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Living Your Own Dream #AnythingGoesOnSunday

Sometime last year, Elizabeth Gilbert shared a photograph of herself on Facebook and wrote this:

Dear Ones –

I found this picture today that my husband took of me in 2011, doing research for THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS. This photo captures exactly what I did for three straight years. I sat in a chair, reading books about botany, evolution, abolition, women’s history, missionaries, Dutch 18th century commerce, and more…in order to fill my brains (and index cards) with enough information to write that novel.

There is no situation in which I could possibly be happier than this — submerged in the vocation that I love, vanishing for hours a day into my work.

Un-showered, greasy hair, eyes tired, totally falling down the rabbit hole of research…this is me, living my dream.

I was thinking today about all the other paths that I did not take in life, no matter how shiny and appealing they may have looked. I’ve had the possibility of living so many different kinds of life that could have been a dream for somebody else. I never choose those lives. I’ve never lived the dreams that other people wanted for themselves — nor have I lived the dreams that other people may have wanted for me.

I never had children…because that’s somebody else’s dream.

I never took the opportunities that were offered to me after the success of EAT PRAY LOVE to have a TV show of my own…because that’s somebody else’s dream.

I never took a good steady job teaching writing at a nice college…because that’s somebody else’s dream.

I didn’t remain in Bali or Rome, gorgeous as those places are…because that’s somebody else’s dream.

I turn down 99% of the invitations I get to attend to fancy parties and stellar gatherings…because that’s somebody else’s dream.

I sold my big beautiful house with its fabulous gardens and lovely library…because one day I looked around at that gorgeous home

and realized: “This is somebody else’s dream.” (Happily, I sold the house to the family whose dream it actually was. So we all win.)

I never hired a team of personal assistants and staff and consultants to help me “grow my brand”…because that’s somebody else’s dream.

I know what makes me come to life — working on my books — and this picture tells the whole story. Knowing what makes me come to life has helped me to distinguish between my dreams and the dreams of others.

What makes you come to life?

Ask yourself this question, whenever you are given any choice or opportunity. Ask: “Will saying YES to this path bring me closer to the source that brings me to life? Or will it take me further away?”

No matter how alluring, no matter how beautiful, no matter how sparkling and fancy and delicious — do not say YES to other people’s dreams.

Do your own thing. Live in your own waking dream. Stubbornly.

Even if it means not washing your hair for a week. (ESPECIALLY if it means that!)


“We may place blame, give reasons, and even have excuses; but in the end, it is an act of cowardice to not follow your dreams.” ― Steve Maraboli

Today I’d like to reflect and invite you to do the same on this question:
Are you living your own dream?


Last month, I revived #AnythingGoesOnSunday – an invitation for you to add yours link for your Sunday posts to the linky below. No theme, no prompt – anything goes! However, I’d appreciate if you left a comment and visited at least two of the blogs linked before yours! The linky is will be open for the whole month.
anything goes on sunday

Photo credit : Unsplash


  1. nan nan September 15, 2015

    Excellent, excellent reminder. So many times we waste precious time doing this that don’t bring us closer to walking in our dream. It is something Alpha Hubby and I are working hard to eliminate in our lives – wasted time! Thanks for sharing this, it was powerful!

  2. Dorothy Johnson Dorothy Johnson September 14, 2015

    I love this post. Even though writing has always been a part of who I am, this makes me realize I still need to think about where it fits in my dream. You can be sure that’s what I’ll be thinking about this week. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Mahathi Ramya Mahathi Ramya September 14, 2015

    Fortunately, I am living my dream 🙂 But, they are many things yet to materialize, I am optimistic 🙂

  4. anks anks September 14, 2015

    No am not… my dream is to tell stories… to write books and movies… writing a blog comes close and i am living that… but my dream is to be a famous writer. Should not have read this on a monday! Now, I am wondering what I am doing here…

  5. nabanita nabanita September 14, 2015

    This is so worth thinking about Corinne…Yes, so important that we don’t live someone elses dreams…Thanks for sharing such a wonderful, wonderful thought…:)

  6. Rena McDaniel Rena McDaniel September 14, 2015

    Very inspiring Corinne. I recognize that dream, but I’m terrible at asking those important questions. Sometimes we let have to’s go before want to’s.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | September 14, 2015

      I like the distinction you make, Rena! Yes, sometimes we have to revisit and realign our hopes and dreams.

  7. Eli Eli September 14, 2015

    What a wonderful uplifting inspiring post, dear Corinne. Yes, to following my own dream… I felt your writings brought strength to me today. Thanks:-)

  8. My Inner Chick My Inner Chick September 14, 2015

    —-beautiful post, Corinne.
    I pray to GOD every. single. day.
    that HE directs me to meaning & purpose & significant & depth.
    This is my dream.

  9. Ajay Pai Ajay Pai September 13, 2015

    HI Corinne! One needs immense courage and will power to live a life in one’s own terms and conditions. I succumb to my dear one’s.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | September 13, 2015

      Thank you for sharing, LuAnn. Would love to know what your dream is…

  10. Vasantha Vivek Vasantha Vivek September 13, 2015

    Trying hard to live by my dreams…. but sometimes not….

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