August 13, 2010...9:17 am

Manifesting a Dream Life Part 1: Your Needs

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Disclaimer: I am not a self-help expert. These are only my opinions. I am guilty of not following my own advice (though I will change that, beginning now). I encourage you to disagree with me if you want and offer your own advice on how to manifest a dream life. There is no right or wrong way to do it as long as you make your happiness a priority.

I am twenty-two years old and for the last few years, I have been living my life as if I was an infant. I have been sitting safe in a bubble of my own making, waiting for the right time to begin living my dreams. The time to live my dreams has come again and again, passing through my life in an endless parade, and I have refused to see it. I have put off doing so much—taking charge of my health, taking charge of my writing, taking charge of my finances—because I was waiting for a better time.

I cannot be blind anymore. I have been meditating on this a lot, and through these meditations I have become very angry and ashamed of myself. I will not play games with my dreams anymore. The time has come to begin manifesting my dream life. No one—not God, or fate, or nature—has the power to make my dreams come true. Only I have that power.

How does someone begin manifesting their dream life?

Before you can do anything else, you must recognize your needs. Needs are mostly physiological—water, air, food, clothing, shelter, and sleep. They are the basis for Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, but it is amazing how many people take their physiological needs for granted.

1. Doctors and health experts have repeated the importance of drinking water, but their advice is ignored by many people. A popular rule is to drink 8-ounces of fluid a day. The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.

2. Food does more than keep you alive, it also helps you function. We live in a society where a large percentage of people are obese and suffering from a love for food. The problem is that so many foods that do not help our bodies grow and function are available to us. It is actually difficult and more expensive to find healthy food in the grocery store, at the co-op or at the farmer’s market than it is to run to the pizza place on the corner or to the local McDonalds. The meals at these places are quick, cheap, and fulfilling. No amount of writing, news stories and reality television shows are going to convince people to begin eating healthy. You must decide for yourself what is more important to you: A quick and cheap meal that can destroy your body, or a meal that takes more time and preparation and will help fuel your will to live a dream life.

3. Clothing is a need that people have taken for granted. Many will sacrifice the funds they need to provide for other needs, like food and shelter, in order to buy a new pair of shoes or a handbag in the latest style. Unless your finances are under control (more on that later) there is no need to purchase more than the basic clothing essentials. You can then build off the essentials once you get your finances under control.

4. It is sad to know how many individuals are homeless and living on the streets in the United States, it is even sadder when you remember that the United States is a capitalist country that thrives on consumerism. The national mentality to put material wants over basic human needs has created an environment of anxiety and desperation. You must always put your need for shelter and security above any need you might have to travel across the country, buy a new purse or purchase the iPhone. Pay your rent first! Just as with clothing, you cannot live a dream life until you have the finances or the ability to put your basic human needs first. Needs before wants! Always.

5. I keep hearing about these crazy people who only sleep a few hours a night. How do you do it? If I do not get between 7-8 hours of sleep at night, than I am unable to function during the day. Sleep is a basic need, so no excuses! No matter how busy you are, nothing is more important than taking care of your health and your body so please try to get enough sleep every night. At least six hours. How can you feel powerful enough to overcome the obstacles blocking the way to living your dream life if you do not have enough energy?

I believe that you should be aware of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. It expands upon the basic physiological needs to include things like security (which I mentioned before), social, esteem, and self-actualization. The important thing to realize about Maslow’s Hierarchy is that in order to fulfill one pillar of need, you must first fulfill all the needs below it. In order to be secure you must first fulfill your physiological needs, in order to be social you must first be secure and fulfill your physiological needs, etc.

This fulfillment of needs leads you to self-actualization, the realization of your goals. This is what this site says about self-actualization:

“Self-actualization is the summit of Maslow’s motivation theory. It is about the quest of reaching one’s full potential as a person. Unlike lower level needs, this need is never fully satisfied; as one grows psychologically there are always new opportunities to continue to grow.

Self-actualized people tend to have motivators such as:

  • Truth
  • Justice
  • Wisdom
  • Meaning

Self-actualized persons have frequent occurrences of peak experiences, which are energized moments of profound happiness and harmony. According to Maslow, only a small percentage of the population reaches the level of self-actualization.”

You cannot skip steps in the hierarchy. Self-actualization will not happen overnight. It is a journey of a lifetime. If you have the will and the desire, than there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to work your way to the top. Let us change what Maslow said about only a small percentage of the population reaching this level!

I also want to make a note here about enjoying your needs. Just because something is a need, and not a want, there is no reason not to enjoy it. Do you hate the idea of exercise but want to lose weight and become healthy? Than maybe you are not finding the right form of exercise for you! You do no have to go jogging or join a gym to get in shape. Is there a sport you like to play, or an activity you like to do? Take up horse back riding or hula-hooping. Make exercise a natural part of your life, not an unnatural interruption to your life.

So many people hate their job. This negative emotion bogs down your quality of life and blocks your path towards self-fulfillment. I believe that finding a job you love is one of the most important things you can do with your life. First step to finding the job you love? Stop listening to other people. When I decided to become a freelance writer fulltime, the idea scared other people. They responded with things like, “Well that’s a nice way to make money until you find a real job.”

A real job? Writing is a real job. It is an unconventional job, but it is real. It is more than just a hobby. The job didn’t fall into my lap, I had to think outside of the job search engine mentality and talk to people, submit resumes to publications, and really research what it meant to be a freelancer. Finding your dream job takes work. No one is going to hand a job to you. Ever. Get that idea out of your head. Just because you have a degree, you are not entitled to a job. Just because you know someone, you are not entitled to a job. You are not entitled to anything unless you really want it and work hard to get it.

Also, do not be fooled by talks of job security and health insurance. You can create your own 401 K by putting aside a certain percent of your paycheck yourself, and if you research, there are many ways to get health insurance without having to find a job that gives it to you. I joined a guild for freelancers that gave me discounts on health and dental insurance. I put aside a certain amount of my paycheck every week. I do not need a company to take care of me. You do not either.

But please, do not go out and quit your job just because what I said. I’d like to remind you that I am not an expert and these are just my opinions. Research as much as you can about the challenges of being self employed before you make any decisions. Talk to experts and take their advice. In the end, the important thing is that you enjoy what you do with your life. You spend so much time at work, if you don’t love it, how can you love living?

Manifesting a Dream Life Part 2—Love and Wants will be coming on Monday! Enjoy your weekend!

As my favorite astrologer says, “Live, love, be.”



  • Well done! I believe the syndrome you describe in the beginning of your post to me is what I call “living on autopilot.”

    We program ourselves to just simply do that which we are told that is accepted or “ok” and that’s when we feel that emptiness.

    I turned off the autopilot in my life 2 years ago. This is quite scary when you are in your mid-30s, but, as I told you on that interview of ours a little while back, I want to follow my dreams. I know my gift and I don’t want to compromise my happiness.

    The only thing about Maslow’s the way you describe it here is that, again, it tries to “globalize” a set of values that may or may not work for everybody. This scale of value, though accurate, is a little bit limiting and it seems to exclude our own values and it ignores our own personal experiences. I would go ahead and read it, but then I would go and create my own custom-made graphic! :o )

  • “and if you research, there are many ways to get health insurance without having to find a job that gives it to you. ”

    the only problem i have with this is can cost an arm and a leg sometimes – i rather find a job i like that’ll help me with insurance, having to pay 200 bucks a month to be able to visit a doctor when i have a cold is getting pretty ridiculous. i love my job, but it doesn’t offer health benefits at all, and i’m so over it.

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