Start Now With What You Have


We all have the power within ourselves to create the life of our dreams. Yet so many of us delay living our best lives as we wait for the perfect moment to get started. In fact, we often stay trapped in a state of misery or malaise because that’s what we currently know (this is called our comfort zone). Underlying this paralysis is usually FEAR and that voice in our heads that tells us so many self defeating reasons why NOW is not the time to get started. Instead we set up conditions that need to be met like, “If I only had a better camera” or "when I can afford to join a gym, I will..." We disguise this kind of thinking as being practical, when in reality it is just another excuse that keeps us from ever taking that incredibly important FIRST STEP toward living our dreams. You may be going through hard times, dread your job, hate the way that you currently look, or feel trapped in a relationship that is draining your soul. As difficult as your situation may seem, know that there are no circumstances that you can’t overcome if you believe in yourself, believe in your dreams and step into action. 

 Photography by Paul Garrett

 Photography by Paul Garrett

Against All Odds

Let me tell you the story of Kimeli Naiyomah who overcame all odds to achieve his dreams. Kimeli was a soft spoken freshman at the University of Oregon when I met him in 1996. He had recently come to the USA from the East African nation of Kenya and introduced himself to me as Wilson, the name that was given to him by Christian missionaries at the school that he begged to attend as a boy. Kimeli told me the amazing story of how he had grown up with practically nothing. No running water, no electricity, no phones, no roads, no books, no shoes, no father and a mom who struggled with alcoholism. Kimeli and his mother were so destitute a one time that they were treated as being less than human by the people in their Masai villiage. One day his mom became very ill and was taken to a hospital that was far away. It was there, while waiting and praying for her to recover that he realized that he was going to become a doctor one day. Kimeli had no idea how this was going to happen, he just knew in his heart that he was going to become a healer. Once he declared his big dream and stepped toward it, the stars began to line up for him, much like the many omens that appeared to Santiago in the book, “The Alchemist”, to guide him forward across the Sahara Desert in pursuit of his destiny. Kimeli’s dream of attending medical school in the United States seemed impossible to the people in his village, an yet one miracle after another manifested before him and he was awarded a scholarship to attend the University of Oregon. 

You can imagine how I felt when I received a letter offering me a scholarship in America. It’s like getting a letter from God when you know you’re not qualified for heaven.
— Kimeli Naiyomah (source: CNN)

There is so much more to Kimeli’s story, such as how he traveled on foot across lion country in search of an uncle who he thought could help him in the capital city of Nairobi. How a writer from the Washington Post published a story about him that got the attention of someone at the University of Oregon, which lead to a scholarship at that institution, which eventually lead to him getting into medical school at Stanford.  

In the beginning, Kimeli did not know how he was going to get to America, let alone how he would get into college. The only thing that he had was a burning desire to become a doctor. He easily could have told himself that his dream was impossible, but he didn’t. He took one step at a time in faith and his path was revealed to him as he stepped forward into the unknown. 

If you would like to learn more about Kimeli, I have linked this sentence to an inspiring article about him, by Tom Goldstone of CNN.

Photograpy by Paul Garrett

Photograpy by Paul Garrett

Declare Your Big Dream

Just like Kimeli, everyone has a purpose that is tied to their destiny. Take time to get to know yourself on a soul level in order to discover your purpose so that you can declare your big dream to the world. I know that this sounds strange to some of you, but the reality is that most people don’t really know what their purpose is or who they really they are.

From the moment that we are born, we are told by our parents, our teachers, our friends and society who we should be and we believed them because we were too young to know better. Buried underneath all of these potentially false labels that have been put upon us resides our true nature, which stems from our soul. To find yourself you may need to peel away these layers. In my case I was cracked open by my divorce. Through this painful experience, I was forced to find myself and the light that was residing deep within me. This was a rock bottom moment. It was also a gift because it gave me a second chance to pursue my dreams.

Don’t wait to be cracked open like I was. Spend time alone, in nature, or meditating. Calm your mind enough to hear the quiet whisper of your soul. It is in this silence that you will start to find yourself and your calling. Once your desires line up to serve your life’s purpose, your mission will become clearer. This is when you may discover the big dream that has been waiting for you. Remember that your passion is your purpose. Those things that ignite and make you feel alive may be signs that are pointing you toward your purpose.

And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.
— Paulo Coelho - The Alchemist

Start Now With What You Have

Think about your resources. Take for example your smart phone if you dream of becoming a vlogger. Chances are that it has a pretty good video camera in it that will do the job until you can afford a professional camera. Don’t create roadblocks for yourself by worrying about how you will succeed. Focusing too much on the future will trip you up. Just start by declaring your big dream and work on the things that you can do right now to get the ball rolling. I repeat, don't worry about the "how," just get started. 

Libby and I originally wanted to feature yoga, cooking and inspirational videos on Total Soulful Journey. She was going to be the talent and I was going to produce the videos. The problem is that we live two thousand miles apart from each other so that is out of the question for now. We asked ourselves, how can we start with what we currently have? The answer was this blog. Once again, seek solutions and get started ASAP. Keep it simple to avoid becoming overwhelmed. As you make progress, you will attract the resources, the people and the opportunities that will help you get to the next level.

Photography by Paul Garrett

Photography by Paul Garrett

How To Overcome Self Limiting Thoughts

Through awareness we can learn how to overcome the self limiting thoughts that keep us from getting started on the path toward our dreams. The ego likes to tell us that we are “not good enough,” or “who are we to think that we can succeed?” Understand that these are just thoughts that stem from our belief systems (BS). Belief systems are thought habits that we have developed over time and it is very important that we lean how to overcome them if we want to move forward. To do this I recommend that you read a book called, “Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One” by Dr. Joe Dispenza. In this book he explains the science of neuroplasticity, which has revealed that our brains can be rewired to replace old limiting thought patterns with new ones that will help us to succeed. 

Take 20 minutes to watch this interesting video where Dr. Joe Dispensa talks about how you can reprogram your brain.

It is very important that you learn how to create new habits that will help you become more productive along the journey toward your big dreams. Below is one way that can help you get started. We all work differently, so this is just a suggestion. I alway encourage people to do what works best for them.

5 Things That You Can Start Doing Now to Move You Forward:

1. Think about one thing that you want to improve in your life, or the big dream that you want to achieve and write it down on a piece of paper.

2. Next, think of one thing that you can do now to move toward your goal. You have to put your goal into action mode to get unstuck.

3. Before you go to bed at night look at the goal that you committed to paper. Our brains are actually very good at solving problems while we are sleeping. That’s why they say that you should “sleep on big decisions.”

4. When you wake up in the morning, name five people or things that you are grateful for. By practicing gratitude, you set a positive tone for the day. This is very important and will help you to get into your flow, leading you in the direction of your intentions.

5. Re-read your goal for the day and clarify your intentions regarding how you are going to achieve it. Repeat these practices daily and make them part of your new success habits.

Finally, Set Yourself Up With Goals That You Can Achieve

Author, Tim Ferris, suggests giving yourself highly achievable goals to set yourself up for success. When he is working on a book, for example, his goal is to write “two crappy pages a day.” Tim says that this is easy for him to achieve, so it keeps him moving forward with confidence and enthusiasm. When we set unrealistic goals and fail to achieve them, it is easy to get discouraged. If we fail to meet our goals enough times, this can lead to a loss of enthusiasm and eventually derail our efforts. So it is important to know what you are capable of doing and to set yourself up to win.

In Conclusion

As we learned from Kimeli’s story, all things are possible even when you have nothing but a burning desire. So declare your dreams without worrying about how you are going to achieve them. Get started now with what you have. Rewire your brain for success by developing success habits that move you forward. Don’t fear failure. Instead treat it as a valuable teacher. Feed your brain positive messages by practicing gratitude and surrounding yourself with supportive people. Set goals for each day that are easy to achieve. And remember that you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to take action and the rest will begin to fall into place. 

Wishing you inspiration and the fulfillment of your dreams!

All the best,

Paul Garrett


Next on up on the blog: 

F.L.Y. (First Love Yourself)

In part 2, Libby McAvoy will teach you what you need to know about the importance of loving yourself. This is the foundation for creating the life of your dreams and you will not want to miss it.

Here's a reminder of what we are covering in this 10 part series:

Top Ten Tips for Transforming Your Life

  1. Start now with what you have
  2. F.L.Y. (First Love Yourself)
  3. Listen to your Intuition
  4. Deepen your awareness
  5. Forgive yourself, and then others (do not hold grudges)
  6. Accept what you cannot change without judgement
  7. Take the masks off and be authentic (vulnerability is a good thing)
  8. Let go of what no longer serves your highest good
  9. Practice gratitude
  10. Trust the Universe


Awaken • Inspire • Empower

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