115969627Real life is what happens while we console ourselves with hopes and dreams. It’s a bit like staring at a glossy holiday brochure, longing to be on that distant sandy beach. But never taking the trip.

Hopes and dreams without action have an outcome of despair. Loveless relationships, unfulfilled ambitions and soulless lives will eventually leave you only with the emptiness of hope.

To change your life for the better takes action. But most of us continue exactly as we are. For some of us, it’s a fear of change. For others, it’s a fear of losing what we have. And then there is the false belief that we are powerless to change anything. So we do the same things, day in day out, hoping that life will one day get better. But it never does.

If you’ve read the true stories I write, you will know that I grew up with the constant horror of insanity, addiction, poverty and abuse. Combined, they destroyed my childhood and left me as a teenager destitute of positive emotions, utterly incapable of participating normally in the grown-up world.

As a child, I could not take control of my life because others had control. But as I grew into an adult, control passed to me and with it came a burning ambition to have something better. And I realized that if you want things to change, you have to have an element of control. It is impossible to control everything in our lives but that is not the point. With even a small amount of control, you can achieve a positive change. So long as you act. Plans and ambitions can give you a great illusion of progress. Without action, they are dreams that never come true.

I am often asked how I achieved success in my life after growing up with such a dreadful childhood. Why didn’t I simply give up and blame others? My answer is simple: I knew that life could be better. And if you are in the lowest, darkest place, there are so many levels of beauty right above you. Beauty, waiting for you to reach out and touch it.

Actually, we should all live with hopes and dreams. But to fulfill your life, you need action and action means change and for change you need some level of control. The time to start is today. Every day you can change something that improves your life, maybe in a tiny way, maybe in a huge way. Even if you are in a terrible, hopeless place right now, small improvements every day will eventually lead to a transformation.

If we don’t change, we will forever be staring at the same holiday brochure, never making the journey. Waiting for our dreams to come true. But forever trapped in a dark cellar, terrified of what is hiding in the corner.

While right above our heads­ is the light of beauty.

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