How do I know #what I want to #do in #life?
The other day I was talking to a friend about my blog when she suddenly asked me if this is what I really wanted to do in life?!--and the answer was a spontaneous 'yes!'. But I must confess that it has taken me several years of working on my own self, discovering my needs and aspirations and even experimenting with different kinds of vocations, to arrive at a point when I can truthfully say that my work brings me the greatest joy possible and for the first time in my life, I am truly happy with what I am doing. I am also aware that as we evolve and grow our needs change to the degree change has taken place in our consciousness and perhaps in a few years time, having outgrown my present desires, I may want to do something else, which may yet be only another door opening to the fulfillment of my destiny and my dreams.
So whether it is deciding between a single, married or a monastic life or finding the right kind of job, how do I know the choices that I make are the right ones for me? As I said earlier, it has taken me several years to figure that one out and hopefully the points that I have illustrated below from my own experiences, will help you in deciding the best path for you.
1. Do not give into momentary impulses, neither miss out on an opportunity!
It is true that hasty decisions and impulsive actions almost always result in making wrong choices but at the same time do not wait long enough so that you miss out on an opportunity. Usually, it is always a difficult task to decide which way to go but if you see yourself becoming lazy, jump up and spring into action because there is nothing worse than laziness to destroy potential and inhibit growth. On the other hand, when you get really emotionally excited about something be it a job or the 'cute girl/guy you met on the train', for your own sake, it is a good thing to step back and wait till the emotions go back to feeling normal again before you make any decision.
2. Be sure your motives are right!
Having the right motive in everything is the key to attracting success and happiness in life. Before deciding on a career or a life-partner, analyze your thoughts and check whether your motives are sincere and honest. For eg, you love traveling and are offered a job that involves a lot of travel to all the great places you would like to go to but honestly you don't like the job itself; if your motive is right, you won't take up the job! In whatever you do, ask yourself the question why and the right answer will present itself to you.
3. Live in the moment while planning ahead-are you pragmatic or idealistic?
Sometimes we need to be more pragmatic than idealistic and take up a job that pays our bills, even though it may not be the right one for us. In such cases, you may want to take up as a hobby what you really like to do and keep on searching for the right job for you. The one thing you don't want to do is to get into a comfort zone with the money factor so that the job kills all initiative in you for progress and you loose interest in looking for or creating what could have been an ideal situation for you in life.
4. View all experiences positively
Usually people refer to a process of trial and error to find out exactly what one should do in life but for me there is nothing called error--you might be in a job which is not suited to your tastes and temperament, but at the same time it might be giving you something or adding to your personality or character some quality which is important for your own growth and understanding and through which you will discover your own true vocation in life.
5. Use scientific affirmations to find out what you want!
Scientific Healing Affirmations by Paramahansa Yogananda is one of the best books I have ever read, to train the mind to think positively and create success at will. It offers some great scientific techniques and methods that aid in creating material abundance and help in physical healing. Get your copy now!
6. Meditate and follow your inner voice
This is perhaps one of the most important points. Meditation helps you get in connection with your higher Self and identify your needs and aspirations. It helps free the mind of clutter so you can think with clarity about the best plan for your life. As you start meditating regularly, your intuition increases and you are able to perceive more clearly what plan of action to follow.
7. Observe your thoughts and feelings during the day
Before deciding on anything important, take time to observe what kind of thoughts and feelings you are having--in other words play witness to your own mind. You may want to go on a retreat, where you can be more in silence to practice this. Sometimes, such retreats can be life-changing and put you back on track if you are going off-course!
8. Make sure what you choose is in sync with your temperament
It is important to know what kind of personality we have because we want to make sure that our temperaments are suited to the kind of life we are living. Are you an extrovert, introvert or ambivert?--figuring this out will help you decide better.
9. Being content in your choice of life
A friend of mine was considering joining the monastery and in his counseling with the head monk there, he was asked the question whether being a monk was the only kind of life he could live? If he thought that he could be happy living another kind of life, then the monastery was not the place for him. Similarly, if we haven't found that which gives us complete contentment, we should go on searching believing that whatever we are doing presently in life, will one day lead us to our highest goal. Also, we want to make sure that the choices we are making in life are not out of any kind of pressure we are facing from our parents, friends or relatives. One day they will all be gone and you will be left with your choice in life!
10. Live your dream and don't get tempted by bigger pay-checks!
I remember my German professor at the Goethe Institute in Munich tell us in class about how several years ago, he was made the director of the institute. It was a high position with a bigger pay-check but he didn't enjoy what he was doing and missed teaching and being with the students! So he went back to being a professor even though it paid less but here he was actually doing what he wanted to do-he was happy and enjoying life!