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How to Know What You Want in Life

Written by Karl Perera BA, MA, DipLC
Updated: November 24th, 2020

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It seems that both men and women today are very confused about exactly what they want in life. There seems to be more confusion about the roles that people play in daily life. It now seems more complicated than before (Alan and Barbara Pease, 2016). Do you know what you want in life? If you are unsure, then I can help you, so read on…

Being clear about what you desire and need to feel happier is so important, because it is hard to move in the right direction unless you know what your aims and goals are. So how can you know what you want in life? Let’s take a closer look at this to find a clear answer and steps you can take to work out what it is you want in your life and how to get it.

It can be difficult to understand how to know what you want in life. To become clearer about this, ask yourself what excites you, what successes you have had, what would you choose to do without limits, what are your goals, who do you admire and why, what don’t you want and how committed are you to getting what you want?

Let me guide you through each of these questions.

1. What interests excite you the most?

Think about what your real passion ıs and what excıtes you. Remember the times when you were really interested and excited by something you were doing. Think about why you enjoyed it so much. What is it about the activity that you love? It makes you feel good to remember, doesn’t it? Choosing to do what you like is good for your self esteem and is a key to your happiness.

Once you’re able to pinpoint the things you truly enjoy doing, and pay attention to how these hobbies motivate you, you may soon notice you have a better idea of what it is you want in life and how you might be able to obtain it. Once you’ve figured out what excites you the most, I highly suggest you dedicate more of your time to these activities and pay attention to how your life changes.

A hobby can be the start of a larger and more important journey in life!

2. What are you biggest successes in life?

No matter how small, list your most important achievements. You’ll be surprised if you put your mind to this, how many you can find. Doing this will raise your confidence and help you feel much better about yourself. Acknowledging your successes highlights your talents and strengths and can guide you to where you want to go next. Giving yourself credit for even the simplest of accomplishments can help you feel better and motivate you towards future achievements.

Successes can also help you to focus on what skills you have and what strengths you could use to your advantage. Once you have identified these successes, then you can move on to planning to add to them. What do you want to succeed at in the future?

3. If anything were possible, what would you choose to do and what would you want your life to be like?


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This question asks you to use one of your most important gifts as a human being, your imagination. If it’s a little rusty, no mind you can rediscover it. What would you choose to do, if anything were possible? If there were no limits to you getting started today? This is a huge, life-changing question, but one which will enable you to start dreaming of the possibilities. That’s one step closer to knowing what you want in life, because you have to imagine a thing before you can make it reality.

Choosing your career carefully is one way to feel better about your life. This article on the Business News Daily website, gives you four important reasons why choosing a career you enjoy can make you happier and more successful in life. So use your imagination and come up with ideas for a career that you’d love!

If you wish to improve your life, then first you must imagine what is possible. Forget the limits you believe hold you back or stop you, most of these are in your mind and not real limitations.

Don’t believe me? Check out Amy Purdy’s amazing story of how she made her dreams come true despite the incredible setbacks she had to go through – truly inspiring! You need to dream big to achieve big.

So, if your life were a book and you were the author, how would you want the story to go?

4. What are your goals? “What do you want in Life?”

We are trying to answer the big question: how to know what you want in life. I believe this next step will take you closer to an answer.

Get clear and focus then write your goals down – as many as you like. Take your time to think about this, don’t rush it. My advice is to think BIG and forget your inner objections. Anything that comes to mind that you want to achieve, write it out as a goal. Think about it, if you have twenty goals and can achieve only half then that’s ten successes. If you only have two goals and achieve half that is only one success, so go for it!

Whether you believe it or not, your mind is the only thing standing between you and your dreams. So it’s time to push yourself towards a more positive approach to life and to thinking about what you want to do with your life.

5. Who is the person you most respect/admire?

Who you admire, says a lot about your values and your character. It also says a lot about how you see success. Being successful means different things to different people. What do you believe success means for you? Do you seek money, recognition or do you want to be helpful to others? being honest about this will help you to know what you want in life and why.

It is important to have a model, someone to look up to. This will enable you to understand that you CAN overcome problems and do what seems impossible, as others have before. Also, you can also understand more about yourself and the values you have because you can see them in the person you have chosen. Why did you choose that person? Answer this and you will discover more about who and what you want to be.

6. What don’t you want in life?

It is important to realise what you do NOT like and do NOT want in order to figure out what you DO want in your life. It is important to remember what it is that you’re truly passionate about in life and to separate this from things that you may be convinced into doing but you don’t actually enjoy. Don’t let this become negative though, treat it as a list of the things you want to remove from your life to make it better and to move closer to your dream.

Psychology Today has some advice on how knowing what you don’t want can help you identify what you do want.

If you are to be truly happy in your life, you shouldn’t say yes when you want to say no! For this you might need to learn how to be more assertive.

7. How will you commit to getting everything you want in life?

This is the biggie! If you have answered the above life questions then you cannot just sit there, you MUST take action. Problems will come, and you mustn’t give up. You need a positive attitude and resilience to overcome the difficulties and challenges ahead. One of the biggest problems is fear. You have to be strong and have support to fight this when doubt arrives, as it will.

Decide how committed you are to your life changes and be 100% determined to work to bring about positive changes in your life. What will you do if things get tough? Who can you tell about your intentions? Telling someone you can rely on is important. If that person is helpful and supportive they will also hold you to account. A friend is priceless in helping you commit to your future. Remember that most successful people don’t focus on the negative, they are both realistic and have an optimistic attitude.

More than anything else, successful people don’t give up easily!

Would you like to be powerfully positive no matter what life throws at you?

If your answer is YES, then I recommend you get this amazing self-hypnosis program: Power Positivity Pack which consists of the following downloads:

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So now you know what you need to do to get clearer about what you want in life. It takes time to answer each of the above questions, but it is time well spent. Be honest with yourself and go for it! get that pen out and get to it now!

Before you leave this page, please share it with someone that needs to read this. Good luck and do let me know how you get on with these questions. I wish you sincere success in whatever you choose to do in life!

References

Business news Daily. (2020). Life’s Too Short: 4 Reasons to Do What You Love For a Living. https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/7995-reasons-to-do-what-you-love.html

Canfield, J. (2015). Do You Know What You Really Want from Your Life? Decide Today!  [accessed 27 October 2015]

Christ, S. (n.d.). 7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life [accessed 27 October 2015]

Pease, A., & Pease, B. (2016). Why Men Lie & Women Cry: How to get what you want from life by asking. Hachette UK.

Vilhauer, J. (2019). How to Figure Out What You Want in Life. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/living-forward/201909/how-figure-out-what-you-want-in-life

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Website Author and Editor Bio

Photo of Karl Perera, MA, DipLC Karl Perera is a fully qualified Life Coach (DipLC), Teacher (MA) and author of Self Esteem Secrets. He has taught at various universities including Durham, Leicester and Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge. He has run More-SelfEsteem.com since 1997 and is an expert in Self Esteem and Self Confidence.