For years I struggled with the question “What do I really want from life?” I kept doing what I was doing in my IT career even though I knew I wanted to change because I had no answer for this question. I’ve come across many people who struggle with answering that same question. Here’s my take on why it is so hard for some people to answer.
Our education system teaches us that there is a right answer to every question. Through testing, we are rewarded for being able to recall or calculate the right answers to the questions that are asked. For many questions, this makes sense. Being able to perform a mathematical calculation is critical in building a bridge, for instance. So, we assume that there is a right answer to every question – even the one above.
The problem is though, there is no right answer to this question. Well – not right in the way we have been taught to think of right. There is no formula to apply or some fact to recall here. It’s a different type of right – a right that has no reasons. Answering this question requires using a different technique – one that answers it and then doesn’t look for a reason why. Because I believe, what we truly want just is – there are no reasons for it. And in the logical cause and effect world we live in, where are the right answers backed by evidence, that concept is alien to many of us.
About 4 years ago, we moved to the Coolangatta on the Gold Coast in Australia. I wanted a part time job doing IT while I got my business and self sorted out.
I’d assumed that ‘if a business wanted to employ someone, they’d advertise’ and ‘no one will want to put you on unless you work full time’. I ignored both of these and used a different technique. I approached businesses directly.
I made two phone calls and turned up at two businesses in person and asked them for a job. Out of those four enquiries, I was offered two jobs.
It turned out, both businesses had been considering putting someone on to help out with their busy workload but hadn’t had time to advertise. Not only that, both of them only wanted someone for two to three days a week.
Sometimes it’s powerful to ignore your assumptions.
I’ve been putting off writing a blog for weeks. I’ll be honest – I’m waiting for something and that something is the perfect blog topic and the most perfectly written blog. I’m waiting to be struck by inspiration, for it to feel right and waiting to be sure it is a blog worth writing.
If I continue to wait, I’ll get nothing done. No blogs. Nothing published. Life will not change. I will not get what I’m going for, which hurts more than publishing a blog that might be wrong.
So, here it is, not perfect but it is a blog.
Is there something you are putting off?
Being comfortable is not a measure of certainty or that something good is going to happen – it is an indication that you are operating within the bounds you always have.
Similarly, if the thought of some action or a certain situation is making you feel uncomfortable, it is not that something bad or unpredictable is going to happen (and therefore needs to be avoided) – it is an indicator that you are dong something you haven’t done before.
If you want something in life you’ve never had before, you need to do something you’ve never done before.