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Review: Reclaim Your Dreams
What would your life look like if you were living your dreams rather than putting them off or thinking that they were unattainable or foolish?
Why aren't you making those dreams happen? I'm betting for every reason you give, Jonathan Mead has a reply in his ebook "Reclaim Your Dreams." But not only does he have a reply, he may just have some practical solutions that moves you from dreaming to living your dreams.
Jonathan is the voice behind Illuminated Mind and a frequent contributor at ZenHabits, and that voice carries through to his book. But there's much more to the book than to the blog, which is an incredible compliment given how much there is to his blog. He's always a bit of a boundary pusher, and in his first ebook, the boundary he's trying to push is the boundary you've put between yourself and your dreams. He's out to "show you how to forge a new relationship between head and heart, between the practical and the frivolous."
And he delivers on his part of the deal. Yet his aim is not just to give you something to think about: he's giving you no-nonsense exercises to get you moving towards making your dreams real. Interspersed throughout the book are 11 exercises that will make the difference between you having another pleasurable reading experience and you starting to live your dreams - that is, if you take the exercises seriously.
What you should know is that the ebook is aesthetically beautiful, but don't let its pretty looks fool you; it packs a mean punch. It's arranged into two logical parts - the first part (Chapters 1-3) create "space for your dreams to breathe and grow," and the second part gives you the tools and solutions you'll need to manifest those dreams.
Here's a quick overview of the chapters:
Chapter 1: Reclaim Ownership of Your Own Mind
Before you can begin to dream, you have to reclaim ownership of your own mind. Though it seems a bit absurd to say we don't have ownership of our own mind, Jonathan convincingly shows where and how things went wrong. Our mind has been trained to go against our hearts - and it's time to start living from our hearts.
Chapter 2: Stop Caring
One of the things that keeps us from living our dreams is that we care about things that are at odds with the types of lives we want to live. Rather than trying to overcome the obstacles we've put in front of happiness, Jonathan argues that we should stop caring about the obstacles. This is not a free ticked to "forget" about your rent, but instead a call to skip the hurdles and just run to the finish line.
Chapter 3: Undomesticate Yourself
Domestication is great for keeping your pets from peeing on the carpet, but it's really no way for us to live. Once we free ourselves from the idea of who we "should" be by society's standard, we'll start to get in touch with the people we actually are. Only once we find that core can we start making our dreams real.
Chapter 4: Define Your Dreams
So much for showing why we have trouble living from our dreams - it's time to roll up the sleeves and start figuring out what those dreams. I can't tell whether it's this chapter or the next one that's my favorite of the book, but they're both where Jonathan shines. If you could only read and act on one chapter of this book, this is the one that will probably make the most significant changes in your life.
Chapter 5: Key Number 1: Give Up (Or Overcoming Uncertainty)
Certainty is the bane of dreaming; the desire to remain safe, certain, and secure keeps many of us from even giving ourselves the chance to manifest our dreams. What if it doesn't work? What if I don't like it once I start doing it? What if...
What if we pushed through the uncertainty? Or lived with it, but refused to let it define how we'll live our lives?
Jonathan has some tips for helping you overcome (or live with) the uncertainty of it all. The one-two punch of this chapter and the last one is quite powerful.
Chapter 6: Key Number 2: Quit (or Reclaiming Ownership of Your Time)
Defining your dreams and handling uncertainty is moot if you don't have any time to actually work on manifesting your dreams. The trick about making time for your dreams is that you, quite literally, have to make time - it won't make itself, and our lives are scripted such that the natural (socialized) path will keep us from living our dreams. It will take patience, focus, and you'll have to figure out what things you're going to stop.
This chapter contains one of the most significant novel contributions of any book I've read in this genre: the to-stop list. Working through your to-stop list may yield more time in some of the most unlikely places.
Chapter 7: Key Number 3: Skills (Or Creating Love Money)
Love money is not like love children - there's no reason to be ashamed of your love money. While this is not a "making money online" or business book, this chapter contains ideas for how you can make the extra money you'll need to start living your dreams. The ideas are sound; in essence, they're the very ideas I used (and am using) to stop working full time for someone else and working full-time for myself.
Chapter 8: Three Things You Need to Know
This chapter is a bit of a "what it's like on the other side" chapter. There will be challenges and experiences that come about once you start living your dreams that are unexpected, and he's right - these three things are some of things you need to be aware of before it derails you. As I said above, the book packs a mean punch, but it's up to you to do the work - that said, it's easily worth the $25. If, for some reason, you don't think the book has made a meaningful difference towards you living your dreams, Jonathan is offering a 90 day, no-questions-asked guarantee.
But, before you buy it, why not give it whirl with this sample chapter?
Edit: Jonathan contacted me after I published this and is offering Productive Flourishing readers a 10% discount on Reclaim Your Dreams! Just type in "Flourish" (without the quotes) to grab your discount.
If you like that chapter, run over and buy Reclaim Your Dreams for $24.95. As Jonathan points out, that's less than the cost of a dinner of two at decent restaurant. So skip the meal, roll up your sleeves, and start living your dreams.
I had the distinct pleasure of helping Jonathan get this product out the door; he was responsible for the content, design, and passion, and I supplied the occasional boot. The links to Reclaim Your Dreams in this post are affiliate links and this review falls under my review guidelines. Please purchase Reclaim Your Dreams by using my link if this review helps you make an informed purchase. Thanks!