Ask the Expert

How To Live Your Best Life

By Sep 6, 2011November 3rd, 201427 Comments

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It is time for another installment of our How To series, where we feature a post written by a member of our community. Today’s post is coming from Miranda of A Duck in Her Pond and focuses on how to live your best life.

She decided to start living the life she imagined. What those words mean, and how you can apply them to your life. Inspiration.

She decided to start living the life she imagined.

Every day these words taunt me, stitched above an applique bird on a limb of buttons and cloth, a bohemian piece of whimsy plastered to my office wall. But what the little bird doesn’t know is it’s a lot easier to imagine the life you want, rather than imagine living it.

It’s hard to dream. It’s even harder to follow it.

It’s like when people ask you what you want for your birthday dinner. In your mind, you’re envisioning mile-long tables of lobster and steak or cheesecake and cupcakes or even a 6 ft by 6ft slab of chocolate with your name slathered in icing. But before your dreams can speak, realism interferes, whispering nasty little things about calories and your kids having a soccer game that night and your husband’s diet or your own ample hips. So you settle for a burger at take-out on the way to cheer on your kid, the six foot slab of chocolate buried under dreams like swimming with dolphins and having privacy in the bathroom.

But what if you could?

What if you allowed yourself to not only dream, but to live the life you dreamed? What if you stumbled upon a dream you never knew you had, but instantly knew you had always wanted.

She decided to start living the life she imagined.

live the life you have imagined

Now, this should be the part where I tell you to quit your job to become a novelist or enroll in art school to create works to rival Picasso. Or I should give you tips on how to make your blog as big as the Pioneer Woman’s or get your own reality show.

But that’s not what this is about.

Imagination is not about money, book deals, blog stats or a cross-country book tour. That may be the imagined outcome, but that’s merely the frosting. And we all know frosting doesn’t last very long and if rushed, is nothing but a big, sloppy, sugary mess.

What you need to do is simply imagine. Forget your bills; your husband’s snarling every time you step near an open Word document. Forget your guilt over not calling your mother, on not losing that five pounds.

If you could do anything, what would you do? Not what you should do, but what would you really want to do?

And even if it’s as simple as knit a few minutes a day or as complex as starting your own business, it’s important to embrace your need for creativity. And live it.

If you imagine a life of freedom and possibilities, build that into your life. If you crave structure, then build it. Even if your “big dream” is to be an interior decorator, start small. Start a Pinterest board or blog. Go to decorating stores. Redesign a friend’s living room. It may not be the ultimate dream or the perfect fit, but it’s fitting your passion into your life. And when it’s time, you can take bigger steps. And when it’s not, you can step back.

She decided to start living the life she imagined.

Because the wonderful thing about living the life you imagine is your imagination is only limited by one person–you. And once you embrace your creative needs and desires, life will fall into place.

What do you imagine for yourself?

More On How to Live Your Best Life

Interested in more on how to live your best life? Then check out these posts…

About the Author

Miranda Koerner is a  children’s author and popular blogger known for her short and serial stories for children and adults.  Formerly, she worked as a children’s magazine editor and  feature reporter. For more stories and whimsy, visit her blog, www.aduckinherpond.com.

About Francesca

Francesca has an extensive background in content marketing, public relations, and social outreach. She oversees all Operations at Sway Group, including our robust metrics capabilities. Prior to joining the online world, Francesca oversaw viticulture and oenology at various wineries in both California and Italy, and managed regulatory affairs and facility approvals at the biotech company, Genentech. Francesca has been featured on CBS Sacramento and Food Blogger Pro’s podcast. She has also hosted an AMA webinar and spoken at Social Media World.


  • Rachel says:

    this is SO true! attitude is everything! when you decide you don’t want anything but the best and happiness for your life, you feel yourself getting closer to those things with each passing day. life’s what you make it, and you get out what you put in. so if you’re putting in everything towards what you want, your dreams will come to you. if i think about my dreams, they all seem so ambiguous except for one thing: i want to be content with myself and my days. i want peace. and as i focus on those things, i find them coming to me more and more each day 🙂 what a great post!

  • Michelle says:

    I completely agree; life is definitely too short to not do what we’re passionate about. I recently acted upon this; I left behind everything I knew back home in Wisconsin, & moved to Southern California. I left behind a job making around $50k/yr and I’m now about to start Culinary school in less than a month! I’m happier than I’ve ever been 🙂 Great advice, loved the article!

  • Modern Gypsy says:

    Loved this post! Dreaming of the life you want for yourself and then taking small steps towards that goal brings so much meaning to our life!

    And thanks for linking to the Pintrest site, I want me an account too!!

  • I’d just like to say: if its your birthday — or your anniversary, or Christmas, or heck, even date night — calories don’t count. Unless your doctor specifically demands otherwise, you should celebrate and savor your food, drink and life.

  • Blond Duck says:

    I’m so glad so many women are following their dreams!

  • Love this post! Your site is amazing by the way. It’s like a treat for the eyes. Congrats on your SITS feature and many blessings with your book.

  • Megan says:

    I love this post, and that quote. I think I want to print it up and frame it in my daughter’s room, so she’ll always work toward whatever she imagines.

    I dreamed of teaching. I did it. Now, I’m home with my little one who had heart surgery a couple weeks ago. I want to write. I want to learn to take a decent photo. I want to keep teaching.


  • I really loved this.
    One of my favorite quotes is “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
    It’s hard to do sometimes.
    I did it once. When I went back to school to become an interior designer.
    I did it again. When I decided to stay home with my kids.
    Not sure what my dreams are now, but I will try to start living the life I imagined…

  • Katherine says:

    What great motivation to start making changes, even little ones.

  • Denise says:

    Oh, I love this because it’s so real. But at the same time it isn’t a cop out to not do what you love. I think people should realize how many resources they do have even if they don’t have the financial resources to pursue their dreams. There’s so many ways to start small. It’s so possible to go to bed every night knowing that we did something we really love to do that day.

    Great post 🙂

  • Marie Cole says:

    I feel like I am already living my life as I imagined.

  • Love this post. It is possible to live the life you’ve dreamed but just as the author says, you have to do something. Take that first step to move towards your dream.

  • LBDDiaries says:

    I love Miss Mirand’as stories – they are mega addicting. This was a very good post! It goes along with the saying I’m working to live by, “Do something everyday toward your goal no matter how small it may seem.” It is important to focus on details of the life you imagined; it sure helps it be real!

  • Hope Easter says:

    I am just imagining a life without debt! Debt Free baby!!! Boy that is going to feel so good! I just got a new job today and already this week I’m getting 40 hrs! I can’t focus on how long some of those nights will be, I just need to focus on my payday and how much closer I am getting!!

    Loved this post!!

  • I loved this article! I write about this topic frequently, and I was so pleased when you took the turn to consider the life you want to have instead of focusing on the the potential results of the life you want, i.e. being a writer vs. having 25 bestsellers.

    Focusing on the result is what makes even trying seem to daunting. We can get stuck not knowing how to become a bestselling author and fear failing and we allow this fear to keep us from even trying. I believe what most of us want is not the icing, but the lifestyle of honoring our passions and purpose, regardless what the outcome may be.

    The great truth is that when we do honor our passions and purpose, we will likely be pleased with the result.

  • Charlotte says:

    I love Miranda and it was so wonderful to see her in my SITS email this morning 🙂 This was a fantastic, inspiring post. And yes, I think it’s time I start DOING instead of sitting around thinking. The dreamer in me is getting very restless 🙂

  • Luci says:

    Oh, yes! I loved it. Thanks! I work hard to live with my dreams in mind, and you’re right, it’s not easy! We actually have to train our brains to think down that path often… and train ourselves to dream about outcomes… and train ourselves to make decisions accordingly whenever possible.

    To keep them going I write my dreams down regularly, I make affirmations and keep them on my iPhone, and I confide with friends about them so they can remind me when I forget (and I encourage them to do the same with me).

    Dreaming AND doing becomes a lesson in expanding our lives – stretching out of the box when it’s scary – in order to get somewhere that we’re not. But, I am very aware that I only have one life (at least, this is the only one I know of right now), and I want to really do it well. So, I’m willing to stretch!

  • You know, I think I’m coming pretty close to living it.

  • What a great post for this gloomy morning.

    LOVED THIS: “Imagination is not about money, book deals, blog stats or a cross-country book tour. That may be the imagined outcome, but that’s merely the frosting. And we all know frosting doesn’t last very long and if rushed, is nothing but a big, sloppy, sugary mess.”

    You’re so right, we all need to live the very best life we can. What an inspiring post!

  • Mimi says:

    Great post. Life is way too short not to live it to the fullest.

  • Great guest post! She is one of my favorites!

  • Blond Duck says:

    I hope everyone lives their best life!