Have you ever ordered something at a restaurant that seemed like the safe choice, only to regret it? Did you wish you could go back and order what you really wanted?
Or have you started chasing a career, an exercise goal, or a relationship without really thinking about if it’s what you want?
I have. Sometimes I’m playing it safe. Often I forget to pause to examine what I really want. Or, regrettably, I am too influenced by what other people think. Pursing what other people want is a cheap substitute for deciding what you want most and going for it.
So how do you know what you really want?
I don’t believe in ‘chasing your wildest dreams’ or ‘shooting for the stars.’ Those idioms are too easy a path to selfishness. And shallowness.
Selfishness is nearly always shallow. And fleeting. To be selfish doesn’t last. It’s momentary happiness, not long-term joy. It’s like a flash in the pan, a vapor. It’s the smoke from a campfire, not the heat.
It’s chasing what you almost want.
You almost want fans. You almost want wealth. You almost want success.
More than likely what you really want is influence. You really want freedom. You really want to know what you do matters.
Why would you chase what you almost want?
Chase what you really want.
What you almost want will last a moment. What you really want will last a lifetime.
How do you know what you really want? Here’s three ways to start:
- Examine your values.
- Describe what real satisfaction would look like.
- Find a mission worth giving a decade to.
Stop chasing what you almost want. Discover what matters most. Then, go get it.