There are many times when we find ourselves doing things we don’t want to do, but we never stop and ask ourselves why we are doing them. Sure, there are some things that are necessary. You can’t let those stack of cups in your kitchen sink grow any taller. You do have to file your taxes. You do have to change the oil in your car from time to time. But these small, yet necessary, things aren’t what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the times when you find yourself doing something that’s not bringing you any value or joy, yet is in your control. These range from big things in your life to the daily routines and activities.
For example, why do you live in the town or city that you do? It might be because that’s where your job is. Why do you drive the vehicle you do? Maybe because that’s what other people drive who are in your same economic class. Why do you find yourself being dragged to social events, like your friend’s brother’s college roommate’s birthday dinner? That one, I’m not sure why you got pulled into that, but it happens.
One thing leads to another, and soon you find yourself living a life that you didn’t quite design for yourself. Rather than you designing a life for yourself, other people, other circumstances, and many other factors shaped this life you’re living. Do what you want. Life the life you want.
It may be difficult to do what you want, if you don’t know what that is. That’s ok. We’re going to explore how to identify those things, and then how to live them.
First, understand that anything you put your mind to is possible. You’re capable of living the life you want – any life!
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney
Developing this mindset it key. Don’t fall prey to those ever-present limiting beliefs.
Reflect. Take some time to reflect on what things make you happy. Some people never even stop to consider what they like and want. Family usually tops the list. Friends, health, wealth, and satisfaction round out usual priorities. Dig deeper than this. Don’t think of these in the buzzword like sense. What really brings you joy? It could be the grind of a long project at work, or the win of getting that new client or project, or being able to take every evening and spend with your family. Everyone is different. This is why it’s important to reflect on what’s important to you.
Once you have the right mindset, and have reflected to understand what brings you joy – then take action. Remember, you’re capable of living any life you want. You just have to implement it. Don’t bound yourself by the norms of society. This will be a work in progress. You probably can’t quit your job, sell your car, and take off on a sail boat circumnavigating the globe tomorrow. But you can take steps every day that will put you closer to living the life you want.
I know what you’re thinking – “but Jacob, I have bills to pay, and family to raise, a job to go to, etc.”. Yes, I know you do. I’m not suggesting you quit paying your electric bill because it doesn’t make you happy. Unless of course, sitting in the dark makes you happy – then go right ahead! I want you to know that any life you can dream of, you can have. Don’t underestimate what you’re are capable of. Don’t be tied down by societal norms, limiting beliefs, and the pressure to live life how everyone else does. You are you. You aren’t anyone else. So live the live you want. Do what makes you happy. That’s the ultimate success.