How to Know What You Want (When You Don’t Know What You Want)

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Let me ask you a question: What do you want?

Do you want a fancy house, 8 new cars, and a 30 person hot tub? Or a job working outdoors with a wonderful family to come home to? Or do you want to retire early and travel the world? Or do you want to go to college for a degree? What about health? Do you want to complete a triathlon? Do you prefer jogging 5 miles daily? Or crossfit? Dancing? Sports? Yoga? Do you want abs? Do you want to do all of these things? None of these things? Some of these things?

There are so many options in life!

We all want to live an awesome life, full of adventures, fun, and success. We all want to live our dream lives. We all want to be free in every way- personally, spiritually, physically, politically, etc.

We all know these things. But the problem is that most of us stop there. We don’t ever get to this place of freedom and happiness. Why? One reason is we might not know what we really want. Yes, we know in general that we want to be happy, wealthy, healthy, etc., but we need to get a little more specific and focused to figure out what we truly want.

Ask yourself this question: what do you visualize as your dream life?

What are you specifically doing? This may bring up a wall for you. Your mind might go blank. You may not know exactly what you want it to look like. There are so many paths that your life could take. You might begin to realize that you don’t really know what it is that you truly want.

Here are three things you can do to figure out what you want from life:

 

Figure Out What You Don’t Want. Then Flip It. 

Sometimes we don’t know what we want out of life, but we do know what we DON’T want! If you are having trouble finding purpose and direction in your life, start out with what you don’t want to do. What do you dislike or hate? What are your least favorite things to do? What are you unhappy about in your life right now? Write your answers down so you can see them plain and clear for what they are! These negativities in your life are causing you pain and suffering. Luckily, you can turn these negative things into amazing triumphs! It is time to turn your life around and get happy! If you are clear on what you don’t want in life, then you can steer away from those unpleasant areas and move in a more positive direction. What I would advise is this: Get a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side write down all the things you don’t want in the given situation, or just life in general. Once you have finished listing your non-wants and dislikes, look at each non-want and write down the opposite of it in the right column.  It should look like this example:

Don’t Want: Want:
to fight w/ spouse good communication & enjoy time w/ spouse
loneliness & isolation close friends and frequent social interaction
etc.

Filling in a table like this will give you a good starting point. You will know what you definitely don’t want, and you will have an idea, therefore, of what you might want. You don’t have to know exactly where you are going, so long as it feels pleasant and exciting. The next step is to take action and try things to see what works and what brings you more happiness in your life.

 

Try New Things. 

If you don’t know what you want, then it might be because you have never committed to trying a new or different type of living- and I mean completely committed by giving this new try your all. By trying new things, you learn what you like and dislike/ want and don’t want in life. You want this to be something simple that you can start today. You can add this into your chart as well if you want, and it will look something like this:

Don’t Want: Want: Action:
to fight w spouse enjoy time together spend time together daily, eat&sleep well so not grouchy/tired
lonliness & isolation close friends, social volunteer in town to meet people. Spend time w/ bff
etc.

In this example, the actions recorded are all able to be started today. You could call up your spouse right now and plan a date or just plan on going on a walk together through the neighborhood later. You could go to bed early tonight to ensure a restful sleep, and you can eat good, healthy food for breakfast lunch, and dinner to ensure that you don’t get hungry ad grumpy. You could also set up a time to hang out with your friend, and you could get signed up to start volunteering soon too. All of these baby steps you would be taking today would be catalysts for a better tomorrow. Each step makes it possible for a bigger action step in the future until you are living in the “want” category on the chart above, and not the “Don’t want” category!

 

What Do You Know You Want in Your Life? 

It is ok to feel unsure of what you want! Don’t panic. Don’t feel like you are a hopeless or lost soul. You don’t have to know every little detail of your future life! You just have to look at what you know that you want in your life, and compare it to your current life, and then take action. You don’t have to know every detail of your life. You don’t have to know what every second of your perfect day would look like. You just have to commit yourself to making every day awesome. You have to truly believe in yourself and realize that while you are trying to build yourself your perfect life, it was right there all along. Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the results. Enjoy the present.

When you envision your dream life, what comes to mind? The specifics, I mean. Don’t get bogged down in every little detail, just simply close your eyes and ask yourself this question. Write down your answers.

These are the things that you know you want. For some people, it may be to travel, or to be a singer, or to eat healthier food every day. For others it might be to write a book, or start a business, or meditate daily. There will probably be multiple things that you are positive that you want in your life – probably more than you think. Now that you have figured out what you don’t want, it is much easier to understand what you do want, or at least have a general direction to try out.

Remember, nothing here is permanent and nothing is set in stone. You can always change, in fact you will change. What you want in life changes as you do. You want different things out of life now than you did when you were a kid, right? Exactly! So don’t worry about it. Just go towards your passions, interests, and hobbies, and go away from what you don’t want in life.

“At the center of your being, you have the answer; you know who you are, and you know what you want.” – Lao Tzu

Now, whatever you wrote down for your answer, go do that. Whatever actions you wrote down in the chart, do those too. Start working on it, even if it is in tiny bite-sized portions. Little by little, great things get done.

 

To living your best life,

-Alex

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I Did.

Think about it.

In the moment of your death, your life will flash before your eyes. Looking back through your life, will you say, “I wish I had…” or will you say, “I did!”?

I imagine that you want to be able to look back and feel a sense of wholeness when you reflect. You want to know that you lived your life to the fullest and you did the things you wanted to do in life, and you impacted the world and others in a positive way.

Working backward from your last day on Earth is a great way to realize what is important to you in life, and what you should focus your time and energy on. Your life is whatever you want it to be. It is an interesting story. When it starts to feel boring and dull, it means that you are not living your dreams. You are living according to someone else, not yourself. When life gets complicated, it is simply because you haven’t taken enough time to thoroughly look at your life, your current situation, your past habits and beliefs, and your inner self. When you live according to anyone but yourself, be it society’s whims, another person, and institute, etc. you are not living your true life of passion.

So how do you get back to living your dream life? How do you stop living a boring, monotonous life? How do you free yourself from the habits of the past and begin on your path toward personal freedom? It’s quite simple, actually. You just have to put your dreams first. Don’t let your other obligations get in the way all the time. Put aside some time every day to work on your dreams, and guard this time relentlessly. This is your time to get you where you want to be in life, whether that is spending more time each day with your kids, becoming financially free, going on a vacation to Thailand each year, having a better sex life and relationship with your spouse, meditating for 20 minutes each day, etc. Don’t let yourself become distracted with other things during this amount of time that you set aside for dreams. Take this time to grow and work on creating your dream life until it is a reality.

Living how you are ‘supposed to’ according to everyone else is not necessarily the way that you want to live. We are individuals. We are not ‘one size fits all’. We are unique and what is right for one person is not right for another. This is why your dreams have to come first. If you don’t make them top priority, then society and others will continue to dictate how you live your life. If you let anyone else other than your inner self rule your life, then you will most likely never do the things you have always wanted to. You will never get to feel that major sense of inner peace and freedom you have when living your best life. You are the only one who can make your dream life come true. You must take your dreams by the hand and make sure that you are truly giving all you can to make them a reality.

You will reach all you want if you can just simply put your dreams first, be patient as you work on them, and know that they will all come to you just the way they are supposed to. You may not end up exactly where you imagined you would be, and you will take some interesting turns and detours to get there, but you will eventually reach your best life. It will be your amazing life; no one else’s. Simply your life, your freedom, your lifestyle, and your true happiness.

Instead of always wishing to do something, cut out the excuses – make it happen and be able to say, “I did!”

To living your best life,

-Alex

Take The Leap

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For many of us, living our dream lives it is not a question of what we want- many of us already know the answer to that. It is more of a question as to whether or not we can believe in ourselves enough to do it. It’s all in our mindset. While we can live a lifestyle of living our best life every day, there are certain things that we might visualize ourselves doing in our dream lives which we are not doing at the moment.

When we think of what our best lives look like, many of us have some kind of big goal or dream that we have been putting off for a long time. These goals are probably crying out for attention. We really want to do it, and it causes us some stress that we haven’t done it yet, since we have been meaning to for so long. We also know that our dream life is not complete without attempting this pending dream that we have. Many people are scared to do what they know they need to do to live their best and most fulfilling life.

It is like if you are standing right at the ledge on top of a cliff, and everything you ever wanted was at the bottom of the cliff. There is no other way down but to jump. But you are afraid. What if something goes wrong? What if it hurts to land? It is hard to see everything at the bottom of the cliff clearly. What if it is not that great after all? How is this going to work out? You aren’t sure, so you try to find out for yourself. You read books all about the cliff. You ask others what they think. But you know that your questions and worries will only be answered if you jump. You are scared. All of this research took time, but ultimately, it is all up to you to find out. And now you are standing on the ledge, looking down. You can see all that you want below. You are so close that you can almost touch it! You really want it! And even though you are afraid of the unknown, you know what you have to do. You have to take the jump. You worry; you try to find an alternative to what you want. But deep down you know that the only way is to take the leap. Finally one day, you say enough is enough. No matter what, I am ready to go after what I want. You grab your parachute, shut your eyes tightly, and you jump off the cliff.

Usually, it is fear of the unknown that holds us back the most. Once you have jumped off the cliff, you will realize that you wasted a lot of time worrying and avoiding the cliff. Had you just jumped in the first place without over thinking, you would have been where you wanted to be a lot sooner, and saved your body, mind, and spirit a lot of stress. Procrastination, worry, doubt, and fear quickly lead to self doubt and unrest.

The leap is the unknown- the space between where you are and where you want to be in a goal. It is what everyone is so worried about before they jump. People get so focused on the process and the unknown that they forget to look at the results. They forget about what is at the bottom if they can just simply jump. Of course it is scary. Of course there will be things that you don’t know or don’t understand – you have never done it before! But once you take the leap, you are in motion. You are moving toward your goals and more into your dream life.

As you fall, you gain speed. You can see the ground getting closer and closer. Now you know that you are going to make it! The closer you get, the more you can see below. It looks similar to what you saw at the top of the cliff, but now you can see that there is way more here than you ever dreamed of having.

The process on the way down the cliff is not neccesarily an easy one. There are a lot of emotional and mental ups and downs, just like a roller coaster. But as long as you continue working patiently and persistently toward your goal, you will end up where you want to be. You just have to trust in yourself, and remind yourself that even if your goal or dream doesn’t work out the way you planned, it is better to try than to never know. It is never too late to change. You will always end up where you are meant to be.

And finally, you land. Now that you are on the ground you not only have a different perspective on everything you ever wanted, but also have a different perspective on life and on the cliff. Suddenly others are asking you what jumping from the cliff is like, trying to muster up their own courage to do it themselves. Although you went through good and bad times while you were falling down the cliff, the process was unique, beautiful, and so worth it. At the top of the cliff you had been living a happy and healthy life. Now you have your dream accomplished to enrich and enhance your life that much more.

Living your dream life is not just about living your happiest and healthiest life. It is also about realizing your dreams and making them a reality. These goals and dreams are just as important as being happy and healthy- in fact, they tie right in. If there is something that you have been really wanting to do in your life for a long time, it is time to take the leap. It is time to just do it. Jumping is the hardest part.

“An object at rest stays at rest, and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” – Newton’s first law of motion, also referred to as the law of inertia.

Take a minute to stop everything you are doing and really search your soul. When you look at what you want your life to look like, what do you see there that isn’t in your life right now? What dream or goal do you have that you have been putting off? If you have more than one goal, choose the one you want the most, or the one that has been put off the longest.

This is your work now. Don’t put it off any longer. Put aside your fears; they are never going to subside unless you take action. Just take the leap.

To living your best life and being your best self,

-Alex

The Power of Intention (Part 1)

The other day I was reading the Teton Spirit Blog and came across a wonderful and amazingly inspiring post by Carolyn CaputoI liked it a lot and wanted to share it with you guys today.

Carolyn Caputo is an Energy Healer and & Self Mastery Mentor who believes in a world of imagination, adventure, and simplicity. She works with trailblazing women & transformational leaders with a desire to lose the excuses, break free uncertainty, fear and exhaustion of the everyday hustle.

I was not endorsed in any way to post this. I simply want you guys to read this and get out of it as much as I did. I hope that it helps you become your best self and live your best life. 🙂

So without further ado, here is Carolyn:

You want to make your life your adventure.

And you don’t have to work 20 jobs just to continue living in this magical place or sacrifice what really makes your heart happy.

I’m guessing that if you’re still reading this you know you were put on this earth to share a message or make an impact somehow.

You know YOU have so much potential.

You have a big goals and dreams that YOU’RE craving to make reality.

But let’s be honest.

You’re tired.

  • Tired of working so hard.
  • Tired of the old emotional, mental and physical patterns that feel like torture to get through.
  • Tired of your analytical mind controlling your every move.
  • Tired of all the should’s and have to’s
  • Tired of struggling to just get by.

You know you deserve more.

You want more.

So what if I told you I had a little secret that would show you how to get it all, without having to do it all?

What if I told you achieving your goals was not about working harder or striving to be something or someone better?

What if I said your answer was simple….. intention.

Goals are great.  They keep us on track and are necessary for success. But they’re also focused on a fixed outcome. You place the power in creating your goal outside of yourself. It takes you out of the moment only to create that “I’m not enough feeling” or “I don’t have enough”.

Think about it, what would you be doing if you weren’t always trying to get somewhere or be someone?

How would you show up differently? How would you allow life to come to you instead of always chasing it?

Intention, on the other hand, isn’t about setting an ego-driven outcome. It’s not about losing weight because society says you should be thinner. It’s not about climbing that next mountain because everyone else it doing it.

It’s fully embodying your dream body, mind and spirit. It’s creating a harmony with your heart and mind and asking yourself what YOU truly want and why.

It’s a feeling. It’s trusting and knowing that whatever it is you’re desiring is already on it’s way to you.

Intention is allowing you to connect to your true self and let grace and ease guide you along the way.

Intention provides space for the “how” to flow to you instead of forcing, and trying so hard to make it happen. Which can cause us to get stuck in thinking it has to be a certain way to succeed.

Your life is up to you. You don’t have time to be living plan B. It’s your life. So why not make every part of it your adventure.

Creating your dream life starts with yourself. You have to be your dream self. You have to know and love yourself unconditionally before you will be able to love your life.

One of my favorite parts from Carolyn’s post is when she asks,

“What would you be doing if you weren’t always trying to get somewhere or be someone?”

Really think about this. Meditate on it. Sleep on it. What would you truthfully be doing? We are always trying so hard to go as fast as we possibly can, and we never even seem to stop and question what we are doing or why. Today I am going to leave you with this question to contemplate and explore.

To living your best life,

-Alex

ps- If you would like to see the original article by Carolyn Caputo, please click here. In my next post, I would like to do a follow up and give you some specific ways to use the power of intention in your own life.

You Can Live Your Dreams by Asking the Right Questions

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To live your dream life and to become the best you can be, you must first ask yourself the right questions. By asking yourself the right questions every day, you will find that some of your daily habits, goals, and dreams are not actually what you want. You will also find that you might want to add something to your vision of your dream life. By asking the right questions, you will be able to figure out what you are truly striving for.

I used to ask myself, “What are my goals?”and, “What can I do today to accomplish these goals?” I have been asking myself these questions for years, and these questions helped guide my day and life. But I realized that they were not the questions I should be focusing all of my energy on every day, and I’ll explain why.

There is nothing wrong with these questions about goals, in fact they are great questions that you should ask yourself! But for true happiness and success in living your dream life and becoming who you were meant to be, these are not the most important questions to ask yourself. Let me explain.

First of all, don’t confuse success and happiness as the same thing. True happiness comes from within, and so does true success. But true success can only come from someone who has true happiness within them. It may look like someone is successful on the outside. They may have tons of money, cars, family, vacations, you name it! But If they aren’t happy then they aren’t successful either, because not only do they feel unsuccessful, but they also can’t enjoy their own success due to their unhappiness. True success is a feeling, and it has little to do with anything external other than a sense of accomplishment (which is also a feeling, and you can get this feeling from having true happiness).

So many people fall for the ‘outer success’ trap where they feel like they need to create this image of success for other people to see. But truthfully, this show they are putting on is not real success. And it is definitely not real happiness either. When you are truly happy, you aren’t worried about what others think. You are not tying to pretend or put on a show, you really are happy.  And the same goes for true success, since true success comes from true happiness. If all you are trying to do is please the world and chase after society’s idea of success and happiness, you will always be running. You will never find real happiness, and you will never be truly and personally successful. It is time to find out what  happiness and success looks like to you, and you only.  By thinking about this, you make sure that your goals are for you, and not for any other outward reason.

Recently, I became very sick and I was feeling absolutely terrible. All I could really do was lie in bed because I didn’t have the energy to do anything else. Although I was feeling awful, being forced to lie in bed for a week was actually a blessing in disguise. It gave me some time for my body and mind to slow down, recoup, and think about how life was going. I realized a few things:

  1. I was looking back at the years and everything I had accomplished, and I realized that I had accomplished all of this great stuff and I was currently working on accomplishing even more, but I didn’t feel any happier or sadder. I felt the same as I did a year or two ago! This surprised me because I figured that I would feel happier since I had accomplished all of these goals that I had wanted so badly and worked so hard to reach.
  2. I was working too much on my goals, and too little on my inner happiness. True, lasting happiness does not come from reaching your goals. Having your goals and dreams become reality will contribute towards happiness, but these will never bring lasting happiness because your goals and dreams are always changing as you change. True happiness comes from within.
  3. True success is a result of true happiness.
  4. True success is when you feel successful. Whether or not you are seen as successful by others doesn’t matter. If you are happy, your personal success will naturally follow.
  5. I realized that I value happiness over success, so all this time I have been focusing so hard on the wrong questions! Instead of asking myself about my goals all the time, I should be asking myself about my happiness more often. Questions like:
    • “What makes me happy?”
    • “What do I truly enjoy doing?”
    • “What excites me?”
    • “What is happiness to me?”
    • “What can I do today to bring more happiness into my life?”

Ask yourself these questions, and really think about the answers. Let your mind be open, and don’t try to shut out any answer you think of. Each answer you think of is there for a reason!

When you start focusing on asking yourself the right questions, you suddenly see everything in a new light. You will notice that you might have some new goals, and at the same time you might have gotten rid of some goals that actually weren’t as important to you as you thought. By asking yourself what makes you happy, you will realize that you will naturally weed out the goals you have that don’t support that question. This is great because the goals you just dumped were motivated by external things, such as money, hype, other people’s opinions, etc.! External stuff. To live your best and happiest life, make goals motivated by passion and inner happiness. By getting rid of anything in your life that does not correlate with your happiness, a big burden is lifted from your shoulders, because you are no longer a slave to it anymore! You are free to truly live your best life and be your best you!

“People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be”

– U.S. President Abraham Lincoln

So what will you do today to bring more happiness into your life? 🙂

To your truest happiness and success!

-Alex