Working out what you really want is the most powerful thing you can do
“Every woman is the architect of her own fortune.”
―Jessie Burton, The Miniaturist
Here’s the thing: you can do whatever you want with your life.
It’s yours to design and you can choose the ingredients: hustle, slowness, minimalism, adventure, family, wealth… whatever you want.
But the hard part is actually working out what you actually, truly, wholeheartedly want. The rest — including making it happen — is pretty easy in comparison.
Once you know exactly what you want, things start falling into place:
- You can prioritize and stay laser-focused on what matters and say no to shiny distractions.
- You can make the changes that are already in your power, whether it’s having pretty houseplants, waking up early, or getting in better shape.
- By acting more like the future version of yourself who has everything you dream of, you’re in the best position to achieve your big-picture goals.
But the thing is, many people never get that far because they don’t take the time to sit and work out what they really want.
Because it’s scary to sit quietly and think.
It’s uncomfortable to dream big.
It’s easier just to keep going the way we always have — in the same job, with the same people around us… the same thing, every day.
And even if we yearn for a different future for ourselves, we don’t want to get kicked out of the tribe by pursuing it.
This is your call to identify and pursue what you really want. Even if you get kicked out of the tribe. (If it’s the wrong tribe for you, do you really want to be in it?)
How can you work out what you want?
- Start by thinking about what sets you alight and fills you with energy.
- Look at your role models and identify what they’ve done and who they’ve become that inspires you so much.
- Know your true values and think about the goals, ideal habits, and future achievements that align with these.
- Dream up the ideal life you’d want if nothing were in your way. What do you want to BE, DO, HAVE?
- Write your own eulogy, or how you want to be remembered by others. Will the ideal life you’ve dreamed up enable this?
Sometimes the things you want can challenge you and leave you feeling anxious.
But if you look underneath the fear, there’s excitement there… a knowledge deep down about what your best version of yourself would be doing right now, if you just had that little bit more self-belief and tenacity.
After identifying what you want and who you want to be, you can go out and pretend to be that confident, inspired, and courageous version of yourself.
You can give less thought to what people think and start rocking the boat.
And as the boat starts rocking, you forge your own lane, and your life starts rapidly improving, you’ll realise that they probably weren’t thinking of you at all. (I mean that in the most wonderful of ways.)
Then, day by day, you’ll eventually become the most courageous and honestly-you version of yourself.
You’ll achieve the goals you’d only daydream about before and look at everything you’ve achieved in such a short period of time.
Make it a habit to ask what would you do if you knew you didn’t have long left.
Because the thing is: you really don’t. None of us do. So work out what it is you really want from your time here on earth and go get that vibrant, fulfilled, and technicolour life of yours, now.