What do you really want from life? There are two options:
- You don’t know
- You think you know but you’re not sure
This is why many people are restless, moving from job to job, house to house, partner to partner, and country to country.
Take a step back. And look at the issue at hand.
What do you want? Because the reality is that life is long enough to get what you really want.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can have everything you want. It simply means you can get what you REALLY want.
The problem is that most of us will never find out what we really want.
You can achieve more than you think
Let’s say you want to have some of the most desirable things in life:
- A fulfilling job
- A loving partner
- A rich social life
- A fat bank account
- A strong body
- A close family
Are these things out of reach? I don’t think so. As Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, authors of The One Thing, said:
“Success is sequential, not simultaneous.”
This means you can achieve a lot, just not at the same time. You achieve one thing after the other.
When you follow this strategy, you can accomplish way more in life than you think. Most people fail because they try to do too many things at the same time and they try to do it too fast.
I’m an extremely patient person. I focused on my education first, then my social life, then my body, then my career, then my bank account, then a relationship, and the rest will come later.
As Keith Cunningham, the author of The Road Less Stupid, said:
“All choices require a trade-off and sacrifice. You can have almost anything you want . . . you just can’t have everything you want.”
When you combine the two above quotes, you have the recipe for success in life.
- Focus on one thing at a time.
- Focus on the things you REALLY want.
What I thought I wanted in my teens
The first part of that equation is the easiest, which is why so many people write and talk about it.
Everyone can give that advice. But the problem is that you can spend your entire life focusing on one wrong thing after the other.
A wasted life. As J. Cole says in his song Love Yourz:
“On the road to riches, listen, this is what you’ll find. The good news is, you came a long way. The bad news is, you went the wrong way.”
No one wants to go the wrong way. It just happens because we don’t take enough time to think about the topic of this article.
When I was in my teens, I thought I wanted the following things:
- Travel the world
- Be a multi-millionaire
- Own a bunch of sports cars
- Live in LA or some other place with palm trees
- Go to clubs every weekend
As the years went by—and the more I learned about myself—I dropped most of those silly goals.
I started to get rid of those desires because I tried many things. I tried traveling and chasing money. I didn’t like them.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to spend my money on a sports car or something else to figure out that buying objects won’t make you happy. I simply read books and listened to other people who wasted their own money on those things.
And the last teenage goal I dropped was living in some warm place. It’s a stupid fantasy, really. “If I only lived in a warm and sunny place!!”
Yeah, what? You will be happy every day? Of course not. You will be the same person with the same challenges. The only difference is that the sun is shining. But you get used to that real quick.
Get clear on what you want and become unapologetic
Look, I think this is one of the hardest things in life. It’s certainly one of the hardest emotional things I had to do.
At some point, we all have to admit to ourselves that there are A LOT of things in life we don’t like.
But for some weird reason, whether that’s social pressure or the pressure to prove ourselves to others, we do things that we don’t actually want to do.
Here’s another very common thing: Living in big cities.
I know so many people (I was one of them) who believe you must live in a big city, otherwise, you don’t matter. If you don’t live in Amsterdam, NYC, London, Paris, Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo, and so forth—you’re a loser.
Says who? The people who live in cities, living paycheck to paycheck, complaining about the bad quality of life there?
“But we have theaters!” That you never go to, yes.
Now, if you’re a lover of theater it’s a different thing. And that’s my point.
What do you REALLY want in life?
The magic word is trade-offs. You must decide what you like and what you don’t like. If you know that on a deep level, you can get after what you like. And since life is long enough, you can get everything that you really want.
The truth is that we humans are not that complicated. Most of us only want a few things in life. Just decide what those few things are for you and make them happen.
Be completely unapologetic to yourself about what you want. Once you know, look at yourself in the mirror and say, “This is who I am. Get used to it. I ain’t changing.”
Wake up with focus every day
Life is long and short at the same time. It’s long enough to accomplish a lot. It’s too short if you waste your time.
No matter what you do, DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME.
It’s much better to go in the wrong direction for a while than to stay where you are. Movement. That’s the key.
That’s what I’m always after. For the past eight years, I’ve lived my life like that and I feel like it’s in constant motion. I hardly ever feel like I’m wasting my time.
As a result, I know what I want and don’t want.
Make some decisions, move to different places, learn new skills, make some art, or do something that gets you excited.
Something that makes you wake up every day and says, “Let’s go.”
And then go.