How to Do What You Want
Tapping into what you want to be and living that dream out is essential to living your life to the fullest. Nothing can substitute finding what it is that you want to be and doing that thing. However, finding out what you want is also not all about you. What you want should tie into what you can do for others. Do not work for other people's opinions; instead, find what you can learn to do for others. Only you can choose your passion and make it a reality. Make a lifestyle and a five year plan now to get moving toward being and doing what you want.
Realizing You Have Nothing To Lose
Give up on working for affirmation from others.Your life does not have to be about pleasing the people who care about you. They may not understand at first, but doing what you want should be a life investment. They have plenty of time to get used to the idea.
- It may be easier at the beginning to do things other people want for you. However, what you want is a decision that must be made by you alone. And in the long run, working for your own passions will ultimately prove to be the most profitable thing you can do for you.
- If you are working for what other people think of you, you will probably end up on a path that is less satisfying for you.
- Consider what you have to give others. Do not confuse what other people want for you with what you want for yourself. For example, if you are choosing a major in college, do not choose the major others tell you to pursue unless it is what really excites you.
Take ownership over the things you want.Be patient and persistent in doing what you want. Taking ownership means that you will have to make your actions match what you want to be both on a daily basis and year by year.
Be a problem solver.To become what you want will require problem solving. For example, if you want to go to a college that has the program you need to pursue your dream and it is out of your reach as a freshman, go to a community college first and then transfer. A problem solver is someone who actively brainstorms ideas to solve a problem, evaluates those ideas to see how they might work out, and then executes the idea.
Take risks for the things you want.This means following your instincts. Think about the worst thing that could happen. Risk is when you are willing to accept the worst thing that can happen. Often you will have to fail in order to achieve the things you want. Once you learn how to live with that possibility, nothing will be able to stop you.
- If you are going to become successful in doing what you want, you will be your only true boss. Because you are your own guide, you should become good at following your instincts. You alone are the most knowledgeable about your own work. Profiting from your risks will take trial and error, and failing should become your close friend if you want to make following your instincts pay off for you.
Acknowledge your fears.Everyone has fears and these fears sometimes guide the way we choose to live our lives. Living in reaction to your fears will not serve your dreams. You will be better off when you are aware of your fears and actively fight them. Luckily, if you are cognizant of your fears, they can have less power over the decisions you make.
- When you are experiencing anxiety because of fear, write about the negative feelings and experiences. At first this may be difficult, but over time it will pay off. Journaling daily for twenty minutes is a helpful habit that will help you cope with your negative emotions, and it will refocus you on what you want.
Figuring Out What You Want
Find out which skills you have that you want to give others.Giving in order to get what you want may seem counter intuitive, but knowing what you have to offer is the first part of finding what you want. There are many career fields to choose from: architecture, planning and environmental design, arts and education, business, communications, engineering and computer science, environment, government, international relations, law and public policy, nonprofit, health and medicine, sciences, and trades, for example, becoming a carpenter or an electrician.
- Each of these fields involve practices and disciplines. Knowing which of these disciplines or practices is your passion will help you know what you want.
- Your passion can sustain you financially if you become highly skilled at one or more of those fields. These fields all contain human needs that are not going away. The way those needs are met (the services, practices and disciplines) may change and grow, but you can change and adapt with them.
- Do not feel compelled to choose only one skill or field. Think about how these areas might intersect in a way that makes sense for your passion or what you want to do.
Actively learn about the fields you are interested in.The more experience and knowledge you get about the fields you could be interested in the more you will find yourself gravitating toward a specific area. Each field has traditions, ideas, practices and knowledge you can learn and grow from from. You should always be challenging yourself intellectually.
- Make a habit out of reading the literature associated with your field. Start reading the books associated with the field that you are interested in. For example, you can read The Joy of Cooking, an influential and classic cookbook, if you love cooking. However, you can also read lots of great cooking blogs to become well informed about your passion.
Make friends with people in different field(s) you are interested in.Every field, discipline or practice typically contains an active working community. If you live in a large enough city, there will be a group of people who are also pursuing the field(s) you are interested in. If you become close to these individuals, you can can find a strong sense of belonging that can help motivate your growth in that area.
- The friends you make and their connections may help get you into a job, internship, mentorship or acceptance to a program you want to be in.
Talk about your dreams with others.Talking is a good way to process your ideas about the big decisions you make. Tell other people about what you want, and do not be nervous about how you sound. Talk to other people who are both supportive and know you very well. They may be able to give you encouragement and feedback that will help you grow.
- Do not take things personally. If people do not understand your dreams, that is okay. Find a community with people who are also pursuing your same interests to stay supported. Continue to ask for honest feedback from a variety of people. And feedback from people who are knowledgeable about what you are doing will be especially helpful.
- Friends or family will often feel compelled to give you what they think is the best advice. However, it may not always fit what you want. Be a good listener but continue with the plan that makes the most sense for what you want to do. It is natural for people to feel compelled to help you problem solve your life quickly. But there will mostly likely be no quick answer.
Ask for honest feedback.Talk to people who are good at doing what you want to do, and ask them for feedback. You should make this a practice. For example, if you are a teacher, ask other teachers to watch you teach and give you feedback.
- Often it is difficult to correctly perceive what you are doing wrong. However, we all do things wrong, and we need it to be called to our attention.
- Dwell on the progress you want to make instead of your feelings of insecurity. It is difficult not to take things personally; however, this is an excellent skill to hone.
Make the path for where you want to end up.There will be no straight paths for where you want to go, because it is based on who you are. Who you are is also unique and changing, so be aware that your path may shift a few times on your journey.
- For example, if you want to be a musician for worshiping communities, you should work toward one of the many parts that it will take to do that job. You may want to study spirituality or practice playing music in bands. Later you may decide that you want to work as a music therapist rather than be a worship leader. You will be able to handle this change, because you have already worked on something in a similar vein.
Revisit your decision about what you want.Sometimes we grow and change as people through experiences and relationships, and we realize that our passions have changed. Be flexible and responsive if this is the case. Find ways to leverage your previously honed skills into the new passion that is coming through in your life.
- Changing your mind about what you want is something that happens to lots of people at some point in their lives. This is a sign that you are probably just learning and growing a lot.
Learning How to Do What You Want
Make your little actions work for what you want to do.Start by doing tiny things that steer you in the direction of the habits you want to make. For example, if you want to do yoga daily. Put out your yoga mat every day for four days in a row at the time you would want to do yoga. Soon enough you will find yourself stretching and working out.Doing these tiny actions consistently will lead you into doing the bigger actions.
Know the difference between your feelings and what you want.What you want is bigger than your moods. For example, you want to become a good musician, so you can heal others through music therapy. However, you may not feel the importance of that goal in the morning when you need to wake up early to practice your instrument before work.
- Visualize the thing that you want to be doing. In the moments where your feelings differ from what you want, picture yourself doing the thing you need to do. Think about how many steps you need to take to get to your guitar. Think about the tea or coffee that you can drink to wake you up. Think about which pieces of music you will play.
Wake up when you decided you should wake up.When you are able to start your day with good momentum, you will find yourself much more able to do the things that you have set out for yourself. The opposite can happen if you do not get up on time. Be vigilant in problem solving getting yourself up in the morning if you have trouble sleeping in.
- Set a second, louder alarm to go off a couple of minutes after your first alarm. In those two minutes before the second alarm goes off, visualize what you should do. When the second alarm goes off, it will be much easier to get out of the bed.
Pick yourself up and try again.Every hour and day can be a reset. We all let our feelings get the best of us sometimes. However, the more wins you get on the side of doing what you want, the more our feelings will start to line up with what we want to do.
Put parameters around the work you need to do.Set SMART goals for yourself.Smart goals are specific, measurable, action oriented, relevant and time bound. If you want to become a published writer, for example, your first goal might be to expand a 5 page short story into a 20 page story in a month. Your next goal could be to spend two weeks researching, writing letters, and sending your manuscript to at least three publications.
Embrace your challenge.Realize that the work that you have cut out for you is going to be more challenging even than the work others will give you. You will go through a lot of days where you feel defeated because of the seeming impossibility of doing what you want to do. Remember, however, that this work will help you grow and mature into the person you want to be. The hardest work that goes toward serving your purpose is ultimately going to benefit you the most.
- Accept the bad feelings and restlessness. When you are working toward a difficult goal, it will not always feel good. Allow yourself to experience those emotions, and keep working in spite of them. These feelings will pass and you will be at least a tiny bit closer to what you want.
Commit yourself to doing something for what you want for fifteen minutes a day.We have many obligations to attend to in life and sometimes it is easy to spend no time doing toward what we actually want. Those 15 minutes can motivate you to bigger things in the same way that doing those tiny things like putting out your yoga mat will lead you to do your yoga. Over time you will realize that you can actually make progress toward your goals. This ability to see progress can continue to motivate you to work for what you want.
- For example, work toward a SMART goal every day. Give yourself parameters in your work, even in those fifteen minutes. For example, if you are a musician, have yourself work on three songs in fifteen minutes. Try practicing two old songs and one new song.
Making Practical Moves
Find a job that will keep you afloat.Because you will be actively pursuing your dream, you may not have time to pursue a whole career like teaching or working a 9 to 5 job. You may still need an income to pursue your dream, however. So look for a job that you can work at consistently while you pursue your passion. Eventually, with enough education and experience working in the field you are pursuing, you will be able to make money doing what you love.
- Some examples of flexible jobs include doing freelance work marketing, writing, doing graphic design or working in social media.
- Working at a restaurant, coffee shop or bar is another way to provide for yourself financially while you pursue your dream.
Find affordable housing.Work to find a room or place to live that gives you the space you need to pursue your dream but allows you to save your money. Once again, what you want will might take time before it starts paying off financially. Finding sustainable ways to live is going to be essential to staying afloat while you work toward your dream.
Make a five year plan.This is going to help you identify what you need to do in order to get where you want to go.
- Decide what you want your end goal to be first. What do you want your lifestyle to look like, and where should your career be in five years? This should be a broad idea of what you want. For example, you may want to be living on your own and supporting yourself fully selling music and teaching music classes.
- Set a realistic timelines for the smaller goals that will lead to the end you created. For example, write down goals like receive training, get an internship, work with a mentor, get a job at a school.
- Write down your goals and display them somewhere you will see them often. For example, tape the goals to your mirror or near your desk to remind you of the things you are working toward.
- Track the progress that you make. If you do not get that internship, for example, cross out that goal and replace it with a comparable goal or a goal that will still serve to get you to your end goal.
- Reevaluate your 5 year plan. If you change your mind about what you want, that is okay. Make another 5 year plan.
QuestionI'm a child and I can't do what I want.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can still do some things you want. There will be rules and boundaries, but you can try to gently push these and make compromises with your parent(s)/guardian. The things you want to do can also be a reward system, for example if you want to go ride your bike, ask if you can do so AFTER you finish your homework. The more mature you act by raking care of your responsibilities, the more your parents will allow you to do what you want.Thanks!
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