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Feeling stuck because you don’t know what you want in life?
Maybe you’ve been thinking about what you actually want for a while. Maybe you’ve been at your job for a while and it just doesn’t feel right. Or maybe a promotion or a career change is coming up in your life but you just have no idea if this is right for you.
Having all of these thoughts and doubts can be incredibly stressful and exhausting.
And trust me, I’m speaking from experience.
A few years ago, I’ve basically had a full-blown quarter life crisis where I suddenly had no idea what I wanted to do in my life.
All these years prior to this point I was sure that I just wanted to pass a bar exam and become an attorney. I didn’t really know what else I wanted to achieve. But that didn’t seem relevant at that time, because I had this one big goal. “I’ll figure the rest out when I’m there”, was what I thought.
So, when I realized that this path wasn’t right for me anymore, I fell into a hole. A block hole of having no idea what I wanted…
In the months and years after this point, I realized that there are certain questions you can ask yourself and certain exercises you can do that help you figure out what you want in life.
In this article I’ll share the 9 best tips that helped me get my life together and find my dream career.
How to find out what you want in life
So, let’s dive in. Here are 9 tips that will help you get back on track. If you’re looking for a little more guidance, I’ll share a free challenge in the end of this article that will guide you through knowing what you want step by step.
1. Think about what a perfect day looks like to you
Okay, let’s get started.
First of all, you need to think about what a perfect day looks like to you.
What makes you feel good? What makes you lose track of time? What components make your day perfect?
Think about if you’ve ever experienced any day that got really close to what you’d call a perfect day for yourself.
If you struggle with this, you can also simply imagine what a perfect day would look like to you. If you had a magic wand and could simply create your perfect day, what would that look like?
A word of warning: In case you feel like your perfect day would consist of staying in bed and sleeping or watching Netflix for 16 hours straight, you’re probably depressed!
Sure, it’s nice to sleep in every now and then. And binge watching your favorite Netflix series once in a while can be fun too.
But I’m talking about the kind of perfect day you wish you had every day!
So, if you still feel like sleeping for 24 hours would be the perfect day, I highly recommend seeing a therapist before you move on with these tips.
2. Get clear on your values
Another very important tip I’d like to give you is to get clear on your values.
Values determine how you act in certain situations, how you make decisions and how you ultimately want to live your life.
This is one of the exercises of the paint-your-dream-life challenge. So, be sure to join this free challenge if you’d really like to take your life to the next level.
3. Observe yourself: when do you lose track of time?
To dive even deeper on your values, interests and passions, it’s now time to observe yourself: when are you losing track of time? When do you completely forget everything around you because you’re so focused on what you’re doing right now? When do you get the least distracted?
Make a list of all these moments and look for the common denominators. What kind of activity are you doing in this moment?
How do you feel when you’re done with that activity? You’re looking for tasks where you feel fulfilled and amazing and you maybe even get an adrenaline rush.
Figuring out those in-flow moments will help you clarify your values even more.
Maybe you’ll find that one value is constantly present. Or maybe you find additional values to add to the list.
In any case these in-flow activities show that this is something you truly enjoy.
4. Start with what you don’t want
If you struggle a bit with the exercises listed above, another easy tip is to get started with what you don’t want.
Make a list of all the kind of work or tasks you don’t enjoy and that you don’t want to be doing.
That should be fairly easy.
While making your list, you might find that some ideas for things you love doing come up.
If not, you can just use your list and turn every point around into the contrary or something opposite of what you don’t want.
For instance, let’s say you don’t to be working in an office. The opposite would be to be working outdoors or from home or location-independent. Think about opposite aspects of what you don’t want and look for the options that sound the best to you.
5. Talk to a lot of people
Next, it’s time to get inspired.
I found that my mindset shifted significantly, once I realized what’s actually possible!
After following successful people online, I could actually imagine doing the same as what they had achieved. And I realized that my goals and dreams weren’t even that surreal. There are actually people out there making a fortune while traveling the world. And they’re even helping people and making a true impact in other people’s lives.
Definitely my version of a dream life!
Following successful people is one thing. But you also need to actually engage with others. This will help you see the different possible directions you could take your life in.
Once you’ve found a few things about your perfect day that you truly enjoy and would love to be doing on a daily basis, reach out to people who are making a living off of that.
Go on social media or on forums and ask them what they’re doing and how they like it.
6. Go out and try stuff
Okay, you’re starting to get a better grasp of what you enjoy vs. what you don’t want to be doing.
Up until this point it’s only in your head.
Next, you’ll need to go out and try stuff. You need to see if what you imagined to be nice also feels the same way.
The best way to go about this is to volunteer somewhere, start freelancing or shadow someone at their work place. Other options are online courses or workshops to get your feet wet.
7. Write your observations down
You probably get the deal by now. You need to be writing that stuff down!
Whether you’re using a simple Google Document or you’re journaling, you’ll need to get those thoughts on paper.
Not only will this help to clear your mind and let the ideas and inspiration flow, it’s also important to have it as a point of reference to which you can come back later on and add to it or simply see your improvement.
I’ve recently picked up journaling and I must say, I absolutely love it!
For some reasons, my ideas and creativity flow much more if I write by hand. I don’t know what it is, but I feel like I’ve removed so many mental blocks by writing down my thoughts. Writing them down always leads to the next thought and all of a sudden I have a very clear path in front of me.
So, I can highly recommend journaling!
8. Narrow down the list
Okay, you’ve been writing down all your thoughts and observations.
By now, you should have a bunch of things that you find enjoyable. In order to find your dream career, your dream business, your passion or whatever you want to call it, you’ll need to try out different things and then slowly narrow down the list.
Trying things out weeding out the options that didn’t feel good helped me tremendously to eventually find my dream business (coaching and content creation).
So, start trying things out and cross out the activities or the kind of work you don’t enjoy.
9. Exercise and meditate regularly
My last tip might seem a bit generic. But it’s so important!
In order to find out what you want in life, you need to have an open mind and you need to be willing to try different things.
If you’re spending all your evenings watching TV while hanging on the couch eating fast food, it’s going to be very difficult to get in the right state of mind. You’ll just have very low energy if your leisure mode is just being lazy and feeling sorry for yourself.
Instead, make sure to get moving. Exercise regularly and eat healthy. This will get your blood circulation moving which will nourish your brain.
In order to support your brain activity and get a clear mind, I also highly recommend meditation.
For the last couple of months, I’ve been meditating for an hour daily and it has helped me sooo much! Make sure to check out my article about my Vipassana meditation experience to learn more about the technique I use.
I’m so much calmer, more focused and overall more energized. You don’t need to do a full hour per day. Start with a few minutes but do it consistently.
It will help you a lot, trust me!
How to find out what you want in 5 days
If you’re still feeling a bit lost, I’ve got an awesome free challenge for you!
In the paint-your-dream-life-picture challenge you’ll get daily exercises and worksheets that will help you get a clear picture of what you want in life within 5 days!
Having a clear picture of your dream life is like the foundation of all your goals. Finding your ideal career and starting your dream business can only happen if you have a general vision of where you want to go.
So, don’t spend another day in that black hole of the unknown. Start the challenge today and see the path lighting up in front of you over the coming 5 days!