Reason #5: You Don’t Really Want What You Think You Want
"Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you." Thomas Jefferson
Everyone wants 2.4 kids and the white picket fence… right?
Everyone wants a vacation home in the mountains… right?
Everyone wants to look like Jennifer Aniston or Brad Pitt… right?
Everyone wants to run their own business and be their own boss… right?
WRONG! When it comes to dreams, one size most definitely does NOT fit all. Our dreams and goals are as individual as we are, and adopting someone else’s goals as our own can feel like wearing someone else’s shoes: It looks okay to everyone else, but to us, it feels awful and gives us blisters.
There are thousands, if not millions, of people out there striving for the wrong goals. Wrong not because there’s anything inherently bad about them, but wrong because the goals they’re aiming for are wrong for THEM. There’s the med school student who loved her accounting and finance classes in college…but set any thought of being an accountant aside because her mom and dad are both doctors. There’s the successful salesman who would really love to chuck it all and teach English, but he’s making too much money and only a crazy person would throw away a six-figure paycheck. There are frustrated dentists, bakers, and candlestick makers. There are frustrated sheep farmers, personal trainers, bail bondsmen and police officers. Frustration knows no geographic, socioeconomic, race or religious boundaries. The only way to know if the goals you’re aiming for are the right goals is to figure out if they are your heart’s desire.
Sometimes it takes some detective work to peel back the layers of societal and family expectations to get at what YOU really want. There are clues all around you: If you fall asleep dreaming about something, wake up thinking about something, and find yourself perking up whenever you meet someone doing what you’d like to do, you’re on the right track. Meanwhile, if you find yourself calling in sick to that six-figure job “everyone” would kill to have, then you may be in the wrong place…for you. So what do you do if you find you’ve been chasing after the wrong dream? You readjust. You find ways to move your current life closer to the one you really long for. Maybe that means getting up an hour early to work on your mystery novel. Maybe it means spending your weekends teaching art to inner city kids. Maybe it means volunteering to do taxes at the senior center. Take a small step and see how it feels. Then take another, and another, until you know deep in your heart you’re on the right track. If you are, the momentum will carry you forward.
The next time we’ll discuss: Reason #6: You Lack the Skills