“The instinct is to look for answers, but the truth is that questions teach us most.” — Ryan Holiday
If we’re really being honest, many people right now are drifting through life without too much care for where they’re heading.
They’re stuck in the day to day. They’re in a routine. They aren’t curious enough to discover who they are or where they’re going.
As a result, the busyness of life has simply taken over and their time is almost certainly going a whole lot faster than they’d like it to be.
This is not a fun way to live. But it is the unfortunate reality of what happens when you don’t take the time to question where you’re heading or stop to ponder about where you’d really like to go.
The following questions, if applied, will allow you to get out of the trees of your life and see the forest. You’ll be able to discover who you are, where you’re heading and where you really you want to go.
Start by questioning:
1. Where Am I Going?
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not like where you end up.” — David Bach
Many people want to be told how to act and they want to be told who to become. They don’t really care about where they’re going as long as their direction is understood by most people.
And this quickly leads them to work jobs they hate, buying goods they don’t need and sooner or later, having a midlife crisis all because they let other people dictate their direction in life.
So, where are you going?
Is it where you want to be going or is it where other people expect you to go?
Wherever you are now, and wherever you’re going, accept it. See what it is and understand it so that you can change it.
2. Where Do I Want to go?
“You can do anything you want. The people who are professing to be experts, telling you what you can and can’t do in life and how to do it, are just a bunch of fucking jackasses.” — Michael Ellsberg
The way most people set goals and the way you’ve probably been taught to set goals is broken.
See, most people sit down and think, ‘Based on where I am now, where could I be 3 months, a year, or 5 years from now?’
But rather than asking, where could I be? It’s much better to ask, where do I want to be?
Start with the end in mind and then work backward. Live out of your imagination rather than your memory. Create goals based on what you really want in life; not what’s expected or even what seems “reasonable.”
So, where do you really want to go?
The famous 13th-century poet, Rumi has said, “Live life as if everything is rigged in your favor.” And that’s exactly what I’m encouraging you to do here.
Don’t limit yourself; don’t think small — think big. No one has to believe in your goals but yourself.
3. Where Would I Go if I Got There Tomorrow?
“Before you ever reach a goal, already have the next mountain or two in mind.” — Benjamin P. Hardy
This might seem crazy, but seriously; where would you go if you suddenly achieved everything you’d just wrote down?
Would you be over the moon or would you realize that the goal was still too small?
Indeed, most people achieve all their goals only to be disappointed. They didn’t think big enough and now they’ve run out of future to pursue.
You never actually want to arrive at a destination. You never want to become satisfied with what you’ve done in the past because it’s all downhill from there.
Always have the next mountain or two in mind. Stretch your imagination and future to that point you’d almost be embarrassed to share it with anyone.
Wrote Benjamin P. Hardy,
“If what you’re pursuing right now isn’t so big that you’d be embarrassed to share it with most of the people in your life, I challenge you to take a step back and really think about it.”
4. Where is My Daily Routine Taking Me?
“Your daily routine is the clearest indicator of where you’re going.” — Benjamin P. Hardy
We all have 24 hours in a day, but the question is: how are you spending those 24 hours?
Are they taking you to where you want to be?
Or are they taking you in a downward spiral?
Because if they’re not moving you towards where you want to be, then how do you think you’re going to get there?
It is not enough to ponder about how you could become someday; you need to move towards becoming that person today.
You need to visualize your future and then act from that future in the present or you’ll never get there.
5. What’s Keeping Me from Where I Want to Be?
“We are kept from our goal not by obstacles but a clearer path to a lesser goal.” — Robert Brault
What is keeping you from where you want to be? Seriously, write it all down.
Write down absolutely everything that you think is keeping you from where you really want to go.
Now take that same pen and cross out everything that’s either a self-imposed limitation or an excuse. I bet you’ll be able to cross out most of them.
When you’re done, you’ll have a few genuine obstacles telling you the direction you ought to go.
For example, I’m currently aiming to travel through South East Asia beginning 31 December 2019. But what is actually stopping me from doing it right now?
- I haven’t got the tickets to my destination.
- The lease on my apartment doesn’t run out until 31 December 2019.
- I haven’t got a passport so I can’t legally leave the country.
- I’m scared to travel alone.
Of course, the list could go on and on. But you can see already that 2 and for 4 could be crossed off. If I really wanted to, I could get out my lease. It would be a nuisance, but still possible.
If I’m scared to go, I’ll never go. So that can be crossed off immediately.
The rest of the obstacles tell me exactly what I need to do.
Now, when you’re doing it, write down everything. Cross out all the limitations and allow the remaining obstacles to fuel your daily actions. Invest in yourself. Invest in your dreams. Buy the ticket. Sell the house. Cross out everything and find yourself living your dreams.
When you lay it out like this, you’ll be shocked at how doable and believable your dreams really are. Wow!
Can you see how all this feeds together?
Begin with where you are now and where you’re going, understand and accept it.
From there, work out where you really want to go. Not what seems “reasonable” or even what’s expected, but where you really want to be.
Think big and then think even bigger; already have the next mountain or two in mind.
Allow that future to shape your daily actions and simultaneously create it.
Remove the lesser path. Remove the limitations. Remove the excuses and then remove the obstacles.
You’ve got the path, now walk it.