10 WAYS TO ANSWER HOW DO I GET WHERE I WANT TO BE IN LIFE? THAT ANYONE CAN DO

Updated: Dec 9, 2019


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“Everything small is just a small version of something big! I understand everything!”


–Finn the Human, Adventure Time


I love this quote SO MUCH because it always gives me hope when I think about my work.


My current work is just a smaller version of the something bigger I hope to achieve.


At some point in all of our lives, we realize that where we are is a million miles from where we want to be.


We know this because where we are is the polar opposite of what we want, or possibly just different enough that it never stops chafing at us. The pain of unhappiness grows and grows. Worse yet, hopelessness and depression sink in.


There have been several stages of my life where I was sure that all hope was lost. I literally didn’t even want to live anymore. Sometimes I knew what I wanted, but it literally seemed impossible…


But far worse were the times I had no beginnings of a clue as to what I wanted—no purpose in life, no direction to go in—it was a pit of misery and the day came when I hit bottom.


I had no reason to live because I had no purpose, no joy, no one who loved me for me, nothing to look forward to.


But the thing is…if you are alive, YOU DO HAVE A PURPOSE.


I had a purpose, even though I stopped believing I did.


Something in me knew.


And at that point, that something else took over.


Something in us still wants to live. Something in us tells us that we DO have a purpose. It's O.K. if you still don’t know what it was, it was o.k. that I didn’t know because my purpose was revealed after all kinds of exciting (and sometimes painful) things happened.


One guarantee is that our purpose is based on things that we love, some of which we haven’t even discovered yet!


“At the end of the day...Maybe home is somewhere I’m going and never have been before.”


―Warsan Shire, poet


This actually happens to a lot of people, and if you are having a dark night of the soul in the Pit of Purposelessness, I want to share with you what helped me.

And if you are doing okay, but want more out of life, if you have goals but trouble seeing them through…this is what helped me through those times as well. It’s all about small, manageable steps made over time that will…


1.) EXPAND YOUR WORLD: I came from a sheltered and isolated home. It was hard for me to know what direction to go into—my destiny seemed locked in, my possibilities limited.


You don’t know what you don’t know.


Your calling may be something you’ve never yet heard of—the world is rapidly changing! If you can go places, take trips, interview people, do it!


If you can’t (or even if you can, I still recommend this) the only way out is through: through books, through magazines, through newspaper articles, through podcasts, through your own imagination, through radio, through the internet, through Instagram, through YouTube.


Austin Kleon said it most beautifully:


“Your job is to collect ideas. The best way to collect ideas is to read. Read, read, read, read, read. Read the newspaper. Read the weather. Read the signs on the road. Read the faces of strangers. The more you read, the more you can choose to be influenced by.”


See, it’s easy to forget that not every step is as visible as every other—how many times have you missed that last one going down (a.k.a. the first one going up)?


It feels frustrating when you don’t have anything yet to show for what you are doing, all the effort and time you are spending, but a staircase needs something to attach to, and research, “collecting ideas”, is that something, the newel for your risers.


2.) UNDERSTAND THE CYCLE: Similarly, I recently read something about the cycle of creativity (creating the life you want for yourself) that had me hallelujah-ing just for sheer relatability.


I’ve spent so much of my life beating myself up for not getting more done, not being a constant over-achieving creating fiend! If this is you too, remember these words from lifestyle coach Gala Darling:


“Listen up, workaholics and overachievers! Many of us feel a sense of guilt if we’re not constantly creating, making change, demolishing all our demons and forging ahead. But in the same way that we cannot always be happy, we cannot always be creating. Life consists of cycles!"


Gala's cycle looks like this:


"Gather inspiration. I research and feed my imagination. In this phase, I’m reading a lot, listening to podcasts, taking courses, taking notes, going to therapy, [I am also looking at images, clicking links and links and links, talking to people], and investigating all the things that interest me.

Ideas percolate. This stage overlaps with the information-

gathering phase from before, but there’s a definite shift as I move more towards creating new ideas, where I start synthesizing the “collecting” and spend more time simply thought-digesting and thinking. Brainstorm!

Creation! This is my favorite part of the cycle. I write plans, break my ideas down into steps, and spend hours at coffee shops and co-working spaces [I've worked at high school football games just to be immersed in the high energy!], guzzling coffee and making something I’m excited about.

Promotion. This is that time where I start telling people about what I’m making, and it often overlaps with the creation phase. This piece of the puzzle can last a few months, so I can ensure that it reaches the right people.

Rest. By now, I am thrilled, but I am also exhausted. I need to retreat and chill as much as I can. Remember how you take savasana at the end of a yoga class? It’s so you can integrate! The same applies to your everyday life.

…And back to gathering inspiration again.


Take a moment to look at the phases of this cycle, and see where you are right now. [Youby-Doo, Where Are You?]


This cycle is not just about creativity. You can adapt it a little bit and apply it to everything in your life, from relationships to domestic situations to achieving any kind of goal."


3.) JUST DO IT: Sooooooo cliché and I know it, but seriously, once you start to have ideas, once you feel inspired…just START TRYING IT.


Not necessarily with the expectation of getting your idea of perfect results (which is unrealistic and guaranteed to disappoint you out of trying ever again), but with the humble mindset of a student. Because hands-on experience is a teacher for which there is no substitute. Finished is better than perfect. A bird in the hand is worth a flock in the sky.


Feeling scared?


YES.


This is PERFECTLY, COMPLETELY NORMAL.


Before writing this blog and taking Instagram photos, I was SO SCARED it was absolutely ridiculous and left me in do-nothing paralysis for MONTHS.


LITERALLY. Yikes.


The reason this blog exists is because once I actually started DOING, I realized that, yes, I would need to do editing, and yes, I needed a lot of practice, but it really definitely wasn’t bad. I found I loved it! The other reason this blog exists is:


4.) YOU CAN RECOGNIZE YOUR CALLING BECAUSE IT CALLS YOU: And I don’t mean it calls you like a mild craving for a fancy coffee or a glossy magazine ad for a beach vacation…I mean it CALLS YOU.


Calls you debt-collection-agency style.


It pitbull-chomps down on your consciousness and does.not.let.go.


No matter how much you procrastinate, get busy, get tired, put it off, call it impossible, talk yourself out of it, ignore it as much as possible…it hangs out in the back of your mind, nagging at you, pops up into the front of your mind at the “randomest” moments, and crazy coincidences seem to keep steering you into that direction, with doors opening in places you couldn’t even imagine.


If you really want to do THAT THING that has such a hold on you, stop fighting.


This is your sign.


DO IT.


Note: WARNING!!! If you DO NOT want to do this thing, DON’T.


I had a similar experience with an obsession about something I felt like I HAD to do, but dreaded with ALL OF MY BEING, and felt worse trapped than ever--right before my life completely changed 180 degrees around—for the better! And the HORRIBLE THING turned out to be COMPLETELY WRONG AND NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT so I never did it!


Sometimes we get put to one, last, monumental test.


Pursue happiness, always. If you are miserable, you are doing something WRONG. Misery is the guidance system of the Invisible Hand, steering us away from where we shouldn't be. Holding out just means more time wasted being miserable because resistance is ultimately futile. You will have to leave that misery at some point.