A lucky few might. Most of us might react along a range from rueful laughter to strong disagreement.
But for many of us it’s (partly) true. Here’s why.
Even when we feel that much of our lives is controlled by others, we still exercise a lot of our own free will. From a very young age, we make choices within the limits we have, based on our own desires, interests and preferences.
And, if we look back over the free choices we have made in our lives, we will find that they are linked by remarkably consistent themes.
For example, we might have chosen to:
- work as little or as much as possible;
- stay in one place, or move around often;
- keep things quiet or busy;
- work with visual media, words, or things;
- be around people mostly, or mostly be alone;
- celebrate with big parties, or intimate dinners;
- be physically active or sedentary;
- learn new things by taking classes, or by our own experiments;
- dress ourselves to look nice or to feel comfortable, or both;
- choose specific colours or styles in our shopping, dressing, decorating;
and on it goes.
We might stray from time to time: dabble with a new way of dressing, working, learning, living (out of boredom, or fear we are doing things wrong, or to please other people). But we will yearn for, and usually return to, the themes which work for us in the end.
In a world that is always telling us there’s more and selling the new, it’s easy to think that we need to shake things up all the time; that choosing the same sort of things day after day is dull, boring, sad, instead of calming and comforting. We fail to notice, let alone appreciate, that we are already choosing what suits us, what makes us uniquely ourselves.
So if we want to live our dream life, we don’t need to buy the latest style of sofa. We just need to do this:
- notice and appreciate what we already do that we love;
- find the themes that link those things together (and maybe put them together to help create a vision for your life);
- make more choices based on those themes.
There’s a good chance that you are living your dream life already, just not all the time.
One of my favourite coaching questions for new clients is: “Tell me your story”. You can learn so much about yourself from where you start your story, what you put in or leave out, the language you use and the themes that keep popping up throughout.
You’ll get the best results from this if you do it with a skilled coach, but you can also write down your own story, or record it, if you want to do this for yourself.
Or try this question to help discover your themes: “What did I love doing when I was seven years old?”.