You think it would be simple. Of course, you know what you want, right? In my life, I have noticed it can be hard to know what you want. Knowing what you want in a relationship, in a career, in a t-shirt and beyond. Sometimes, it comes easily, strongly, quickly and other times knowing what you want can be elusive. I’m going to explain to you how knowing what you want plays a huge role in your ability to motivate yourself and get what you want.

There was a young woman I knew and I asked her what she wanted out of life. Her response was “I don’t know.” Two weeks later I asked her again with the same response. Four weeks later I asked her again with the same response. Here in lies the problem. In that six weeks she was no further ahead in any of her goals, dreams, or desires. If you don’t know what you want how are you going to move forward?

I know it’s very easy to say and much harder to put into practice. Our personal desires can be covered up with too much thinking. These are the people who always try to rationalize and think their way out of problems instead of listening to what they feel. Sometimes, our true desires are covered up by the needs of others, by our own perceptions or by our own subconscious habits. My mentor explained it like a compass. You can’t go north and south at the same time. Start thinking about how you envision your ideal life. Where do you want to live? What kind of work do you want to do and how much? What kind of recreational activities do you want to do? For example, it may not be realistic to live in the city and have a private backyard. Thus, you can’t go north and south at the same time. Examine what’s most important and make priorities.

Let’s go back to our young woman. You have to know what you want in order to move towards that goal. Let’s say you really want to be a banana sales person. One day, years from now you may be selling hundreds of thousands of bananas but that journey begins with one banana. You have to start with selling one banana today. It’s planting the very small seeds today that grow into large beautiful dreams tomorrow.

Taking it one step further, how do we remain motivated to reach our dreams? This is where hard work comes into play but not in the way you think. When your daily actions are inline with what you truly want you will be more motivated to work hard. Think of how many people work at something they hate leaving them feeling demoralized. You can’t imagine this person will be as motivated as the person working towards their dream. When you’ve committed yourself to a specific goal or desire every little step you make towards it feeds your spirit. Selling that one banana feels like a huge step forward in reaching your goal. As humans we need these small infusions of daily inspiration. Your dream becomes a realistic goal and not a fantasy. When you are working towards something that you are passionate about hard work becomes effortless.

Take the first step by examining what you want out of life. Ask yourself if this is what you truly want or if there are outside influences. What you want may change overtime but you’ll always feel successful.

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