It should come as no surprise to you, surely, that I’m a dreamer.
I’ve been this way ever since I was essentially a toddler. I always felt within me, on some strangely molecular level, that there must be more to life than what I knew existed in my reality, and therefore I found myself dreaming constantly. Daydreaming of who I’d become when I was all grown up.
My life philosophy naturally evolved into one simple, inspiring tenant: chase your dreams, which I got to thinking about while shooting with my talented sidekick at Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas.
This later became the tagline for my line of skirts, which upon its launch, I decided was proof itself that dreams do come true and my life’s philosophy must have been correct. I figured the creation of something of the sort was a major accomplishment in itself. Me? A fashion entrepreneur? No way.
Yes, way. It happened. The skirts were made. The launch came.
And as wonderful as it was, my life somehow did not explode with endless falling sparkles as I’d imagined.
Now back to reality.
Quickly it dawned on me that this accomplishment I’d been working towards for so long and finally brought into reality didn’t immediately catapult my life into the dream I’d envisioned. Instead I discovered more reality, which was essentially more hard work, persistence, and a road with an undisclosed mileage sign to my proposed destination.
These humbling, potentially disappointing, realizations after dabbling in “fantasy land” are pretty common, as I’m sure you know. Sometime they happen to us after the launch of our first company, after a devastating breakup with someone we thought was our soul mate, or even after the return after an exciting trip to Disney Land. Reality can be a hard pill to swallow.
Expectations are a slippery-slope to disappointment. Not always, of course,
I begin to realize that my life’s philosophy might need a makeover.
Not that I’ve suddenly become proponent to not chasing your dreams; quite the opposite. It’s just that after so many experiences wanting, working, and then wailing from disappointment when the “want” becomes a reality and you realize startlingly that it’s not what you expected, I’ve decided something new.
My life’s philosophy now is simple: be joyful every single day. It’s about making my life – and suggesting that you should make yours – as joyful as you possibly can. Right now.
You should still chase your dreams. Still pursue things relentlessly while keeping a grain of salty knowledge that perhaps it might not be what you expected while you get there. But regardless of the destination, I’ve discovered that this shift in my life’s philosophy has instantly transformed my journey to something so much more memorable, meaningful, and grounding.
I’m suggesting that it could do the same for you, too.
Why not happiness? I’ve chosen the word “joy” strategically for my life’s philosophy for one reason in particular. I think “happiness” is a word that’s massively overused and, quite frankly, pretty abused. Happiness is an ideal we all want, but for most of us, we find happiness in unsustainable and sometimes unhealthy ways. Typically “happiness” is fleeting and superficial.
Joy, on the other hand, is an attitude. It’s a choice. Joy is something that springs up from the inside and pervades the essence of each of your experiences. Joy is something you can spread with a smile, a compliment, or even just the energy you bring to any occasion. To any interaction. Joy is patient and long-lasting. It’s always there, within you, at any moment you choose to acknowledge it. With joy comes gratitude, patience, presence, and love.
What’s your life’s philosophy?
I ask people this often. Sometimes it makes people uncomfortable and other times it acts as opener for a really great conversation. But, either way, I think this is a question we should all ask ourselves.
Side note: As you can see, life philosophies can change, especially when you experience something new and gain a brand new perspective or insight on life. This is totally okay. Perhaps we should even revisit our life philosophies at the start of each year, or after our annual birthday celebrations. It’s totally okay, I’ve realized, to give yourself permission to change your dream, your goal, your life’s philosophy, your hair color, your friends, and even yourself.
Your life’s philosophy can be based on a number of things, but I think – for efficacy’s sake – it should be refined to encompass how you most want to feel.
Then, throughout your life (your reality, your day-to-day) you’ll find yourself drawing from your life’s philosophy. For strength. For direction.
And in my case, for boundless, energetic joy.
What I’m Wearing:
Photography by Allyfotografy at Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas.