How to figure out what matters to you
- May 6, 2018
Last week we mentioned three women who changed their lives to start the business that mattered to them – Tumelo Mashteng, Umutoni Monalisa and Udoka Uju. There are many, many people you know who seem to know what they want to do with their lives. How did they figure it out?
How do you figure out what matters to you and what life could be like for you if you followed that dream? That’s the challenge you face right now.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR BIG DREAM IS?
Some people spend their whole life searching, and still don’t find what they’re looking for!
Some people don’t ever start their search. They aren’t even curious to explore what matters to them.
Some people just make it look effortless, but you don’t know the years of failures that lead them to the ‘success’ of being able to do what matters to them.
People will tell you that you have to have everything planned out and in place before you get stared, but Monalisa – disagrees. She started out with just a small amount of make-up and she thought herself how to do make-up by watching the international makeup artists on YouTube and social media. (Source: She.Leads.Africa)
People also say that you will ‘just know’ what is right for you: that there’s a ‘gut feeling’ or a ‘knowing’ within you. That’s easy to say, not easy to do. However it is true. The more you know yourself, the smarter and clearer your decisions will be. Knowing yourself well takes time and thought.
To help you along, answer these questions in your journal or on the downloadable worksheet here. Try it out – it’s a pretty awesome starting point to figuring out what your BIG dream might be!
THINK ABOUT YOUR PAST
- What were your past joys and successes? What specific experiences (good or bad) left their mark on you? Perhaps some of them became a belief you still hold on to? “I can’t do math”, “I hate music” or “I’m clumsy”.
- When you daydreamed, what did you imagine yourself doing or becoming? When people asked you what you wanted to do with your life, and you answered, what did you answer? How did people respond to your answer to that question?
- Can you remember any specific childhood desires or unfulfilled hopes?
- What things were you good at doing when you were a kid? What do you remember that you loved about that thing you were doing ‘back in the day’?
THINK ABOUT YOUR PRESENT
- What is your situation like right now? What frustrates you about where you are right now? What do you like about how things are right now? What are the realities of your current situation and how long do you think it will it be this way?
- What is your personality type? How would your friends describe you?
- How much change can you handle right now? What is your physical and mental health like right now?
- What do people ask you to help them with? What do you love to spend an afternoon, evening or weekend doing? What exactly what is it that you enjoy about this activity/thing? Could you imagine doing that thing every day?
THINK ABOUT YOUR FUTURE
- When someone asks you what you hope to be doing in 5 years time, what do you say? Do you really believe that or are you just saying something you think is ‘acceptable’?
- When you think of making a change or finishing this phase of life, what do you want to do next? Why?
- If you could help someone with anything – what would it be?
- What would you tell your future self, and why?
- What have you always dreamed of doing, but have never tried because you think its impossible?
Now that you have answers to these questions, you have lots of material to explore.
You will want to spend some days or even weeks to reflect and make sense of everything you’ve written. Once again, you can download your ‘How to figure out what matters’ worksheet here.
1. Take time to think and reflect. Sit with it – yes for days, weeks or even months! Sit with the difficult things. It’s okay. Nobody knows but you.
2. Look for patterns. Remember the things that you’re never been able to shake off. Notice the things that keep tugging on you. Don’t ignore these messages from your soul.
3. Pick the strongest idea(s) within you. Ask yourself, “What will I feel if I follow this path and accomplish this thing?’ and ask again, ‘What will I feel if I don’t follow this path and don’t accomplish this thing?’
4. Keep reflecting about everything your answers reveal to you. Start to trust your instinct and gained knowledge.
5. Make a choice. You will know when your time is right to decide. Write down your reasons for your choices so that you always have a reference point to return to. A time will come when you know you need to pick a direction and get started.
Just like Udoka Uju said in the interview with She.Leads.Africa, “What motivated me to go pursue this business idea was the desire to find my own path in life, and to use it to inspire the lives around me.”
Your current situation might be difficult. Your future dreams might seem very distant and out of reach, but there’s a very good reason why your ideas, aspirations and dreams have never entirely faded away.
You are the only one who can bring your BIG dream alive and share it with the world in your own way. The world is waiting for you to be all that you were created to be.
We love to hear from you! Ask us a question or tell us one thing you learned in answering the questions that has shone a light on your bright future.
PS: Don’t forget you can download your worksheet here.
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- Are you ready to start your journey as an employee or entrepreneur? Tips for conducting your personal inventory
- How to make smart decisions about important things
- How to figure out what matters to you
- It all starts with knowing what matters to you
- Is your impact positive – and why it matters for your business?
- Is your impact positive or negative – and what does it matter?
- How to stick to your goals – even when it feels like you already failed (part 2)
- How to stick to your goals – even when it feels like you already failed (part1)