Figuring out your life’s purpose isn’t as easy as it may seem, especially if you don’t know where to start or how to go about doing it. While some people get lucky and figure out their calling at an early age, most people find that the road to self-actualization is much more winding than they first anticipated. The good news is that once you’ve figured out what you really want in life, achieving it becomes much easier, no matter how big or small your goal may be. So how do you figure this out?
1) See The Bright Side
Positivity is key, so change your outlook and start looking at things in a more positive light. Maybe you’re frustrated because you have to work 2 jobs just to make ends meet or maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed because people keep dumping their problems on you. Whatever it is, stop and think about it for a second: what if there was another way? What if everything that was wrong with your life had a flip side? How would that make you feel?
2) Look At Your Gifts
Look back at a time in your life when you had few cares and loads of free time. Maybe it was high school, college, or summer vacation. Spend some time revisiting what you did with that time and how much you enjoyed it—was it taking arts classes? Hiking? Building furniture? When we’re young, we often have little to worry about other than having fun—but as an adult, our lives are typically very different.
3) Appreciate People Around You
Nobody’s perfect, and that’s a good thing. Even when you have your dream job in hand, things will still come up to throw you off balance, but if you keep your attitude and relationships healthy, that won’t get in your way of success. Paying attention to who surrounds you is a good indicator of what’s important. If your friends are negative or judgmental, it might be time to reevaluate how they fit into your life. If they aren’t adding anything positive or meaningful, it might be time for a change.
4) Use Time Wisely
It’s amazing how many people don’t use their time wisely. They wake up late, watch hours of TV during the day, and then go to bed early. If you want to figure out what you really want in life, learn how to use your time better. Read more books instead of watching TV. Start your day earlier so you can enjoy more of it. Learn to say no so that you have time for yourself and your goals…
5) Don’t Get Discouraged
There’s no way to predict exactly how much time it will take you to find what you want in life, but as long as you remain persistent and open-minded, it’s very likely that you will get there eventually. If at some point you do start to get discouraged or feel like things aren’t working out for you, just remind yourself that there are countless other people out there who have gone through what you are going through right now.
6) Trust in Yourself
We all have a sense of what we want and don’t want. This inner wisdom often gets buried under layers of shoulds from our parents, society, teachers, etc. Take some time to reflect on your life and then trust that inner voice that speaks to you—don’t let anyone or anything else tell you what you want. It’s up to you!
7) Stay Optimistic
Don’t lose hope. It may seem impossible to imagine what your life will be like in 5, 10, or 20 years, but try anyway. Make a point of thinking about how you want your life to be—and then work backwards from there. Think about your goals and ways you can achieve them; by visualizing that future for yourself, you’ll stay motivated and find it easier to stick with things.
8) Stop Talking About It
The best way to find out what you really want is to stop talking about it. Seriously, be quiet. Get rid of all distractions and obligations that aren’t related to your goal for a period of time—it can be one day or several weeks, whatever works for you—and focus on yourself. During that time, think about what makes you happy and energized; while doing so, also consider how much time you actually spend doing those things versus how much time you spend talking or thinking about doing them.
9) Focus on Progress Not Perfection
When it comes to your goals, don’t get hung up on whether you have or haven’t reached perfection. Instead, focus on what you’re doing to make progress toward achieving your goals. This can help you feel like you’re making some sort of forward movement in regards to your goal, even if it isn’t exact and perfect yet. The important thing is that you are taking positive steps towards what will ultimately benefit you.
10) Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
It’s natural to want to compare yourself to others, but if you want to figure out what you really want in life it’s important not to make comparisons. It can be hard, especially when you look at others and feel inferior, but remember that everyone is at a different place in their journey and everyone has different wants and needs. Focus on your own life instead of what other people are doing. The more you focus on what you want, rather than comparing yourself to others, the better chance you have of achieving it.