What Do You Actually Want?

What Do You Actually Want?

What is it you actually want from this one wild and precious life? Do you know? It’s most common for my new clients to answer, “I don’t know” or “I haven’t really thought about it” or “I just want to be happy”. But if you don’t know what that looks like, then how will you know when you get there? 

Often knowing what you want is really difficult because we are told throughout our lives to “be realistic” or a straightforward “no, you can’t do that”, which makes even dreaming seem futile in some instances. But this is your life, you get to reconstruct it in any way that you want to. 

I have found that it is often easier for clients to tell me what they don’t want and then to build what they really do want from there. Identifying what you don’t want is easiest because we know what we don’t like to feel, and often the things we don’t want make us feel a certain way. For example, you no longer want to work for a manager who micro-manages your efforts but gives you no real responsibility because it makes you feel controlled and insignificant and you don’t like it. 

When you take the time to think it through and be introspective, not wanting to be controlled and feel insignificant could translate into wanting a promotion, wanting a role with less supervision or it could be that you want to be the boss of your own enterprise. 

What we do want is related to emotions and while “I just want to be happy” seems like a noble goal on the surface, it isn’t a great goal because you cannot measure it or determine its success, other than by a fleeting moment of emotion, which may or may not repeat if you can replicate the cause. 

As you embark on this journey of discovery, you don’t need to know exactly what you want to do with the rest of your career, you just need to know that you want something different and you want it now, or you at least want to start now. There’s no point for putting it off any longer is there? 


Get your journal and a beverage, get comfortable and answer these questions without editing yourself: 

  • Do you know what you don’t want from your career and your life in general? Create a list of the things you don’t want anymore and then prioritise them according to those you can no longer tolerate and how much you want to get rid of it. 
  • How do can you fix it?
  • Put yourself first – what else would you be doing if you didn’t have responsibilities i.e. were less risk averse?
  • Is your risk aversion realistic?
  • What DO you want?
  • What must I do to achieve it? 
  • How would it feel to have it?


Now, review your notes. What stands out for you? Are you any clearer? Do you still have questions? You can either keep writing and dig deeper to better understand what you are looking for, or you can book a discovery session with me and we can look at what I can do for you, to help you get clear on what you really want.  

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