I still remember where I was when I got the call that my Dad dropped dead. Bam. Done. No warning. Finito. People randomly die everyday, which is heartbreaking, and all the more reason for you to go for your dream life today.
1. Do one small thing each day – break it down to the ridiculous.
In sales there’s a saying: “break it down to the ridiculous.” It’s where you crunch the numbers and tell someone affording their dream home is as easy as buying a coffee everyday or some shit. Anyway, do one small (or large for you overachievers out there) thing a day that gets you closer to your dreams. Trust me, it’s not that hard. I’m not saying quit your job, drop your mortgage and move to Tahiti tomorrow. Easy now, young grasshopper. Start by pulling out that IPhone Memo app and writing down 10 simple things you know would put you further along in your dream life or career. Now, spread those items out over 10 days, or even 10 weeks if it starts to feel too overwhelming. Hell, do one a month – just do something. If some of those items require their own top-ten list, then start writing out actionable steps to get you closer to each one. Baby steps, friend.
2. Find a role model.
Before moving to New York to become a model, I used to go to modeling agencies’ websites and poke around. I would try to find the one or two models whose “look” I could relate to; maybe he had a similar hair style as me, or he too didn’t have those perfect, rock-hard abs. If you start diving into the k-hole that is self help literature and media, people like Tony Robbins will tell you that “modeling” — and no, I’m not talking about cat-walking and posing — is the surest way to replicate someone elses’ results. Find someone doing the thing you want to do and follow what they did to get there.
3. Manage your expectations from Day 1.
When I was 23 and first moved to New York City, I thought I would be a full-time, working model within 6 months… **insert Ace Ventura side-mouth cackle**… Let’s just say that didn’t happen. Your boy is 6 years deep and still not there, but am I closer than I was in my doe-eyed, baby-ass-fresh early 20s? You betcha. But imagine my disappointment when 6 months and 1 day rolled up back in December of 2011 and I was like: really? While I had shot my first campaign for HTC (an electronics company), that was only one job I made $800 from. Now, I’m no math whiz, but I’m pretty sure $800 isn’t enough to live in Bushwick, Brooklyn for 6 months, let alone one week. Anyway, I’ll stop myself before I bust out my excel budget, but let me tell you this: life is messy and often times out of our control, so I’m not saying be an underachiever — I think you should always aim high — but don’t set unreasonably high expectations for yourself because I guarantee they will sabotage your mental state as you make reasonable progress. Give yourself a break – you’re out here doing this thing, so don’t give up at the first set-back. As Randy, a fabulous, singing yoga instructor whose classes I love says: “failure in yoga is progress; failure in life is progress.” Failure is progress, so manage those expectations to make room for it on your journey to eventual success.
4. Nourish your mind.
Meditate. Read good books on your industry. Find local or online communities with forums you can tap into. Get therapy. Ok, just kidding about that last one (not assuming everyone else is as crazy as me 😜). It’s a competitive world out there, so the old adage is true: knowledge is power.
5. Fuck the haters and remove negative influences from your life.
I’m serious. Fuck those haters. Do you. Sometimes the haters are your family, even your mother. So, yes, I’m gonna say it: fuck your mother. Ok, just kidding, couldn’t miss that golden opportunity. If you have people in your life who suppress you with negative thoughts or ways of being — like hanging around with people who drink to avoid their problems, or people who are always complaining about how “hard life is” — either have a come-to-Jesus moment with them, or keep it moving. I’m not suggesting abandoning your loved ones on a whim, but this goes along with Tip #4: nourish your mind with the best thoughts possible, and if you hang around with people who are always bringing your unrealistic, excitable ass crashing down to earth, maybe you should chill on hanging out with them until you’re mentally strong enough to deflect the bullshit, ya feel me? Also, in general, anyone who is an actual hater on social media or wherever: block those motherfuckers.
6. Act as if.
Is your goal to be the next Ru Paul? Well, pop on those heels heeeeany, cause you gon’ needa act as if if you ever want to be that fabulous. What I mean by “act as if” is imagine you are already living your dream life now in this very moment! What would you look like; how would you dress; how would you speak and move; what actions would you take each day? Do that. Find YouTube videos if you aren’t sure how to. Now, I’m not saying you should violate your company’s dress code if you are still rocking that 9-5 hustle on your path to achieving your dreams, but — within reason, and without violating any state or local laws — be the person you want to be today. A lot of people think it goes like this: have –> do –> be; but actually, it’s like this: BE –> DO –> HAVE. It’s in reverse. I know it can be a hard concept to wrap your head around, like, “so, Myles, how do I be who I want when I don’t have what I need to do it today?” If you do some research on neuroplasticity, which basically is the brain’s ability to create new neural pathways based on actions, you’ll find that we can’t think our way into being, we have to act our way into new thinking. Action. It’s all about taking action. Act, act, act. People waste sooo much time trying to be “ready,” when the people they want to be just like — their role models — were equally as clueless before they started, but the difference is they were brave enough to get off their ass and try.
7. Invest in yourself.
I’m talking actual legal currency. Pump dem Benjis up in yaself (translated into White Boring Person, I’m saying “pump the Benjamins into yourself”). You are your most valuable, appreciating asset, so by all means invest in yourself. Take a class, invest in coaching, buy new running shoes (actual good ones), etc. Not to sound like a Self Magazine article, but I’m gonna say it: you deserve it.
8. Change your beliefs – limiting beliefs BE GONE.
Ok, this one should have been at the very top, but they say people remember the first and last sets of a series best, so I’m gonna say this: the most important thing you can do to support your dream life is eliminate limiting and self-sabotaging beliefs. I’m sure if you do a Google search on “how to get rid of limiting beliefs,” or “self sabotage” you’ll find tons of resources on this subject. But here’s an example (of course it’s about me because, well, duh, it’s my blog aka The Me Show #whichisfine): every year after I turned 18 I always thought I was one step further away from my dream of becoming a successful male model. Each birthday honestly created anxiety for me – think about that! In my prime youth I was worried about how old I was getting and how this natural, unstoppable process was going to destroy my chances of achieving the one thing I’ve ever truly known I wanted. Now, as I approach 30 years-old this fall, I’m closer than ever to being the male model I once dreamed to be. I learned so much about the various markets for male models and the sheer abundance of work out there for me as I gracefully age into my 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond. Wow! To think I almost talked myself out of my dream to go be banished to a boring 9-5 life because a belief I created (which was fueled by the media, but that’s a whole other article) that wasn’t even true. Bam. Let that one marinate.
Think I missed something? Have an addition to my list you’d like to add in? Comment below and let me know what your helpful tips are. I’d love to hear from you!