If we think about it, we rarely ask for what we want. I mean what we really want. If we are being completely truthful with ourselves, we would never doubt ourselves and would be honoring exactly what we want most to do in every moment. Instead we live a life based on shoulds instead of wants.
Some shoulds that most people have are: I should work more than 40 hour weeks. I should exercise more. I should lose weight. I should get an advanced degree and become a doctor, accountant, or lawyer. I should stay at this job even when I’m not fulfilled. I should, I should, I should. You must not do something simply because someone else chose it for you. Your life is too important to live it based on a should.
How do we get from our shoulds to our authentic wants or desires? Begin to be aware whether what you are asking for is what you really want. Next, it’s important to continue practicing asking for what you want, whether small or large wants. For example, some little things you can ask for at work are, I want to leave early from work today, I want to take a 90 minute lunch, I want someone else to do the administrative tasks.
If you aren’t clear on what you want, then your mind will be clouded with shoulds. Thus, you will have more hurdles to surmount to get what you want. Even when you do work that you enjoy or love, you may still have that nagging feeling that you’re not doing what you should be doing based on family, culture, community, society, peers and teachers. When you take the time to clarify what you want, however, you’re more likely to clearly ask for it and get it. In the end, the only thing you “should” be doing is whatever gives you the greatest amount of passion!
Recognize that to be happy, you must live the life that you truly want to live. It’s your life and you are the only one who can truly determine what is right for you. There is no tragedy in shooting for your dreams; the tragedy is in looking back on your life and saying “I wish I’d ?”. Georgia Anne Geyer said, “Follow what you love. Don’t deign to ask what “they” are looking for out there. Ask what you have inside. Follow not your interests, which change, but what you are and what you love…”