Don’t know what you want to ‘do?’ Here’s the one question you need to ask yourself.
I hear it time and time again, “I don’t know what I really want to do.”
This question starts when we are really young with adults (who are probably really unsure of what to say to kids) asking us either what do we want to do or what do we want to be.
Then it continues to be a question that is thrown at us as we progress into secondary school when we have to make exam and career choices. And it continues until we either make a decision or fall into some semblance of a career path.
Now as you sit on the floor strewn with toys and mayhem, you might be contemplating on your life before children and how you have got to this point. You know you want to do something for yourself and that may well include earning an income from it. Also, you know you probably don’t want to go back to your old working lifestyle, it just isn’t a fit any more. Maybe you tell yourself that as you have children then your options are limited? You feel guilty for even thinking of an alternative reality. And then as you go through your perceived options there it is, the inevitable question – But what do I really want to do? And it all seems a bit hopeless again and you go around in a vicious circle getting nowhere.
There is only 1 question you should be asking yourself:
Who do I want to be?
And here are my 3 reasons why:
- Asking what you want to do or what you want to be, is limiting in that it suggests a singular outcome, i.e. a particular path. Conversely, asking ‘who you want to be’, is suggestive of many possibilities because ‘being’ suggests a personality which is multi- faceted. Therefore, if you have a multi-faceted answer, you have possibility and options. You get a new framework with which to make decisions. Chances are you are stuck in what is familiar and cannot see beyond what you already know. So if you were for example an accountant, that is what you are familiar with and are probably struggling to see what else you can do. By asking the above question, you start looking at things differently allowing yourself to explore different options.
- Posing yourself this question means that you will inevitably examine your values. What you aspire to be is normally what you hold dear as a value. For example, you may want to be honest, courageous, experimental, happy and adventurous. By knowing your values, you start to get an idea of what environments and options would work or not work. So if adventurous is one of your key words then I’m guessing being a bank cashier is probably not going to rock your world!
- It is a proactive question and prompts deeper thinking. In other words, if you are not currently this person, then what can you do or change, in order to become that person? You start to see where there are gaps between who you currently are and you want to be. This then gives you the compass points to explore why that is and what you can do to effect the change you need.
Whilst on the surface it seems a simple question, it’s a powerful one and is life changing on many levels. It does require honesty and introspection though. But, if you are prepared to put in the work, then you will reap fantastic insights and outcomes for yourself.
Just remember, there are no right or wrong answers. No one is judging you on this.
I would really love to hear what outcomes you have achieved. What impact has this question had on making changes in your life?