I recently had the opportunity to read Jonathan Mead’s ebook, Reclaim Your Dreams: An Uncommon Guide to Living on Your Own Terms. Mead is a regular guest writer on like ZenHabits.net and is definitely someone to follow in the lifestyle design space.
I started to read the ebook, like I normally read on my computer, by quickly scanning the pages for key ideas. I soon realized that the concepts were too important to speed read. I have since gone through and read the book three times. It is so packed with ideas and exercises to restart your life that it deserves repeated review to make sure that you maximize the impact on your future.
Reclaim your dreams is about breaking out of the insanity of conventional lives. It is a remedy for the fixation on the cult of success that has become so ingrained in most developed societies. Mead challenges you to live your dreams and live them now with a blueprint for happiness. He doesn’t pretend to have all the answers, but he is able to frame the questions so that you can discover your own purpose that is in alignment with your own values.
Here are some quotes:
“It’s time for a new definition of success: the person that’s most alive, not living for something yet to come; not placing their happiness on some future event.”
“The more you stop caring about the end goal, the faster you achieve it.”
“Instead of seeking interesting experiences, maybe we should be interested in what is already around us.”
“You can always find a way to be productive. But is the purpose of living to simply get things done? if you’re living this way, you’ve lost sight of the point of being productive in the first place: to create more time for the things you love.”
“Most people feel a conflict between their mind (what is practical) and their heart (what they love). It doesn’t have to be like this anymore.”
“If you’re not living in the moment, what’s the point of having dreams? You’re not even here. You’re off somewhere else: off thinking about the laundry piled up, what your boss said to piss you off, or the stack of papers on your desk at work.”
“What’s more important to you: a brand new car or a slightly used car, which translates to working five or 10 hours less a week?”
The ebook is not for everyone. If you don’t believe in following your dreams, living your passions and discovering your purpose in life, then skip this book and go back to watching those re-runs on TV. It is much easier to just turn off your brain and continue to do what everyone else thinks is normal and acceptable. Jonathan Mead’s book is not entertainment. It is work. It takes effort to discover who you are and what really makes you happy. For those of you willing to rise up to the challenge, this book can be your guide. I will certainly read it again.