Going After What You Want
10:24:47 2023-11-20 268

1- Define your values. Before you can decide what you want to do with your life, know not just what you stand for, but also what you don’t. Being true to yourself will give you inner peace and help you define your ambitions. Make a list of 10 rules that you live by. These will give you an indication of what your values are.

  • For example, if one of your “rules” is “I must never tell a lie,” then you value honesty. Or if one of your rules is “Never be rude to others,” then you value politeness.
  • Once you think you’ve defined your values, check to see if they really are your values. Look at how you make decisions on a daily basis. Do they truly reflect your values? If you break your “rules” and you feel upset, guilty, or distraught, then that rule most likely reflects your values.


2- Pursue your passions to figure out what you want to do with your life. Nobody is born knowing exactly what they want to do with their future, but most of us have at least a few interests that can help us figure it out over time. If you haven’t decided what you want to do, curiously and actively pursue your interests; they’re your stepping stones to a great future full of purpose and meaning.

  • For instance, if you enjoy reading, join a book club, attend local literary events (like poetry readings or book signings), try your hand at writing, get a job at your local library, or consider pursuing a degree in literature or library sciences.
  • Journaling about your passions and values can help you clarify your purpose, as can speaking to trusted friends and family, a guidance counselor, mentor, or career advisor, or a therapist.
  • But be sure not to let others’ opinions sway you too much. It’s very easy to slip into “autopilot” when pursuing a goal or to do things just because others are doing it or because they’re telling you it’s the right thing to do.


3- Set specific goals based on your values and passions. Ask yourself where you see yourself in 5 or 10 years’ time. What can you do now that will help you achieve these ambitions? Outline both long- (say, 5+ years) and short-term (say, 1-5 years) goals, and make sure they’re manageable and realistic.

  • Research how you can make your passion fulfill your priority. What jobs can you get that make use of your passion? Search online for the skills, qualifications, and experience you’ll need to get your dream job. Read the biographies of people who you aspire to be like.
  • Your ambitions may change over time. You only have control over your actions, not your circumstance. Make sure how you react and respond to your circumstances reflects your values. So long as your ambitions stay in line with your values, you will likely have a great future.

4- Check in with yourself regularly to make sure you’re still on the right path. Be intentional about the goals you choose to pursue, and check in with yourself every so often as you set out to pursue them. Whenever you make a decision in pursuit of your goal, ask yourself if it’s still in line with your passion: is this the best way to meet your goal and achieve your ideal future? Or are you just on autopilot?

  • Questioning yourself will require monitoring the way you think and the things you do. Negative thinking styles will hinder your efforts to achieve your goals. Be sure to do this every night before you sleep if not constantly throughout the day. Self-monitoring will become habitual over time.
  • Even if you feel certain about the goal you’ve set out to achieve initially, people grow and change over time: the goals you want to achieve at 25 may not be the goals you want to achieve at 30 or 40. It’s OK to reevaluate as you go and adjust as needed.


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