In his book “think and grow rich“, Napoleon Hill state that one of the main reason for failure is not having a well-defined purpose in life. Let’s face it, most people don’t know what they want to do when they grow up, where they want to go and what they want to be. They simply go forward, Either they go where the masses go, or they do what their parents or some other authority figure tells them to do, or they simply do whatever feels right at that moment
A scary thought
If you knew that you could have whatever you want in life, what would you want?
The truth is you CAN have whatever you wish out of life, the thing is, you need to know what that is, and you need to work in order to get it. By work I mean apply consistent effort towards the goal you wish to achieve.
This thought may be scary at the beginning. I can get whatever I want from life, but what is it I want?
Since thinking about this might be scary, most people will postpone thinking about this question for some other time (that will probably will never come) but unless we give any consideration to that question, odds are that the path that our life will go in will be very similar to the one the people around us are having. Whether we like that life or not.
How to do it
below are two ways that will help out in thinking what is it I want to do with my life. Both are very simple and require only time, paper and pen.
1. The 1,000,000$ exercise
This exercise is very intuitive but really hit the spot. Let’s say that each month you get 1,000,000$ in the bank, no matter what you do. How would you spend your life? would you travel? would you sit back and watch tv all day? Will you go on a shopping spree?
Write down everything you would do if you get 1,000,000$ each month. Don’t limit yourself. Really let your imagination fly. Visit all the places you want to visit. Buy all the things you want to buy, have some fun with the idea. After you have everything written down, imagine how would it feel to do/have all these things. Will it make you feel free? scary? whatever you feel is just great.
After you have written it all down and imagined vividly how it would feel to do or have those things, take a minute to think about your future life. After you have seen the entire world, bought everything that you want to buy, what then? What is it there left to achieve/experience in life?
Really let that question sink in until you get an answer. The answer may not come right away. It might come in a day, a week, or a month, but if you keep thinking about it, eventually it will come. The answer to that is what it is you want to do with your life.
2. What do you like to do
This exercise takes a bit more dedication, but it might be easier to do if you are the analytical type:
- Clear a time (30min or an hour) to just be with yourself. No phones or other people to interfere
- Think about what you like doing, what interests you, what do you like to contribute. What inspires you and make your soul sings. Write each of these things down. For example, I really love to write down my ideas. It sharpens the mind and also helps other people’s lives.
- Think about what service you want to give to other people in relation to each of the points above. For example, if one of the points was that you really love making cakes, then maybe you could start your own bakery, or start a blog with recipes and videos of how to make these cakes.
- This is the most important step. After choosing what is the service you want to give to the world, sit down and decide what is the first step you need to take, and when you are going to do it (It’s important to write it down in somewhere and not just leave it hanging. That’s because once you write it down you actually give form to an idea that originated n your mind). Once the first step has been achieved, as long as the motivation is sustained, the rest of the steps will unfold.
It’s up to us
It’s up to each and every one of us to decide what we are going to do with our life. It’s our responsibility to decide, and it’s our responsibility to make it happen. Sure, we might get help along the way from people, but it all comes down to us having taken action in the direction we chose to.
It could be really scary to try and wrestle with the understanding that our life is up to us, but as long as we keep postponing the decision of what it is we really want to do in life, we will merely be drifting through our life, and playing as extras in our own movie.
So what is it you want to do with your life?