It is so easy to know categorically, completely with certainty, what you definitely DON’T want to do. The problem comes when you have to figure out what you DO want to do instead. Whenever people talk to me about changing their lives they always know they want to change, but they never know what in to. Like a caterpillar getting snuggled into a cocoon only to then get caught between changing into a butterfly or a monkey, in the end it can’t decide so it stays a caterpillar.
There are some practical tips that can help a person to answer this question and set them on the road to change. Remember that knowing what you want is the first step to getting it, so it’s a good idea to think about what you want. Here are six useful ideas to bear in mind…
1. Make a list of your biggest achievements
Think about what you’ve accomplished so far, and more importantly, what you’re proud of achieving. Usually your own sense of pride in something gives you a clue as to what you like or dislike. For me, I was a qualified accountant and I was in a rock band. Even though passing accountancy exams was an accomplishment it wasn’t something that I was ever proud of, however I would always talk to a stranger about the band.
2. What do you enjoy the most about your current job?
Most jobs have various elements to them and you find that a person will mould their role to their own personal preferences. So, sometimes, by looking at what you enjoy about your job you can become aware of exactly what it is that you’d like to do more of in the future.
3. Think right back to school or college, what projects do you remember enjoying?
Before you were conditioned into feeling like a responsible grown up, you just did as you were told. You would have tried your hand at various different skills and capabilities, some of which you would have enjoyed and some not so much. By thinking about those tasks from your childhood that you still recall with pride, or pleasure, you can discover a nugget of enlightenment that might trigger an idea in the present day.
4. Take a personality, or psychometric, test
A Personality Test can help you to understand a bit more about yourself objectively. If you see your strengths and weaknesses written down on a piece of paper then it can help in guiding you down certain paths to explore. I knew I wasn’t a natural accountant and when I took the test it reinforced this and pushed me down more creative avenues. One of the leading tests to take is called the Myers-Briggs Personality Test, which you can find online if you look.
5. There’s no such thing as PERFECTION
Seriously, if you wait for the perfect solution to arrive, before you even think of changing what you do, then you’ll be retiring in your current job. What is perfect anyway? Life’s not perfect, it’s just better or worse. Just find something better because if it doesn’t work out then at least you know that and you can then do something else. The biggest crime in life (apart from Murder and stuff like that) is to not even try.
6. What type of a person do you want to be?
If you imagine yourself in five years time, what do you look like? what are you doing? how are you acting? who are you with? what values are important to you? Building up a vision of the future can inspire and trigger ideas of how to get there. A dream is your unconscious mind telling you what you want. All you have to do is listen to it and not be afraid if it looks too different, or big, compared to where you are now.
Just remember that there are millions of occupations you could do and only one that you know for sure that you don’t want to do. Don’t beat yourself up, but tackle it as a problem that needs answering. It’ll involve searching out the real you, finding yourself, but once you’ve done that you then become who you’re meant to be.
Who else has gone through something similar to this in their lives and come out the other side smiling? People want to hear about this stuff.