What do you want most in life?
In this post, I’ll be pondering the question:
What do you want most in life?
I selected this question as I’d love to unpack and work through it with you. I’m also hoping it will really challenge you to not only think deeply about the future, but also reflect on how far you’ve come.
I’ll also present some questions you can ask which will prompt you to identify what you want, as well as some easy goal-setting strategies you can apply today to get you started on the path of acquiring what you want most in life.
Before we dive into working through what you want in life, let’s do a quick performance review of your life so far by considering the following questions. I encourage you to write down your answers in your journal for future reference:
1. What have you done in your life so far that you are most proud of?
2. What do you love most in your life right now?
3. What activities do you enjoying doing?
5. Who do you enjoy spending time with?
Next, let’s begin to build on all these good things in your life by considering:
- What would you like to do more of?
- Who do you wish you could spend more time with?
- What is your biggest challenge in your life right now?
- If there was no limit to time, money, and resources how would you overcome this challenge?
As a writer, I regularly apply the questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why and How to pieces that I’m writing, in order to provide a well-rounded perspective. I also think these questions are essential when pondering our life.
Let’s break them down one-by-one with some examples:
- Who can be interpreted a couple of ways, such as who do we want to spend our lives with, as well as who do we want to be.
- What do we want to do during our lives? What do we want to do for a living? What do we want to experience?
- Where do we want to live or travel to?
- When do we want to achieve all these things by? Do we have an estimated timeline for our goals?
- Why do we want to do all of the aforementioned? Why is it important to us? This is probably the most important question, as it underpins the reason for our existence and our motivation for achieving all of the above.
- How are we going to achieve all of this? Are we going to set goals and break tasks done step-by-step? Are we going to save money to achieve these things? What sacrifices do we need to make along the way to get to where we want to go? What do we need to learn, and from who to live the life of our dreams?
Now that we have a rough road map of where we’ve been in life, as well as where we’re aspiring to go, let’s start to explore some simple goal-setting strategies.
- I’d like you to think of three things you’d like to achieve in your life and write them down.
- Determine if these are short, medium or long-term goals. For the purpose of this exercise, short-term goals are goals that can be achieved in a year or less, medium in 1-3 years, and long-term in 5+ years. It doesn’t matter if all your goals are short-term, or long-term, or all different lengths. I just want you to estimate the time period in which you want to complete them, and write that next to each goal.
- Now take your first goal and think through the process of how you might achieve this goal. What are the steps you need to take? What resources do you need, for example: time, money, extra skills or training through a coach, mentor or trainer, etc.
- Now next to each step for this goal, write down the date of when you will complete the step by. You should now have a timeline for each step to complete your goal, as well as a date of when you will complete the entire goal.
- Repeat these steps for your other two goals.
Congratulations! You have a road-map to complete three major goals in your life, as well as a simple goal-setting strategy you can apply to any short, medium or long-term goals going forward.
A word of warning for new-players – the key to success is not overloading your plate with lots of goals you want to achieve at same time. This is a recipe for distraction and lack of focus at best, burn-out at worst.
It is more effective to work towards fewer goals and achieve them sooner, rather than working on too many simulataneously. The more goals you achieve, the more momentum you’ll create to start on your next goals.
Three goals are a good starting point. You shouldn’t get overwhelmed, and you will have lots of steps to keep working on if one goal reaches a stand-still due to factors outside of your control, such as waiting for someone else to get back to you. If you do get overwhelmed, or life gets in the way, just focus on one goal at a time.
The other important point to note is that the things we want most in life often change. Our lives are in a constant state of change – gradually, or suddenly and unexpectedly. As we age, grow, and change, so too do our desires. Different people will also continue to enter and exit our world, influencing our lives – whether we like it or not.
The key is not to lose the essence of ourselves, i.e. the things we enjoy doing – the things that light us up and get us out of bed every day, and the people we enjoy being around.
Maybe, what we actually want most in life isn’t things and experiences. Perhaps what we genuinely desire is to live a life that is true to ourselves.
I’ll close with this quote from Nathan W. Morris:
“Edit your life frequently and ruthlessly. It’s your masterpiece after all.”