What Do You Really Want from Your Life? Finding Answers to An Age-Old Question
Ah, life…so many considerations.
It may be an age-old question, along with others, such as “Why am I here?”, “What purpose do I serve here on earth?”, “What am I passionate about?”, “What do I want out of life?”, yet we haven’t found an answer. Some people know, early on, what they want to do with their life, what motivates them and gets them revved up in the morning. Others go well into their 50s without having figured it out.
Have you been feeling lost? Like you have no goal or purpose? Like your life is going nowhere? We have one question for you: do you really know what you want from your life?
Many people think they have this whole life thing figured out; they think they know their goals, their direction, and their life’s course. And then, five to ten years later, they think they have it all figured out again.
There’s no set rule, no right or wrong answers. And comparisons cannot be applied in situations like this, namely because finding the meaning to life is different for each one of us. Our journeys are our own. Maybe this question deludes us because finding the meaning to life means constantly searching and developing your ideas and perspectives. What you find meaningful today will change as you mature and grow older, meet new people and try new things.
These new things that we try may scare and intimidate us, but they do that for a reason; to teach us more about who we truly are and what we truly care about. Then, after trying and failing numerous times at several things, you start to get a feel for what makes you happy.
You hone in on it and work at it, perfecting it until you become really good at it. It’s the same thing you used to do as a kid, the only difference is the younger version of yourself enjoyed it more because kids don’t really care for consequences all that much.
Thinking about the meaning of life may make us light up with wonder or clamp down with dread, either way, it’s a good thing. It means you’re thinking, a conscious being who has certain ideals and beliefs, as well as a desire to learn from past mistakes and improve on them. This also means you’ve learned how to differentiate between the unimportant things you do in life simply to kill time and the meaningful things that make you happy and fulfilled.
This is why, rather than contemplate the meaning of life in its abstract form, it’s better if you ask yourself ‘What can I do to spend my time in a more substantial way?’ That is a question you can answer easily. It gives you the freedom to explore your options, no matter how terrifying or intimidating they might be.
But first, you have to lessen the hold other people’s opinions have on you. We’ve been trained to think that anything worthwhile must be approved by society and labeled acceptable. The truth couldn’t be farther from it. You decide what’s good for you, that way you can spend your time in a way that gives your life purpose.
Life is a journey and you will likely change what you “really want” several times over the course of it as you grow, develop, and change. The key is to be open and willing to accept life changes as they come. In this article, we’re going to explore how you can discover what you really want in life and keep accepting it as it changes with your life development.
People who don’t know where their life is headed are usually the ones who don’t know who they really are. And while the idea of not knowing who you are may seem absurd, it’s actually more common than you think.
The best way to figure out what you really want from your life is to search within. Only your true inner-self will know what you really want from your life. Discovering that will involve time to yourself spent in close personal reflection. This will help you to determine what it is you truly want your life to be.
So, the first thing you have to do is get to know you; your likes, dislikes, hobbies, passions, pet-peeves, and so on. One of the most crucial things you have to clearly define is what your values are. Values are like the roadmap of life. They are the basis on which everything is built on.
Ask yourself the following questions to determine what it is you truly want from life and repeat the process each time you change and develop or just feel like you’ve lost sight of what you want:
- What is your passion?
- What do you love to do?
- What would you sacrifice anything for?
- What problem do you feel pulled to solve?
Take Stock of Your Life
Go back in time. Think about when you were a child. What did you like to do? What were your hobbies? Interests? Now try to incorporate some of these things into your life now as an adult. You’ll be met with some resistance at first (“I’m too busy,” “I don’t know how to do it anymore,” “I was just a kid”), but that’s because you – as an adult – have forgotten how to take pleasure in life.
By reintroducing some of the things you liked to do as a kid, it may help you remember what you enjoyed doing and why. If it was important to you once, it can be again, maybe this time, it can lead to something even more fulfilling and rewarding.
In order to determine what you truly want, you have to decide what it is you don’t want and/or don’t like about your current situation or life path. Analyze your situation and your life, think hard about what you don’t enjoy and what causes you more harm than good. At the same time, you have to think hard about what it is you do enjoy and what you can’t live without.
This will all help you to decipher what it is you want from your life. Here are some things to guide you through this process:
- What problem do you feel you have to do something about?
- What, in your life and routine, makes you happy and energizes you?
- What, in your life and routine, would you sacrifice everything for?
Stay Positive and Open to Change
As you go through life, several things will change. What you really want from life in your 20s will likely not be the same as what you want when you’re in your 30s or 40s. You have to stay open to this change and stay positive in your journey towards discovering what you really want from life.
If you find yourself closing off to change and trying to keep it from happening, remind yourself of the following things:
- Positive change and positive growth are a good thing. It means you’re developing
- You are capable of doing anything you put your mind to
- It’s never too late to change your life path or your goals
Turn words into action
All the greats never let fear of failure get between them and their dreams. And they certainly didn’t have hindsight to quell their doubts either. What they did have, however, is a sense of purpose, drive, and a vision.
For example, Walt Disney was fired from his newspaper job because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Henry Ford went broke 5 times before he eventually succeeded. Dr. Seuss was rejected by 27 publishers before one finally agreed to publish his book.
Bottom line: venture forth, embrace the vulnerability of the situation, fall down, take a deep breath, wipe yourself off, and then venture forth again. Each time takes you a step closer to finding out more and more meaningful things to do with your time.
After Thomas Edison got the light bulb working after 1000 failed attempts, he’s quoted as saying, “I didn’t fail 1000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps.” Smart man.
Be willing to sacrifice
Everything worth having comes with a price. Nothing is ever enjoyable and pleasing all of the time. You’ll encounter unpleasant circumstances and difficult situations. That’s life. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you can prepare for it, and use it to your advantage.
So, the question now becomes: how much are you willing to put up with? Essentially, the measure of how much you care about something is directly related to how much you’re willing to sacrifice.
What it all boils down to is finding something worthwhile to do in life, giving yourself the chance to live a life trust to your values and beliefs. It also gives you structure and direction, and more importantly, a heart and mind that’s both content and at peace.
Discovering what it is you really want from your life can take time and serious work. On top of that, it’s a process that you’ll have to go through multiple times in your life because as you grow, develop, and change, so will your wants and goals. Being open to change and staying positive about this journey will help you get well on your way down this challenging and ever-changing journey. It All Starts with You!
Please take a moment to meet