Where do I want to go?
As human beings, we are capable of philosophizing about ourselves. But we make too little use of this gift, given to us by evolution. Instead, we are guided by our urges and emotions or by zeal and vanity. We let ourselves be led by the world around us, what others are thinking. This is why we are trapped in the moment, because we ask ourselves one question too few: Where do I want to go?
Pick up the reins
Where do I want to go? Or How do I want to live? What is my ideal self? If you don’t formulate answers for yourself to these questions, you give up your freedom. And then you sail a course determined by wind, current or the emotions of the moment, rather than desire or longing. There is then no one at the steering wheel of your life. Instead, you make yourself dependent on two forces. These are symbolized by Plato as the unruly horse and the zealous horse. Thus, you forget to take the reins. And without a charioteer to pick up the reins, you are not led to your desired destination. Without a charioteer, you arrive at a destination later, look around and wonder: do I want to be here?
Exercises and activities
How can you ensure that later you arrive at a destination where you want to be, where you enjoy working and that suits who you are now? The questions, exercises and activities below will help you become more aware of where you want to lead yourself.
- Imagine yourself past the age of eighty, looking back on your life. What have you accomplished? What are you proud of? How have you lived? This is not about predictable things like being a good partner, parent, neighbor, etc. It is about what you have personally wanted for yourself and what comes from your specific individuality.
- Explore your curiosity. What makes you curious? What do you find interesting? What would you like to know more about?
- Or examine your annoyances and irritations. What do you want to be different in the world? What would you like to change? What do you want to get involved in?
- Make a drawing or collage of your own future. What does the environment look like where you will be?
- Go through your curriculum vitae and examine which activities energized you and which consumed your energy. Put these in a row and analyze them. As a rule, you would like to do more of the activities that give you energy and less of those that consume it. Research the underlying essence. Where do the activities that give you energy lead or have led to?
- Examine the doubts you have about reaching your ideal image. Do you (still) believe in the path you are on or do you have doubts? Or have you given up and, if so, why?
- On my website is a listening exercise (in Dutch only) to reflect on the question, “Where do I want to go?” Several questions will be asked to help you examine yourself. Have pen and paper handy to jot down your thoughts after listening. Stop the exercise to reflect longer on a question and to make brief notes of your thoughts, if necessary. After the exercise, take the time to write down your thoughts and notes made more extensively.
Ingredients for your recipe
Perhaps you have your own exercises or activities that have proven in the past to help you explore how you want to live and where you want to go. I invite you to write these down. All the exercises and activities that help you better describe the dot on the horizon are important ingredients for you in the recipe to grow as a human being.
The reward for a good examination of the question Where do I want to go?
- A clear picture of your future;
- A sense of direction and belief in the path you have chosen;
- Assertiveness and ambition in the sense that you keep your own goals in mind;
- Drive to work towards achieving your goals;
- Tenacity and steadfastness, you don’t give up on your goals easily;
- You can motivate yourself to get moving.
Info – Quickscan – Book
How good are you at answering the question Where do I want to go? Take my Quickscan and I’ll get back to you!
Introduction or ordering Excelling in Freedom | A Recipe for Personal Development via website.
Series on Being Good
When are you a good person? Inspired by Plato, Hartman and evolution, I described my answer to this question in my book Excelling in Freedom | A Recipe for Personal Development. To become, be or remain good, I have formulated six questions. And the six questions are important to develop personally into a good person. Or, that help you stay good. So that you can lead your own life and make a meaningful contribution to the world. These questions, plus exercises and activities, are addressed one by one in the article series: Being Good.