Once upon a time, I was living in freezing temperatures, working in a cubicle 9-5, juggling two other jobs, grocery shopping in my parents’ pantry, spending my evenings snacking in bed, and seriously single. It felt far from a “dream life”.

The outside world saw me doing exactly what I “should” be doing: neatly nailing the status quo. But it didn’t feel “all right” to me. I felt like there was a sleeping giant inside of me.

Somewhere between the conferences, audio books, meditations, day jobs, green smoothies, vacations, exercise routines, new apartments, journal prompts, and super foods, I woke up to my dreams.

It started when a co-worker and I challenged each other to stop complaining. I can admit that Wisconsin winters never brought out the best in me. “I hate the weather.” “I am miserable.” “Everything is hard.” “I don’t want to leave my bed.” “My skin hurts.”

ACTION STEP: Enlist a friend to try the “Halt the Complaint Train” Game! And if you play by my rules, stating facts is not complaining…“We cannot feel our faces.” That was a fact. A painful fact, but not a complaint!

I realized that I complained about a lot more than the weather. My common conversations about work, stress, money, family, and roommates were largely centered around complaints. It was fun to introduce new topics, and found myself talking about local events, goals, mindfulness, yoga, and happy places!

Your brain doesn’t know the difference between a forced smile and a real one, and speaking AS IF you are the happiest, most fulfilled and energized person will begin to build the happiness muscles in your brain to become so strong, you won’t have to be playing games with positivity for long.

What you speak about, you bring about.

Within days, frustrations became exciting learning opportunities. I stopped doing a lot of things because I thought I “should” do them. Within weeks, I started feeling joy, and the world started to open up with unbelievable opportunities, relationships, and lessons. Within months, I had “hannafested” (my version of manifesting) my life mission statement and work that aligned with it, a loving partner, my deepest friendships, and a move to California.

Now I say, believe, and feel that dream life is real life every day.

I haven’t stopped exclaiming “dream life is real life”, because these words have transformed my self-loathing into self-improvement, and I am on a mission to spread the word!

It’s not a secret anymore. Say it with me… Dream life is real life!

Originally published at www.dreamlifeisreallife.com