Taking Personal Inventory

Making an accurate appraisal of where you are in regard to living your dreams is a much more in-depth process than simply saying, “well, let’s see…I work in an office as a clerk, but my dream is to be president of a fortune 500 company, so I guess I’m not there yet.” On the surface that might be true, but it’s simply not enough information to enable you to make meaningful changes in your life. There are a number of steps that must be included in the Cumulative Appraisal.

Step #1: Determine Your Actual Life Position

This step is not easy for most people because it’s natural for us to minimize our shortcomings or our unfavorable circumstances. Let me share an example from my own life: I spent my mid-twenties telling myself that while I was in a job that I hated with no future, I was actually just one step away from catching that big break, or I was only moments away from being able to jump into another career or business of my own. But that wasn’t the case. I was just in a job that I hated, with no future. I had no specific life goal, much less a well planned strategy that I was executing to change my circumstances.

So, while there are times to put a “positive spin” on things, this isn’t one of them. You need to be brutally honest with yourself if you want to make changes in your life. It’s not always easy to accept reality. But you can console yourself by remembering that any negative life circumstances can be changed!

Step #2: Identify Your Dreams

Once you’ve determined where you truly are, you’ve got to figure out where it is you want to go. For some people it’s easy to know what their dreams are. They may have had a passion since they were a child, but they weren’t able to successfully pursue it and ended up taking a different path. But other people may not know for sure what would make them really happy. All they know is that they don’t like where they are. The method I recommend to determine what you would really like to do is ask yourself, “If I won $50 million dollars and never had to work to support myself again, what would I like to do?”  The answer to that question is very likely your dream that you should pursue.

Once you’ve done these two steps you will have a realistic “snap shot” of where you are and you’ll know where you want to go. 

L.B. had never been anything other than a house cleaner her whole life.  But, she finally got to a point where she knew she wanted to something more in life.  So, after doing her cumulative appraisal she realized that what she wanted was to get a college education. 

Yes, it seemed daunting, but I’m thrilled to report that L.B. has found a way to do it.  She’s been maintaining a “day job” while attending school for the last few years.  And, she’s now more than half way toward earning a Bachelor’s Degree.  But, most importantly, when L.B. looks in the mirror at night, she sees someone who is happy.

Time is the one commodity you have that is truly limited.  If you aren’t living your dreams then I strongly urge you to decide to make a change.  Ask yourself the hard questions about where you are and why…and then figure out where you want to go.  Believe me, I’m living proof that a person can change their whole life around.

Paul Lawrence is a produced screenwriter who has had a multimillion dollar film he wrote produced, he’s signed a development deal with one of the entertainment industry’s largest producers to executive produce a television show, sold another feature film script slated for a 2007 theatrical release, is the president of large direct mail order company, has appeared as an actor with several different roles in major feature films and is a happily married husband and father with a ten year old son.

To learn more about the “Dare to Live Your Dreams” program follow the link below: