Do You Know What You Want?
I know so many people who have never thought about what they really want from life. Most people I know have never taken the time to think about how they want to spend their limited time they have been blessed with.
When prodded about his career and his future, one student I asked said that he hadn't thought about it too much but that he 'guessed' he wanted to be an accountant.
What human with a free mind decides that they want to be an accountant? If given the free choice between every single option in the world that's available to us, (traveling musician, founder of a charity to help the poor, entrepreneur with an awesome company, and yes, accountant) WHO decides to become an accountant??
A logical step might be to want to be an accountant for a few years in order to travel the world after cashing out, but what human that is excited about life decides to be an accountant as the be-all end all? Something drastic (cruel?) happens to us between the well known ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ question you’re asked in 1st grade and getting your first job after college.
So many people seem to lose the desire to be and do everything that they used to dream about.
Somewhere along the way they learned to stop dreaming. They learned that not everyone can do what they really want. They learned that not everyone can follow their passions. They learned that most of us can’t really lead the lives we want.
Their lives become shrouded in a negative internal dialogue.
"Yes, some people can achieve great things, but that it’s just not meant for little old me."
"Yes, some people can become exceptionally wealthy, but not me."
"Yes, some people can become successful entrepreneurs, but not me."
Most people are in this ‘not me’ mindset and have been stuck there for so long they don’t even recognize it for what it is. Unfortunately, this mindset will form the rest of their lives.
People are afraid to think about what they really want. They think that admitting that they want more will only make them unhappy when they don’t get it. Because of this they block ‘big thinking’ from their mind in order to avoid the rather depressing reality they’ll need to return to after dreaming.
If you want to really be successful you need to face what so many people actively try to avoid. You need to figure out what you really want, even if it may seem difficult (or impossible) to achieve. It sounds simple, but have you ever actually written down what you want to do with your life? It's the only one you've got, so what are your plans?
If you've got nothing written down then you're just like most everybody. Very few people actually take the time to think about what they really want out of life. Then they get to the end and wonder why nothing much happened!
One of the best exercises I ever undertook was writing out my "Ideal Life Plan." I was on an airplane to Hawaii, and I had about five hours to try to ignore my neighbor. (who's stomach was poured all over my left armrest)
To complete this excercise I wrote out exactly which goals I wanted to achieve throughout my life and at what time I wanted to achieve them. By 35 I wanted to have already traveled all across Asia and South America. By 45 I wanted to be married to the love of my life. By 65 I wanted to be famous for changing the world. When I died at 93 I wanted to be surrounded by my closest friends and family.
By the end of this exercise I was bawling, and my chubby neighbor probably thought I was a tad insane. I realized how without a plan, and without taking immediate action, none of these amazing things I wrote down would ever take place in my life. By planning out literally everything, I realized just how finite our time here on earth really is. In order to achieve the goal I wanted at 45 I needed to do certain things by 35, and in order to achieve those I had to complete some pretty amazing things by 25.
Doing this exercise put everything in perspective in a way that I would never have imagined. I became truly aware of just how lucky I was to be young with my entire life ahead of me. I have so much potential and so much time to make whatever I choose a reality for myself.
Doing this exercise changed my views on life. It also made me realize that if I didn't start taking the wheel myself none of my dreams were going to happen. Nobody else could push me in the direction I wanted to go.
Write out your bucket list when you’re eighteen, not when you’re eighty.
Figure out what you want your life to look like and then start working on it! Plan out every step, in detail, and don't hold yourself back because something seems too difficult or too challenging. Create a word document and just start writing!
Do this as soon as possible! Whatever you write will most likely not be your final dream, but having any plan that you love is one thousand times better than having no plan at all. Figure out what excites you early on so that you actually have time to turn your desires into a reality!
What's the point of planning out your life when you're old and only have a few years left?
Nobody care's as much about your future as you do, so discover what makes you happy. It's hard to hit a target if you don't know what you're aiming for.
Decide what you want from life and do it as soon as possible.
If you don’t.... some guy who made the decision that he wanted to run an amazing accounting firm has a nice warm cubicle for you to fill.