That is why this is a very important question you need to answer early in life. Most young people have no idea what they want to achieve with their lives and go through it just swimming with the flow. They go where the majority goes.
Although this is not necessarily bad, the problem is that you might end up in a place that is not even close to what you really desire.
Let’s say for example that you want to make enough money early on to achieve a certain level of financial freedom. If you don’t take specific measures, you will most likely not end up with lots of money but with lots of debt. Why? That’s the direction the majority takes. As you can see, that represents a serious problem.
Another problem in your quest to discover what you want is the standard educational system. It simply does not stress the importance of thinking about that early in life. I remember only one time during my whole school years, I think I was in fourth grade, when ONE TIME we were asked what did we want to do when we grew up. I remembered answering, I want to be a scientist. „Everybody laughed around me“ and some of the kids didn‘t even know what a scientist was.
My point? That was the only time during my school time that I actually was asked what I wanted to be as an adult. Even worse, there was never some training explaining how does one go about making an inventory of abilities, desires, passions and interests. And nothing about what to do with anything related to the future.
No importance was given to learn money management or goal setting and life designing. We were just taught a bunch of facts and figures from the distant past, some math and to answer questions in tests that matched the pre-selected correct answers. If you did that, you were promoted to the next level.
What does all this have to do with discovering and knowing what you want? If you what you want is freedom or making more money, how can this help you achieve that?
If you‘re clear about what you really wish in life, about what you want to achieve, what your goals are; chances are, your path will take you closer to that, than if you have no idea of where you want to end up. Sounds pretty logic, doesn‘t it?
And yet, the majority of the people on this planet do not have this clarity. They just take what they are handed and make do with it. It isn‘t hard to understand why so many people hate their jobs and feel miserable all the time.
Do you hate Mondays?
Let me ask you a couple of questions:
- Do you hate Mondays?
- Do you love Fridays?
- Why is that?
Yes! Why do you hate Mondays? Have you REALLY stopped and thought about WHY? For the majority of people, it‘s because they hate their jobs and feel that they‘re forced to do them. So, every Monday morning it‘s a drag to have to go to that hated job. There‘s a song in spanish that calls modern underpaid and meaningless jobs ‚modern slavery‘. Is that how you feel about your job?
But let me go a bit further. Why do you hate your job? Is it because it is ‚meaningless‘ to you? Is it because it feels like a chore you DON‘T want to do? Is it because you don’t make enough money with it?
I can bet that whatever your job is, there‘s people on this planet who would be ‚happy‘ to do it. Why isn‘t it like that FOR YOU?
I bet the answer to that question is: ‚You don‘t WANT to do your job‘. It‘s NOT something that fulfills you and therefore, it feels like a drag. Now think about doing that job for, what? 30 years? It‘d be more like torture, wouldn‘t it?
This brings us back to the title question: What do you REALLY want?
This is a question you have to answer for yourself, because, depending on the answer you provide, you will know in what direction your life is supposed to go. So, DO NOT delay in answering that question, take time for yourself and, with a piece of paper, find out what you really want.
How To Know What You Really Want
Now the big question is, how do I discover what I really want?
As I mentioned above, you need to make an inventory. Some people don’t have a problem knowing what they really want to do with their lives. They’ve ALWAYS known. Others, on the other hand, find it more difficult to isolate their main wish. It’s now that they don’t have one. They’re just not aware of it.
So, here are a couple of questions to help you identify what your likes, interests and passions are.
- What do you do with your FREE time on a regular basis?
- Do you have a hobby? If you had the time and opportunity, what would be your hobby?
- What‘s your MAIN topic of conversation on a regular basis?
- If you could do ANYTHING with your life, what would you do?
- What would your DREAM life be about? Let’s say you have ALL the money and time in the world. What would your DREAM life be about?
Questions of this sort, where you just ERASE the limitations and concentrate on the possibilities, will let your true feelings and wishes come to the surface. Make sure you make a list of these.
Do you start seeing clarity about what you really want? One very important aspect is that your wishes might change with time. That‘s OK! Some people have a very deep passion for just one subject and others are more variable and have a series of passions. The key to happiness lies in the journey, as long as this journey goes along with your passion.
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The key to HAPPINESS lies in the journey, as long as it goes along with your passion.
When that is true, your work will not feel like work. You‘ll love Mondays and will probably keep working, even if it‘s just in your mind, during the weekends. In fact, you won‘t help it, you‘ll want to be back at work as fast as possible.
If you‘re right now in a job you hate, and dreading Mondays, this perspective might seem weird and almost like a fantasy. But think about millionaires and billionaires that still go to work every single day.
Why the hell would they do that?
The answer is: They‘re doing what they‘re passionate about. It‘s not work to them!
Let me tell you a story about myself in this respect. I hope you relate, because it‘s not a story about becoming rich, but more one about becoming ‚congruent‘ with your own wishes and how that changes your perspective in life.
As I mentioned above, I wanted to be a scientist as a kid. This, I reckon, was because I am basically driven by curiosity. However, living in a little town in Honduras called Trujillo, there were not many opportunities for something like that. In fact, there were only two professions offered after high school, namely, Accounting and becoming a Teacher.
As timed passed by, I totally forgot about what I wanted to do, and I started concentrating on what I did not want to do. So, because I didn‘t want to be a teacher, I started studying to become an Accountant. But very soon discovered that I didn‘t want to do that either.
At about that time, a copy of „Mecánica Popular“ (the Spanish version of Popular Mechanics) fell into my hands and I fell in love with the stories about computers on it. This was about 1982. But I was still living in Trujillo, this tiny town on the north coast of Honduras. No chance of having anything to do with computers there. So, what to do?
Two years later, in 1984, after lots of nagging, I somehow convinced my mother to send me to San Pedro Sula, (the second most important city in Honduras) to finish my last year of accounting. At the same time, I‘d take some computer courses, which I did. So, back then I learned to program on an IBM System 36 computer using the Basic computer language. Actually, it was mostly theory, since we only had access to the computers on Saturdays. But I was on track to doing what I wanted.
That year finished and I graduated as an accountant. We moved to the capital city of Tegucigalpa, again due to my pressure to position myself in the path of opportunity. But it wasn’t going to be that easy.
I needed money so I started looking for a job as an accountant because I had a diploma, even though I hated the profession. But for the first couple of months, I didn’t find anything. So, I decided to go back to school and take some electronics course. The course lasted about a year, and I loved it.
After that, in 1986, I definitely needed to earn some money. So I looked for a job everywhere, to no avail. I had a very big problem. Since I am not Honduran, I didn’t have a ‚work permit‘ (I‘m a German/Venezuelan born in Panama, but that‘s another story). Everywhere I went, they they asked for the ‚work permit‘. But when I went to the authorities to request one, they claimed that I had to have a ‚job offer‘ for them to be allowed to issue me a ‚work permit‘. A stupid deadlock! I guess Honduras was/is not that used to dealing with immigration, more people tend to leave the country than come into it!
I was started to get disappointed and desperate, when finally the American Embassy offered me a job where a ‚work permit‘ wasn’t required. So, I accepted the job and started earning some money as a supply clerk. Nothing to do with accounting and much less to do with IT.
But, I knew what I wanted and that guided me!
When I was shown my cubicle, I actually smiled. I had a PC! Not an IBM but a Wang PC, but a PC nevertheless. Great! I thought. Computers came with lots of manuals back then. There were manuals for Word Processing, Spreadsheet programs, BASIC language and the sort. What did I do?
Every single lunch break I spent learning those programs and after a few months, I was the ‚go to‘ guy whenever IT problems occurred. Oh, I forgot to mention that the warehouse where I worked wasn’t located in the Embassy building but a few kilometers away and that worked to my advantage. The IT department had to travel whenever we had a problem, if they were to take care of it. After a couple of months of me being there, they started sending people to me and they would only come up to the warehouse building, if I couldn’t solve the problem. As time passed, that occurred less and less, since most of the problems I could take care of.
After 2 1/2 years in that position, an opportunity presented itself for a job in the Embassy‘s Accounting Department which payed better money than what I was earning at the moment as a supplies clerk. I applied and was invited to an interview.
As I sat there, talking to my new potential boss, I could see pictures of my future doing something I actually didn’t like and I hated it. So, I asked him if there were PCs available in the position where I‘d work. He answered: „NO! You‘d be working with dumb workstations that ONLY offer the couple of accounting programs that you need. And since you‘d working lots of overtime, you‘ll not have much time for anything else, we’re understaffed.“
I finished the interview and went back to my office in the warehouse. A couple of days later, they informed me that I had been selected for the Accounting Position. At that moment, I realized I didn’t want it, I didn’t want it AT ALL! I couldn’t care less about the extra money, so, I rejected the opportunity, even though they had offered 25% more money in that position.
None of my colleagues could understand WHY I rejected, according to them, an amazing opportunity to improve myself. „You‘re leaving money in the table“ they all said. But I still didn’t do it!
Fast forward six months. Another opportunity opened itself in the IT department of the Embassy. I applied and, given that I was already the ‚go to‘ IT guy in the warehouse building, I had built a reputation that earned me that job without any kind of an interview. What about the salary? It was double the money I was getting as a supply clerk!
And the interesting thing is, had I accepted the accounting job, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to even apply for the IT one, because there was a rule in the Embassy for internal positions, that only allows people that have been, at least, a year in a particular position to apply for another one.
My point? Knowing what I wanted worked out perfectly for me, even when everyone around me didn‘t understand what I was doing! Having CLARITY as to what I wanted, determined my future and in the process made me more money!
Was I a happy chap? You bet!
You have to discover what you REALLY want to do with your life. Take the time to find out, it’s THAT important. Make a list, get clarity. Once you have that, you will discover that as you start acting in congruence with your goals and wishes, you will become a happier person and you‘ll achieve more with your life!
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