Most of us can think of things we want more of. We want more money. We want more time off. We want more time to travel. But if we try to move past mere wishes and dreams about more we can find something much more meaningful.
When I was younger I couldn’t really answer that question. If I tried to, it would simply be something superficial. I didn’t really know what I wanted.
But I certainly wasn’t alone. I remember being at college and meeting fellow classmates that had no idea what they wanted in life either. It seemed there were more people that didn’t know what they wanted than people that knew what they wanted.
Part of the problem is that I didn’t really know what was likely or reasonable or even possible. I didn’t know what ultimately drove me. I had to discover these things through experiences.
But I feel that it is important to answer that question if you are embarking on a journey to improve. Because when you hit a few obstacles or realize the sacrifice necessary to reach a goal, it can become overwhelming. It can suddenly feel like the work required isn’t worth it.
The systems and habits approach to improvement helps a little. It helps us start very small and build habits to slowly change who we are. But even through this, you will likely hit an obstacle or two that causes you to question what it is you really want.
From time to time make sure you ask yourself what you really want out of life and then work hard to find answers. Do you want freedom? Do you want love? Do you want success? Do you want relaxation? Do you want purpose? Do you want to serve others? Do you want balance? Of all the things possible, what really motivates you forward?
Most people when asked those questions will simply respond with “yes”. But what if freedom means you won’t have as much success? Or what if relaxation means you won’t have some driving purpose in life?
You can have more than one but if you make everything the most important than what happens is that they all become unimportant. Instead if you separate out what is truly important to you, then you can start to make decisions that align with those areas.
Years ago when I asked myself those questions, I realized that freedom was extremely important to me. Freedom was more important than success or money. From this I realized that I needed to make sure I wasn’t working too hard to achieve a level of success that would mean I sacrificed too much freedom to get there.
I started to realize that I had to give up some freedom to obtain freedom in other areas. I had to give up being able to sleep in every day in order to get a job to pay the bills. I had to give up the freedom of eating whatever I wanted in order to gain the freedom associated with being healthy.
But it all started when I started to ask myself these questions and force an answer. I forced myself to say that something was less important so that more important aspects could emerge. If all we do is say we want everything then we can’t focus and bring about anything.