5 Ways Your Life Changes When You Seriously Start Chasing Your Dreams

Whether it's running a marathon, scoring a dream job, or simply learning to live with more gratitude each day, we all have dreams of which we'd love to see manifest into reality. It's an unfortunate fact that so many people believe that the only dreams worth having are the ones that include becoming a millionaire and changing the world and being featured on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday. (OK, that's just a dream of mine. But hey.) The point is that no matter who you are or what you're doing, you have dreams worth caring about, even if they are just to do the dishes on time and have less credit card debt. All of this to say: when we talk about "having dreams" we aren't just talking about a certain kind of objectively ambitious person. We're talking about anyone and everyone who ever wanted their life to be different than it is.

The reality is that the space between where we begin and where we live those dreams is challenging, and often uncharted mental/emotional terrain. We talk endlessly about how to be inspired or muster up courage or begin following our path, but rarely what it takes when we're on there, or how to continue when it seems impossible or how to stay motivated when things are undeniably hard. There really are a few specific things that tend to happen when you first begin to truly take those hopeful ideas of "someday" and start working for them. Here, the things that happen when you start seriously chasing your dreams:

You Begin To Reevaluate What Your Dreams Actually Are

Once upon a time it was your top priority to land that dream position and relationship and all magically at the same time! But now? You know what? After years of chasing relationships you couldn't make stay or wasting your youth away working for a job which is just a gateway to have to work more, sometimes you realize your dreams are really just to feel secure, and loved, and as though your daily work is purposeful. It's often along the journey to what we think we want that we find what we actually do.

You Suddenly Have The Urge To Commit To Purging Your Apartment, Friend Lists, Habits, And So On

It's as though you subconsciously just want to make space for what's to come... or, now that your sights are on what could be, everything that you've settled for becomes that much more clear. There isn't room for anyone or anything that isn't purposeful or meaningful in your dream life, so you let it go now.

You Learn The Art Of Self-Prioritizing

Contrary to the narrative that's almost been shoved down your throat and up into your brain re: why being "selfless" is the most noble thing that exists, when you're ready to put your dreams first, you learn that you have to put yourself first. You need eight hours and to know when your mind needs a break in the form of a walk outside for a half hour. You need to nourish yourself, and let yourself relax. Surround yourself with love and check in with yourself often. You are the machine that is producing this whole charade: the only hope of getting it where you want it to be is by caring for it now.

It Seems Like You're Constantly Justifying/Explaining Yourself To Someone

If you're doing the whole "chasing your dreams" thing correctly, said dreams most likely won't look like anything you've seen anyone do before. This is great for you. This is confusing for your often well-intentioned but otherwise closed-minded family members and acquaintances. It's frustrating but true: you find yourself very frequently having to explain and justify what you do, why and how it's going to pay off in the end. (Note: you actually have no obligation to explain yourself to anyone. Ever. This is really to say you'll learn how to cope with people asking all the damn time.)

You Realize Your Learn More In The Process Of Getting There Than Once You've Arrived

You begin to awaken to the very surprising (but very real) fact that it was never about what you did or didn't have — it was all about how you thought about it, and how much you were grateful for it. The journey to getting to where you wanted to be had more to do with learning who you were, and becoming humble, and learning the skills you'd need than it ever was just getting to the finish line. Chasing your dreams, you find, is less about realizing them, and more about becoming the person who lives them regardless.

Images: Giphy (4); Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer