#5 – Make your creative dreams come true by dreamlining

Today, we will be talking about how to make your creative dreams come true by dreamlining, a concept introduced by Tim Ferris. I will explain the concept and the 4 steps you can take right now to create your own dreamline, and also my take on how to optimize the process.

But first, let’s start with the creative & personal updates!

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Creative Updates

  • How technology plays with our psychological weaknesses.
    This is a great article! Those are the points made that struck me the most:A phone is a slot machine. “Slot machines make more money in the United States than baseball, movies, and theme parks combined.” And everytime we update the emails, look at WhatsApp or swipe to to scroll the Instagram feed, we are playing a slot machine – the more variables, the better. This way, it makes us addicted. “The average person checks their phone 150 times a day.” The author suggests to set predictable times during the day to check the “slot machines”.Technology plays with FOMA (fear of missing out) or FOMSI (fear of missing something interesting). This is why we stay subscribed to all kinds of newsletters and don’t leave social media. The truth is: You will always miss something once you decide to do without it. Live in the moment because this is how we were built to live.The bottomless bowl.
    Cornell professor Brian Wansink demonstrated this in his study showing you can trick people into keep eating soup by giving them a bottomless bowl that automatically refills as they eat. With bottomless bowls, people eat 73% more calories than those with normal bowls and underestimate how many calories they ate by 140 calories.
    Tech companies exploit the same principle. News feeds are purposely designed to auto-refill with reasons to keep you scrolling, and purposely eliminate any reason for you to pause, reconsider or leave.” This is why we have autoplay on Netflix, youtube and Facebook.Suggestions of how to take control of your phone.


  • How to become a great writer – learn from George Orwell.

    George Orwell was led by curiosity and carried by a world of boldness and idealism. I think this is how all writers and artists should be — without fear or doubt.Orwell was not afraid to explore the darkest corners of the world, to submerge himself into poverty and to fight against fascism.

    This is what we should be doing as writers – put ourselves out there, go into out into the world and DO things to know what to write about.


  • 5 biggest podcast trends for 2018
    Increasing car listening and massive smart speaker growth like Google Home or Amazon Echo indicate that podcasts will only grow in the future. What I loved about it is that “people who love podcasts REALLY love podcasts. Audiences listen to all or most of 80% of the episodes they start.“ So once you have established a fanbase, your listeners will remain true to you. Also, 36% of the population does not know what a podcast is, so growth in podcasting will come from people who have never listened to a podcast before. Try to make your podcast as accessible as possible so that first-time listeners can stumble upon you literally everywhere.

Personal Update

I had a very intense week filming in Varna, Bulgaria for the Airport in Dortmund. We walked 40 kilometres in 4 days, ate a lot of great food and I finally saw the sea which might be my first and last opportunity this year.

Bulgaria is a charming mixture of westernization and traces of the Soviet Union, but I wouldn’t pick it for my next vacation, at least not the famous golden beach. For me, vacation is where my soul can flourish, where I can look at nature and relax from the crowds and demands of civilization, this is why I hope I can travel to Iceland next year.

As for my writing updates, I haven’t been able to accomplish much writing but I’m back on it now with my 1500 words a day goal. Also, I’m continuing to finish the course in German and thinking about a subscription model in English, but I will let you know soon!

Make your creative dreams come true by dreamlining

In this episode, I want to take up one of the last episode’s topics, namely finding your driving purpose. Let’s start with a quote from Alice in Wonderland in her conversation with the Cheshire Cat:

Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.

I noticed this with myself: I often drift through life without knowing exactly where to go. Things just fall upon me like the weather, and all I do is react. But I’m not in control of my everyday life. And it doesn’t really matter, right? As the Cheshire Cat reminds us: We need to know where we want to go first.

I love how Tim Ferris puts it in his book “The 4-Hour Work Week”: What do you want?, is a question too imprecise to produce a meaningful answer. This is a question we are unable to answer. But if we generally think about what we want in life, the common answer is: Happiness. But this is not really precise either, is it? What is happiness? How do you really define it?

Tim Ferris urges to think of the opposite of happiness, and defines it – no, not as sadness – as boredom.

Why is boredom the worst of all evils? Because it paralyses you and steals your time, your effort, your whole life. Why do people work in 9-5 jobs and remain there even if they are unhappy and miserable? Because they have to plan for alternate activities. Why do celebrities fall victim to drugs and depression once they have attained all the money and fame in the world? Because they don’t know what to do next. Many live with the mantra: “I’ll just work hard until I have X dollars and can do what I want.” But what DO you want? What happens once you reached the goal? Because we don’t know the answer to this question, we postpone the working hard until our deaths, evading the uncertainty of what comes next.

So, if boredom is the worst of all evils, instead of asking: What do I want?, Ask the question: What excites me? As excitement is the opposite of boredom.

Here, Tim introduces the exciting concept of dream lining, which is a blend of dream and streamlining, a technique for achieving one’s personal dreams based on writing them down and performing time and cost calculations.
So in this episode, you’ll need to do some dreaming and some digging. Let go of all the limitations your mind is trying to impose on you right now: money, time, commitments. Just dig deep into your soul and dream the ultimate dream. Be a kid again, embarking on an exciting adventure. This one is only for you, so feel free to be vulnerable and completely unrealistic.

I will lead you step-by-step through the process, giving actionable tips and tricks. Do this, and your outlook on life will change forever. Ready for the adventure?

Step #1 – Get rid of the reasonable

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
― George Bernard Shaw, Maxims of Revolutionists

Create two timelines: one for 6 months and one for a longer period of time.
For each timeline write down up to five things you dream of:

  • having
  • being
  • doing

Having is both about material possessions and other qualities like a life partner. Being means what you want to be – a great cook, fluent in Chinese, a best-selling author. Doing is all about the experiences – visiting Iceland, planting an apple tree.

Do not censor or judge yourself here, be honest about your dreams instead of writing down what people expect from you. If you want a Ferrari, write down a Ferrari, not solving the world’s hunger problem.

This one can be tough for many because we never truly thought about what would excite us most in our lives. Think about what you would be most excited to wake up to in the morning. What you would do day after day if money was no option. Maybe it’s something you’ve always wanted to learn? Something you could do daily, or weekly? A place you’d like to visit? Picture yourself waking up without any limitations or commitments. What would do you??

Now, convert the “being” column into things you need to do to get there. If you want to become a bestselling author, the actionable part would be selling 20.000 copies a week. Or things like having a 15-minute conversation with a native Chinese.


Step #2: Choose the 4 that make the difference

Now between all those dreams you’ve written down, choose those 4 that would make the greatest difference in your life, those you’d prefer to everything else.


Step #3: Calculate the costs

The Bible teaches: before you set out to do anything, you should calculate the costs. This is what step 3 is about. It also forces you to think about those dreams as realistic and achievable things in your life.

Try to calculate those four most important dreams in monthly costs, if measurable. If you want to travel to Iceland, calculate the costs and divide them by 6 months, so that you know how much you’d need to save to get there, a.s.o.
Don’t forget to calculate your basic expenses here as well and add them to the equation.

Ideal Lifestyle Costing


Step #4: Start with the first steps now

Determine the first three steps to each of the 4 goals, and start now. The steps must be actionable. Start with something simple and easy to do in 5 minutes or less. Start with the steps RIGHT NOW.

My thoughts on dreamlining

Dreamlining is a great process to do at the beginning of a year, or in the middle like we will be soon in June because it focuses on short-term dreams and transfers them into actionable goals. So I encourage you to take an hour from your week and think about the next 6 months of your life and the dreams you’d like to achieve there.

Still, I think you need an overall mission statement for your life and your career as an artist, something you stand for, a vision of a better world you are working on, your way of making an impact and your personal vision of a resourceful, exciting and creative life. This happens by envisioning your ideal day to day and the impact it will make over time and after you’re gone. Having this statement written down somewhere you can always see helps you refocus on what’s important in life.

When I dreamline, I cannot help but think about business and money. It’s great that I calculated the costs, but where will the money to do all those things actually come from? Especially if you’re just at the beginning of your career, it’s a tough question to ask while you’re living paycheck to paycheck. Money & Art, this is what we will be talking about next week as this is a topic that I think a lot about in the past months. How to finance your dreams and your art? How to actually deal with money as an artist? We will talk about practical tips and also changes in mindset that will help you rethink money completely.

Here’s an excerpt from my dreamlining:

Create a community and fellowship of writers who create something lasting and important –> work on the Inklings Fellowship as a course/community

Travel to Iceland next year –> save 400 Euros per month

Stable income from my writing –> write the next 2 books, invest in marketing, finish the course

Become a book marketing & blogging expert –> invest in courses

Thank you for listening, I hope you enjoyed it! You can support me with a coffee a month on PATREON so that I can continue bringing you amazing content and inspire & inform your creative life. See you next week!




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