Why is it important to know what you want?
Because you don’t want to just crap around and lose time.
Life is short, we have limited energy, and the burden of missed opportunities can be irremediable. When you pass the point of no return, you only be left with the pain of regret.
Perhaps in your death bed, perhaps in your old ages, or perhaps in the afterlife.
How do you know what you really want?
That’s the big question.
They immediately start asking us from our childhood. Why do you ask a kid something like that? Isn’t it strange?
They hold us responsible for something way beyond our comprehension.
Nobody knows about the future and kids change their ideas every other day anyway. Maybe that’s just for opening up a topic, but why always this subject?
Is that about looking for new ideas? Why can’t we let them enjoy their fantasy world without interfering in with anxiety triggering questions? Do we enjoy watching the poor kid struggling desperately to find an answer?
Perhaps, it’s the manifestation of what’s lacking inside us. Most people just drift in life, and can’t dare to ask these big questions. So they want to feel relieved by being the asker, not the answerer.
Let’s just focus on doing our part today.
We can’t have everything in life, that’s another good reason to decide what you want. It’s not even guaranteed to get what we want. We only have a chance to aim for what would be good for us.
It’s a big mystical pressure that we carry on our shoulders for our life time.
Why do people end up living a life that they don’t want?
It’s because they never figure out what they want in the first place.
Why don’t they do it? It sounds weird but they never actually try. There is already a path laid out, and it’s easier to settle. You can spend your whole life complaining about what’s lacking, and you never find time to yourself what you really want.
On the other hand, some people can’t go all the way and give up at some point in the discovery process.
Everybody wants happiness already but not everybody is willing to discover what’s important for them.
What about you? Do you have a list? If not, don’t worry because you are not alone. At least you are here trying to find your answers with me.
Life is a test
When you don’t know what you want, you become a ship without a route, and no wind can blow in your favor.
Even if you hit on a girl, she tests how much you desire her. She doesn’t lower the sails unless you prove how much you really want her. It’s the same in life.
You have to be definite and solid as a rock because you will always be tested.
What does it mean “to want something”?
The dictionary says, “to feel that you would like to have, keep, or do something”. So you feel something is needed before you want it whether it’s real or not.
For example, you might want to drink water because of your desire to stay alive.
Other people would like to have a Ferrari and have sex every day because they believe that these will bring more joy to them. If we think that the result will be beneficial for us in the end, we want to shape our actions in that way.
Since the time we’re born, we always wanted something like a nipple, a toy, making friends, a boyfriend/girlfriend, better grades, a well-paid job, an apartment, a baby, a better version of everything…
We were like programmed to ask more, and it was such an innate action for us to want more.
We want because we are animals, we are never satisfied because we are human.
Plus, we’ve been manipulated so much, so it has come to the point where we don’t even know what we want anymore.
Masterminds and algorithms already can guess what we may like, and they recommend us what to consume. They have to do this because most people don’t even have a clue about what might be good for them.
It’s like going to the mall just to shopping, to buy things to feel better, not to fulfill any of your needs.
Can you see the absurdity of this?
It’s always guaranteed that you will end up in a totally random place.
When you truly want something, you bend your will in a way to make your choices accordingly because with every choice, you build the future version of yourself.
Who do you want to be?
If it’s a fat, slobby, and lazy person, then you can eat dirty food, procrastinate all day long, and never work out at all. If not, then you act exactly the opposite.
Your behaviors are the reflection of what’s in your mind. If there’s a contradiction between your actions and desires, then you are in a self-deception.
Either you don’t really know why you want what you want, or you don’t want to lose what you need to sacrifice. So you actually want to stay the same and can’t admit to yourself.
Your deserving factor in life is the earning factor. Unless you are determined to take risks and make sacrifices, it’s nothing but just talking. Your actions will not follow your words, and surely you won’t have it.
“I want to build the next billion-dollar company”.
No, you don’t because you don’t know what it takes.
How about dropping out of college, screwing up your family life, becoming homeless for years, having no friends, parties, chit-chats, making enemies everywhere meanwhile putting in the work every day like a dog for 10 years?
Do you know how many people settle down for a miserable job, or disgusting college lectures, or a terrible marriage just to feel secure and make sure other people do not judge them?
It’s funny how people talk about entrepreneurship when they can’t even dare to live beyond their means.
They see the fancy cars, freedom lifestyle, and all the possible rewards but who’s going to deal with anxiety, stress, sleepless nights without knowing if your project will make it or not.
It’s crucial to always remember that life is an exchange and the deserving factor is determined by what you give up for.
People just look out and try to duplicate successful individuals.
All they see is the result, or what’s shown them as trophies. They completely disregard how they can let their uniqueness come into play. Why? Because their mind is always busy catching up with the value system of society. They are more concerned with how they look in the eyes of others.
This is the reason why they can’t allow themselves to go in their way, try out new stuff, taste the beauty of failure.
The media and our environment often propagandize us into thinking of what we should want.
- It’s easy to wish to be a doctor because of financial security.
- It’s easy to wish to be an entrepreneur because of a cool lifestyle.
- It’s easy to wish to be a professional athlete because of popularity.
In other words, a fast lane lifestyle, expensive cars, yachts, villas, certain kinds of clothes, and so on are always brought into prominence, so we eventually think that we all need these.
How many people can get free of such bullshit propaganda and sincerely ask themselves what they really want?
Not many, because we are all sold to a pipe dream instead, for a very long time at least. And it’s damn easy to buy into that. This is how they rob people by giving false hopes, quick-fix solutions, step by step programs for a dream life.
People only want the results
When you check out the people you admire, they never start out their journey in pursuit of money, fame, or status.
Strangely they never cared about the luxury, fame, or nice perks at all. These are just some of the by-products they got due to following their obsession. When you solely focus on these, you miss what they’ve gone through to earn what they have.
Maradona was one with the ball. His eyes were glued to it, and it was his best friend. It was his love of the game that made him the best of all time.
For mastery, you must be in tune with what you do.
Kobe Bryant dedicated himself to playing basketball and learned the ins and outs of the game by practicing his craft every single day. Elon Musk is obsessed with creating a future for humanity that we all can feel better living in it.
These people are drawn to their endeavors with strong love and obsession. This is why they don’t need to take off from work and can stay disciplined. Why would you take a day off from being yourself?
Once I asked my friend what would he do if he had infinite money. He told me about everything from buying an island, traveling the world, laying down on the beach, and take a sip from his mojito.
That was the reason why he was never going to get rich because his brain was wired wrongly to success. Why do you think billionaires still work their ass off while they can do anything they want for 3679 years? Are they too stupid? The chances are they know more about life than you do.
If it’s too hard to empathize, think of yourself playing GTA. You have infinite money in the game, you’ve completed every single mission and achievements. What would you do? You might try some stupid stuff for a while, and eventually get bored and delete the game.
That’s why some rich people are caught up with drug addiction, and suicide issues because life doesn’t work like that.
It’s bliss to have challenges, to be able to work on your craft and to have to opportunity to show up every single day.
Let’s say that you want to climb up a mountain. Would you achieve it by saying “Oh I hate this.”, “Damn, this is too cold here why am I doing it at all?”, “Who cares about reaching the top? Screw it.” all the time?
Nope, because you must collaborate with your mind to get what you want.
You only embrace difficulties, overcome challenges, and develop the required tenacity when you are willing to do it by the heart. If you really want it, you convince yourself to take all the pain and make the sacrifices.
This is how people can stay for the long run and keep themselves determined enough to follow through with the process. They enjoy the ride rather than boggling their mind with toxic expectations.
Often times we only see what’s visible. We see the end products like books, movies, projects, awards, titles because these are tangible successes that bring all attention. If you can’t see more than obvious visible signs, then you can’t value the real change process.
It’s always your internal dialogue that will allow you to achieve anything you want.
Before anything occurs outside, first it occurs inside of us.
So the answer, the key, the ultimate solution you might say for such discovery is extremely simple: Stop focusing on what the outside world is saying or doing about everything.
Your inner world lays the groundwork for everything you will achieve in your life. It’s always a dead-end struggle to take others’ words as the ultimate truth about money, life goals, or success. Stop the whole world if that’s necessary to look inward.
Every person is another world inside. The DNA, life experiences, the challenges we go through are one of a kind, and unique.
The misery that oppresses you lies not in your profession but in yourself! What man in the world would not find his situation intolerable if he chooses a craft, an art, indeed any form of life, without experiencing an inner calling? Whoever is born with a talent, or to a talent, must surely find in that the most pleasing of occupations! Everything on this earth has its difficult sides! Only some inner drive–pleasure, love–can help us overcome obstacles, prepare a path, and lift us out of the narrow circle in which others tread out their anguished, miserable existences! –Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
So I know that you were looking for certain answers to your question “How do I know what I really want?” but there’s no book, article, or video material that can give you the answer.
This shit doesn’t work like solving a math equation, there are not one size fits for all answers, and it’s your damn job to figure it out. The soon you accept the truth, the more distance you will cover. Maybe you become humble enough to accept that you don’t know it yet, so you can take a step to get closer.
When you experience something that excites you and pulls you towards fulfillment, you already know it.
You probably experienced it in your childhood at some point.
We are all born with certain inclinations, and our inner being craves for doing the work it’s meant to do. Some were drawn to music, some fell in love with sports, others were fascinated by books and the world of words.
As we get older, we gradually start to disconnect from our calling.
Parents forced us to follow us to pursue a guaranteed career path, a mad alcoholic guidance teacher told us what we are good or bad at, casual friends told us what’s cool or not. At some point, we lost contact with our internal dialogue and became a stranger to ourselves.
The worry of such a loss made an unfilled hole in our souls. It led us to live in a constant anxious state and indecisiveness.
Loads of responsibilities were always there packing on our back in the form of school, exams, finding jobs, marriage, etc. We were already up to ninety, and most people never get out of this madness by saying “What the hell is going on? Where am I going?”. When they asked such questions, there was more anxiety due to the unknown factors.
The only way to get out of this labyrinth was to solving the puzzle of your life and that can only happen when you reflect back and connect the dots backward.
The most effective method I know for this is simply to write your life.
Yes, from the earliest memories you remember until the exact moment. What can be more relieving than seeing what’s remained after those years on paper? I am sure there will be some key unique connections that you haven’t realized, yet.
If you care for yourself enough to do this, at least you will have an overall framework that you can explore over time.
Steve Jobs said it best, “everything makes sense when you look back at it”. Most people want simple, direct, step by step formulas for success. If it was that easy, everybody would have it.
This is a journey where you learn to welcome your past mistakes, failures, and villainies. We learn the most when things go wrong. In fact, if you never fail in life, it’s just proof that you play it too easy and you are too afraid to set the bar high enough.
Nothing is ever wasted in life when you know how to make it valuable.
When you are thoroughly prepared within, the opportunities will be visible.
Maybe you expected to hear something more spiritual, maybe you hoped there was a drug like NZT that you can take, or there had to be a guru unfolding the secret of life with magical words.
However, the best advice is the one you don’t want to hear because it’s never microwaveable especially in the age we are living in.
You Know The Way
Milton Erickson once told a story about a horse that wandered into his family’s yard when he was a young man. Even though the horse had no identifying marks, Erickson decided to return it to its owner.
In order to accomplish this, he simply mounted the horse, led it to the road, and let the horse decide which way it wanted to go. He intervened only when the horse left the road to graze or wander into a field.
When the horse finally arrived at the yard of a neighbor several miles down the road, the neighbor asked Erickson, “How did you know that that horse came from here and was our horse?” Erickson said, “I didn’t know but the horse knew. All I did was to keep him on the road.”
The answers are within you.
The best guidance you can get from someone else is to evoke what’s already in you.
No good can be achieved by force. The most effective punch is effortless. When you attempt to force an outcome, the process becomes unnatural. The crimson thread of fate is unpredictable and does not bend to will power alone.
This is a process. You chase to find the answers on your conscious first, and your subconscious design your actions accordingly. And after years, you look back and smile at how far you’ve come.
Also, this is beyond you. It can’t be all about what you want because we are all connected to the universe, so we cannot plough a lone furrow. It is difficult for most people to overcome their child-like tendency, that’s why they’re always stuck in their egocentric world.
All people -whether they realize it or not- strive to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
Individual efforts are emphasized in this article because it’s where everything begins. The process inevitably comes down to focus on your individual needs by also considering what’s good for broader society.
When you solely focus on what you are going to get, you become frustrated with lots of cravings and have the endless urge to chase quick and superficial results.
When you think you are too smart, you predict all the negative outcomes, easily fall into the analysis paralysis trap, and never take action.
When you are always busy doing something, you never question what you do and find yourself in the sorrow of meaninglessness.
Find the right balance.
Be bold enough to be stupid, but do not entirely abandon your mind.
Keep it sharp at all costs.
When you reach the final answer, you already know.