Discovery Mode

Over the last few weeks, you have been encouraged to figure out what you can do to take charge of your life, your decisions and your plans for the future. Let’s revisit these themes a little more today, and then ask you this question: Do you know what you want for yourself?

Some people have trouble with this question. They know what they’re supposed to want – what their parents or bosses or friends or the media tell them they should want – but something isn’t quite right.

While they seem happy and successful, inside they feel unfulfilled, restless, in a rut, as if they have lost something but they are not sure what it could be. Some may even feel hopeless or terribly depressed. They can’t get what they want because they don’t know what it is.

You see, if you don’t believe you can have something, often you won’t let yourself want it. If you grew up in an abusive environment, or in a family where you were discouraged from expressing your wishes, or in a situation where survival took precedence over everything else, you may have trouble identifying what you want.

Knowing what we want is very important information, so here’s an idea to get you started. How about starting a want list? Keep a small notebook with you, or start a file on your tablet or smartphone. When you find yourself wanting something – anything at all, from new shoes to a new relationship – put it on the list.

Remember: It is OK to want, so let yourself dream. For the moment, don’t concern yourself about practicality or what anyone else will think, and don’t leave anything out. We are in discovery mode at the moment, not action mode quite yet.

Once your list is quite substantial, you can highlight or number the items you want most and set goals to achieve them. Can you have what you want? Probably. But first, you must figure out what that is.