So many of us fall into the trap of just working our way through life. We go to jobs every day that neither inspire us or give us pleasure but make life that bit more comfortable. Often, it is for those dearest to us that we keep trundling along the treadmill, leading a reasonably comfortable life and looking forward to the days when we get off work.
But what if everyday was like those days when you get off work? Imagine if you had a ‘job’ but you were so motivated and happy with it, the question of ‘gotta go to work’ never really entered your head or caused you to feel depressed in any way.
I’m just going to go ahead and put this out there – if you are not jumping out of bed in the morning, eager to get going, you’re doing it wrong.
When it gets to the point where we shudder at the thought of going to work, where Saturdays and Sundays are our best days because we’ve no work, where Sunday nights are filled with low level crabbiness because Monday morning is rolling around, it’s time to stop and take a breath. Consider it a great sign that you have that unmistakable feeling that all is not well.
There is always an inner conversation with ourselves that things will get better. Somehow, we convince ourselves that despite us doing the same things day after day, that something will fall our way to improve our lot. A big sale might come through, the economy will improve, we’ll win the lotto, the boss will give us a payrise, we’ll get promoted, we’ll get more in state handouts… the list is endless but the conversation is always the same – the ‘world’ will change for us rather than us changing.
And therein is the great lie we tell ourselves daily.
We have to realise that we are truly dependent on ourselves to both make it in this life and to affect change in our life. The world isn’t going to change. It’s going to do its thing for a long time. That does not involve taking any special care of you! It is up to us to decide that we are going to do things differently, that we are going to change.
Change can be scary. And that’s good. It means we are building character, doing things that scare us, that we are operating outside of our comfort zone. All that is necessary if we want to do better in life. For one person that might mean handling a million bucks. For another, it may mean attending a shamanic drumming session. But by doing the things that scare us, we expand our comfort zone so that we become different (and better) people in a myriad of ways.
How does all this help find our life goal?
By engaging in new experiences and pushing the boundaries of what we feel comfortable with, we open ourselves to many new life paths and experiences. One of these will resonate strongly with us. How do we know when it does? Because that path excites us. It will give us goosebumps at the endless possibilities that it offers. You will wake, eat, drink and fall asleep thinking about it. If you consider it carefully, a clear mental picture of what you want to achieve will start to form.
You may be lucky and figure it all out in a day or it could take years. And that is fine, there is nothing in stone saying you have to figure out your life goal by the stroke of midnight! The important thing to remember is that if you keep doing the same thing day in and day out, you may never discover you life goals and may never grow into a stronger character.
When you start recognising the pull of a particular path, of course it will be scary and your initial reaction might be to say to yourself “I can’t do that!”. But a little voice inside will keep gnawing at you, keep raising the “what if” questions.
It is a magical time when something like this happens and there is no time to waste when it does. All those around you may doubt. Your partner may leave, your parents may consider you nuts, your dog will emit a low groaning noise. But for you, it’s time to forget your fears, insecurities and worries. You can’t tie yourself to a life of unhappiness all of your life for other people. Following your life path will give you far greater rewards and happiness than you could ever imagine. It will leave you feeling more alive than you have ever felt.
Take it step by step, chunk by chunk. The first steps can be the most frightening. The natural resistance to change will be all around you and this is where knowing what your end goal is will help. Having that clear picture in your head about what you want to achieve is possibly the strongest motivation you can have. And with life goals, strong mental images are a must have for there is no one out there who can motivate you to keep going when it gets tough.
That motivation, that desire to keep driving forward, must come from within, from your core. When you find your life goal (and there may be more than one), you find an inner strength that will surprise even you. You will be worth one hundred, one thousand, one million men that wander aimlessly not knowing where they are going. Knowing fear is one thing but having the belief and the mental image will allow you to conquer those fears and keep moving towards those goals.
Something amazing happens when you start moving towards your life goals. You begin to recognise that all those earlier experiences all contribute something towards your character. That all the experiences you went through in your life were lessons that were necessary to understand and that helped to mould you into the character you are now. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, probably summed it up best when he said that going forward, you can only believe in yourself but looking back, you can connect all the dots and see that they led you to where you are now.