Where do you want to be in the next 10 years?
It's a simple question. Do you have an answer?
The truth is that most people don't even know what they want from their future. They're so wrapped up in their current lives and dramas that they don't have time to dream about something better for tomorrow.
If you're on this page, however, you aren't like everyone else. You feel the call to become something more. I used to be the same way, and it took me years until I was able to listen to my instincts and follow my dreams.
I regret all of the time that I wasted, and I don't want others to go through the same difficulties. So I've put together a little list. It contains everything that I wish I'd known before I started my journey of self-discovery.
Do you dream of big things? Are you ready to change your life? Are you dedicated to building a new you?
Let's start with the basics.
It's your right to decide about your future.
It might sound like a simple thing, but this will be one of your biggest obstacles in deciding your future: overcoming what you think you should be.
Maybe your parents pushed you towards a particular career path. Maybe you feel guilty that your dream job doesn't involve fame and fortune. Maybe you invested a lot of time in obtaining a certain degree, and it's hard to think about "wasting" it by pursuing a different path.
You'll need to throw all of this away to find true happiness. You'll have to let go of ideas and expectations for your future that don't involve what you really, truly want.
Choose who you want to become.
The next step of building a "new you" involves figuring out the type of person that you want to be. Here are some questions that you might ask yourself.
- What are the most common elements in my fantasies of the future?
- Does money matter to me? Does recognition matter to me?
- Who do I admire? What are their biggest strengths or personality traits? Why do I admire them? Can I emulate them?
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. If you dream of saving orphans in third-world countries, you aren't going to care about money. On the other hand, if you dream of comfortably providing for your family and never having to struggle with bills, salary is going to matter to you. The most important thing is that you're honest with yourself about what you want.
What is the price that you need to pay?
Once you've determined who you want to be, it's time to figure out how you can create that person from the ashes of your old life.
This might involve a certain measure of sacrifice. It might involve spending money, quitting your job, starting a new job, going back to school, overcoming old weaknesses or cutting off bad influences. It might involve risks. Some of these risks might not work out.
At the end of the day, however, you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. You can't build a new house without getting a few splinters under your nails. Everything has a price, and the "old you" has to die before the "new you" can take its place.
Dream about who you want to be.
Dreaming can be one of your biggest tools against self-doubt. It can also help to motivate you for hitting the gym or working through the night even when you don't feel like it.
You see, a good dream isn't just a fantasy. It's a finish line. It's something that you strive to reach even when your lungs are burning with the effort of getting through the course.
Having the right kind of dream can make all of the difference in the success of your goals. For this reason, if your current dreams aren't inspiring you to swing your feet on the floor every morning, they aren't good enough to sustain you in the long run. Think about finding or creating new ones.
Look at the current and new you.
This is another step that might be a bit painful. However, trust me when I say that it's necessary.
Look at the "current you." What are your flaws? What are your weaknesses? What's holding you back from having everything that you want?
Think about the "new you" or "future you." What measures are you taking for a brighter, happier life? What faults have you shed along with your old skin? What's the biggest difference between the older and newer versions of yourself?
This step is basically self-reflection. It might not be the easiest thing that you've ever done, especially if you're full of regrets about the way that the "old you" used to live. But think of it like ripping off a band-aid. In the end, you'll be glad that you did it.
Pursue the "new you."
We've talked a lot about envisioning the future. The final step is actually turning those visions into reality.
Showing up is half of the battle. Even if you aren't a star student, you should still do your homework; even if your business doesn't take off right away, you should still keep your doors open.
Building a new life for yourself will take time. It won't happen overnight. Despite any setbacks that you might experience, you'll need to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Slow progress on the right track is better than no progress at all.
Here's my final word.
I'll be the first one to admit that changing your life isn't easy. However, it'll be worth the effort. It'll be worth the pain of self-reflection, the fire of newfound determination and the grit of hard work as you strive for a better future.
The "new you" is within you. It's there right now. Can you feel it? All you have to do is crack open your old shell and let it free.