25. What You Really Really Want

Good morning and welcome to your twenty-fifth meditation. What do you want out of life? And when is the last time you really asked yourself this question in earnest? You probably have at least some vague notion of how you would answer it. Most of us could use more money; we want love; perhaps we want more autonomy, whether it be in our jobs or in our lives in general; we want respect and recognition. But these are all very broad desires that we can’t help but inherit from the outside world. As such, we have a tendency to take them for granted as a condition of living, believing that to carry them around with us is as natural as breathing, and so we forget that it is up to us to fulfil them.

To really ask yourself what you want in life, on the other hand, is to consider your unique circumstances: the place that you live, the people who surround you, the specific ideas and things that you value, your aptitudes and weaknesses, who you are now, and who you’d like to be. However it is not enough to simply know what you want out of life. It is also your responsibility to yourself and to the world to do everything you can to realize those dreams. And how exactly do you do that? …Lists. Take some time every so often to write down all your desires, no matter how extravagant or seemingly unrealistic. Organize them in order from most to least important to you. Now that you have determined what are, say, your three most important desires, consider what it would take for you to fulfil them. If money is required to achieve your goal, make a budget. You will likely find, after determining how much you need to set aside each month for how long, that your desire is surprisingly attainable. If you want to learn a new skill, set aside time on a regular basis, ideally daily, to practise. Set goals for specified time periods to motivate you and to give yourself something to work toward. For example, if you are learning to play a musical instrument, you could set a goal of performing one song publically after three months. If you are learning a language perhaps you could set the goal of having a five minute conversation with a native speaker to start. And if you want to start a new career, make a list of every resource on the topic you can find, organize that list into what is most and least relevant, and then make a schedule with time marks for yourself to, one by one, read, watch, listen to, or do everything on that list that applies to your new path. If you consider these steps, realizing your dreams not only becomes possible, it becomes far simpler and less daunting. So take the time every so often. Consider where you’re at and where you’d like to be. Make lists. And then simply follow your own guidelines. Keep it up. You’re doing great. Have a wonderful day.

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