“What do I want?” is a question we all ask ourselves at times in our life. We might be at a decisional crossroads, we might just be feeling empty and wondering what the point is of the daily grind..whatever the reason, it’s a pertinent question that definitely deserves to be one of my blog posts.
Life is a struggle sometimes Â irrespective of country, race or religion – the very nature of how we are and how our brains work leads us to question, wonder and become confused! What’s it all about and what do I want? The eternal question. When I was a teenager, I was convinced that I would have figured it all out by now. Not a chance. In fact, the older I get, the more I realise how much there still is to understand. There’s even more pressure as an older person as you’re expected to have your shit together and if you don’t that can cause issues in itself.
I’m okay with the confusion. I’ve stopped taking myself and life too seriously and look at life as an adventure. The end result is the same for us all, so we may as well use our bodies and our minds to their full extent. Forget about possible humiliation and failure and just get on with it. Humiliation and failure are only a big deal if you let them be. If you just see it with a touch of humour and learn from it – brilliant. Job done!
With regards to “what do I want?”, try these questions to help eliminate all the ‘fluff’ and bring you back to the basics – what’s really important:
1) What would you do if you won the lottery tomorrow?
Instead of focusing on the financial aspects, use this question to help highlight what you really enjoy doing. Life doesn’t have to be black and white. You don’t need the lottery to pursue some dreams. You may not be able to give up your job without the lottery, but you could possibly still join that fishing club or spend more time with your friends and family. Sometimes, we let the idea of needing money stand in the way of just getting on with life the best way we can under the circumstances.
2) What have you always wanted to do in life but have been too afraid to attempt?
Be open minded about failure – it’s really not that bad. The anticipation and negative thinking around failure stop us from trying things in life. Challenge those limiting beliefs and just get on and do it. The reality is often far removed from the imagined disasters we conjure up in our minds.
3) What activities in your life have given you the greatest sense of achievement?
Often – it’s not about the money earned, it’s about the challenge, about getting there.
4) What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
I love this question because it opens up a world of possibilities. If you find yourself thinking “that will never happen” or “I can’t do that” or “that’s impossible”…question yourself. Is it really that impossible? We cultivate self limiting beliefs that stop us achieving and enjoying life. You have to be on the field to score a goal and some people’s beliefs leave them standing outside in the locked carpark!
5) What are your three most important goals right now?
Research has shown that goals written down with practical steps on how to achieve the goals are easier to achieve and become more ‘real’. Write them down and them write down HOW you will get there. Having a vague goal of “happiness” is useless without some concrete plan to go with it. Be as specific as possible and remind yourself of where you are going regularly.Try work towards the goals in some way on a daily basis if possible, even if for only 5 minutes at a time.
6) What would you do, how would you spend your time, if your learned that you only had six months to live?
Death is never a comfortable subject yet it is a universal truth. We carry on as if we are immortal. When you really think about it though – time is precious and figuring out what you want is important. Death is the ultimate leveller and strips us of all the nonsense and insignificance. Use this question to guide you as it will point you to your fundamental values in life.
7) If your life was perfect in every respect and you were too, what would it look like? What would be happening?
This question, like question 4, circumvents negative and self limiting thinking and allows us to think outside the box. Obviously, some ideas may not be practical or possible but it will give you an idea of where you need to focus. If my life was perfect, I would be surrounded by more animals. Not possible right now but a good reminder of something to work towards in the nest year or so. I’d love some chickens, ducks and maybe even a goat! Â Again – once you have identified what would be included in your perfect life – start a list of concrete practical ways to work towards these ideas.
TAKE ACTION. Review your progress regularly and monitor what you are doing every day. Stop settling in life, stop feeling scared and stop going through the motions. At the end of your life – you will regret the things you haven’t done, not the things you have done. Curiosity over what might have happened is far more powerful than dealing with what actually did happen.
Be flexible, be adaptable. Life has a habit of throwing the unexpected at us so make sure that you have a flexible attitude/approach to reaching your goals. Fortune smiles on the brave.Most people think/day dream and never tke action. Don’t fall into this rut – keep the momentum going. Just do it!
- See yourself as a winner who doesn’t give up
- Take responsibility for your situation in life. Give up blaming others for whatever goes wrong. In essence, this amounts to admitting you are powerless and that your destiny is controlled by others. Wrong! You are in control. Take back your decision making power.
- Exercise resilience. Remind yourself that you will get through whatever life throws at you. Believe in yourself. Pick yourself up and carry on. See failure as a chance to learn and become more efficient.
- Make clear conscious choices about how you want your life to be and take action. Do. Do. Do!