What Is Stopping You From Achieving Your Dreams?

It doesn’t matter what the dream is: building a straw bale house, a tiny house, a small house, changing your job, changing a relationship, or anything else. The answer is always the same. You are. Are you achieving your dreams?

It’s so simple and yet so often can seem difficult to change or overcome. The truth is that you are always able to create the vision you dream of. Always.

hand outstretched

I would love to hear about your personal experience with this. Perhaps you have a story to share that exemplifies this point. Or maybe you don’t agree with what I’m saying, don’t understand what I mean by it, or otherwise want to share your feelings about it. Please join the conversation in the comment section below no matter how the statement about achieving your dreams has landed on you.

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74 Responses to What Is Stopping You From Achieving Your Dreams?

  1. Kim Davison Mon, November 26, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    Oh, my goodness! What a timely question! My housing issue – wanting to downsize/simplify – is complicated a bit because my 84-year-old father lives with me. BUT! I could definitely start to downsize myself! And, I find I am holding on to a relationship that has really run its course – but I keep wimping out about ending it. I want to get moving on my life. Yep. I am going to do it!

  2. Andrew Morrison Mon, November 26, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    Hi Kim. So wonderful to hear the excitement and passion in your comment. The key is to embrace that passion and know what you want for yourself and then act upon it. Of course, when there are other people involved in the equation, you might choose to consider how your actions will impact them. It may be as simple as telling them that the time has come to move apart and go separate ways. It may be that you need to have a more gentle approach. Only you can know that. Remember that you are not responsible for other people’s reactions or responses (yes there is a difference between reaction and response, by the way); however, that does not mean it isn’t worth taking into account their feelings.

    I wish you so much success with your forward motion Kim. Enjoy the process and the journey and the end results won’t even matter. The magic is in the journey.

    Andrew

  3. eric Mon, November 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    what happens when you have been beaten down so much over so many years that you cannot remember what you dreamed of being. doing. what happens when the realities of day to day existance. sustenance. housing. menial work. have driven all thought.hope.concept of dreams out of your life?

  4. Andrew Morrison Mon, November 26, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    Eric, this is such an important question and one that I think many people are afraid to ask. Thanks for sharing it. I went through this myself some years ago. I literally felt like no matter what I did, no matter how hard I tried to move forward in a meaningful way in my life, I got knocked down again and again. I had that feeling of being defeated. I lived a life where I was simply surviving, not thriving. So what changed?

    Nothing outside of me changed. My life continued in exactly the same way it had been except for one thing: I changed my point of view. I have always been pretty optimistic, but that is hard to maintain when, like you said, one is beaten down again and again. It is easy to lose site of your dreams and focus just on living to get by. So you have to make the promise to yourself to practice living from a new perspective. It’s important that it is something you promise to yourself. Promising does two things (at least). First, it gives you the commitment to stick with something. If you say “I guess I’ll give it a shot”, there is no commitment and it’s easy to give up, whereas if you promise yourself to take on the new perspective, you have a solid rope to hang on to. Secondly, it allows you to succeed. By promising yourself something and giving it a finite time line, you can achieve your goal. For example, promise yourself to do something for one week. At the end of the week, you will have been successful and you can move forward on the shoulders of that success.

    Three simple things to do:

    Start visualizing your dreams. You may find this to be hard or even painful when you first get started. I found that I brought myself to tears because I simply couldn’t find anything to dream about. I was beaten down and nothing seemed attainable or even imaginable. That was really sad for me. So I started small. Dream about something just outside of your reach and then really embrace it. FEEL what it would be like to live that dream. Eventually your dreams will get bigger and more exciting. Embrace those in the same way. I strongly encourage you to take 15-30 minutes in the evening, before bed, to dedicate to this exercise. Visualize those dreams and then take that feeling with you to bed. Your subconscious mind will play with the dreams as you sleep and you will find that over time, it gets easier to “drop into” the fun of dreaming while you are awake!

    Write down your goals. This could be life long goals or weekly goals. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that you remind yourself that you have goals. It is a good idea to include some that are actually attainable so that you can cross some off as you reach them. Setting the bar too high is like setting yourself up for failure. Let’s say you want to get into shape. Don’t set up a goal to go to the gym every day for 3 months straight for 5 hours a day. You won’t do it and then you might take that as a reason to beat yourself up, again. Instead, say you will go twice a week for a month and then reassess the frequency after the first month. You can commit to this goal and succeed within it.

    Be positive towards yourself. So much of our inability to achieve our dreams is based in our own self defeating thought. Inspire yourself, even if it’s just one day, one moment at a time.

    Remember that your dreams are for you, so supporting yourself in them is the best thing you can do for yourself. Why not get behind yourself and say “Great idea, go for it! I’ve got your back!”?

    Nobody and nothing else can change the way you feel inside. It is entirely up to you and you alone. Take the steps, little by little if necessary, to change your perspective. That really is all it takes. Everything else will fall into place if you let it. Like I said to Kim: enjoy the journey because that is where the magic exists. If you are awake and aware during your transformation, you will likely be amazed at how quickly it can and will happen. THanks again Eric for sharing such an important question.

  5. Mary Davis Mon, November 26, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    You are right. I guess the bottom line for most of us is that the roadblock in front of us was created by us. A few moments ago I was standing outside looking at the moon and the mountains and listening to the cows and the coyotes. I was thinking and praying about the strawbale house I would like to build and turn this 10 acres into a boys ranch. A place where young men can learn some practical skills for living and build some self esteem in the process and a quiet place to have time to meditate on their spiritual welfare.(Finding Jesus, I hope) That is my most important dream. I am still dreaming the dream, but far from giving up on the idea.

  6. Andrew Morrison Mon, November 26, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Mary. Fantastic. What a beautiful image: the dream of the boys ranch and the vision of you standing in nature experiencing your dream firsthand. I love that. I too find that nature offers me so much perspective. One of my favorite things to do is to work in the orchard, pruning trees, listening to the wings of crows as they fly over. There is something so grounding about that.

    I encourage you to change the wording of your last sentence to: “I am still dreaming the dream, AND am far away from giving up on the idea.” That one little word changes the entire energy of the statement. Suddenly, the dream is part of your vision and your vision is part of the dream. They are working together (and) not against each other (but).

    What action can you take, tomorrow morning or even right now, to start moving closer to making that dream a reality? It doesn’t have to be a big step like finding funding for the project. It can be simple, even something that simply provides energy towards the goal. Maybe it’s creating a vision board, putting pocket change in a jar, or calling some friends to see who you can inspire to join you in the dream. My point is that action is required along with positive thought and dedicated passion. I hear you have the positive thought and dedicated passion. I hope you are finding ways to take action as well. I’d love to hear what those ideas are…

    Watch for nature to support you. I believe that nature shows up for us all the time. Listen to what she has to say and watch for the messengers that show up for you. Those coyotes and cows may just have been speaking to you as much as they were to each other!

  7. Pamela Forward Wed, November 28, 2012 at 1:51 am #

    I love this question. The mind is a slippery character-we can be a master of the mind or a slave to the mind. Its our relationship with our own mind, and our understanding of our own thought processes that determines whether we are free or enslaved. For me, I pay attention to how my body feels, with each thought that I run, and/or how my heart feels…these are my tickets to freedom. And freedom is different for all of us. If a thought serves me, I will notice a positive resonance (a good vibration). If a thought enslaves me I will notice discord in my body and confusion in my heart. Herein lies the wisdom we seek to allow us to live our true potential.

  8. Andrew Morrison Wed, November 28, 2012 at 1:55 am #

    Beautifully spoken Pam.

  9. Dallas Carver Wed, November 28, 2012 at 2:02 am #

    I have bought your dvds for the second time. the first time was about 1 1/2 years ago in alabama. but now i have moved to mexico and i just received them while i was in tucson for cancer surgery. but i will return to mexico in two weeks and i will begin to build my strawbale dream for me and the family i help to care for there. thank you for the insperation of building an affordible home for me and for the poor family i care for there.. God Bless you and keep up your good work.

  10. Andrew Morrison Wed, November 28, 2012 at 2:05 am #

    Thank you Dallas. I wish you the best and complete success. I love hearing that even though you, yourself, just had cancer surgery, you still have a big enough heart to care for another family. Beautiful.

  11. Bhagavati Serry Wed, November 28, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    I’ve been dreaming about building a new barn for the cows I take care of and building an eco-village around it. I’m part of a Hare Krishna community in the Belgian Ardennes and self-sufficiency, ecology, simple living are part of our philosophy. However doing something like that in a community where there are so many other priorities is not that easy. So I’ve been working on ideas by myself and talking about it with Krishna (God) and all of a sudden there is a lot of support and I ended up with a team of 6 people. Now we can start planning in all seriousness. So, is we get the right permissions, we will be building a village out of straw.

  12. Andrew Morrison Wed, November 28, 2012 at 2:59 am #

    Fantastic. That shows to me another example of the power available to us if we are focussed and we ask for help. Who you ask for help from is up to you. It could be a friend, a family member, your God or anything that resonates with your heart. The power of positive thought and movement is palpable.

  13. Doris Wed, November 28, 2012 at 4:01 am #

    wat is stopping me,I tel you Money ,Money is stopping me . I made a dream home straw bale house in miniature en it sits on my dresser .

  14. Andrew Morrison Wed, November 28, 2012 at 4:28 am #

    Hi Doris. I know it would appear outwardly that money is what is stopping you, and that likely feels completely real; however, I believe there is something else in the way, other than money. I say this based on my own life and how I have seen what appeared at the time to be impenetrable boundaries crumble almost instantly when faced with the “real” answer. I would ask of you this: if money is truly the issue, what stops you from finding enough to move forward? What have you done to inspire an angel investor, a donor/sponsor, or to somehow raise the money elsewhere? What creative ideas do you have that could, with enough inspired help, fund the project yet have not been acted upon?

    For most of the people I work with, there is a level of fear which keeps them stuck. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, or even fear of success. That fear may be right below the surface and something you are secretly aware of or it may be buried deep down and something you don’t know even exists. If the latter is the case, then exploring options to overcome your assumed barrier (money, or lack there of) will start to open you up to what lies beneath. If it is at the surface, then the same exploration of options will likely push you up against that fear quickly. That is an amazing opportunity for you to move through the fear and find your true inner strength.

    My whole life, I have lived with the belief that “I’m not good enough.” No matter how often people tell me they love me or that I am amazing or whatever words they use, I have been unable to hear it in my heart. Why? Because the “inner lie” I had been telling myself all these years seemed more real to me: “I’m not good enough.” When I finally realized that those words were simply my “inner lie”, I was able to see a whole new approach to life. Many things changed for me. Walls and barriers, as I mentioned above, fell down with ease and ideas that I thought would be life-long battles simply dissolved. I still have my inner lie following me around, but I recognize it for what it is now: a lie, and I choose to listen to my truth instead.

    So my invitation to you Doris is to look deeper than the surface barrier of money. I believe you will find that there is something inside of you that is truly the root of what is stopping you from achieving what you dream of. There is nothing “wrong” with that. I believe we all have these inner lies to one extent or another and shedding light on them is the most powerful thing we can do. It may feel at first like it is too scary, painful or dangerous to expose those hidden “inner lies” that we tell ourselves; however, in my experience those hidden lies hold very little power once exposed to the light of real truth. The story that I am not good enough pales in the light of knowing that I AM good enough.

    I wish you success and the strength to find your way through whatever journey lies ahead. In fact, I wish you joy while on that journey. I believe that you have everything that you need and if it is not currently manifesting in front of you, i.e. you need more money, that you have what you need to make that reality show up for you. That is a power that resides in all of us. Check out a few of the other comments for immediate inspiration. It’s all around us. Sometimes we just need to be reminded to look and to see.

  15. Greg Wed, November 28, 2012 at 4:28 am #

    Love it Andrew! It is often so hard to see that what stops us is so often our own reasons for not taking things on. Sometimes we are afraid, sometimes we think we do not know how, sometimes we are afraid of how we will be perceived by others.

    About 3 years ago I chose to give up my reasons; to not listen to the inner conversation about why things could not be done. I put total trust in the idea that I could achieve anything that I wanted, be whoever I wanted. Not to boast but I’ll share the results and perhaps they will inspire:

    My wife and I bought a townhouse just outside Washington DC and, not knowing much more than basic fix-it-up type of handy-work, tore out the kitchen… right down to the studs. We tripled the size of the “heart of the house,” and from friends with various expertise we learned framing, drywall, plumbing, electric, carpentry, etc. We ended up doing the entire project ourselves for a fraction of what it would have cost to pay someone else AND we learned that there was not a single problem in the house that WE could not handle!

    Since then we have added a bathroom, renovated a bathroom, and put a country-style front porch on our little sub-urban (mostly urban) townhouse.

    In addition, I took on more and more in my career and ended up having a conversation with the top bosses where I requested that a new position be created for me. They accepted and a few months later I have a mostly work-from-home job and a hefty bump in pay.

    So give up the reasons in your head about why you cannot achieve what you desire and just go for it!

    (I like your “and” vs “but” distinction. It is very useful and something I forget!)

  16. Andrew Morrison Wed, November 28, 2012 at 4:29 am #

    What an awesome example Greg. Thank you so much for sharing this inspiring story. I don’t know what else to say other than congratulations on following your heart. In the end, all we have is our own inner journey. All of our “influence” on the outer world originates inside and expands out from there.

  17. Amanda Wed, November 28, 2012 at 4:41 am #

    My family and I are at the other end of the process- we are just completing our straw bale home on a 17 acre homestead. We have had to deal with some nasty complaining neighbors throwing wrenches into our plans, as well as friends and family turning their noses up at our muddy hands and boots. Many others were right here with their hands in the mud with us, though. We have lived in a 5th wheel camper with 4 kids (3-10 years old) while we built and mudded. Thank God we have been able to stick it out. Soon we will be cozy in what we call “the barn” snuggled near our woodstove, admiring our handiwork. It has been a long (almost 2 years) hard road, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now on to the next dream of a permaculture farm to feed and support us!

  18. Andrew Morrison Wed, November 28, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    Congratulations Amanda. It can be so hard to live ahead of the curve. It has never been easy from Mandela and Gandhi to those of us building “natural and small” houses. Of course, the level of difficulty for each of us will vary, but what is important is that we stay in OUR center living what WE know to be true. People will come around, or they won’t. Either way, we stay centered in our lives and in our dreams.

  19. Shannon Hibberd Wed, November 28, 2012 at 5:08 am #

    Andrew, thank you so much for posing this question. I think I am a mix of the eternal dreamer, but also when I get down…I get really down. I love all the comments so far! I especially love Mary’s dream, but so desperately understand Eric’s comment. I love your reply Andrew, and know beyond a doubt that the power to change our lives is held in our own mental perspective. When I find myself feeling hopeless, I try to just focus on this day. All of our fears for the future are unfounded because we don’t know the future. We only know today, and today is what we can change. I also want to say to Eric, if you can just take one small step…any step that is directed toward a new dream, you will feel less hopeless. Also, I think doing something positive for someone else always buoys the spirit!

    One of my goals is to build a tiny house on my family’s farm in Maryland. I already have the spot picked out. I dream of a strawbale home, with a living roof, composting toilet, and solar power so I can be as off the grid as possible. My first step in making the dream happen is being here! And signing up for a workshop, which I hope to do by the end of this week.

    Oh, and good luck to Kim with downsizing and the relationship. You are brave to see that the time has come, and I believe that it will be an exciting journey to move on!

  20. Andrew Morrison Wed, November 28, 2012 at 5:10 am #

    Hi Shannon. Thanks for sharing yourself with us. I love your comment about not buying into the fears about the future. One of my favorite approaches to future based fear is to recognize that I am just making up a scary story, nothing more. As you note, nobody knows what the future holds, so any fear I have in the present is based on a story I am creating about the future. Once I know that, I can decide what kind of story I want to make up, a scary one or a fun one. I choose the latter. After all, why make up a story that creates fear when I can make one up that inspires hope?!?

  21. Anneliese Gregory Wed, November 28, 2012 at 5:15 am #

    I spent a long time denying my dreams as silly and air-headed and putting them off. It took losing a large number of family and friends to divorce to make me realize the life I had wasn’t the life I wanted, and that I’m not stuck in this place. It’s scary, but I’m on the road towards my dreams.

    I want to help build an intentional community and retreat center on a farm in NC–the structures would be straw bale and it would be as environmentally friendly and off the grid as possible. But the people and the relationships in that community will be far more important than the physical aspects; the latter should be a reflection of the stewardship with which we see each other.

    I’m on my way to that dream; I’ll be a small/local/organic farm apprentice soon and intend to build a yurt for myself as part of gaining more construction knowledge and experience. I’m also becoming more active in the local farmer’s markets and the farming community in my area as a whole. I’m reading up on straw bale construction and community building and hopefully in the next few years I’ll have the time and money to attend workshops and get the project even more on the road. But I’m so, so joyful just to have made the decision to trust myself and jump in feet first!!

  22. Andrew Morrison Wed, November 28, 2012 at 5:27 am #

    What a wonderful story Anneliese. Congratulations on finding a new path for yourself. One that speaks to your heart and soul. I wish you the best of success on your journey. As you said, it can be scary at times, but what I always try to come back to is the memory that when I am aligned with my inner truth, there is nothing scary “out there.” Moments of fear will still find their way in, I suppose that is human nature, but I don’t have to invite them to stay. Instead, I can invite them to teach me what they have to offer and then go on their way.

    Jumping in feet first…Yes! JUMP with your passion!!!

  23. Sarah Wed, November 28, 2012 at 6:11 am #

    My dream is to build a small strawbale house in my backyard and use it in the winter. My current residence is large and poorly insulated. I would make a great barn and summer residence. I’m building a wood fired bread oven now (I’m my own contractor too!), and plan to add a masonry stove for heating. Then the house goes up around those structures. A tiny house, with a bread oven, masonry stove, and a heated bed. Awesome!

  24. Andrew Morrison Wed, November 28, 2012 at 6:15 am #

    Sounds wonderful! Be careful with using a masonry stove in a tiny house because you can really quickly overheat the place and masonry stoves have so much mass that it can be hard to cool the space down again. If it’s a small masonry stove and you only light tiny fires, you will be fine. Also, be sure to provide outdoor air to the stove so it doesn’t steal air from the house for combustion. In a tiny house, that could be a real problem and safety issue.

  25. Nathan Wed, November 28, 2012 at 6:47 am #

    It’s important to have goals and strive for them. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have something to work toward no matter what your situation, and many great things may be possible. Having said that, I think it’s also important to be realistic and recognize your dreams are only possible in as much as the circumstances of life allow (I could get very theological here, but I’ll spare those who may not believe the same as me). There’s so many things in life outside of our control; disaster could strike rendering a goal moot, or something even better could come along. There’s so many millions of possibilities, that I would never claim to know someone’s future. This doesn’t mean you should give up on your dreams, because the circumstances of life could help you achieve them just as easily as preventing them. You’ll never know unless you try.

    Also, consider this: according to sociology research, the populations of many poorer countries are happier than those of wealthy countries, such as the United States. What’s the difference? Expectations. The peoples of poorer countries have lower expectations, so not only do they focus more on relationships, their goals are more realistic, and achieving them is more satisfying.

    To drive home what I’m trying to say, I’ll use a bit of an extreme example. If your goal is to be the first person to walk on a planet outside of our own solar system, well, that’s not going to happen (due to the constraints of science). But, if your goals are realistic (i.e. any of the goals Andrew listed in his blog entry), and IF the circumstances of life allow, and IF you put in the effort and work toward those goals, then it will happen.

  26. Andrew Morrison Wed, November 28, 2012 at 6:52 am #

    The only thing I would add to your comment Nathan is to leave a little room for magic. I know how easy it is for us “grown ups” to forget about the power of magic, but I have seen it as a grown man and been totally blown away by it. Walking on another planet…probably not, but who knows? Maybe magic will step in and/or science will drastically change.

    My point is that I don’t see anything wrong with dreaming big, even huge, as long as you are not expecting to see results each time you dream big. Allow magic to exist, embrace it, just don’t write checks against it in advance of it showing up for you.

  27. Faith Wed, November 28, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    The title of the post really hit home for me.
    I am a 20-something currently in a tight situation where it feels like my dreams are terribly far from me due to the weight of responsibility on me.
    My mother and I share a car that is on its last leg. My mother make just enough to pay the bills and would have any cash once the car stops running. I have some credit card debt and student loans to pay and would have enough also to fix the car. There isn’t enough money for a newer car either. The household is dependant upon me for the car to continue to run because if it doesn’t we will not have a place to live.

    I have dreams of traveling, connecting with wonderful friends, building a tiny straw bale home of my own mortgage free, and building an online store but the first three seem totally out of my reach.

  28. Andrew Morrison Wed, November 28, 2012 at 7:20 am #

    There is no accident that your name is Faith. It will take a lot of faith for you to find your way to the first three dreams you feel are unattainable. I don’t see them in the same way you do. I see them as attainable for you. One thing I have learned over the years is that just because I can’t see a way for something to happen does not mean that it won’t happen anyway. Very often things happen whether I am aware of them happening or not. Magic, Spirit, God, Faith, whatever you want to call “it” works whether we are on board or not. If we stop paying attention, the sun will still set and rise again. In this same way, experiences can come to us if we are open to receiving them, even if we are not paying attention. The difference is that they are much easier to see and accept if we are paying attention. That is what I would invite you to be: awake and open to the possibilities around you.

    When we are open, we can receive so much more than when we “know” that something is or isn’t possible.

    There is a weight of responsibility on you. You cannot simply shrug that off; however, it can also be seen as something other than a weight. It can be a blessing. How many people get to spend as much time with their mother in a small space as you do? Again, that may be challenging at times, but in the right light, it is truly a gift. Love your mother. Receive her love. Together you may find your worlds open to all kinds of excitement and opportunity you never thought possible. Above all, don’t stop dreaming and aspiring to your true greatness.

  29. Jenn Wed, November 28, 2012 at 7:22 am #

    Strangely enough, I think it was our journey into straw bale building that made us realize that anything was possible. People looked at us funny, and shook their heads behind our back, but we knew in our gut that it was the right way for us, so we carried on. While we didn’t end up building the home we thought we would (the land we had our eye on fell through) it opened our eyes to the fact that anything is possible! We’ve since downsized our home, have moved to a small, loving community, I’ve left my job to be at home with the kids and start my own business. We haven’t let go of the straw bale home dream, and we keep looking for possibilities and doors that may be open to us. Giving up my workshop spot was a hard thing to do, but it has led us to many other wonderful things!

  30. Eddy Winko Wed, November 28, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    Sold everything I had, left my job and my country and moved to Poland to follow my straw bale dream after thinking about it for far too long! Have picked up some great tips from your DVDs and website along the way. The build is still ongoing but we have the walls up and plastered on the outside for the winter. Blogging about it all on wordpress: winkos.wordpress.com

  31. Andrew Morrison Wed, November 28, 2012 at 8:15 am #

    Nice Eddy!

  32. Rudi Wed, November 28, 2012 at 8:18 am #

    My goal is to live with my family in a strawbale energy plus house within 5 years and to become financially independent in 10 years.

    Getting out of your comfortzone is often a first step to achieve goals you won’t receive otherwise. This might not be always easy, especially not when you become “different” then other people. But it’s definitely worth it to follow your heart and dreams.

    I’m on my way to achieving my dreams 🙂

  33. Veronica Wed, November 28, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    Keeping a positive, compassionate, nurturing attitude toward yourself is essential. If you don’t have faith in yourself, every turn of the day is a burden. Even though it is taking longer than I’d hoped, I know that my dream of the self sustainable ranch/retreat/animal rehabilitation(and whatever else may evolve) will happen. Through positive thoughts and actions, I’ve found great friends who are not only willing to help with my dreams, but are also interested in straw bale/ smaller, self sustainable living as well. Every event/ task/ action can be seen as a part of the journey, a lesson; not an obstacle that can’t be overcome.:)

  34. Rachel Wed, November 28, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    I feel a lot like Eric expressed above… like I’ve been so beat down as an adult that I’ve completely lost sight of my dreams and goals. I’m really struggling to feel positive about anything in my life right now. I’m not where I want to be, and I’m tired of fighting against the massive waves of negative energy I’m being constantly bombarded with. Ever since I moved back to CO, I feel exhausted and drained, (and the stress is making me gain weight, which just pisses me off). I’ve tried going back to the gym a few days a week, and I’m taking herbal supplements for my depression, but nothing seems to be helping. I’m just really angry and frustrated right now… any suggestions on how to cool off and decompress?

  35. Andrew Morrison Wed, November 28, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    Hi Rachael. I love that you speak so openly about your current condition. I don’t know if condition is the right word here or not, but the feelings you are having and the associated physical expressions of those feelings are certainly temporary and thus, a condition. You may need to start at the beginning again. That’s no big deal, it happens from time to time for some of us. Start with simple pleasures. I know you must have them in your life. It could be smiling when you see a baby smile at the supermarket, or watching a beautiful sunset (Colorado has plenty of those). Start noticing all of the amazing things in your life and appreciating them for being just that: amazing.

    Negativity breeds negativity so the more you focus on those things that feel bad to you, the more of those things you will get. It’s like I said in an earlier comment that I felt I was getting knocked down every time I tried to stand up and gain some forward momentum. What I know now, looking back, is that I was somehow attached to the negativity. I, somewhere inside, enjoyed being pissed off. So, the Universe provided that experience for me again and again. I did not realize this in my conscious brain, but in hindsight I was able to see it.

    Now that I focus my energy on positive things, that is what shows up more often than not. “Negative” things still happen, by the way, I just don’t see them as being negative. They are simply things that are happening that I would rather not experience in that moment. I try to figure out what I can learn from them and send them on their way. Sometimes it takes longer for them to leave and sometimes they leave right away. No matter how long my feelings about the issues stick around, I allow myself to choose if I want to react to them or respond to them. When I react, it is usually painful for me emotionally. When I respond, I slow down and I am able to find my own inner truth and then act from that place. This is much more pleasant and powerful. The more I do that, the better and the easier the next situation will be.

    Uncomfortable situations, let’s call them “opportunities,” will continue to present themselves to you. Try and look at them as opportunities to learn about yourself and grow deeper into your inner truth. They are no longer good or bad, just opportunities. What you may find is that the judgments of “good or bad” are actually inside of you, not within the opportunity or situation. How do you feel when you react? How do you feel when you respond? Pay attention to how you feel…all the time and as much as possible. Your inner guide is the best at telling you if you are on the right path.

    Perhaps the best piece of advice I can offer you is this. Everything is temporary. What you are feeling right now will pass if you let it. If you can find that shining glimmer of hope on the horizon, focus on it and grow it into a beacon of light for you and for others to shine with. A wonderful song just came to mind. It’s called “Ma” by Guru Ganesh Signh. I hope you will listen to it. At the end of the song there is a mantra that repeats. “Bountiful am I. Blissful am I. Beautiful am I.” I believe this is something worth telling ourselves every day and as often as we feel the need to hear it.

  36. Jon Wed, November 28, 2012 at 9:34 am #

    Brandon Hunt

    Nov 21 (7 days ago)

    to me
    After reviewing your information provided, it has come to my attention that we will be unable to provide you with a home purchase loan. Your income is not sufficient.

    I wish you the best,to Brandon

    MY REPLY

    Brandon
    What would be the income necessary to buy a $60,000 home ? or
    what price home would I qualify for at my current income ?
    As I calculated it my housing cost today of $790 mo (see bank statements) would be reduced by a minimum of $250 mo So if I can afford the $790 mo why can I not afford app $500 mo
    I have worked diligently to maintain my financial responsibilities and can set up an automatic payment plan for the loan
    I am still healthy and willing to make improvements to any property. I even have friends willing to help me Yes, I am willing to WORK for myself to improve my life as well as your asset till I pay it off Besides, it will keep me healthy for the long run
    and I need a place for hands on demonstrations of Solar Power for DHW- domestic hot water, solar radiant heating, solar air conditioning…ect maybe even becoming a consultant and earning an income I have the property in Bakersfield CA as collateral I own a tractor, a10x6 utility trailer, a 22′ travel trailer, building materials, hand tools, shop tools,appliances, windows to build a small rental unit.*** Pictures available*** Yes, more income.
    All I need is someone to believe in me Brandon, so work with me. Lets find a way and if you can not please pass this Email on to someone that can Thanks in advance Jon

    Anyone want to invest. do a partnership, I join your dream. other ideas ? Have assets will travel.
    jondhuy@gmail.com 775 230 8726
    My latest idea buy 1.3 ac for $13000
    http://www.trulia.com/for_sale/89403_zip/x_map#for_sale/89403_zip/LOT|LAND_type/x_map
    move onto the land in my trailer start makings improvements SAVE $$$ but a workshop together and build
    I already talked to Wes $2000 down- a loan or partnership and I will make all the payments
    Any takers?

  37. Valerie Wed, November 28, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    I feel like I’m ‘halfway’ to my dream. I have the land, living off my meager retirement savings until I have finally found a job which just barely meets my expenses. I’m having to support the old house in which I live (8 miles away from my land which is where I ultimately want to live) and not able to save up anything in order to live there. I feel stymied by this situation — unable to build because of lack of funds and unable to sell my current house because I need someplace to live. I am also feeling a little pressured because I have 3 alpacas that are being boarded by a farmer girl friend that will need to move come spring.
    My dream is similar to Mary’s in that I want to use what I have to help others. I’m thinking of developing a center where those newly released from prison could come and learn new skill sets and become more self reliant and secure. I’m a permaculturist and want to use fiber animals to renovate the fields, demonstrating how this could be done holistically. And, of course, I want my buildings to be of natural materials.
    Thank you, Andrew, for this opportunity to ‘put this out there.’

  38. Howard Sweeney Wed, November 28, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    Steven pressfield lays it out in his book, The War Of Art (http://www.stevenpressfield.com/the-war-of-art). Resistance is what we all encounter as humans when we are doing our “art”. When we have dreams, goals, aspirations and are doing (or even contemplating) our “art”, then “Resistance” always steps in. If we listen to it and stop, then our “art” is lost and we are doomed. The key is to keep moving and doing the work to overcome “Resistance”, and create our “art” in the face of no money, no hope, no outside support – well, you get the idea. When we give up, resistance has won. One of the simple keys to overcoming “Resistance” is to celebrate all wins, which I learned from Blair Singer, one of my mentors. For example, for those of us who want to build a straw bale house, buy Andrew’s new book or some his DVD’s and celebrate that simple step by saying “Yes!” and celebrating. When you read the book, or watch the DVD’s, celebrate again, and keep going forward. These simple conscious acts start your mind on the path of seeking wins toward building your home. Of course, celebrating all wins will work in any part of your life and exploits the built-in, simple, and powerful mechanisms of our minds that we all are endowed with as humans. It is not that successful people are never beaten down. Rather, successful people keep going in the face of their built-in “Resistance” and do their art. Keep going!

  39. Andrew Morrison Wed, November 28, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    I love that book Howard. I too remember hearing years ago that the difference between the successful and those that never become so is this: the successful get back up after they are knocked down and will never be defeated. I used to have a poster in my office that had Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, and one other man I can’t remember right now. Each quadrant of the poster laid out all of the major failures that each man had in his past before becoming the president and ultimately an icon of history. If Lincoln had given up after running the least organized post office in the union, and had never picked himself back up again, just think how different the world would be. Each of these men had a story to share about never giving up. Nothing has changed. To succeed, you have to believe in yourself and always move through what might, in the moment, look like failure.

  40. Graham Wed, November 28, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    For years now I have dreamed about building a strawbale house. I bought 2 of your DVDs Andrew, I attended a strawbale building course,here in Canada and I have a rough outline of what I would like to build. However, I continue to have so many questions about the finer details of building, having never built anything on my own before. I think about all the things that could go wrong and so prevent myself from progressing from the planning stage.
    I have visions of starting a project and never finishing it, or making some huge basic error, that does not become apparent until the house is half built, and ending up with a half completed project.
    I realize all this self doubt is of my own making and I should probably just go for it, but the consequences of failure would be great (nowhere to live).
    For me the solution would be to go and work alongside a straw bale builder for a year or so and be part of some projects from start to finish, in order to gain some confidence. But I wonder if that is not just another subconcious delay tactic on my part.

  41. Andrew Morrison Wed, November 28, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    What you are experiencing is totally normal. There are two things at play here (at least). First you are being cautious and that is a smart thing to be. Having never built a house before, you are right to be concerned about going it alone. Too many people jump in alone and end up in trouble. So this is a healthy concern you have. Secondly, you are projecting fear into the future with no direct basis in reality. This is not as good an idea as the first part. 🙂 What you need to do is realize your limits and then find ways to rise to the challenges presented therein.

    Instead of worrying yourself into inaction, inspire yourself to action. You CAN do it, you CAN build your house. You WILL need help and guidance. Take care of that part of the equation and the rest will fall into place. Hire a qualified consultant to work with you. He or she can help you with all aspects of the build from start to finish. I’m going to toot my own horn here, so watch out everyone… I do this type of consulting a lot for people. I make site visits and am available for all kinds of different consulting packages. If you don’t work with me, that’s fine, just hire someone to help walk you through the project. Knowing you have an expert on your team will make all the difference and will likely be just what you need to get moving forward with your dream

    A mentor once told me that there is nothing you can mess up in construction that you can’t fix. Sure it may take extra time and/or money to fix it, but it can be done. If you have a solid set of construction plans that are well detailed and you build to those details, you will be fine. If you get stuck and are confused about something, call your consultant and ask. It’s really that simple. You can do it Graham. Worrying about how things could go wrong is not going to make your job any easier. Instead focus on how wonderful an experience it will be and how incredible a feeling you will have to know that you built your own house! That is much more inspiring!!!

  42. Isis Wed, November 28, 2012 at 11:45 am #

    Absolutey, so true, no matter what seems to be an obstacle, you can always choose to allow the obstacles to dissolve, staying focused on the knowing that you are valued, and worth having all your wonderous dreams adventures come true. You don’t always have to know how your dreams are going to be achieved or manifest, just know that you can and that they will. And always surround yourself with those who know it too!

  43. Diana Wed, November 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

    Wow! that’s a big subject. …but well in keeping, i think, with the idea of sustainable building practices. it’s timely for me, as well, and made me think…. having just been ‘terminated’ recently from a very stressful job, and begun re-thinking my life. i’ve been one of the lucky ones, i guess (some have said foolish) i’ve achieved several dreams in my life, so i know it’s achievable…. just need to decide what the next one is, i guess. thanks for the reminder

  44. Tom Wed, November 28, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    I’m with Doris–and also with your response to her point. To say it another way, I am trying to make sure that my transition into a sustainable lifestyle is itself sustainable. I very much want to create and inhabit my dream lifestyle (smaller, less expensive, easier to maintain, more in tune with nature and the style of living that we all will eventually have to adopt unless we want a dead planet…and so forth), but I also need to realize that I can’t do it all at once. Small, sustainable changes are always doable, and each one moves me closer to living my dreams, as you put it. I have no doubt that I will get there, though I often have no clue *how.* But that’s ok. As Dr Martin Luthor King once said, “it is not necessary to see the whole staircase…just the next step.”

  45. Diana Wed, November 28, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    Wow, the timing of this question couldn’t be more perfect. I lost my house in the mortgage fiasco(currently renting), quit my big money corporate job, and am living off a small wage as an adjunct faculty at a university. I have had several garage sales and pretty much have my belongings down to something that could fit in 600 sq. ft. or so. My kids are grown adults, I have some independent income, and could go anywhere. The problem is I feel like such a failure at life. I just turned 55, I’m single, I can’t really figure out what I WANT to do. (Maybe open a Paleo cafe?) On the plus side, I’m fit, attractive, healthy, and smart. I just don’t have the burning energy that I had as a younger person and feel a bit cynical about it all. Anyone else deal with that? I tried to make a list of 55 things I want to do in my life on my birthday, and only got to about 18, but building my own house was at the top of the list. I’m alone and it’s hard to get motivated. I believe we are meant to be more social than today’s society allows. Don’t know how to start, or where.

  46. Andrew Morrison Wed, November 28, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    Here’s the good news Diana…you have already started! Look at all the blessings that you have laid out in your message.

    1. No longer a slave to the big money corporate job.
    2. Living off a small wage.
    3. Downsized from excess to what you need.
    4. You are 55. To me I hear wisdom has found you.
    5. You are single…opportunities abound!
    6. You are fit.
    7. You have independent income.
    8. You are attractive.
    9. You are smart.
    10. You are healthy.
    11. You have grown children (whom I assume love you).
    12. and the best…You don’t yet know what you want to do!

    Perhaps if you read this list as all positive things, you will find some inspiration. It sounds to me like your spark has gone out. No worries, fire it back up again. You already have 18 things on your list. You don’t need to write down 55 things right now. That’s a number you chose because it matches your age (my guess). Start with the 18 you have. Heck, start with ONE of the 18 you have. Go after it, fully. Put your heart into it and find the joy it contains. Let that energy flow into item number 2 and then into number 3. Eventually, the energy you are missing right now will flow back in its full glory.

    It’s like a stream: your energy/fire/spark. Over time, if it is not cared for, it will get clogged up with debris and the flow will slow down, perhaps even stop. As you clear the debris from the stream, the flow returns and as it reaches the last of the debris, it pushes it out of the way for you. The source for your energy is still very much with you. You have simply become detached from it. You CAN find it again and when you do, you will know what you want to do with your life. You will have people around you to share the experience with. You may suddenly wake up one morning and realize that the person you are today, right now, is completely gone and that you are 100% inspired again. In fact, you may not even remember this person you say you are today even existed.

    Know this. You cannot fail at life. Life is a flow with turns, rises, falls, blockages, and returned flow. It is all a journey. There is no winning at life and there is no losing at it either. All you can do is live it – fully.

  47. Michelle Wed, November 28, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    Commitments to other people stops me. Well, that, and lack of knowledge and resources. I’ve wanted to build my own home since I was in my mid 20s and started collecting info on it. I’m pushing mid 30s now and I don’t see myself being any closer to achieving that dream. I don’t even know if my husband would support me in this because when I don’t completely know how to go about doing something, I drag my feet a lot – and building a home is a huge undertaking with lots of variables, and if I can’t get him to take charge of some of it, I don’t see it happening! We haven’t bought our land yet (at least we’re in agreement about living out, away from the ‘burbs), but I’m not even completely sure how to do a good job with THAT in this area (to ensure we’ll have a good supply of usable well water, and yet have him reasonably close to work), and we might not be able to afford the amount and type of land I think we’ll need… our income is pretty much fixed forever (it’s the tradeoff to good job security), and prices around here are ridiculous. And now we’ve got our first baby on the way, too. I’m starting to think that if I ever get to see this dream through it’ll probably be after retirement, assuming we even get to retire. I look around the cookie-cutter suburb house we’re renting now, and think to myself, it’s too bad our kids won’t get to grow up in the home I wanted to build for us…

  48. Andrew Morrison Wed, November 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    Hi Michelle. As I have said to others in my comments below, focus your energy on the positive. The reality is that you are focusing energy right now anyway, so why not direct it towards the positive?

    You may want to hire a consultant to help you with the land purchase and another one (or the same one if they are qualified to do both) to help with the construction project. You don’t have to do everything by yourself. You can do the vast majority of the work and get some help. Many of us have a hard time asking for help. This is a common affliction but one that can be shifted by, you guessed it, asking for help. 🙂 Find your allies and utilize them. Dream your dream as big and wonderfully as you can. Do it for your kids. On that note, you can probably find a rural rental property to give your kids the upbringing you desire without having to find the perfect property to purchase and build on. That can come later. I can vouch for the value of raising kids in the country. I think it was perhaps the best decision we ever made. That and home schooling for the early years before high school. We had a wonderful community of friends around us that we helped build. That too was a dream and it happened. I wish you all the best!

  49. Alicia Wed, November 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    I agree from the bottom of my heart. My life have had many challenges, being the lastest one that I’ve got MS, and it limited me in so many ways (at the time when i was diagnosed, i was just getting used to living in a foreign country and coping rather well with racism, lenguage, misconceptions, culture shock, etc) so it felt like i life was waiting for me to overcome an obstacle to put me an even bigger challenge… Long story short: it was a blessing i got those “life misfortunes” as they helped me to grow larger than they and made me realize that no matter how limiting the situation, there is always a new road that will lead you to your dream, you just need to dare to try something different and trust youself (surprinsingly most people have a hard time trusting, it is true that we are our worst and most powerful enemy). I am living my dream and i am sooo happy! I even got your free book! Weee! I didnt give up and kept clicking 😉

  50. Andrew Morrison Wed, November 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    You rock Alicia!!!

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