How to Know What You Want out of Life

Posted on - in Culture & Communication
slices of lemons

What is your heart’s truest desire? It’s a question that’s simple to ask, but much more complicated to answer. It can be difficult to know what you want when you’re just embarking on a career, making a big move or experiencing a transition out of a long-term relationship. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to know what you want. If you allow yourself the space to be introspective and really take a look at the joy-inducing and challenging parts of your life, you’ll find some direction.

Take a Step Back

To know what you want, you may have to be patient with yourself and take a step back. Figuring out how you want to spend your career, what you’re looking for in personal relationships or making another big, life-changing decision is a process.

You shouldn’t expect to know what you want after your first brainstorming session. It’s going to take some life experience and introspection to find your true place, so let it. Don’t rush the process, but embrace it.

Prioritize Yourself First

If you have a nurturing personality, that quality is probably going to factor into where you ultimately end up, but it shouldn’t necessarily steer the decision-making process. Feel free to put yourself first and meet your needs, regardless of what you choose to do with your life. In this case, it’s totally acceptable to let the feelings and opinions of others take a back seat. After all, it’s your life, not theirs.

Open up to Possibilities

If you narrow your paths down to just a few options, you might find yourself missing out on other opportunities that you never saw coming. Keep an open mind and don’t let these opportunities to experience something new pass you by.

Feel empowered to say yes to everything — but you can also feel free to say no when something doesn’t seem like a good fit. The important part is that you don’t write off anything immediately without the proper amount of contemplation and consideration.

Seek out True Joy

Fleeting happiness and true, soul-changing joy are two very different things. When you discover what you truly want out of life, you’re probably going to experience the latter. Take note of these moments.

Maybe it’s when you’re volunteering or helping a friend, doing something you’d never considered as a career or a serious pursuit. Don’t let this deter you. When and if you encounter joy, think of ways you might be able to pursue the activity that brought it on full-time or at least on a regular basis.

Want to be more productive?

Learn how to be more with Productivity Theory's weekly newsletter!

Join 2,000 other subscribers now!

Your email address will only be used to send you my newsletter, and at any time you may unsubscribe. For more information, see my Privacy Policy.

Push Back

Many people get backed into a corner with their career or their relationships. They settle for a job they don’t really want and end up never leaving for fear of the unknown. They pursue a destructive relationship time and time again, only to end up with depleted of emotional energy when it ultimately fails.

Don’t be afraid to push back against things you don’t really want and take a chance on the things that you do. A little bit of opposition only creates the opportunity for growth. Take advantage of it.

Don’t Apologize

Some people may be critical of your search for a greater purpose or sense of meaning. They might tell you to settle for the status quo, and that your pursuit is unrealistic or ill-fated. Don’t let these naysayers get in your way. Some people may not understand your drive to figure out what you truly want out of life, but when you find it, you won’t have any trouble silencing the negativity once and for all.

Embrace the Unknowns

If you’re still trying to figure out what you want out of life, you’re not alone. Continue to pursue your passions and remain open to the many possibilities that life brings your way. You can never predict what doors will open with you embrace the unknowns in life.

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

The following two tabs change content below.
Kayla Matthews writes Productivity Theory and is constantly seeking to provide new tips and hacks to keep you motivated and inspired! You can also find her on Huffington Post and Tiny Buddha, and follow her on Google+ and Twitter to stay up to date on her latest productivity posts!

1 Comment

  1. Paul Towers

    It’s what excites you most in my opinion. I am the founder of a startup called Task Pigeon and while its hard work, I love every since day! In fact I wake up excited to work because I have clear goals that I want to achieve in my business.

    I think you have to chase your passion, no matter what it is. I know it can be hard if you have other commitments but it doesnt mean you have to quit your job. If you wanted to be a photographer for example you could do that after work or on the weekend until it becomes big enough to support you.

    2 years ago

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.