Many people are lost, and they don’t know what to do with their life. This is especially true in today’s world. Where opportunities are everywhere, and there are so many choices and alternatives to choose from. So, do you know what you want out of your life? Continue to read on and I will share with you the 5 ways you can take to identify the life you want.
Knowing what you want to do in life is important. If you don’t know what to do, you will be like a lost sheep, following the crowd to wherever the crowd leads you.
The point is if you have no idea what you want out of life, you’re going to be wasting your time and living a life that’s not what you really want.
I bet you don’t want to wait until when you’re 60 only to find out that you’re not living the life you want. It may be a little too late by then. This is why it is important to find out your calling, discover your vision, and to identify what you truly want out of your life.
Knowing what you want in life is the first step to realizing it. You can’t achieve something if you don’t know what it is.
But the problem with most people is that they just do what others are doing. They go to school not because they want to, but they were forced to. After graduating from school, they get a job not because they love what they do, but because they need to make a living.
Take a moment to really think about your life right now. And ask yourself, “Is this the kind of life I want?”
You don’t have to answer me. If you are unsure of the answer. Don’t worry, below are the 5 ways that can help you find out what you want in your life…
1. Envision Your Ideal Future
This is one of the easiest ways to find out what you want in life. All you need to do is to envision your future.
Most people overestimate what they can accomplish within a year, and they underestimate what they can achieve within 10 years.
Usually, people want to see results and have big changes almost instantly. Thus, they will only envision the great success they want in a year. And when they don’t get the results they want, they feel dejected and lost confidence. Eventually, they quit and give up on their dreams.
Don’t let this happen to you. Adopt the “blue sky thinking” where everything is possible.
Stop thinking about “What if,” instead, think that everything is possible and project yourself into the future.
Now, the best is to envision yourself 3 to 5 years into the future. If you choose a short time frame such as a year, it will be too short, and you will often overestimate your ability. On the other hand, if you choose to envision 10 years into the future, it is too long to see the results and things will become blurry.
Therefore, the best is to envision yourself in the future for the next 3 or 5 years.
I personally prefer the 3-year time frame because it is not too short or too long, just sweet.
You can do the same. So what do you see yourself doing in the next 3 years? What work would you be in? Where would you be? Are you still working at the same company? Are you running your own business? Where would you stay? What car will you be driving?
Here are some suggestions when you do this:
- Imagine yourself 5 years into the future
- Choose a quiet place to do this. Make sure there are no distractions
- You can close your eyes and visualize if you want
- Imagine the life you want, not what others want you to be
- Think as if there are no limits
- Don’t just envision your financial success; other areas are important too. (Your relationships, career, adventures, personal development, skills, spirituality, etc.)
- Take as much time as you want
- You can do this every day if you want to
Sometimes it may be difficult to envision what you want in life. If you find it difficult to think about your future, use paper and pen instead. Write down whatever things that come into your mind when you think about your future.
It is like doing a “future brainstorm” exercise. You write down whatever thoughts that come to you when you think about your future. Just let the ideas flow and capture them.
Envisioning your future is one of the most powerful skills anyone can possess. Albert Einstein, one of the most influential scientists, used to ‘daydream’ on a regular basis. And that’s how Einstein came up with his theory of relativity. He visualized himself riding a light beam to the sun.
Besides scientists, professional athletes also use visualization to mentally train their skills. Studies have shown that visualization is as powerful as physical training.
Thus, try to make good use of your mind. It is the most powerful thing God has put in you. Our mind is what separates us from animals. We can think, and we have the ability to envision what we want and make it come true.
2. Ask Self-Discovery Questions
When it comes to figuring out what you want to do with your life, one of the most effective ways is by asking self-discovery questions.
When you ask questions, your mind will search for the answers. Successful people ask better questions. Thus, they get better answers.
So here are some questions you can try to answer:
- Who I admire the most? Who do I want to be?
- Am I happy with my work right now?
- What makes me so focus and time fly without notice?
- If money is not an issue, what would I do with the rest of my life?
- What are my strengths and how can I share them with the world?
- If everything is perfect, how would my ideal day and life look like?
- What makes me happy?
The best way to go through this exercise is to write down the answers. So what you can do is to take out a piece of paper and write your answers.
Write Without Thinking
You have to apply the “3-minute rule” when you write the answers. Set a timer and limit yourself to write the answer within 3 minutes. Why?
The reason is simple; you want to jot down the first thought that comes to your mind. Usually, the first few thoughts that you have in your mind are the most real to you. They are your inner voice and what you truly want.
If you spend an hour doing this, you will find that eventually, your mind will start reasoning with you.
For example, you may have the thought “I admire Elon Musk, and I want to be the next Elon.” However, if you spend too much time here, your mind will try to reason with you. “No, I can’t because I’m not as good as him,” or “I don’t have the potential,” etc.
Therefore, limit your time when you answer these questions.
Ask yourself the right questions and you will get the right answers. Here’s a good resource to start:
Read: Ask These 7 Self-Discovery Questions to Master Yourself Better in Life
3. Tap Into Your Intuition
The next thing you can do to find out what you want to do is to tap into your intuition.
Do you know that Steve Jobs was someone who trusted his intuition and followed his hearts? When he was young, he even went to India to discover his calling.
In his commencement speech at Stanford University, he said:
“Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
– Steve Jobs
Hence, stop listening to what others tell you what to do. Instead, trust your inner voice and listen to your intuition. You have to follow your heart and do what you think is right.
So here are a few tips on how you can tap into your intuition:
1) Be in Serenity
You can’t listen to what your heart tells you when there are a lot of distractions and noise. Thus, get somewhere quiet and without distraction. Switch off your phone if you need to.
Lock yourself in your room, or simply takes a walk in the woods alone. Or else just sit under the tree and do nothing. This is exactly how Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton discovered their “Eureka” moment.
You can do the same by being in solitude. You have to spend time to be alone sometimes. When you are alone and in a completely peaceful state, your intuition is the strongest.
2) Question Everything
If you read the book, The Code of Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani, you will see how he explained our culture and society had shaped our life.
Who says that we must marry the woman from the same ethnicity or race or religion? Who says that we need to work hard to be successful? Who says that we need to score A’s in school to get a better job? Who says that we need to be in business if we want to be rich?
These are mere “opinions” or the “rules” our society has trained us to believe.
If you want to follow your heart and listen to your intuition, you have to question everything.
For example, what if I tell you that you don’t have to work hard to be successful? And what if I tell you that you don’t have to be in business to get rich?
I may be wrong, but do you think that there is a way to create wealth without putting in much hard work? There is, right?
So, question everything and listen to your inner voice.
3) Listen to Your Body
Our body can give a powerful signal of what we need. When we are tired, we will feel it from our bodies. When we are sleepy, our bodies will tell us. When you are sad, you know it because your body makes you feel so.
Thus, our bodies work as a signal telling us something. When you connect with your inner self, your body will tell you too. You will feel the chills, the inner sense of peace, sudden tears or feel touched.
So pay attention to your body. Sometimes, you want to be more emotional to feel what is happening. When you are happy, feel it. When you are sad, cry if you need to.
The more you listen and pay attention to your body and your feelings, the more intuitive you will be.
4. Take One Small Step
This is a great way to discover what you want to do in life. I love the example given by Harv Eker, the author who wrote The Secrets of The Millionaire Mind.
By the way, this is the book I strongly recommend you read. It will change the way you look at your wealth and the way you live your life. I have reread the book over and over again. And to be honest, it has transformed my life for the better. Harv Eker talked about changing your mindset in the book. And when you change the way you think, your life will change. Get the book now.
Get Secrets of The Millionaire Mind from Amazon
In his book, Harv Eker said he wanted to start a business selling pies. However, he has no idea where to start and how to do it.
Thus, he applied for a job as a cleaner in a restaurant selling pies. He got to work as early as possible, discuss and help the manager, and learn as much as he could when he was there.
After a few weeks, Harv has learned a lot about the business. And he quit the job, but he never started his business selling pies. Why? The reason was that he found he did not like the business and he cannot stand the smell.
The takeaway from this story is that you don’t have to go all out and start a business selling pies when you have no idea if you will like the business.
You don’t have to go all in when you have no idea what to do. You can always start small and test the water.
It is the same when it comes to figuring out what you want to do in life. If you think you want to start a business, but you are not sure about it, don’t jump straight into it. Just take one small step to find out more.
When you are doubtful about an investment opportunity, would you go all in and put all your hard-earned money into it? No, just take one smaller step to find out more, do more research and move just one little step forward.
If you think your calling is to be an auditor or whatever, try to take up a part-time job or interview someone who has been doing it and learn more from there.
If you think your future is about becoming a real estate investor, try to find out more about real estate investment before you commit to it.
Just take one small step. It can save you, and it can give you a lot more information than just sitting there thinking about it. Here’s an article you need to read:
Why Start Small? The 5 Important Benefits of Starting Small
5. Apply The “Shotgun” Method
What should you do when you are lost and don’t know what to do in life? Simple, just apply the shotgun method and try out everything.
Some people are lucky because they know what they want to do early in life. They know their calling and they focus on it.
On the other hand, most people find it hard to figure out what they want to do in life. If you are in this group, you need to expand and try out everything.
Success will not come to you in one shot. You might need to take a few shots before you finally discover your target.
At first, you use a shotgun. Shoot at anything that comes to you. Don’t worry about it, you will get better at aiming and getting more specific with your target. Eventually, you want to upgrade yourself to using a sniper.
And when you use a sniper, all you need to do is to zoom in and focus on a single target. Make the shot and hit your target.
It is the same in life. You may not know what you want to do at first. You may feel lost, and you may not know what you want.
Just do whatever that comes to you. Spread your effort to discover your target.
Vishen Lakhiani used to be a software salesman before he founded MindValley. Warren Buffett, the greatest investor, was once a newspaper delivery boy. Harrison Ford took whatever small movie role that came to him before he got famous.
Sometimes, you have to try out different things to know what you truly want in life.
Here’s what Abraham Lincoln has gone through:
1831 – Lost his job
1832 – Defeated in run for Illinois State Legislature
1833 – Failed in business
1834 – Elected to Illinois State Legislature (success)
1835 – Sweetheart died
1836 – Had a nervous breakdown
1838 – Defeated in run for Illinois House Speaker
1843 – Defeated in run for nomination for U.S. Congress
1846 – Elected to Congress (success)
1848 – Lost re-nomination
1849 – Rejected for a land officer position
1854 – Defeated in run for U.S. Senate
1856 – Defeated in run for nomination for Vice President
1858 – Again defeated in a run for U.S. Senate
1860 – Elected President (success)
In the list above and of all the attempts that Abraham Lincoln has taken, he only got 3 successes. That’s life.
It doesn’t matter if you fail. It is alright if you make mistakes. In fact, the more you fail, the more likely you’re going to produce the success you want.
You may not know how the future will unveil. So just do your best and try out everything. It is like throwing enough mud on the wall, some of it will stick.
These are the 5 ways how you can find out what you want to do with your life. After going through these methods, you may have a clearer picture of what to do and what you want in life.
Once you have identified what you want to do in life, it is time to set it as a goal and go all out to achieve it.