Learning to discover what you want in life
Knowing what you really want in life.
It can be a challenging thing to discover.
An elusive abstract idea that is difficult to pinpoint or explain to others. Or it may be something that you have given up on early in life, having resigned yourself to the idea that for you, it’s impossible.
I came across this clip of Mel Robbins responding to the question ‘what do you suggest I do in order to access what it is that I really want in life?’.
I wanted to share it with you because I believe she raises some important points about knowing and discovering what you really want in life. I also want to contribute some of my own ideas and experiences in answering this question.
How do you discover what it is that you truly want in life?
In answering the question ‘how do I access what it is that I really want in life?’ Mel points out that it’s not a question of us not knowing what we want in life. It is rather a case of us having dismissed our dreams and aspirations. By convincing ourselves of one or more of the following:
- We can’t have what we truly want out of life because we are either not smart enough. Not good enough. Too old. Or not worthy of what it is that we really want, or;
- We have convinced ourselves that we can’t make a living out of doing what it is that we truly desire to be doing with our life
These are self-limiting thoughts and thought patterns are that are bestowed upon us via the influence of other individuals and society at large.
In order to get in touch with what it is that we really want in life Mel instructs us to break down these conceptual barriers. By imagining what it is that we would be doing with our lives if we didn’t have to worry about earning a living.
Imagine Your Dream Life
Mel asks us to tap into something powerful here. For the imagination is a more potent force than we realise.
In fact, I would go as far as to say that the imagination is one of the most powerful functions of the brain. For it provides us with the ability to construct a vision for our future and get in touch with what it is that we truly want out of life.
We achieve what we want in life by first creating a vision of it. Then taking the required action to make it a reality.
However, there are some of us who have buried our dreams and aspirations so deep and dismissed them as too fanciful that we are no longer in touch with them.
We have thus forgotten what they are.
Draw Inspiration From Others
If you fall into this category and are finding it difficult to figure out what it is that you really want in life Mel suggests thinking of someone who has the kind of life that you aspire to have. In this instance, draw your inspiration from others and follow in the footsteps of those who inspire you.
Explore and Take Action in Life
Once you’ve identified what it is that you really want out of life it’s time to explore it!
Mel advises us to research it. Google it. Find a course on it and talk to others who are doing what it is that you want to be doing in order to discover how they got there. Begin experiencing, in one way or another, what it is that you want to be doing with your life.
Even if it’s just in your imagination, begin experiencing it in your mind first. By doing so you are creating a vision of what want in life and getting in touch with how you want your life to be.
The most important step here is to take action.
Keep your vision clear in your mind and take the action steps required to make it a reality.
As Mel said, spend as little as 10 minutes a day taking action towards realising your dreams. You will be ‘startled by what you achieve in a year or two’.
Still, Haven’t Discovered What it is That You Want in Life?
There will be some of you reading this who are thinking ‘this is great advice but I can honestly say that I really don’t know what it is that I truly want to be doing with my life. I know it’s not what I am doing now but I’ve never really had this burning desire to do anything in particular’.
All you know is that you aspire for more than what you currently have in life. (And I don’t mean this in a material sense although it may encompass improving your financial situation, however, this alone will not bring you a fulfilling life).
Furthermore, there is no one within your immediate circle of friends and acquaintances who have the kind of life that you truly aspire to have.
I do believe that some people don’t know what it is that they truly want out of life. In fact, I know this is so because I was one of these people.
Sometimes it’s a Process of Elimination
In this instance, you have to discover what it is that you truly want out of life and this can only be achieved through life experience.
Try different things. Have as many different life experiences as possible.
Try different jobs. Don’t get stuck in the same job because it provides you with a sense of security.
I say this because, from my experience, you may think that you aspire to do one thing. Then you give it a go and realise that you don’t like it and that for you it’s unfulfilling.
You would never have known this without giving it a go. Instead, you would have continued to be unfulfilled thinking that you want to be doing something that would not have brought you fulfillment anyway!
For some of us discovering what we want in life entails a process of elimination. This process involves continually trying new things until you discover what it is that you want to be doing with your life. After all, you don’t know if you like something until you’ve tried it!
Discover and Try New Things
Other ways to discover what you truly want from life are volunteering.
Join a social group focused on a particular area of life or topic (MeetUp is great for this!) that you are interested in.
Take a short course and do what Mel suggested, research and Google.
Most importantly have as many different life experiences as possible. Try different things, meet different people.
Take yourself outside of your comfort zone. And remember, the answers we seek are always discovered through the actions we take.
Never give up your quest to live your passion and follow your dreams. Even if you have fallen out of touch with what they are, keep searching for that one thing that brings you true fulfillment and happiness in life.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post, if you enjoyed reading it please share it! 🙂
Quote of the day and food for thought
Acknowledgements: image 3 courtesy of Shane Albuquerque from Pexels.com