The theme for this article is: how can you get what you want from life if you don’t know what it is that you want?
In a previous post I taught you the best possible way I know of how you can deal with hurt, heart-ache and loss. Applying the method you learned in that article, you’re able to let go of any events, people or things in your past that have been holding you back from moving forward and finding happiness.
But true happiness and success is very difficult to attract if you don’t know what you want from life. I specifically used the word “attract” because happiness and success are not things that you pursue, they are things that you attract into your life by becoming the kind of person that deserves these things.
- If you have become the person that attracts happiness, you’ll be able to be happy no matter where in the world you are because your happiness is not dependent on your current situation.
- If you have become the person that attracts success, you’ll be able to be successful with all your endeavours. Your success is not dependent on your current business or idea.
The problem of our generation seems to be that the majority of us feel lost, confused and are without a sense of purpose. We have no direction in our lives and seem to be floating about aimlessly. Going from relationship to relationship, job to job, day to day, seeking happiness in material possessions.
What kind of satisfaction can you get from spending 8 hours per day sitting in a cubicle? How can you expect to be happy if you’re stressed or depressed?
If you (or someone you know) are unhappy with life… could it be because you don’t have a direction or sense of purpose in life? Because you wake up in the morning with no goal to work towards, idly hoping that lady fortuna will send something good your way?
You may very well have many dreams and desires, but without knowing exactly what you want, you’re not going to be able to work towards it. While it may come as a surprise to you, it’s in fact no wonder that you’re not successful or making progress towards reaching those goals if you don’t know what you want.
Everything You Do Should Contribute To Achieving Your Goals
Every single action you take and every bit of energy you spend should be contributing towards achieving your goals in life.
Your job or business should either be a medium towards achieving your goal or it should be the goal itself. Working a job that is neither a stepping-stone towards your goal nor your end-goal is a waste of your life.
Any relationship that causes stress, anger or sadness is a relationship that is delaying you from reaching your goals and thus should be ended as quickly as possible.
Even your diet and exercise schedule should contribute towards you reaching your goals. Eating junk food is bad for your system and will result in disease and lack of energy, thus it’s holding you back and it’s a habit that should be ditched quickly.
You may ask yourself what the point of having goals is? I mean, we’re all going to die and nothing we do really matters. And that is exactly why it matters. You have one life and there are no do-overs, so make this life count.
The kind of goals I’m referring to in this article are things that you want from life. It doesn’t have to be a material gain or even some sort of measurable achievement. A goal can be something as simple as living a life full of love and happiness with friends and family. A goal is something that makes your life worth living.
Remember That True Happiness Comes From Within
If you’re looking for happiness, it’s very important to realize that happiness comes from within you, not from the outside.
As I mentioned earlier in this article, happiness is not something you pursue. It’s something you attract. You attract happiness by stopping to look for it in people, situations or material things. Once you learn to be happy simply by being alive, by breathing, by being you and by being thankful for what you’ve got…that’s when happiness will start coming to you in other areas of your life too.
There’s no denying that you can experience fantastic happiness in relationships, your passions and your successes. However, if you base your happiness on these things then it will be one big roller-coaster of ups and downs, moving congruently with the state of the things you base that happiness on. If you’re able to achieve happiness from within yourself, based purely on the fact that you’re alive, then external sources can amplify your happiness but never truly take it away.
What Do You Love Doing?
I truly believe that for at least a portion of every day, you should do something that you absolutely love doing.
Ideally you would base your entire life and work around doing things you love doing, but that may not always be realistic or even possible.
You may not have the means or the freedom to spend every entire day doing what you love, or to be able to turn doing what you love into a business that will be able to support your lifestyle. That shouldn’t hold you back from doing the things you love on a daily basis. Even if you spend just one hour a day doing whatever it is that you’re truly passionate about, it will increase your overall happiness.
You may be in the situation where you don’t even know what you love doing, but it’s really simple to discover. Ask yourself the question, “If everything in the world took the same amount of effort and gave the same financial rewards, what would I spend my days doing?
I personally love writing. I love it so much that I do it every day of the week, whether it be a holiday or a weekend. I also love exercising and I love making music (playing piano or drums). When I do any of these things on a given day, I really feel like it was a day well-lived.
Give everything you have your full 100%
I personally believe that you achieve a much greater sense of satisfaction when you do things with 100% of your energy and creativity. It initially requires more effort or more resources but most of the time doing something right the first time will actually save you a lot of trouble.
A good example of this would be with fixing something like a garage door motor. You can opt for a cheap solution that’s going to hold for a few months but will eventually break again or you can opt for a more expensive solution that will last. The cheap solution is going to end up costing you much more money and give you much more frustration over the long run than the more expensive solution even though the more expensive solution seems like more effort up front.
Most things in life work in the same way as the garage door motor example. Half-assed efforts usually result in taking up more effort, time and resources over the long run than doing something properly. The only reason why most people do things half-assed is because of the illusion that it’s easier or cheaper in the moment, but they don’t think long-term.
The best motivation for not doing anything half-assed is to realize that you’ve already suffered the pain so you may as well get a reward for it. Give it your full 100% and do whatever you’re doing properly. The chances are big that it will not only give you satisfaction and happiness, but also success and growth.
Here’s another little source of motivation you can use to push through (and give something your full 100%)when you’re wanting to do something half-assed.
My final year in highschool was in a small private school with no more than 100 students. My math teacher was also the principle and founder of the school, and he was a very cool guy who always gave us motivational stories about life during most math lessons.
One of his little motivational stories that has been a part of my life for the last 7 years is a concept called F.L.A.P it.
F.L.A.P. stands for Finish Like A Pro.
It’s so easy to put 70% or 80% into your work on into the things you do and then quit, but it’s that last 20% that makes the difference between average and good (or between good and great).
Imagine you’re running a 5 mile race and you’re coming up to the last 1/2 mile stretch. You’re already pretty exhausted and your body is just signalling you to stop running with every step you take. Since you’re almost done, it’s easy to be satisfied with your achievement and walk the last 1/2 mile, but is that how a pro would do it?
No… and that’s where F.L.A.P. it comes in. Whenever you’re in the situation of still having that 1/2 mile to go and feel like you’re ready to quit because you’ve already “achieved decent results”, think F.L.A.P. it and keep running (or even speed up) for that final 1/2 mile stretch.
To Sum Up
I realize that there was a lot of information in this article, spread across seemingly different topics. I created this section as a summary of the plan you need to follow if you want to find direction in your life and if you want to stop feeling lost or confused:
- You can’t get what you want if you don’t know what you want.
- Define your goals and focus all your actions and energy on getting close to those goals.
- Become the person that attracts happiness and success instead of pursuing them.
- Do what you love doing on a daily basis.
- Give everything that you do 100% effort.
- F.L.A.P. it (Finish Like A Pro).
I’m also aware of the fact that I haven’t covered an issue that could be a big contribution to your sense of confusion and lack of direction in life… low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
In the next articles I’ll address the topics of self-esteem and confidence since these are crucial elements of achieving goals, success and happiness in life.