Why it's not crazy that you don't know what you want
How often do you hear:
"I don't know what I really want"
"I don't know what my passion is"
"I have a good job, but this isn't it, but then what is?".
It seems like this is the norm as if an entire generation is struggling to find what makes them happy and fulfilled. Why is it that we, as millennials, find it so difficult to discover what we really want? In a word:
You didn't learn this.
"You have learned how to become a productive citizen, not how to create a life that makes you happy!"
You have not been taught what life is really about, how to create a fulfilling life. What they taught you is how to become a productive employee who can basically "get by".
Think about it. What has been the focus during your school career? Getting you ready to find a job. First, you go to preschool and kindergarten. You are allowed to discover yourself and the world through play and games and start to develop basic people skills. So far so good. However, as soon as you go to elementary school things change. From then on, the focus goes into gaining knowledge so that you can get a degree that gives you the greatest chance of job security.
Is that wrong?
No of course not. It is a necessity to be able to take care of yourself, but the approach is limited. Being able to provide for yourself is important and doing so in a way that fulfills you is the real game! It's not just about job security. You have been taught what you need to exist, to live (....?)
But is that enough? No, that is (just) the beginning. Security is the first step, as you will see in the figure below. You have mostly learned to fulfill the first two (!) steps of the Maslow pyramid.
But that won't make you happy, it will keep you safe and warm :) -> This is not bad or wrong. It will keep you safe and warm, however, it won't make you happy/ bring you contentment.
What you didn't learn in school is that you have something unique to bring to the world.
They haven't taught you that it is vital to discover your own uniqueness and live it fully to feel fulfilled.
They didn't tell you that the most important thing you need to get to know is yourself. Nobody told you you need to discover and write your own manual, did they?
See, this is where a fulfilling life begins. The better you know yourself, the better you will be at creating a life that fulfills you.
Makes kind of sense right? 😁
"What they didn't tell you is that it all starts with self-awareness and self-knowledge."
Personal (and emotional) development, life skills, emotional development, thoughts, and emotions, should be the most important subjects. These should have been the common thread throughout your schooling career. So that you can have all the knowledge, tools, and skills to help you discover yourself and create a life that makes you happy. This is often not the case.
This is why so many people struggle with building a happy (ivp fulfilling) life. In the 20+ years you went to school, you weren't taught that self-development and personal insight are the most vital things to nurture, nor how to go about it. The result:
Many young adults suffer from low self-esteem which makes it very difficult for them to make authentic choices and choices in general.
Many young adults cannot trust their own intuition and unconsciously follow what the group is doing.
Many young adults walk a path that does not suit them, leading to depression, burnout, and identity crisis.
Many young adults feel caught between what they think they are "supposed to do" and what they really want to do.
What is the solution? Actually, it is very simple. You have to start putting time and energy into discovering who you really are, becoming more aware, and gaining that important personal insight.
"It's time to learn to discover yourself."
How you can begin to discover what you really want.
1) Create time to listen to yourself
The first thing to do is to learn to listen to yourself again. What do I mean by this? You have to learn Learning to listen to what you feel, what you think, and what you experience. This contains the first and most important hint to better understanding yourself. How do you start with this? Where to begin? Start by simply making time for this.
Most people have (make) zero time to themselves. There is not a moment in the day when they are quiet and can experience what they really feel or think. We are busy at work, then run to the first social meeting. We get home and turn on Netflix as quickly as possible or scroll through Tinder or Instagram. In addition Much of this behavior is an unconscious way of escaping ourselves. Many people do not want to feel or listen to their own thoughts at all because they are not so cheerful. This is where your path begins. How you feel and what you think contain important clues to what does or does not make you happy, who you are and what is important to you. It also shows what you may still need to pay attention to.
How can you start with this
Take at least 15 minutes every day to be with yourself. Make sure you can listen to what you tell yourself every day, feel what you feel, and experience what your body is trying to tell you signaling you. By actively making time and creating space to listen to yourself, you will already gain a lot of insights. What you feel and think gives you insight into an idea o of what is going on inside. Start noticing negative emotions and worrying thoughts that your mind, body, and spirit experience . as feedback from your body, mind, and spirit. They give you feedback about how you feel about your life, about yourself, your situation (circumstances), and more. This is the starting point. The more you become aware of what you feel and think, the more insight you gain into what is important to you as well as what you might need to change. Making time to do nothing is the first and necessary step towards more insight into yourself.
2) Create time and space for your development
Lifestyle is the foundation on which happiness is built. Your mental and physical health will help you get the most out of life, in every aspect. That's how your lifestyle should look. That's how important it is. Unfortunately, many people want a healthy lifestyle, but until now they were not motivated enough but so far they haven't been able to find the motivation to go after it. The intrinsic motivation is not there. You now have the chance to express that intrinsic motivation and create! Probably, much like me, you don't want to become ill. A healthy lifestyle helps you strengthen your immune system. You might already be experiencing the negative effects on your mental and physical health. (Your) lifestyle helps you get back in balance. You can convert the fears you have, the things you worry about into motivation and as I mentioned, pain motivates! Use this pain and mold it into your intrinsic motivation to create that healthy lifestyle that you know is right. There is now a clear urgency: to be as healthy as possible so that you are resilient from the virus and to do everything you can to keep yourself physically and mentally in balance. Link this to your goal of being fitter and healthier and you can use this as a foundation for a sustainable change. A change that will bring more energy, zest for life, and fewer ailments. for a life with more energy, fewer ailments, and a life full of zest for life.
Each day you begin with a finite supply of time, energy, and attention. You have limited spending capacity during the day. During the day There are all kinds of influences that try to demand your time, energy, and attention, and if you do not actively set limits, you will fall prey to them. This is not what you want. What you want is to spend your time, energy, and attention on that which amounts mostly to a happy life for you. Right now that is getting a better understanding of who you are and what really makes you happy. So that is what you actively want to allocate your time, energy, and attention to. efforts. You do this by becoming much more conscious of what you do and actively choosing what you want to give it to or not. This mindset of taking ownership of your time and energy will also give you a huge boost of self-confidence. How do you think you would feel if you felt that you were in charge of your time and energy and that you were beginning to make better and better choices? That you begin to feel that you are actively making choices every day that help you develop yourself into whom you want to be? It will give you a huge positive boost!
How can you start with this
Firstly, start seeing time differently. Make yourself aware of what you do each day, and how much time you spend on it. Then ask yourself whether this time commitment really pays off. It doesn't always have to be productive. For example, scrolling on Instagram can provide you with a distraction so that you can focus again later. In this case, you may decide that scrolling on Instagram to take a break is a good way to spend your time, as long as you don't spend more than 5 minutes on the app. The first step is to become very critical and selective about what you spend your time and energy on. Reduce time wasters and then allocate this time to self-development.
3) Create a personal development plan
Okay, you've made the decision to start discovering who you are and what you really want. You have now created the time to start working on this. But how do you do that, personal development? You need to create a personal development plan.
There are dozens of ways you can work on your personal development and once you start, it's super fun! But to get started with this in a structured way and with focus, it helps to create some kind of lesson plan. This doesn't have to be a formal lesson plan or anything, just an idea of how you're going to work on your development in a structured way. The first step is to determine what it is that you want to learn or learn more about.
How can you start with this
1) Choose a theme
Everyone goes through certain phases in their life and with all these phases come others interests and areas of focus. For example, love and relationships may be what you want to focus on right now. If so, then make this your topic and go all-in on everything related to it. That helps you to learn focused. In this case it will probably be "Personal Insight" and "Life Design". So focus on things that can help you gain more insight into who you are and what you want.
2) Look for role models and thought leaders
In the context of getting you to know what you really want, the focus is on personal development and self-development. There are dozens of gurus and thought leaders who dedicate their entire lives to this and spread tremendously valuable content. That's a good start. Look for people who really inspire you and whom you feel really know what they are talking about. Study these people, listen to their podcasts, read their books, and explore their courses. That's a good start. The great thing is that you'll find yourself rolling from one to the next. Your role model may invite guests to his or her podcast who may also interest you. You then start to follow this person and so on. Thus begins your journey to greater insight. Listening, reading, learning, and watching.
3) Choose your favorite types of learning
You have determined what you want to learn more about, so how can you get started with this? I have already briefly taken a number of options above, but here are some
You must become a reader POINT. There is so much valuable knowledge available and it is super cheap and accessible so take advantage of it. Fortunately, today this no longer means that you really have to read, you can also listen to audiobooks or perhaps do both as long as you take advantage of all the life experience and wisdom that generations have gained before you. Do you want to know how I read? Then read this blog.
In addition to audiobooks, podcasts are an extremely valuable source of information and a super effective way to explore the landscape of your area of interest. The problem is, there are so many podcasts out there. Try them all, but focus on the ones that really grab and appeal to you. What I find very valuable is to find the "thought leader" in your area of interest and start there. This person often also knows other leading figures and helps you to discover other people. Moreover, you get a first look at how these people think what is super valuable! Please note that it is not a podcast that is purely for marketing purposes, but that you really feel that you are getting value from the conversations you follow.
Youtube is a very valuable source of information and has a super powerful algorithm. For example, in my case, all I have to do is open my app and I can already see several interesting and motivational videos in my timeline. Look for content that inspires you. You can watch Ted Talks, listen back to inspiring speeches, or watch compilations of speeches.
Another great way to gain more insight into yourself is to expose yourself to new things, new people, and new environments. This could be something as simple as exploring a new interest or maybe you could go one step further and join a mastermind or community. These new experiences ensure that you are stimulated in new ways. New people, new environments, new activities, it will all help you to (re)discover new facets of yourself. And it's fun too once you get started.
But beware of this pitfall...
These are some of the ways you can actively engage in personal development and begin to gain insight into who you really are and what you really want but there is one very big pitfall I want to guard you against....
"More knowledge is not more success."
At the beginning of this white paper, I told you that the problem with our educational system is that the focus is on knowledge acquisition for the sake of getting a good job. This also immediately highlights another flaw in our educational system and I have already given it away. Many of us have become very good at acquiring knowledge but we are not so good and implementing this knowledge because this is not what we were taught.
Success comes from successfully implementing what you know.
Therefore, it may very well be that there are people around you who know much less but are much more successful than you. They are good at implementing knowledge.
The risk you run when you are very focused on knowledge acquisition is that you:
1) Have so much knowledge that you can no longer choose, decide or take action
2) You keep learning because you feel that you "don't know enough" yet, but therefore unconsciously delay action.
So it is important that you start training yourself as someone who takes action.
You do this as follows.
Every time you read, hear or see something that inspires you, then immediately ask yourself how you can start using it.
I know how tempting it is, when you read a book or take a course, to read over assignments, but do them anyway. Develop yourself as someone who implements knowledge, not just accumulates it. Learning is fun, but implementing and taking action is even more fun!
How can you take this to the next level?
You will find that at some point you are ready to go a little deeper. That you really want to get started and take bigger steps. You can do this for example by taking a course, attending an event or workshop, or maybe working with a coach. This is super valuable because it's going to help you turn knowledge into action and as you now know, this is the point where many people get stuck.
Take an online course
A good online course encourages you to turn the knowledge you gain into action and integrate it into your daily routine. If the online course is created with the right intention and the right thoughts then it can be a very powerful and affordable tool for transformation. The only downside is that you have to be motivated and disciplined enough to actually get started with assignments and tips. You don't have the accountability that a coach gives you, for example. The advantage is that you can do this at your convenience and get started for relatively little money. Therefore, this is often the first step people take when they want to go a little further. Maxyourlife.today offers you a few (hybrid) online courses. Check out this Goalsetting Course for example.
Attend an event
Another thing you can do is attend an event or workshop. A good workshop is designed to help you gain knowledge and immediately turn it into action. Just be aware, good events are usually paid. Free events are valuable but designed to get you excited about a paid service or product. Therefore, they often contain a lot of valuable information but have a limited focus on how to implement it. After all, like you now, they know that most people need additional guidance on this. So don't expect transformation from free events. They are a stepping stone, but not "the real thing."
Work with a coach
If you want to go one step further and want maximum guidance then you can hire a coach. This coach can help you gain the right knowledge, give you structure and help you focus, and encourage you to turn this knowledge into action. The great thing about coaching is that you get a super personalized approach. The entire process is tailored to you and helps you get results faster. This is why people who have experienced the value of coaching rarely see it as expensive. They see the earlier as a valuable investment and, in retrospect, even a bargain. Just consider what you are actually "buying" from a coach. You are buying the quality of life for a lifetime. I offer a full-service 1-on-1 coaching program, called Life Design, where I personally help you design your ideal life and turn it into reality. Check it out here.
"You are investing in a life of greater fulfillment, health, and happiness."
Ready to take it to the next level?
You now have all you need to jumpstart your personal development and gain more insight into what makes you happy and what fulfills you. But now it is time to execute on this knowledge.
So maybe you are ready to take it to the next them?
Are you already at that point where you just want to know what you want and want to know it NOW?
That's perfect because my online course "Create a vision for your future" will help you in 30 days create a detailed view of what kind of life you want to create! This Goalsetting course gives you the structure and guidance to set your goals for yourself.
Plus. If you're reading this now, you may very well still be able to claim one of the 50 discount codes. Then you'll do the course for 197 instead of 497! Click here and enter the code FIRST50 at checkout.