Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. – Steve Jobs
We all want things. We all want to achieve specific goals. However, there might be those special things that we want the most. These are those that are our true, deep desires. These are the things that we should focus on in life. But it’s not always easy to recognize what these are among all the noise, all the ideas that come from other people and everything that society tells us we should want. So, here are a few ideas that can help you discover the true desire that you should pursue.
Plan to do nothing
We often drown out our inner voices with noise and distractions, be it podcasts, music, videos, or any other activity that distracts you from you. Instead, go outdoors and take a walk. Natural spaces work better, but just going to a quiet place, walking down the street, or sitting in your room without distractions can also work.
Let your thoughts roam free. Where do they go? What comes into your head when there is nothing to interfere with your true train of thought? You might be able to discover something new about what you think, what you care about, and who you are.
Leave behind the fear
When you confront your own thoughts, you will also discover some new ideas, dreams, and aspirations. And some of these can feel really, really terrifying. Not because these are bad dreams, but because they might be too much. They are too big, too intimidating, too daring. Or maybe they feel like dreams that don’t seem to fit you; they feel like they are meant for a cooler, more capable person. However, leaving this fear behind will allow you to pursue these dreams and embrace how ambitious they can be.
Start with small steps
It’s hard to decide to drop everything and pursue what you want. If you try this route, you might find yourself doubting and putting it off. Instead, allow yourself to begin the journey with a few small steps. If you know, take on small goals that will get you closer. If you don’t know your true desire, focus on activities that will help you understand what you want.
Try new things. They might not have a common thread, but do them anyway. Try the things that appeal to you the most. You are not looking for a lifelong commitment or even to invest tons of money. Take a sample class or watch a couple of videos. Start a small project. Go to an event. See what makes your heart sing. What gives you the most joy?
Sure, you might not get it at first. But eventually you will come closer to understanding what you want and what you need. You will find the things that make you feel fulfilled, in smaller ways at first, and make your life more varied as a result.
You should give yourself permission to try different things and experiment with them. Especially, try to give yourself permission to do things you are bad at and that you don’t enjoy. The goal is to have a taste of many different options to determine what works best for you.
Experimenting means failing. It doesn’t imply being good at everything you try and everything you do. It means just giving yourself the opportunity to try things until you get to something that feels right.
Take your time
Some people find their desire quickly, but others need more time. If you have spent your life focusing on what you have to do and what you need to do, it’s likely that your dreams are buried deeply. It takes time to unearth them.
Give yourself permission to keep trying and to keep working. Don’t force things and don’t force yourself. Savor what you do, try many things, and you are sure to find your true calling.