We are definately not the first to visit Kauai and spend our time on the beach scheming about how we could transplant ourselves here permanently.
Mr Self Care surprised me at the beach yesterday with a stack of real estate brochures, "there you go," he said, "find us someplace to live".
It appears that Kauai was not spared the real estate downturn. There were many short sales and bank REOs available. I think there may not be anything more sad than to realize your dream of moving to the island and then to have it taken from you.
We have spoken to many people who live here and we have heard repeatedly that it is so expensive to live here. More than one has told us that they work three part time jobs. I am, first, inspired by them- to fulfill their dream of staying here at all costs -and then I wonder about their quality of life: How much leisure time can they possibly have when they need to work three jobs to stay here?
Often since we arrived, we have heard different hotel staff rave about their morning surfing or kayaking excursion. More than one has conveyed their plans for hitting the beach and some waves after their shift. We have not met a single resident here, who was not friendly and upbeat - in fact, the Kauai transplants all seem to have a glazed over, dreamy quality to them. (or maybe we have all had too much sun?)
Dreaming is a condition that we can presume is unique to being human. We all have dreams, we just don't all follow them. We have fears, too, of the unknown, of failing....and responsibilities: children, parents, people who count on us, jobs, established homes, paths we have already found ourselves on...there are many things to stop us from taking a risk and following our passions and feeding our souls.
I do not want to be in the catagory of those who dream big, but don't act.
10 steps toward following one's dreams:
- Dream big, colorful, impossible dreams!
- Write it down. People who write down their goals and dreams are much more likely to realize them!
- Put together a plan. Mr Self Care and I have 1, 2, 5 and 10 year plans. These are not written in stone-we commit to making the plan happen as best as we can, but understand that life throws curves and we sometimes change our minds about the details and what is important (that is okay!)
- Act. Sometimes this means sacrificing and delaying gratification. Eye on the goal! Feet on the ground-moving toward it!
- Have an exit strategy. This is the best way to deal with your fears. A Plan B and an answer to "what is the worst thing that can happen?" can allay your worst nightmares. You may even find that the worst thing that can happen is to not try at all!
- Show gratitude for what you have.
- Encourage others to dream big too. Then show them how it is done.
- Take time to reflect and appreciate your accomplishments. We have all heard that success is a journey and not a destination. I do not completely agree. Give yourself time to fully absorb your accomplishment before jumping into the next dream pursuit. This can be more difficult than you think- once you get on a role of making things happen in your life it is difficult to pause!
- If you fail - and you may do this several times along the way: Regroup and begin again.
- Do not let anyone tell you that your dreams are unrealistic. All dreams become real when you act on them. Use their negativity to fuel your resolve. These naysayers need just examples set for them. It is up to you to change thier mind!