Creating Your Own Opportunities

Creating Your Own Opportunities

In the past few months, I have been noticing an interesting trend where people lament their lives because there aren’t enough opportunities for them.

Maybe we need to start changing how we understand opportunities. For so long, we assumed or were led to believe that once we’re old enough, the right opportunities would come our way. Flash forward a few years, and you will quickly come to realize that opportunities don’t just fall into your lap. If anything, they come by once in a blue moon and are fleeting.

Then there’s a rude awakening that makes you realize you have to go out and create your opportunities because they will not come knocking at your door. The idea that you have to create things out of thin air is daunting. But you’re in a tiny bit of luck because starting to create opportunities for yourself just requires energy, effort, and patience. All things you have probably already have!

If you have no idea where to start, here are a few steps you can take to start creating the opportunities you want in your life.

1) Figure out what you want

There’s no use in trying to create something when you have no idea what you want. Take your time researching, reflecting, and picturing what kind of opportunities you want in your life.

2) Putting yourself out there

Again, nothing will come knocking on your door. It is up to you to get yourself out there. How? Well, it might look different for everyone. For some, it might mean volunteering, networking, applying to jobs, meeting other like mine people who want similar things to you. For others, it could be starting their own business, organization, etc.  

3) Creating opportunities

Sometimes all it takes is one simple claim, email, question or answer to set off an opportunity. But at the very basis of it all, you need to try. For example, the job I currently have is thanks to me sending one email just prying and trying to see if I could volunteer. Nothing crazy, but that one email led to a few more and then a zoom call and now I have a job. I had to put myself out there and dare to just ask one simple question.

Creating opportunities in your life is not some giant momentous occasion, it is small little actions that you take every single day, 

Somewhere between one point and another, people forget that if you want something to happen, more likely than not, you have to go out and get it done yourself. The world is not waiting around, trying to find the right time to give you an opportunity. It’s entirely up to you what opportunities you go out into the world and create.

Does this mean it’s easy? No. But that’s the entire point, nothing easy ever really just happens. Opportunities do not appear out of thin air.

Opportunities require effort, energy, time and putting yourself out there.

Figure Out Who You Are & What You Want

Figure Out Who You Are & What You Want

Do you ever find that your goals never pan out? Do you find yourself unmotivated after the excitement wears off? Then this post might be for you.

Today, I don’t want to focus on creating our goals, instead, I want to help you build a solid foundation for your goals and dreams, and that all starts with understanding who you are and who you want to become. When we create goals with no solid foundation, we set ourselves up to fail in a way. The truth is, the excitement and motivation will run out; but if you have created goals that align with who you are and who you want to become, then you can keep working towards those goals even when it gets challenging.  

Before you start building your goals, take the time to understand who you want to become. I find that the easiest way to go about this is by journaling. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated just grab a pen and a piece of paper and start writing. Write about anything that comes to your mind and what you want out of life and who you want to become.

For those of you who might need a bit of guidance, here are some journaling prompts I used after I did my free write, to structure out my ideas and see them more clearly:

  • Are you happy right now? If so, what makes you happy? If not, what makes you unhappy?
  • Is there anything you would change in your life right at this moment?
  • Who do you want to become? What does the best version of yourself do? What habits do they have? What kind of person are they?
  • Are you still the same person you were a few years ago? How have you changed? Have you changed at all?
  • What kind of lifestyle do you want to be living?

Your Dreams Are Allowed To Change

Your Dreams Are Allowed To Change

Yes, you are allowed to change your dreams.

Nowadays, the concept of bettering yourself, growing or changing is the norm in society. There are countless books, tv shows, apps and journals designed to help you just that. But what they often forget to include is that as you are changing and growing as a person, your dreams and goals will inevitably also change.

Whenever someone asks me what my life plan is, or where do I see myself in five years? I have a hard time responding, mainly because it is terrifying to think that far ahead. But mostly because of who I am, my interests and my aspirations have changed so much throughout the years. No one ever really talks about just how much one person can change in a short amount of time or when faced with a series of obstacles and challenges in their life.

I just wish that someone could tell 18-year-old me that things are allowed to change. Not only am I allowed to change, but what I want from life and what I want to contribute to the world can also change.

In my life, there have been two specific times where I essentially realized that I didn’t want something I had wanted for a very long time. From the ages of about 13 to 17, I wanted nothing more than to be a lawyer. But then one night as I was studying, it dawned on me that that was not what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be anymore. It was crushing, to say the least. It was as if I was crushing my own dreams, instead of someone else doing it for me. Eventually, I came to terms with that realization and embarked on what I would refer to as a 5-year journey of confusion.

This brings me to the second instance of realization. A few weeks ago, I was just journaling as I normally do, and without even realizing it I was writing about how I didn’t know what my next step would be. I was so intent on doing this one thing with my career for so long that I lost sight of how much I didn’t like it. I forgot how sad, depressed, and miserable that work environment made me, so why was I clinging on to it?

You see, we might change and grow every day, but we often forget to update our dreams and goals along the way. It is perfectly normal to not want to same things you used to hope and pray would happen to you. I was holding on to this dream that no longer fit who I was now – it was very much a leftover mark of who I used to be.

Your dreams and goals are allowed to change.

What often happens is that we don’t give ourselves permission to change them. Suddenly our minds wonder what everyone will think. Will I leave my comfort zone? Will I fail? Which are all normal questions, but I have come to understand that when you don’t check in with yourself, or when you keep outdated dreams and goals in the back of your brain, you are essentially holding on to your comfort zone and stopping yourself from truly growing.

That’s what I was doing. I had built up this fantasy in my mind for so long about how my dreams and goals would look, but how they were playing out was so different. I was holding on to these dreams out of fear of failure and out of fear of the unknown.

It was only when I came to a breaking point that I realized how miserable my dreams and goals made me, and started thinking, well what can I do? Did I realize how much I was stopping myself from actually living my life the way I wanted to?

To sum it up, yes, you are allowed to change your dreams. If anything, I encourage you to check in with yourself and see if what you wanted for so long is still what you want from life right now, as the person you are today. If not, don’t worry. Give yourself some time to explore, think, feel out the edges of your comfort zone and remember that you can quite literally do anything with your life.

Monthly Goals

Monthly Goals

Some people find planning an entire month to be daunting or useless – and I get that, I do. But planning things ahead of time allows you to decide when things will happen, how they will happen and give you more time than you thought you had.

Monthly goals are an excellent way to set up your month, plan out a strategy to reach your short- or long-term goals and overall visualize what is to come in the month or months ahead.

Here are a few things I do when planning for my month:

1.       Breaking down yearly goals

Although we aren’t in January or February anymore, we should still be working towards our yearly or long-term goals. By revisiting those goals, you set out at the beginning of the year, you can allow yourself to create a list of smaller tasks that will help you further those goals. It does not have to be anything crazy but accomplishing one or two smaller tasks a month can eventually lead you to accomplish your yearly goal.  By looking back on your goals, you are better able to see what you need to get done this month to make sure you are actively working towards those goals.

2.       Personal development

The beginning of every month also allows you to start fresh on your development journey. Although you can do this any day of the week, starting the month with a few habits you want to incorporate into your routine is a great way to start. The way I prefer to go about this is by creating a monthly habit tracker. Not only is the habit tracker a visual reminder to complete a certain habit, but it will help you stay on top of the various habits by condensing it all into one space.

3.      Appointments, dates, deadlines…

This one is obvious, but it can often just go over our heads. It’s a lot easier to know what’s coming at the beginning of the month than to forget something really important last minute. Take a few minutes to write down any appointments, birthdays, events or deadlines you might have coming up.

4.       Non-negotiables

Our monthly schedules can get full and hectic fast, so you need to schedule some downtime and some fun hobbies or activities. By planning these things ahead of time, you won’t need to reschedule them if something else pops up. It’s important to plug in these non-negotiables into our calendar because often they are what refuels us and keeps us going.

If you have a few minutes today, grab your planner or a calendar and just sit down and look at the month ahead. Take a look at your goals, your habits, your hobbies, chores, and ask yourself how can I plan this month in a way that gives a balance between all these things? How can I make sure that I am organized, productive and also prioritizing myself? At the end of the day, planning is a way of prioritizing yourself and what you need or want to get done.

Planning For 2021

2020 was a tough year, collectively and personally. It was a year that upended many aspects of our lives and a year that showed no mercy. The goals that I had set at the beginning of the year were completely thrown out the window by March. I honestly just floated through the rest of the year without a single goal in mind.

In a way, it was refreshing. I did my day-to-day things; I tried my best in school and blogged a bit, but I didn’t put any pressure on myself to adapt my goals or start from scratch. Which is exactly the mentality I am taking with me into 2021. But this time, I have decided that instead of setting yearly goals, I would just take it month by month. If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that you can’t plan life. You can’t plan or predict what will happen tomorrow, and although that scares me, it has also been a sort of comfort to know that I just need to get my shit together one month at a time.

Everything in my life as of this point is beyond uncertain. I guess you could say I am in a unique position in my life, but I think it’s a rather common one that a lot of us have faced. It’s that point where one chapter has closed, and another one hasn’t yet open so here we are just standing in the in-between of life. At least, that is how it feels to me.

But with this in-between phase, I still have things I want to do and goals to reach but I am taking a much more relaxed approach to them. So, for January 2021, here are a few of my goals and what I am focusing on.

  • Career – I am at that point in my life where I am ready, and need, a proper adult job, if you will, so one of my goals is not necessary to get a job but it is to apply to quite a lot of jobs.
    • Apply to 5 jobs a week
    • Create a job application tracker
    • Update and translate my Resume
  • The Life We Dream Of Blog
    • Grow my followers (no amount specified, because again I am trying not to put pressure on myself)
    • Post once a week
    • Update and organize website layout and content
  • Personal
    • Read 4 books (my goal is to read 50 books this year, if you have any recommendations please leave them in the comments!)
    • Re-establish a morning routine
    • Work on my relationship with money and finances

Just remember, last year was extremely challenging and the fact of the matter is, 2021 will be equally as challenging. Keep that in mind when you are creating your goals, do not put pressure on yourself to reach these impossible standards. Take a deep breath, it has been a long year but remember everything can change in a year. Just take it one month at a time. 

Follow Your Heart

If you are anything like me, you will find yourself in a position of feeling lost, confused, and just generally stuck. But recently, I have been having to make a lot of decisions about what is coming next, and I have spoken about it already here on the blog, but I think it is worth bringing up again.

Earlier today, I was watching a Disney Christmas commercial, and while sobbing my way through it (it gets you in the feels), a quote was said that resonated with me on a deep level. The quote was “if you don’t know where you are heading, follow your heart”. Maybe it was the emotions, or perhaps it was just what I needed to hear, regardless, it made me cry even more.

When I heard that, I felt something in me change – something unlocked inside of me that I had spent so much time trying to ignore and push away. For so long, my heart has been trying to tell me what I wanted to do, what my next step would on this journey that is my life, but I shoved it aside. I shoved it aside because it did not seem like something I could do — after all, I had never seen it done before.

I am not one to listen to my heart, but there is something about this pandemic that has been forcing me to reconsider that line of thinking. In the past nine months, I have not stopped having this internal argument in my mind about what I should or should not do. For nine months, I have been actively avoiding my heart, caving in and just listening to it, realizing that indeed it was telling me what I wanted and then listening to it. So why have I suddenly forgotten that process in the last few weeks? It’s because I got scared. I got scared of what could be, of who I could become and of what would happen if I failed. But this required me once again (I do this weekly) to reconsider my relationship with failure. And the conclusion I have reached is that if you follow your heart, and live an authentic life, true to yourself, then you can never fail. We only start to fail when we ignore what we want because the goal seems too challenging, scary or unachievable.

I think this has to be said along with this is that following your heart is not easy; it has never been easy; it never will be easy. You will have to consistently choose to challenge yourself over sticking in your comfort zone, courage over fear and be vulnerable.

So why is it even worth it? Why should I follow my heart? Because at the end of it all, the only way you can live an authentic, loving and joy-filled life is if you start following your heart and going after what you want. It is the only way to live a life that will make you truly happy at the end of it – follow your heart and enjoy the ride.