Have you designed your dream life? Many of you probably hesitated to answer that which is why today we’re diving into how to design your dream life.
IE 182: How to Design Your Dream Life with Denise Walsh
Maybe you went to college and got a degree expecting to graduate and begin serving your community and the world at large.
But too often, it doesn’t happen that way. My guest today, Denise Walsh, hit a brick wall when trying to serve the people who needed her help the most.
In this episode, Denise shares how she started her home business over a decade ago, and how you, too, can design your dream life.
It’s All About Serving the People
Because of her background, Denise knew she wanted to help as many people as possible. She says, “I just had so much love to give; I just knew I was going to change the world.”
But like many of us who end up in helping professions, Denise had a rude awakening ahead of her, as the parameters of her jobs began to limit her ability to help people in the way she knew they needed help.
Denise wasn’t confused about “what” she wanted to do; she was just trying to figure out “how” to do it. And her degree in Psychology and the ensuing positions were definitely not it.
But what’s a person to do when the very culture they’re raised in says that you go to school, you get a job, and then you work there until you get a better job, or until you retire? Denise struggled through this way of doing things for 5 years until she decided to start a business at home.
And finally, she found what she had been looking for. A way to help people in the way she knew they needed to be helped.
The Dream Life Pathway: The Head
Denise has developed a method called the Dream Life Pathway that she now teaches. This method uses a “head, heart, and feet” approach.
The head is really getting clear on what it is you want.
What do you want life to look like? What would your dream day look like? Denise covers 7 areas in this section, including family, friends, finances, health, hobbies, business, and giving back.
Clarity on what you want is key to everything in life. Lack of clarity is what leads you to burnout in a job you hate.
If you don’t know what you want, you will never have the connection between your head, heart, and feet, and you will feel lost and unfulfilled no matter what job you take.
Where Do You Find Yourself?
What would it look like if you could rate every one of the 7 areas in Denise’s method a solid 10?
She meets and coaches many people and even the people that she would deem very successful oftentimes rate their lives at a 4.
The problem here is that when you see your life as a 4, it bleeds into every area of your life.
Your friends are 4’s, your work is a 4, the conversations you have with others are all 4’s. If you dare to change your attitude, your 4 friends and family might accuse you of thinking you’re too good for them.
So, first, you have to be honest about where you are. It’s much easier to stay where you are, even if you don’t like it, than it is to make a change. Change is uncomfortable. Many times, we’d rather stay where we are and complain about it than take steps toward a life of 10’s.
Dream Life Pathway: The Heart
If the head is about gaining clarity around what you want, the heart is all about being emotionally connected to what you want.
Denise often tells people, “If your dream board makes you anxious or angry, change your dream board.”
Your goals and dreams should make you feel excited.
If your goals are too large, you might feel angry that you aren’t reaching them year after year, so it may be time to adjust your goals to something you can actually reach. Or maybe it’s time to grow your beliefs.
Connecting emotionally with your dream means stepping into it; taking steps to start making things happen.
Even after Denise started her business, she continued telling people she was a psychologist. It wasn’t until she saw herself as a CEO of her own business that she really stepped into her dreams and goals, and she could boldly declare what her dreams were.
Dream Life Pathway: The Feet
You have clarity, you are finally connecting with what you say you want…now what? Now it’s time for action.
Feet signify action. Can you meditate yourself to success? Maybe. But action will get you there a whole lot faster.
Mark Victor Hansen, the co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, says, “Asking is the bridge from your dreams to your destiny.”
What Denise finds all too often though, is that while we may know what we want, we don’t fully believe we can have it and so we don’t take any action towards it.
The Dream Life Pathway of head, heart, and feet is a method that allows you to be in complete alignment with your dreams. You know what you want, you believe you can get there, and you take steps to make it happen.
Design Your Dream Day
Are you ready to design your dream life but you don’t know where to start?
Denise says to begin by writing down your dream day. Take some time with this and really think it through. And don’t start with, “I want to be lying on a beach, drinking margaritas and making millions of dollars while I lie there.”
Back up from there and think about your dream business day.
- How many clients are you talking to?
- Do you have social media help?
- Where is your office?
As you work through the 7 areas we mentioned earlier, your dreams will begin to come to light.
You could also make a list: 30 Things I Want to Be, Do, and Have. Mark Victor Hansen shared with Denise that he has 7K dreams on his dream board. So maybe we just need to dream more dreams and believe that we can accomplish them.
The key is to pick one thing to focus on. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to reach 12 goals at once.
Choose the one goal that will make the most immediate change in your life and create an action plan for that goal.
Stop Spinning Your Wheels
When you begin to build your dream life, the rest of your life doesn’t just come to a screeching halt. Not at all. Everything that you’re currently doing has to keep going unless you plan to quit your job and run away.
This is possibly the biggest obstacle that new entrepreneurs face that discourages them, the fact that they now have to squeeze in some kind of side hustle or new project into their already jam-packed real life.
Denise helps people work through the process of choosing a dream life goal and then prioritizing their schedule so that the things they’re actually doing are moving them towards that goal.
Time management is the #1 problem that entrepreneurs face. We just can’t figure out how to add anything to our plate.
Why? Because we’ve already said yes to too many things. It’s time to let some stuff go and focus on our dream life.
Denise has created a planner that helps you go through what you actually do in a day and what you say you want to do and get those things more in alignment.
This planner helps you prioritize the actions that will move you closer to your dream life.
Are You Ready to Design Your Dream Life?
If this episode has really connected with you and helped you to see how much you do have dreams that you want to achieve, we want to give you a place to start.
Denise has several books to walk you through the Dream Life Pathway, as well as journals where you can put pen to paper and work your plan.
She also has a podcast called Dream Cast. (I was recently a guest and you can hear that episode here.) The podcast focuses on the pivot point, when you realize you don’t like where you are, you’re called to something bigger, and the courage it takes to step into that calling.