“Be all that you can be, and be the best that you can be,” they say. It’s not always easy, is it?
Whether or not you are happy with your life in general, there are probably at least a few things that you would like to improve. And probably you aspire to something deeper and more meaningful.
We all have problems, but we all also have the ability to change.
It is just sometimes hard to know where to start. “What Really Makes You Tick?” Here’s a few questions that should help you understand yourself and your motivations better.
So, take a sheet of paper right now and start to write down the answers to the following 10 questions. When you have completed your answers fully, you will find that you see ‘yourself’ much more clearly.
1. What do I really want?
A lot of the time, we spend our time chasing after things that are not really important to us.
I heard a metaphor once demonstrating how this works. A worker climbs a ladder, only to get to the top and learns that he placed the ladder against the wrong wall. He spends all his energy climbing to the top and arrives at the wrong destination because he didn’t look ahead and plan properly.
At work, we are taught that we should not spend all our time on the little things that constantly pop up to distract us, but that we need to keep the big picture in mind.
In our lives away from work, we often do not even take the same time to ask ourselves what the big picture is for us. What do you REALLY want? What is your big picture for your life?
2. What will I regret?
Most of us don’t like thinking about old age and death, but it can be useful to remember that these things are going to happen to us one day eventually. Start at the end and look back. Assuming that all things remain equal and you do not change anything, how will your life turn out?
Imagine that you are very, very old. Look back on the memories of your life. What will you be glad you did? What will you regret not having done? Could you do more of those things right now, plan to do more in the near future??
3. What will I NOT regret?
If you have problems with any kind of bad habit or addiction, it can help to repeat that last exercise in a different way. There are probably some things you want right now that you know will not be good for you.
Again, imagine you are very, very old and nearing death. If you don’t have that extra cigarette, donut, or drink will you regret it? Will you look back on your life and think, “Ah, shucks, I wish I’d had that extra donut back then ..”? I don’t think so! What do you want to remove from your life?
4. Am I comfortable with what I’m doing?
There’s the easy way and the right way when it comes to deciding which path we are going to take. Often, the easy way is not the best way. Have you drifted into a life situation that you are not really comfortable with?
Now could be the moment to change. Look inward and examine just where your life is heading if you don’t change anything. If you are not comfortable with the answer, ask yourself, how can I make it better, what would I be more comfortable with?
5. Have I done enough for myself?
When we are young, we have a lot of dreams. Some of them we make come true, others we forget about. Are there any old dreams hanging around at the back of your mind, things you wish you could do, or would do if you could start over?
Maybe you can still make some of those things happen in the time that you have left. It is never too late to begin anew.
6. What am I happy with in my life today?
Until now, we have focused on change. Now is the time to sit down and think about what you are glad of having in your life. See the positive in your relationships, your work life, your achievements.
Sometimes, when we set out on a course of self improvement, we make the mistake of changing things that really don’t need to be changed. Don’t make that mistake. Ask yourself about all the good things you have and how you could bring more of it into your life.
7. Am I attractive?
If we feel attractive, we usually feel better. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how your genes have turned out, you can always make the best of yourself. Shape up, change the way you wear your clothes or hair, and just smile.
It will make a huge improvement in your day. This question has nothing to do with how society looks at general attractiveness in appearance, it has everything to do with how you are using what you have been given to work with.
8. How much could I have?
We often hold ourselves back from getting what we really want because we feel we don’t deserve it. Sometimes we even attempt to sabotage our own efforts because we have self esteem issues.
Tell yourself you deserve to have all the good things that there are available in life.
Demand from yourself the effort and time necessary to realize your full potential.
Then visualize yourself having everything that you desire – and more. That a joyful life is right now within your grasp.
9. What motivates me?
We tend to think that we are motivated externally. The opposite is in fact true, our strongest motivations come from inside.
Some of us are very strongly motivated by our fears. In fact, most people are much more motivated to avoid what they don’t want, rather than to attain what they do want.
Think about your fears – are they pushing you in the right direction, or keeping you from what you really want?
Write down your fears and think about how you can use them to successfully negotiate your life’s chosen path. Remember that courage is not the absence of fear, but moving forward in spite of it.
10. What Really Makes Me Tick?
What really gets me going? Am I motivated more powerfully from my fears or from my desires? And, how can I use both of these to empower me to get what I want?
Negative or positive motivations are both powerful and can move you forward as long as you realize what they are and how to make the best use of them.
So? What really does make you tick?
You can be just about anything you want to be. Having worked through this exercise, you should have a clear idea of what that is.
Remember, self improvement is something that nobody else can do for you. It can’t be delegated or outsourced. You have to make the moves yourself. And it has to come from deep in your soul…