found passion for writing as a catalyst to turning it into a successful business that allowed me to live on my own terms and make a difference in the lives of others.

I also had a lot of interest in the blogging community, the connection it was bringing to the world, and the people who were doing some pretty amazing things using blogging as a tool to spread ideas and follow their dreams.

Awareness/Status Quo

I can pinpoint the exact moment I decided on the path I wanted to take to fulfill my dreams and make an impact in the world. It was right after I read, “A Brief Guide to World Domination” by Chris Guillebeau. By far the best manifesto I have ever read, hands down.

Chris talks about  the convergence between highly personal goals and service to others. My perception of the world hasn’t been the same since I read it. It’s the basis for all of my work and the key piece that’s drawn me towards the connections I’ve made in the past couple years. Don’t leave home without it ;)

Chris’s guide helped awaken a sleeping giant within me that would no longer stand for following a path not of my own. By realizing things that were locked up inside of me, I started becoming more in touch with who I was on the inside, and developed a new found sense of purpose for my life.

Becoming aware of a purpose that I never felt before brought me a strong feeling of the spiritual presence inside myself. This is what essentially woke me up and freed me from the status quo way of thinking. From here on out, it would be my catalyst for inspiration, movement, progress, and change.

Inspiration

It started with gathering the juice as we would say in my days as a direct sales marketer. I had no idea what I was doing and knew I’d need some positive reinforcement if I would want to keep going when I hit the “wall“.

I always start and end the day with about 10-15 minutes of inspirational goodness. This could mean reading some of my favorite blogs and books, watching a cool TED speech, or listening to a podcast if I’m up for it.

One of my favorite voices for inspiration and knowledge is Blogcast Fm. I will admit, I’m not a big podcast listener, but Srini’s voice makes the show easy to listen too. Something about his voice is very soothing, and he and David Crandall do some great work with the show. There is always someone on the show that is doing something amazing as far as following dreams and world change are involved. Can’t recommend it enough for both inspiration and growing a business from a blog.

Environment

If I could only give one piece of advice to someone who wants to make any change in their life and the world, I would tell them to find “their” environment and dive in head first.

Because my journey involves things like; living on my own terms, following my dreams, making some kind of difference in the world–I needed an environment to help support those goals. I needed to find a place where others were on the same path. And I needed to be able to lean on that environment for support, accountability, and progress on my journey.

Two communities have been the difference in my stopping a year ago and continuing to move forward on my path.

  1. Live Your Legend

  2. Paid to Exist

Scott Dinsmore from LYL and Jonathan Mead from PTE have really kept me going and the focus they put on environment is uplifting.

Scott’s focus on connection and his recent partnership with my friend Liz Seda is turning Live your Legend into a HUGE movement of people following their dreams and changing the world.

I owe Jonathan a debt of gratitude for how much he has helped me. The community around PTE is one of the best around.

Knowledge

So I became passionate about blogging extremely fast. I was online about 6-8 hours a day, learning everything I could about blogging, and how I could use it as a platform to express my views to the world. If I were to help people change their perceptions and follow their dreams, I would have to learn how to do it.

2 years ago, I knew nothing about blogging and I had no clue that I could use it to do pretty much whatever I wanted to do. Today, I use my blog to spread my opinions and ideas for world change and as a way to help people change the world by following their dreams.

The knowledge I have gained has completely done a 180 on my perception of learning. I used to hate reading, at least that’s what I thought. Truth is, I just hated reading what was assigned to me in school. Once I found something I was actually passionate about, learning became a new form of personal growth and change for me.

I was addicted to learning. Does that sound nerdy? Oh well.

What I discovered within myself from the knowledge I have and continue to gain, has allowed me to truly find my true self that has been locked away. The status quo, routine, complacency, and inertia of the world is a distraction that kills the human spirit. 

Once you learn how to find your true self, you open doors to an inner world you may otherwise never know. Gaining knowledge is as much a personal growth tool as it is for anything else.

I can honestly say that what I found on the inside has allowed me to change my entire outlook of my life, my dreams, and my purpose in this world.

Action

The only viable option after gaining knowledge on something is to take action on it. I mean, you can just let it roam around in your head and keep it for ?, or you can take action on it. That’s what I did.

I had started a blog, found my inspiration, my environment, and was learning at an incredible pace. All the while, I was taking actions on every thought and idea I had.

If I thought of a way to do something that would bring me closer to my goal, I wrote it down. I used to carry a small notebook in my pocket at work to write down blog post ideas. I didn’t want to forget anything. After all, my new found passion and purpose for fulfilling my dreams was all I could think about.

Whenever I came home, I would start;

  • Working
  • Writing
  • More writing
  • Creating
  • Connecting
  • Taking Action!

I was tired of being a lazy bum who would have these big ideas and dreams for my life and the world and do nothing about it. I couldn’t not take action on my dreams.

It took a ton of reflection and time to find the courage to start, but once I did, it was on like Donkey Kong.

Movement

Beyond action, there’s movement. You can take action all day, but if it isn’t getting you anywhere, you’re not really moving. For me, movement means being able to put myself in a position to make the best possible actions, to help bring me closer to my dreams.

I still have a lot of work to do, my first year of  running this site has resulted in both mixed results in forms of movement. I’ve come a long way, but haven’t always made the right decisions. But hey, that’s life. As long as we keep on keepin’ on, we’ll continue to move and progress.

The me of today, from an internal viewpoint and how I see the world, is much moved from the me of two years ago.

One of my favorite examples of movement, comes from Amy Clover from Strong Inside Out. Her story is one of true movement, both on a personal growth standpoint to health as well.

After all, both personal growth and health go hand-in-hand. If your not promoting good health for yourself, you’re not going to progress at your fullest potential. I know this from experience. The health part of my journey has been the toughest. It’s cost me a lot of productivity and progress, according to research.

Transcendence

A big part of my journey has been a spiritual one. I feel like I’ve grown leaps and bounds internally in the past couple of years. I feel more connected and aware of the world around me. I am more present when I’m interacting with the world. I feel a stronger connection with myself and the world around me.

This has allowed me to alter my perception a little more in favor of fulfillment and understanding. I also feel more comfortable with knowing and truly feeling the connection that flows through everything and everyone.

I’m not saying I can see the world like Neo in the Matrix :), I see the same picture, I just feel differently about it. I do still go back and forth though. It’s a state of being that takes some work to become fully immersed in.

I first learned about transcending the ego from an article by Jonathan Mead over at Paid to Exist whom I mentioned earlier. From there I started to take a deeper look within myself to find this higher self I heard about. I never looked back. It’s been an awesome journey! You should try it sometime.

Transformation

The entire process has been one of transformation. I think that’s most processes. For me, the best form of transformation is one that has led me to have a desire and the confidence to try and change the world. The inner changes I have felt in regards to my beliefs, perception, thought process, etc. has brought me to a place where I just feel more in tune with the world, what I want, and a stronger inclination to be of service to the world.

Afterall, the world is one and I am just a small part. I’ve found that when you work for the benefit of others, rather than yourself, you progress at a much faster rate, are more fulfilled, and become more connected to the world around you.

Someone who has helped me on an inner transformational level is Brendon Buchard. The way he presents his story and his own journey, helps you to build a stronger connection with him, which makes him seem more authentic. He presents his material is easy to understand and implement format. Even if you think you are worthless, (let’s hope not) I think Brendon can help.

Progress

The slow and winding road that has been my journey has not always been one of quick progression, but has always been moving forward. As we all know by now, progress is not linear. The greatest of progressions come from the continued pursuit of your goals. I found a graph that truly represents the path I’ve been on.

This graph by Anna Vital on how to never give up on becoming an entrepreneur, really shows the progression of the entrepreneurial journey, which let’s face it–is pretty much the same journey to progressing your life, following your dreams, and changing the world.

My progress has been a bumpy road to say the least, but my will to persevere through it all with my passion, belief, and effort has been key to moving forward.

A guy who has helped me with my continued effort to progress is Chris Brogan. His weekly newsletter alone, puts me in a productive mode, which has carried me through some pretty rough times and even some negative progress. I can’t say enough how much value Chris has given to me.

Closing Thoughts

The journey I’ve been on these past couple years has been just as much a personal development journey as it’s been a path to fulfilling my dreams of making a change in the world.

It’s not just a journey, but a way of life. It’s about finding that purpose inside of yourself and using it as a catalyst for moving you forward and living the life you want to live. With enough persistence, effort, desire, passion, connection, and knowledge–I believe we all have a chance for our dreams can come true.

The more people who are following their dreams led by purpose and meaning, great changes happen in the world, resulting in positive change and movement. So keep on dreamin’ and keep moving forward. The world needs you to follow your dreams and ultimately change the world.

If these thoughts have resonated with you in some way, please be sure to share, comment, or send me a message. Here’s to the continued pursuit of happiness, world change, and living the dreams ;)

You can also check out the book I’m working on with an all-star cast of fellow dreamers and world changers here

photo credit: Nina Matthews via Compfight

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for sharing Justin and congrats on how far you have gotten with your journey. I think the biggest takeaway here is just putting in the time to actually do it, while knowing what your ultimate goal is.

    “Whenever I came home, I would start;

    Working
    Writing
    More writing
    Creating
    Connecting
    Taking Action!”

    That’s the secret to success right there ;)

    Writing this to you from Croatia, where I’m working and living for a month and a half “just because” (well specifically because Croatia has amazing rock climbing: http://twitpic.com/cxlmqe). These fundamentals may not be as sexy as the “get rich quick”, but they work!

    Great work on the post.

    • says

      Appreciate the support Matt. Thank you. That does look pretty sweet. That house in the rock is awesome. I’ve never seen that before.

  2. says

    Digging this post! I commend you on your journey and send you good vibes on your path moving forward. Much like you point to in this post success much like life in not a straight shot, it much more like a wobbly road, but those who persist in the direction of their dreams/passions/intuition will always bear the fruits of their efforts!

    Great stuff : )

    • says

      Thanks for the kind words Jeremy. I can’t tell you how many different “dreams” I have quit on in my life. (It’s a lot) What I’ve learned, and like you say, ” those who persist in the directions of their dreams” through everything. And then some more, will have a better chance to “bear the fruits”. I’m a big baseball fan and one of my favorite quotes is, “Every strike brings me one step closer to a home run” by Babe Ruth.

      I already know I can fail. The more I do, the better I get at knowing how I’ve failed. My hope is that sooner or later, failing will feel like progress.

  3. says

    In other words: “If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” – Ray Bradbury

  4. says

    Justin,

    I just shared that infograph about “How to Never Give Up” with my social network. I find “the dip” to be really interesting and reading that made me consider that I may possibly be there. I’m at a place where it looks hard and almost too difficult, but if I don’t give up, I could make it. I do believe that.

    Thanks for the inspiring story.

    • says

      Thanks Kraig. I’d like to think I’m there as well. I’d really like to believe I’m slowly working my way up the giant “dip”. Keep pushing forward my friend. It’s definitely in the moments of our most difficult times we can choose to give up or push through. I also believe there is gray area in there like most things. You may come to a point that the path you’re on just needs a little redirecting. I don’t know how many times I keep changing roads, but I continue on. The more I learn and grow, the more I take pleasure in the process. Thanks for stopping by! Best of luck to you!

Love to hear your thoughts. Please share in the comments :)