Do you ever feel like you are living life on someone else’s terms and not your own?
Do you ever wonder what it would feel like to take charge of your life and intentionally chart the course that you want?
It probably sounds a bit scary. Well the good news is you aren’t alone. We grow up in a society where confining ourselves to the traditional expectations of success is easier and something we don’t have to put deep thought into.
For example, the common notion is that everyone should go to college, then get a good paying job, then get a house, get married, have kids, etc.
But the truth is, not everyone wants those things and it’s OKAY.
I hate to hear stories of people who get married because it was the convenient choice, not actually because they were excited to embark on a new life journey and commitment to another person.
I hate to hear stories of people who put themselves into a hundred thousand dollars of graduate school debt because they didn’t know what to do with their lives and then they still struggle to get a job afterwards.
I hate to hear stories of people stuck in jobs they hate for 5 years after they should have left.
All this to do what? To save their pride, ego, and public appearances.
Personally, the idea I bought into the most was: MONEY = SUCCESS. Plain and simple right there. Money would get you respect, envy, buy the time and things you want, and equate to having the means to travel.
Early on, I inherited my extended family’s ambitious, go-getter attitude. After all, 50+ of them left China in the past 30 years to come work or open up chinese restaurants in America. All in pursuit of the American Dream which meant more money for them and more education opportunities for their children.
But as I moved through my early career path in Silicon Valley, it was clear that money wasn’t enough to motivate me in doing my best work and feeling fulfilled.
There were other areas of my life that were lacking besides “finances” that I hadn’t put as much thought into. These were things like: the type of environment I was putting myself in, my personal growth goals, and my overall health and wellbeing.
It hit me that “success” in life is not only monetary, but it’s also how you yourself choose to define it.
For me, I realized I wanted to spend a more meaningful use of my time impacting other people’s lives through helping them figure out their careers. I wanted to build a location independent business so that I can travel and not be stuck in one place. I wanted to always work on cultivating a strong and positive mindset.
How about you? What do you secretly want in life? Maybe secretly deep down?
To help you start reflecting on what you want, I’ve put together a list of questions to regarding the five major areas of your life which include environment, relationships, financial needs/wants, personal growth goals, and health and wellbeing goals:
What type of environment do you want?
Where do you want to work geographically? What type of work culture do you want? What type of place would you be living in (house, condo, etc.); feel free to describe it in detail?
What type of relationships do you want?
How do you want to spend time with your family and/or significant other? Do you want to start a family in the future? What type of friends do you want? How do you want to spend time with your friends? What are your social needs?
What are your financial needs/wants?
How much money do you need to earn to live off of? How much money would you ideally want to make? What other financial goals do you have (saving, giving to charity, etc.)? Do you have debt and bills you need to pay back?
What are your personal growth goals?
Which areas in your life are important to you and that you want more of? Which areas of life do you want to grow in?
What are your health and wellbeing goals?
What does healthy mean to you? Is it through exercise, nutritious food, and different habits?
Go through these 5 areas of your life of what you would minimally want and what you would ideally want in 5 years.
My hope is that you go through this exercise and have a better understanding of how you want to chart your own course in life!