The Risk of Just Doing What You’re ‘Supposed’ To Do
Happiness and having a ‘good, successful life’ is modelled for us everywhere. Whether it be by someone close to us, a role model, or a fictional character, we gather our information about what the ingredients to a happy life look like from many different sources. If you don’t take a moment to pause and ask ‘why’, there is the risk that you might fall into a formula for a ‘happy life’ that was prescribed FOR you instead of created BY you.
Try this…jot down three of the biggest goals that you currently have. Once you have them down, I want you to ask yourself why you have set those goals. Ask yourself ‘why’ for each one. They might be rooted in multiple reasons or maybe just a couple standout ones. Begin to question where those goals came from — if they come from what you really value or perhaps, from what someone or something else values. Could these be things that you feel you ‘should’ or ‘have’ to do?
The biggest red flag for me would be if you hear yourself using words like ‘should’ or ‘have to’ instead of ‘want’ or ‘desire’.
Part of this time in your life — the quarter life period — is to question what you’ve signed up for. Ask yourself what you want. For most of us, the truest answers are hard to come by and for them to be uncovered, it requires deep personal work.
My top three recommendations for getting in touch with what YOU want are:
Take a solo trip
This one isn’t for everyone, but if you can swing it, even a weekend on your own (even a staycation!) is a great way to quiet the outside world and dig into asking yourself what you really want your own unique path to look like.
Expose yourself to NEWNESS
If you’ve only seen one path to success modelled for you your entire life, of course you’re going to think it’s the only way. Leave your house, sign up for events, talk to random people, ask LOTS of questions, and get curious about how others got to where they are. Discover at least three different paths to ‘success’ and reflect on them.
Figure out how your actions translate into values
Often what you care about is modelled through your own actions. Write down what you do every day, what you spend most of your money on, what you think about, talk about, dream about. Draw themes from these lists and uncover your values. Come back to these values when you’re facing a decision, and if it isn’t aligned, question it. Just because it’s the right fit for what may seem like the majority of people, doesn’t mean it’s right for you.
I like to imagine a conventional life and conventional success as if it were flipped on it’s head. Imagine if every ingredient to the happy life we see portrayed were the exact opposite. The widely accepted path to success works for some quite well while others look in on it and wonder why it doesn’t feel right for them. It’s okay to feel that way — you’re more courageous for realizing it and doing something about it.
Consider your options based on you and your happiness! This is your one life and you get to choose.
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Brittany is the driving force behind The Courage Collective, a personal coaching service and blog for millennials and young people alike. It’s courage for your quarter life. This initiative and company has been her heart work over the past year. Connect with Britt on Instagram: @brittkathrynn