Okay, so maybe the title is a bit dramatic. But it got your attention, right?
Yesterday, as I was listening to a close friend question whether or not she is choosing the right career, it got me thinking about how common this question is for many people. This reminded me of when I was first faced with the age old questions of life; What am I doing here? Do I have a purpose? And if so, how do I find it?
A few years ago, I read about psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which basically sums up different needs that are required to be met before we can feel ultimately fulfilled in life. Reading his paper, “A Theory of Human Motivation” really changed my viewpoint on reaching true fulfillment in life. His theory is worth reading if you have not done so. It is quite interesting, and I think Maslow is correct in some of the aspects that he points out.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
So, what am I getting at? As some of you may know, I am currently back in school after years of wandering through life thinking I was already fulfilling my purpose. This may be where you are at this point, so I would like to share a few tips that I’ve learned through self realization and goals that I have reached over the past few years.
For me, realization came only after I made my self work hard to answer a few tough, but essential, questions –
1. – What do you LOVE?
Now when I say love, I don’t mean mango ice cream or fuzzy socks (two of my faves). I mean what do you love that adds value to the world? Do you love spending time with children, or helping the elderly when they are sick? Maybe you love designing furniture or spend your free time building computers. There are so many aspects of life that we enjoy, but we don’t always realize that these interests can actually become what we do to earn a living while also contributing to the world in a positive way. Many people just want to “make money,” but it is so important to do something that is also adding value to the world. I truly believe that this is the only way we will feel fulfilled in life. It is unfortunate that there are many people that do not realize this concept.
2. – What do you want out of life?
This is a question that you definitely, definitely, need to figure out – like yesterday. Maybe you would love to live on an island and help rescue wild animals. Or maybe you would prefer the concrete jungle where you can enjoy martinis and a 5-course meal on Friday nights. Many lifestyles are very different from one another, which means that each will have a very different path to get to. Which leads to the next essential question..
3. – How hard are you willing to work?
As I mentioned previously, everyone wants very different things out of life. It is no surprise then, that whichever lifestyle you ultimately want, you will have to be willing to put in effort that is proportional to that lifestyle! Now, there are those who are born into wealth or into a lifestyle that is acceptable in their eyes, but even if that is where you are in life, it is still important to ask if you are truly in the place that you want to be.
4. – Do you have a support system?
If not – Try to find one! Okay, so maybe your family drags you down and your only true friend is Clyde your pet guinea pig, but is this enough emotional support for you? If you are not the type to need a lot of emotional support that is perfectly fine, and in fact, I envy you! But, if you are like me, it helps to have a support system who believes in your success. This is not something that is easy to find, but if you can find it, definitely take advantage of it. It really helps to confide in the people who care about you! Share your successes and your weaknesses with those who sincerely want the best for you. It will help you emotionally, which will encourage you to keep pushing on when things get challenging.
5. – What are your ultimate goals and how are you going to reach them?
Once you have realized what value you can add to the world and what you truly want out of life, it’s time to set goals to achieve what you want! Writing a list helps to keep you motivated and pushing on. So set those goals and never stop! Diligence and persistence are the largest factors in reaching your goals. Always remember, the right thing to do is often the hardest thing to do.
So I hope this post has been inspiring, and I would LOVE to hear about your life goals! I truly think that it is never too late to live YOUR happily ever after.
*Images are from this cute Etsy shop!
Until next time!