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  Jane Miller


Articles -- I am the only one who knows my true goals in life

“I am willing to let go of the need to please others or live up to other’s expectations. I am ready to discover and clarify my own true goals.”

When I was a teenager, my friend and I used to play tennis without keeping score. We just played for the fun of it. Then one day, we spontaneously started to keep the ball in the air all the time, never letting it bounce on the ground. It became a high-speed (and exhilarating!) game. I remember our laughter and screams echoing in the gym as we jumped and dodged to hit the ball (dashing way out of bounds as well).

A few of our classmates looked in and shook their heads. Everyone thought we were weird. They followed the rules and played to win, but we just had fun.

My friend lived her life that way. To a large extent, she seemed to be unaware of rules. I loved her freedom and spontaneity, but I was acutely aware of the rules and so I often found myself struggling to stay just on the edge of acceptability .

It’s not surprising that most of us feel the need to be accepted and to live up to other people’s expectations. We have been judged by parents, teachers, peers, bosses, colleagues and friends all our lives. The feeling of not-good-enough haunts us and so we struggle to live up to their expectations.

But when is it time to turn inwards and ask ourselves what we would truly like to do?

Perhaps you’ve never asked yourself, “If anything was possible and I could have anything and do anything I wanted, what would I be doing? What skills would I develop? Who would I be?”

You may need to dig deep to find the answer. You will need to figure out what truly brings you happiness. What is of value to you? What gives you a sense of purpose?

Creating this picture is the first step, and no matter how far-fetched it may seem, there is a way to move towards your ideal life.

As you start, many of your friends and relatives will say you’re crazy (as mine did when I left a high-paying job and went back to university to study for a lower-paying profession). But just being on the path to your vision will bring such joy that what they say won’t matter.

Write down your craziest ideas on what you would love to be and do in your life.
Select two or three that make you feel most energized.
Write down what others would say about each of these ideas.
Write down what a supporter would use to encourage you to pursue your dream.
Write down a statement affirming your commitment to discovering and pursuing your own true goals.

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