Do you really know what you like and what you don’t like? It sounds like an easy question, but a lot of people don’t.
For a long time, I didn’t. I went along with what the people around me were doing because I didn’t want to rock the boat. I didn’t want to speak my opinion about things because I worried that it would make people not like me, or not want to hang out with me. In doing this for so long, I eventually lost myself in the process. In losing myself, I lost my life’s purpose and I lost out on my ability to help others in my own unique way. I was missing out on living my happiest life by not knowing anything about myself or what I wanted and didn’t want.
In “Three Major Questions That We Should All Ask Ourselves” I said there are a multitude of other questions that will come after those three. Below is a list of some of those questions, that, when I answered them, helped me find my way when I was feeling lost and didn’t know which way to even begin.
Learn what you like and don’t like in life overall. (Not what you think you should like, not what others tell you to like, what you actually really like.)
In the movie Mr. Deeds with Adam Sandler, Babe (played by Winona Ryder) realizes towards the end of the movie that she has never really figured out what she likes and doesn’t like in life. She spent so much time being who other people wanted her to be, that she lost herself entirely.
This is true for a lot of people. We start out with goals and dreams for our lives, and then life happens. We get into a routine and that’s where we stay. Those dreams and goals often get buried under this routine, and under other people’s expectations of us. Sometimes we remember our goals, but don’t make time for them, and sometimes we forget them all together.
To reconnect with these dreams, or to find them in the first place, it’s important that we get to know ourselves better. If we learn enough about ourselves, to know what we want and what we don’t want in life, our path becomes much clearer. We can see which steps to take next.
That doesn’t mean that we’ll always be able to see every step on our path right away. Which to some of us, is a little hard to get used to.
“As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.” – Rumi
It can take time to learn to trust the process of things. This is especially true when that process makes no sense to us. But, a lot of times, we’re asked to take a leap of faith; we’re asked to take a step without knowing exactly where that step will lead.
If you know more about what you like and don’t like, you can pursue those things that bring you joy, and it’s much easier to trust that your life’s purpose will show itself. You can move forward, and enjoy your life, rather than getting stuck, waiting until you can see every step in front of you.
In the same respect, don’t limit yourself to doing only what you can see in your immediate surroundings; or only to what you know about at this moment.
As we progress through life, we can choose to learn more and more about the world around us, and about ourselves. In doing so, new ideas arise and new pathways open up to us. If we limit ourselves to only doing those things that we can see right now, we cut ourselves off from an abundance of options.
Even if we know where we’d like to end up, we can’t always see the options that we’ll have down the road. As we move along our path, following our intuition, we will find things that can change our original ideas, if only slightly. We’ll meet people along the way that give us the chance to add something to our skillset, or to change our direction entirely.
There’s also the possibility that the way that you are supposed to use your unique gifts and talents may not even exist yet. It may be that something happens, and necessity reveals your path. Or, it could be that you have to pave your own path.
If people like Elon Musk or Walt Disney had limited themselves to only what they could see, if they hadn’t thought of new ways to do things, we wouldn’t have Disney World; we wouldn’t have any Disney movies; we wouldn’t have Tesla or Paypal; and we wouldn’t have just been able to watch SpaceX send Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station a few weeks ago. For that matter, we wouldn’t have the International Space Station.
If what you want to do in life doesn’t exist where you are currently, or doesn’t exist at all….if you can’t see a way to get your message out there yet…..don’t fret. Keep following what brings you joy, keep looking for ways to add value to the world, and your way will appear.
This all starts, with learning more about yourself.
If you don’t even know what you like and what you don’t like, it’s much more difficult to narrow down what you would be happiest doing in life.
The list of questions below will help you get started in learning more about yourself in general.
Answering them will help you to start to see those things that you enjoy doing, and weed out those things that you don’t.
If you click the link below you can download these questions for free. That way you can answer them at your own pace, and/or put your answers in a journal.
To help you get the most out of taking the time to answer them:
Don’t think too hard about your answers, but rather, let your intuition be your guide. Write down the first thing that comes up for you. Most often, that first, small, quiet voice, is our authentic self talking; before our ego or what others may think of our ideas gets in our way.
If you get stuck on a question because you can’t see yourself ever doing the thing, figure out why that is. Are you allowing yourself to dream?
If you find yourself getting upset, sad, frustrated, or bitter while you’re answering these questions, take a break and come back to them. Explore why you are feeling the way that you are. Do some Qigong exercises, or yoga, or walking, to release those emotions so they don’t get stuck.
Answering questions like this can often highlight places in our lives that we aren’t happy, and maybe haven’t been for a while. This is why we sometimes avoid thinking about questions like this. But, in taking the time to thoughtfully answer them, we can begin to release some of that old, negative energy that has been hanging around, and make room for new and better for ourselves.
Be careful not to focus on the negative aspects of the questions. Instead, find out how someone or something else can help you learn more about yourself and release any anger, frustration, or sadness surrounding the situation.
Get started today, in finding out what your happiest life would even look like. Then, you can start the process of creating it, and living it.
1) What do you like to collect and why?
2) If you could have an all-expenses paid for vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
3) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
4) When you go on vacation, do you like to go with several other people, just you and your immediate family, or just you?
5) What’s your favorite food?
6) What’s your least favorite food?
7) Do you like to cook?
8) Do you like to read?
9) What are your favorite things to read about, or magazines/websites to look at?
10) If you had to do a research project and you could choose any subject, what would it be?
11) If someone invited you to come do a radio interview about anything you love doing, what would it be about?
12) What did you love doing when you were a kid?
13) What did you want to be when you grew up?
14) What are your current hobbies?
15) What hobbies would you like to start?
16) What do you like to talk about and why?
17) What is your chosen method of communication; writing, speaking one on one, speaking to a group, etc.?
18) What types of T.V. shows do you like, movies do you like, or YouTube videos do you like?
19) What is your personality type?
20) What is your favorite way to learn; reading, videos, interactive, one on one, in a classroom setting?
21) What do you love about your life?
22) What is one thing that you would change about your life?
23) Who do you admire and why?
24) What don’t you like about other people? (Be careful not to go down the rabbit hole with this one. Just general answers. This is a way to see how you DON’T want to be, but also to show us what things we may not like about ourselves.)
25) Are you a morning person, or a night owl?
26) If you made the same amount of money no matter what you did for a living, what would you choose to do each day?
27) Do you like the beach or the mountains?
28) Do you enjoy being in the spotlight, or would you rather be behind the scenes?
29) What have you liked the most about all of the jobs that you’ve had (including your current job)?
30) How can you be of service to others?
These questions are a combination of questions that I have asked myself for clarification, questions that others have asked me, that have made me think about what I want to do/be in life, and questions that I have pulled from other people that made me think when I read them. The added questions came from Brendon Buchard’s website, Miles and Melanie Beckler’s videos, and from various people on Pinterest.