I love to write. It doesn’t matter what I’m writing about, sometimes the urge takes me and I just write. This blog post is one of the things that I just wrote after reading some research about what people really want.
If you could say in one word what you want more of in life, what would that be?
The research paper I read cited the following responses in this order from a group of 1000 people of all walks of life. I’ve added some tips to each answer so that this blog post can help you with what you really want.
The key to happiness is in knowing who you are and what you want. If you regularly ask yourself “I don’t know what I want” then you’re searching for happiness outside of yourself when you need to be searching within yourself. External things will bring happiness but in order to sustain it, you need to know what would make you happy first.
Never having enough money or enough time to enjoy it. The biggest challenge here is that you don’t know how much money will satisfy you. How much money do you really need to bring about the life experiences that will truly fulfil you? I’ve worked with millionaires and those who earn average wages and they all feel the same. You have to define the numbers so that you can actually enjoy spending it or saving it and create the time for it all.
You want to live your true purpose or be lit up by your day to day. This challenge lies in intentional living. You have to consciously choose to know why you work, why you live the way you live and who you bring into that space. Slowing down helps you to see more clearly. The lockdowns from the pandemic allowed many of us to consciously slow down and those that did, realised that they weren’t actually living life, they were doing life. To live life, you must know why you do.
Feeling a lack of clarity and purpose. This weaves into points 1 and 3. You need to understand yourself first and then you’ll understand your purpose. Purpose doesn’t need to be your life’s purpose. It needs to be enough to get you through your days, weeks, months and years first. Then, as you become more familiar with what brings you happiness and joy, you’ll move closer to identifying your life’s purpose. You can’t force it, so be patient with yourself. This is hard to do in our ever-demanding and volatile economic climate but you can, if you slow down and choose to.
Are you familiar with that visceral feeling you get inside your body when something is just so damn wonderful? That’s joy. Many of us get to experience joy but we’re quick to move on from it for fear of something bad happening. My advice, don’t move on from it. If something feels really good, stay in that moment for as long as possible. Savour the seconds and take a mental note of the feeling so that the next time you’re searching for joy, you remember what it feels like and look for something that replicates those feelings.
You either subscribe to work-life balance or life-work balance or perhaps to no balance at all. Citing Indian philosophy, I consider balance as duality. Everything has a positive and negative. Everything can be good and bad. Happy and sad. Trying to place your life in an all or nothing box is pointless and won’t help you achieve anything. Acceptance that life requires balance is what’s necessary here. Accept that if you work too much, you’ll be stressed and tired, so you’ll need to balance that out with rest and exercise. Accept that if you don’t step back and review your life, you’ll feel unfulfilled so you’ll need to create more space to understand yourself better. Balance is life.
You either do what you do in your day to day because you have to or because you want to. A street cleaner can be looked down on by a professional who may see the cleaner as doing a job that he has to do. But actually, what if the cleaner is so dedicated to making the world he lives in a better place for everyone? What if he takes pride in cleaning the streets before everyone else wakes when it’s just him, the broom and the birds? Perhaps he smiles more than you do? What if he loves his family more than you do and gets to show it to them when he finishes work and has time to be with them? Being fulfilled is about why you do what you do. It doesn’t matter how much money you make, so long as you feel good about it all. Being fulfilled is living your purpose.
What makes you think you aren’t confident? Has anyone ever said it to you? Most times the lack of confidence comes from an experience that you may or may not remember. You can learn confidence, but you have to raise your self-awareness first. If you are confident in a particular topic, you’ll probably wax lyrical about it easily but when you’re not confident in a topic, you’ll shy away. So rather than feel inferior to everyone else, why not choose to learn more about the topic, or yourself, or other people? Model behaviour that you admire, practise being yourself, embrace what makes you special and be around people who champion authenticity.
Puja McClymont – certified coach, wisdom teacher, speaker and host of the SELF Care 101 podcast.
As a life and leadership coach, I help mission-driven individuals who are seeking direction, to gain clarity, by expanding their inner awareness through the ancient wisdom teachings of Ayurveda and Yoga; so that they can lead more purposeful and fulfilling lives.
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