Who are you? What do you want?
These two simple questions seem pretty scary to a lot of people. It seems a lot of people want to shy away from them. But I would be as bold as to say that these two questions are perhaps the two most important questions that we could possibly ask ourselves.
If only it were as simple as playing Guess Who with your friends!
But these two questions are really important to us all. How many times have you thought to yourself Everything will be OK when I get ______ (fill in the blank) x whatever that is or I get the new boyfriend/girlfriend or next promotion or house or pair of shoes. Only to find when you do get that, very soon the feeling wears off any you are just as discontented as before. You see we think we know who we are and what we want but when we get it, it doesn’t seem to fulfil us and makes us happy as we expected.
By knowing ourselves better, we can make conscious choices which lead us to better formed outcomes. When you can start to answer these questions you can start making really informed choices in your life to steer yourself along a path of fulfilment. Without this knowledge the path you steer will take you to places you don’t want to go and you may still have feelings of un-ease, dread your work, or resenting relationships or situations.
If you are currently experiencing some of this negativity in your life, you can start to make positive changes right now. And I’m going to help you start!
The first step is to decide to take control. To accept responsibility for yourself. You may be lucky and out of the blue get a phone call from a head hunter that says, “Hey there Richard Branson would like you to come and work for him, doing whatever it is you love to do and hey, how much do you want to get paid for doing it?” but I would suggest that isn’t likely to happen any time soon. Generally things have a habit of staying the same if you don’t do anything about them!
By making the decision to take responsibility for yourself you are immediately shifting your energy into a more positive state, acknowledging your own self worth and are now on the road to discovering the answer to the two questions Who are you & what do you want?
Now you have to put some work into this if you want some results. But as you have now accepted responsibility for yourself you recognise that putting some work In will help you in the long run.
So here are a few pointers to help you – firstly Who are you?
Spend some time thinking about what makes you tick.
Make a list of 20 values that you hold strongly, the non-negotiable ones for you
List all the aspects of who you are in all areas of your life. Include hobbies, families,, circles of friends, the whole works! eg parent, brother, partner, boss, team member, musician, volunteer carer, chair person etc.
Take some time to reflect on all of these parts of who you are. Notice that each part does not define you but contributes to making the whole of you. You are not your work, although that is part of it, you are so much more.
Spend some time thinking about each of the parts you have listed and identify for yourself what you get out of each of these parts. Connect this part of the exercise to your values.
Now circle the top values. The really, really important ones.
Now list 10 causes that you care passionately about – where you feel you really want to make a difference. It doesn’t matter at this stage if you are not doing that yet, but what you would want to if you could. Again, think as widely as possible – could be climate change through to global politics or your childs education. List out the 10 that you would love to make an impact with.
Now take a look at the list. What have they got in common? Where are the underlying similarities? What is it about the things you have chosen that made you choose them?
Hopefully by now you will be gathering some insight into what makes you tick and what you care about.
Try summarising these things into a single sentence – for example mine might look like this : My name is Deter and I stand for helping others realise who they are and what they want. Obviously use your name and examples otherwise this might get a bit confusing!
What is it that you stand for?
Next post we will look at part 2 – What do you want?