What do you want? It’s a question that I always ask my friends. “If there were no obstacles, what do you want in life? What’s your wildest dream?” I ask this to help them eliminate doubt and to focus on what they truly want. Then I help them work backwards to figure out a plan to get there.
I believe that self-reflection is an underrated exercise, but one that’s extremely vital to an individual’s self-improvement. The most successful people are constantly reinventing themselves, always aware of who they are and their surroundings. Shortly after I started my first company, I started an annual exercise of asking myself a series of questions about my personal and professional life.
It’s been about five years since I first started this exercise. I have an Evernote document where I write down what I want, both professionally and personally, then I map out my strategy to get there. For the most part, my goals have remained constant. There are minor tweaks based on experience but it has kept me on the path I most desire.
I bring this exercise up for two reasons. One, I’ve been making some decisions based on what I “should” do, not what I wanted to do. These are two different reasons for making a decision and when I choose what I should do, I’m never as happy. Second, a close friend asked me point blank, “What would you change in your life to make it better?”
Being presented this question forced me to say, out loud, what I want in my life. It was weird saying it out loud. But I was very quick to point out two things I’d do to make my current life more enjoyable. Now I’m focusing my energy on how I can improve myself in these two aspects of life. Which makes me feel happier, more focused, and more confident with my decisions.
If you’re interested in this exercise, below is the template of questions I ask myself. The questions are simple, my answers are long and thought out. While it might not pertain to you, the part that I’ve actually found the most interesting is the last section where I ask myself, “Entrepreneurs I Admire.” The job functions of these entrepreneurs has been refined over time. I can clearly see where my journey is taking me and I’m quite happy with the direction.
What Do I Want in Life?
How Do I Get There?
What Do I NOT Want To Be?
What Do I Like to Do?
Who Do I Want to Be Around?
Entrepreneurs I Admire
Why Do I Admire Him/Her?
What Do I Want to Emulate?