Be all you can be, so goes the saying. So we're all pelted with problems and life feels like a drag. But should that bother or even hinder us from becoming all we ought to be? I often see myself as somewhat content with my life the way it is.
And still I yearn for something deeper and more meaningful.
What we aspired to as kids should continue to live within us, a flame inextinguishable. That same positive spirit. The playfulness, elation, joy, bliss, wonder, awe and enthusiasm. These are things that can help us hold on to the dream. Life's nothing but a journey of self-discovery? To help us on this journey we should ask ourselves the following questions from time to time:
1. What do I really want?
This one's a question for the ages. So many things you want to do with your life in so little time. Doing something that you are good at can help realize that small step towards improvement. Finding your passion is the key to knowing that it is worth it.
2. Who Am I?
Change is the only constant in life. Everything else is changing, evolving. Everything else but change, that is. In today's hi-tech multi-possibility society the definition of 'self' has taken on a new meaning. Who we are is no longer defined by our age, gender, job, income, social status etc. Instead we seek answers to questions like What is life? What does it all mean? What's our purpose? As we grapple with these deep philosophical issues, we become wiser and more mature.
3. What's the bright side in all of this?
Let's face it, we live in a chaotic world. With so much happening around us there seems to be no room for inner solace. We are always switched on, ever in a hurry. There is no pause. I believe that if people paused for a moment then they'd be forced to look within. People are terrified of what they might find. So they scurry back and forth. They keep themselves occupied so they won't have to look within and ask themselves...
4. Am I comfortable with what I'm doing?
Most people hate their jobs. They drag their lower lip to the office every morning. For 35 to 40 years. That's their routine. I don't know about you but 40 years is an awfully long time to be stuck in a job I hate. Especially if your passion lies elsewhere and you're afraid to take that leap into uncertainty. So...
5. Is there something else I'd rather be doing?
If you are passionate about something then by all means follow your heart. The biggest obstacle might be not knowing how to make a living doing what you love. Google it. Find other people who are making a decent living from it and pick their brain. Buy business books. Do it part time and then transition slowly. Discontentment is no way to lead a life. It only leads to bitterness. You'll find yourself lashing out at other people for no reason.
6. Am I where I wanted to be?
If not then what is going to take for you to get there? Take out your journal. Write a detailed map of how you're going to get there. Write down your big goals. Your goals have to be S.M.A.R.T (Specific. Measurable. Actionable. Realizable. On a Timetable). Then write down your daily action plan. Your goals and action plan do not have to be perfect. They are just to get you moving in the right direction. Then you can tweak them. Perfect them. The idea is to gain momentum. To eventually become a 600 000 ton moving freight train. An unstoppable 600 000 ton moving freight train..
7. Do I have a magnetic personality?
Are people drawn to me? Do I radiate charisma? Believe it or not charisma is the number one skill to possess. The greatest leaders in history have used it to sway millions of people into following them. Every book on leadership stresses the importance of charisma as a quality that should be inherent in every leader. If you are charismatic people will walk to the ends of the earth for you.
8. What Really Makes Me Happy?
So what makes you happy? Is it the smile on your child's face? Or is it that Sunday afternoon drive on a near-empty freeway? Or are you one of the blessed few who are always in the zone? Whatever it is happiness is our natural state. Happiness is an essential element in an individual's personal development. The key to happiness is living in the present, not in the past (that moment is already gone) or in the future (that moment is yet to come) or even in an alternate universe (daydreams). You have to live in the present because it is ALWAYS the present.
9. What motivates me?
The pursuit of any goal worth pursuing begins when the pursuer of the goal decides to take action. This is the first step. At this point the pursuer is full of enthusiasm and drive. It's easy to stay motivated. There's also some idealism thrown in there for good measure.
But then it soon becomes apparent that achieving won't be as easy as you thought it would be. Idealism turns to frustration. At this point most people just give up.
But if you're passionate about your goal then staying motivated shouldn't be hard. You should welcome obstacles because overcoming obstacles will be the most rewarding part of your journey.
10. Am I fulfilled?
Very few people are fulfilled. Even after accumulating all the material possessions they could ever hope for. True fulfilment encompasses the spiritual, emotional and material.