Just like we’ve been saying these past few weeks, September is a good time to start thinking about those new projects or ideas that have been turning in your head for some time. We are fresh from the holidays and we can take advantage of that energy or even that post-holiday depression, to turn it into a productive impulse.
However, sometimes this task isn’t so easy. Not so much because of a lack of skills or energy, but rather because we don’t know what we want. Sometimes what’s difficult is not the process of getting what you want, but clarifying what it is you really want in the first place: to realize what your goals are and to focus your forces in that direction.
September is a good month to redecorate your life. The question is …
Do you really know what you want?
In order for a target to not easily dissipate, it has to be holistic and stimulating. This means that you have to integrate or consistently embrace several fundamental vital aspects and, furthermore, it has to keep you excited or motivated.
From the outside, many people can be perceived as successful, however, they may not be perceiving themselves as such. They may have it all, but does what they have really make them happy?? We are not talking only about material possessions, but about whether you are happy with what and how you invest your time.
In order to feel totally satisfied, it has to be something you believe in. It must be compatible with your values or moral principles, and it has to be consistent with your way of seeing and feeling the world.
This, precisely, is one of the fundamental points – sometimes what we really fancy doesn’t match what we think we should do. The eternal dispute between the ‘I want’ versus ‘I should’ is a battle that only lengthens with time.
In this sense, it is quite normal for our ‘present self’ and our ‘ideal self’ to conflict with one another, and if they get too far from each other, it is difficult to define objectives because there is no longer a balance. The goal can often change according to ‘which part’ is in power, thus turning into a loop of indecision and infinite dissatisfaction: when you have one thing, you miss the opposite, and vice versa, a spiral of continuous discomfort.
This conflict occurs many times when what we feel like doing does not coincide with those ideas that have been instilled in us, and usually this occurs in a family environment. Imagine that in your family you value being a hard worker and come from a saga of very successful lawyers but what really delights you is working with animals, is it easy to break the family saga? This is the case with many other beliefs or legacies that are transmitted to us implicitly or unconsciously.
It is not easy to break all those beliefs or to get rid of what we learned in our upbringing, but is there any way to still pursue your individual dream? Yes. We can start by clarifying what you want.
How do I define my objectives?
- Focus on the short and medium term. Try doing a visualization exercise: close your eyes, and imagine yourself in two years. Where and how would you like to be? What do you see around you? And in five?
- Sometimes, when we try to think about what we´d like to achieve, we’re afraid to say what we want. It seems strange, but it’s not unusual. It scares us if we want something but don’t get it. A popular saying states that if you never make mistakes, it’s because you are not trying hard enough, but what guarantees failure is never trying in the first place (really absorb this quote, because at the end of the day, everything serves us to continue learning and evolving).
- You have to be realistic. That doesn’t mean that we can’t dream, rather it means that it is unlikely that we can jump from the first step to the last step. In order to reach the last step, we have to reach the second step.
- Concrete and define. That is, the more concrete and tangible a dream is, the easier it will be to design a strategy to achieve it. For example, “I want to be rich”, okay, but what does that mean for you? How much money do you want to make? How do you want to make it? Where? Being rich in Indonesia is not like being rich in New York.
- It requires perseverance and sacrifice. Sometimes achieving a dream means giving up certain things; it involves sacrifice, hard work and commitment. The important thing is, is it what you really want? Well, to reap the benefits of your harvest, you have to water it first, and more importantly, continue to water it so that it can grow.
- Take risks while being aware. Yes, sometimes it is necessary. You have to balance out what you can risk, how far you are willing to go, and you have to be aware of the consequences of your actions.
- Learn to accept frustration as part of the process. “Good things come to those who wait.” Although this is a cliché, it tells the truth. What we want does not always come to us the first time, or the second, or even the third. In every race there are falls and slips.
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better” (Lo intentaste. Fracasaste. Da igual. Prueba otra vez. Fracasa otra vez. Fracasa mejor)
Failure doesn’t always mean success – it doesn’t always mean that you’re going to get away with it. It means that you’re going to learn strategies to resist, to continue, and where you want to put your effort. It means you will have tried your best.