Where To Start If You Have No Idea What You Want From Life
“What if I don’t know what I want?? If I don’t feel passionate about anything? How do I know what my dream life is! Aaargh!”
Stacey asked this on Facebook after I wrote about making space for your dreams. And her question is just one example. I can’t tell you how often I receive emails from women talking about how they want to make more of their lives, want to be and have more but they just – don’t know what they want.
With envy, they tell me of friends, partners, family members who have figured out what they want, and are going for it. People around them who either just always seemed to have it together, or who have managed to have some kind of internal switch flick to drive them toward creating their best life.
And curiously, sometimes openly desperately, they ask me how I get so much done, how I manage to be so driven and motivated.
Here’s the secret, which none of these people you’re admiring and envying will usually tell you.
Nobody has it all together. They haven’t figured it all out. Not by a long shot. They’re just focusing on the stuff they do know they want right now. One step or change or habit at a time.
you can start changing your life – today
Wouldn’t it be really cool if you could finish today knowing that you’ve done even one small thing to move closer to your dream life? Unless you decide to stop reading right now, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
The even bigger secret about all these so-called motivated people is that they don’t have every step that’s still to come planned out.
And if they do, they’re soon finding out that those steps change as you go anyway, so you may as well save your time on planning and just begin by doing.
What’s more, they know that their goals and dreams might change, even after spending months or perhaps years working to get there.
Me, I am completely okay with right now working toward goals and dreams that in the future may be completely uninteresting to me.
All I can do right now is move toward what I see that I want. And when all is said and done, that is dream living. Isn’t it? Deciding what would be really awesome right now and then doing something each day and eventually each moment to make it reality.
Enjoying the journey rather than thinking it’s all about getting to ‘x’.
X will always always always elude you and transform into something bigger, better, cooler, more exciting. So you want to know the only way you’re going to find happiness?
It’s by loving the way you spend your life on a daily and even minute-by-minute basis.
You think that all this stuff I’ve talked about in the past, about walking away from or giving up in my twenties was stuff I wasn’t at the time rapt about achieving? Let me tell you – I was rapt. Thrilled! And proud.
I really thought I was creating my dreams.
And I was, that’s the thing. With the information I had available to me.
So yeah, deep down I knew there was more and slowly I’m figuring it out but I will ALWAYS be figuring it out.
And deep down I still know there’s more for me. I’m learning to be okay with the idea that I can’t tick off everything I want to do, be, feel and have in my life in just a few years so that then I can just sit back and enjoy it. That’s not how it works.
So when you say you don’t know what you want, what you’re passionate about or what your dream life would truly entail, I say – that’s not true. You’re just thinking too big. You’re getting caught up in the lie that you have to decide right now (go!) what you want out of life. Down to the finest detail.
here’s what you need to do
Stop trying to work it all out in advance. I used to try to do this and all I actually managed to ‘achieve’ was more lists of goals and action tasks and things that had to still Be Achieved!
I wouldn’t exactly call uber-planning the dream, living the dream 🙂
So don’t even try, yeah?
When you’re cool with that, we can move on.
So right now, you’re in one of two places.
Scenario #1: You’ve read along up until now but actually (thank you very much!) you do already have a good idea of what your dream life would be, of the kinds of things you’re passionate about, and of what you would just love to be able to do, have or be.
Scenario #2: You have no freaking clue. Or very little freaking clue. And you’re hoping that I’m going to get to the big take-home point soon.
Of course there is a third scenario, which is you actually know exactly down to the finest detail what you want out of life and you already have a step by step plan to get there. If by chance your step by step plan isn’t getting you anywhere except overwhelmed and frustrated (likely, as life is just too chaotic to follow through on lists and plans day in and day out without every breaking), then please refer to Scenario #1.
So, you have no freaking clue. Or, you have an idea but for some reason you can’t get to where you want to go. You wanna know something? Regardless of which scenario you find yourself in, the answer is the same.
To move ahead and draw one step closer to your really-truly-ultimate dream life there is just one easy step to take today.
Are you ready?
choosing the first step to create your dream life
You have to find one small thing you are passionate about or would love to be, have or do. One teeny-tiny thing.
The reason I’m telling you to start here whether you already have a dream or whether you have no clue, is that either way you’re not living your ultimate dream right now.
So it’s time to start proving – to yourself, God, the universe – that you’re capable of doing so.
And the place to start proving that, is with the little things.
We’re talking small wins.
Right now, this very moment you have to make a choice to stop treating yourself like a helpless hamster on a wheel. And that choice starts with even the smallest possible win.
The truth is always that you have a choice. If you think you’re putting that choice off, you’re not. What you’re actually doing is saying you’re okay with how things are now. That you’re not willing to change, to just try doing things differently. That you’d rather stick with what you know than risk trying something and having it fail or finding out it’s not what’s gonna make you tick.
Is that seriously a choice you’re prepared to keep making?
I don’t think so. I really don’t think that that is what your future – your now – entails.
I think, it’s time for you to stop wondering or worrying about why you don’t have the motivation/inspiration/determination that others have and just find what you do have.
Until you can choose to do that, you’re just gonna keep running on that wheel.
And it’s gonna get real tiring after a while, you know?
want to live the fantasy? start small. start now.
So, some ideas for small wins, just to start you off –
- Getting stuff all done by 8pm so that you can sit down with a wine or whatever you like and watch your favourite show
- Going on that date night with your partner that you keep meaning to get around to. Just book it in now. Done.
- Putting aside $5 or $10 or $25 per week in a ‘just for you’ savings jar. Watching it mount up and knowing that you can spend it on whatever you want. Planning what you’d like to buy.
Don’t roll your eyes and think you’ll worry about these little things once you’ve got the big stuff under control.
Doesn’t the you who you dream of being deserve to have the small day to day things just so? The major plus of working to create these small things in your life is that you will prove that you’re capable of making dreams come true in your life.
You’ll prove to yourself/the universe/God that you can make a choice, admit what you want, believe it’s possible, and then take action to make it real.
And if you can’t do that for the little stuff you won’t be able to do it for the big stuff. Make sense?
how to figure out the big stuff that you’d love to create in your life
Next, some questions to ask yourself if you still can’t think of a single darn thing you want in your life. These will also help you to start even vaguely outlining the really big and cool stuff!
Think back –
What makes you feel more alive? Less alive?
What causes you to break out into a big old smile?
What makes you feel more open and expanded?
What makes you feel contracted, stressed, or angry?
What brings you peace?
What makes me feel free? Less free?
What makes me feel most me? Less me?
When do I feel the most sense of belonging? And the least?
What makes me feel that everything is just right and working for a higher purpose? What makes me feel least this way?
Another way to ask yourself these questions is ‘when did I last feel …’, and then use that event no matter how far back as a jumping off guide for what sort of things inspire you.
Right now, all you need to start knowing you are living your Dream Life is one thing. One tiny little thing.
Right now, the big crazy dream for you might very well be just making space for 10 minutes of 100% you time each day. That’s your one thing! If you don’t have it right now, that’s a dream right? And you can go from there.
You’ll never create your dreams if you can’t voice them. You must be as specific as you can. And know this –
you have permission to quit
It’s fine to change your mind on the way to your dreams. It’s fine to quit, quit, quit and then quit some more. Often, it’s the only way you’ll find what you really want. So stop pussy-footing about waiting for the time when the universe reveals to you in a magical rosy cloud what you are supposed to be doing with your life.
Just make a choice. Take the leap of faith. The days are gonna pass anyway. They might as well pass on your terms, yes?
Don’t forget –
Life is Now. Press Play.
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