It is easy to get caught up in what others are doing or who we think we ought to be. We end up running in circles living someone else’s life. Krista O’Reilly Davi-Digui of A Life In Progress shares an important tip for getting off (and staying off!) the spinning hamster wheel.
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He has built up a life of comfort and ease: college funds, a big house, money in the bank. And he is so unhappy. He has a dream but feels like a fool – a real man would take the practical route. He’s afraid to tell his wife the truth about what he wants most. But he cannot bear another 20 years walking in someone else’s path.
She has multiple degrees and the student loans to prove it but sobs as she tells me the truth: all she really wants is to come home and raise her babies. She knows what she wants but is afraid of what everyone else will think. She is so tired of living this facade.
Here’s the key, the one thing you need to get off the hamster wheel:
You need to know what YOU want most in this world.
It’s so easy to get caught up in other people’s dreams or ideas of what you “should” do with your life. It can feel scary realizing that you’ve changed your mind about what you want or need and it’s hard and messy work, but worthwhile work, to tell the whole truth and change the trajectory of your life mid-stream.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” — Steve Jobs
When you know what you want most, life won’t become magically easy, but you’ll walk with greater confidence, calm and clarity.
But what if you aren’t yet certain what it is you most desire out of life? What if you feel stuck trying to figure this all out?
- Is it other people’s accolades or acceptance that you want most or is it a life aligned with your primary dreams and values that is most important to you?
- Will you be content at the end of your days having been really wealthy and well-known even if you were desperately yearning for something altogether different?
Are you ready to sift through all the noise and your competing desires to find clarity about what you want to create with the life you’ve been handed?
5 Tips To Help You Decipher And Know What YOU Want Out of This One Precious Life
Don’t spend your whole life going through the motions, joyless, or miserable if you have any power of choice. Will you have the courage to follow your heart and intuition? Below are five tips to help you know what you want out of life — or at least get started.
1 | Tune in to your inner voice
Put blinders on for a while so you can learn to listen to your own thoughts, desires, and opinions. Carve out some white space in your life to sift through all your messy or competing desires and aspirations to get to the crux of what you most desire from this life. In a noisy world, this takes conscious effort. Time for contemplation and solitude can help.
2 | Get honest with yourself
Identify your personality and energy ebb and flow, your unique combination of strength and struggle, the life you dream of and the things that make you happy and all the stuff you don’t care about at all. If you peel away the expectations and pretense, who are you are the core, and who do you choose to be?
3 | Shift from fear to curiosity
You will need to challenge fear if you are to break from status quo. One of the best ways to do this is to shift from fear into curiosity. You can choose to open up to new possibility and loosen your grip on a particular, perfect outcome. Keep in mind that struggle or changing your mind don’t mean you’re a failure; like two steps forward and one step back, they’re simply part of the dance.
4 | Learn to Pivot
There is nothing wrong with pivoting into a new career or life direction; this is a healthy part of growth and a rapidly-evolving economy. You can do this work slow and steady rather than in one big leap, taking into consideration your strengths, interests, and life experience.
5 | Stop making yourself wrong
You’re not wrong if you love quiet and solitude; you’re not wrong if you love the buzz of crowds and a teeming life. You’re not wrong if you’re middle-aged and only now coming to understand what you most want from life. You’re not wrong if you’ve made mistakes or lost your way or if you’re determined to show up joyfully each and every day. You’re not wrong.
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BONUS TIP: Take imperfect action
You don’t have to see the full path ahead to take the first step and you don’t have to know how to do anything perfectly to test the waters. Break down your vision into small steps and just get started. Planning and practical thinking ahead are wise but the only way to really figure out your path is in stepping out and getting your hands dirty.
Will you risk letting go of the safety of what is familiar, acknowledging what it is that you really want, and then step out into that unknown?
It’s never too late to do the inner work to truly know what you want most from your life. Then you can move forward with greater confidence, calm, and clarity and climb off the hamster wheel once and for all.
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Krista is a stubborn questioner, honest storyteller, and Joyful Living Educator.Her mission is to help women live unshackled lives of purpose, health & JOY. If you’re ready to show up fully to your imperfect but beautiful life, she’d like to offer you 30 Days to Greater CALM.
The course lessons will take you through topics like—
- Living with purpose (Getting clear on who & how you want to be)
- Mood Balancing Nutrition
- Calming mindfulness techniques
In Krista’s words: “Sometimes what we need is time to rest and regroup. Time to get honest about what is and is not working in our current lives. A chance to actually decide who and how we want to be for the next season of life… and maybe permission to begin taking self-care seriously.