5 Ways to Find What Drives You
Yeah, we’re all going to die.
To some, the mere thought could cause a meltdown. We’re no strangers to the excuse that we don’t have enough time. Some remain unfazed, but anyone uses “lack of time” as bait. Why? It’s easy to blame for missing out on all the things we want in life to feel fulfilled.
Despite the endless conversations on death and mortality, there’s an unspoken agreement that we share an inner drive to succeed while we’re still alive.
That’s where New Year’s resolutions come in. They propel us in the supposed “right” direction for a big change with the hindsight vision that we should start at the beginning of a new year. People want to live their lives to the fullest by overachieving to reach their goals.
You want to lose 30 pounds? Start cooking all your own meals? Or buy a property by the year 2023? Simply make it your resolution, work on it for the first few weeks of January, flaunt the progress until it falls off by week four. Then, spend the next eleven months of the year wallowing in self-pity.
New Year’s resolutions don’t usually work. They tend to encourage an extreme sense of control, an overtly harsh change of routine and set unrealistic goals.
We try to cheat our way to the finish line and get lost in the process, so our progress goes unnoticed. It’s no wonder we seek immediate results.
We’ve got to take it easy and look within ourselves to uncover what drives us to achieve better results in the long term. The real question is, how do we do it?
Listed below are five ways for a more effective and healthier approach to achieve your goals for the long-term, not for that temporary clout.
1. Acknowledge our (temporary) existence as a pillar to success
Remember how chaotic Superman’s first canonical death was? Not the comic book readers nor Superman himself could’ve guessed he’d ever meet his fatal end.
His death marked an iconic and pivotal moment in pop culture that signaled the public a very simple, yet effective message: don’t get too comfortable.
Superman is an international hero and symbol of hope. He’s seen as undefeatable, untouchable and indestructible…and even he faced his doom.
When we view life as indefinite, our sensation of loss and hyper-awareness of time could drive us in ways we’d never imagined. Consider the Latin phrase, memento mori–a physical object or visual to remind us of the inevitability of death.
Procrastination refuses to exist when you don’t allow yourself a deadline and frankly, it’s a form of self-discipline that requires a lot of practice. But what’s an accomplishment without the challenge? Use your cognizance as a tool to get your head in the game.
You don’t have to feel existential to be motivated, but a harsh reminder of our limited opportunities can be beneficial in the long run. Some tough love never hurt anyone, especially when it’s in exchange for lasting payoff.
And who knows? Maybe a not-so-gentle push in the right direction could lead us to become the best possible versions of ourselves.
2. Be open-minded and get comfortable with discomfort
Don’t we all have moments where we feel ill at ease? In those instances, we might have a strong desire to walk out, run away or just quit altogether.
Your greatest fear may be a typical one like public speaking and writing exams. Or perhaps not—you may feel apprehensive about embracing bigger challenges, whether it be starting a new career or rebuilding your life from scratch in a new country.
Apprehension is undoubtedly stressful and no one likes it. Yet, it proves itself valuable if you can turn it to your advantage. We know what you’re thinking—it’s easier said than done—but hear us out.
Rather than immediately hitting the bricks, use your discomfort as an opportunity to explore a world outside of your comfort zone.
Think about it this way: if you’ve become too comfy with your routine, you won’t have any courage to partake in challenges that have the potential to stimulate your personal development. Consequently, you’ll feel like your life is stagnant.
For this reason, take matters into your own hands. Start by progressively experimenting with the things that cause you unease.
How? First thing’s first, detect what makes you uncomfortable and analyze the core issue at stake. Then, give yourself time to ponder over it and find ways to smooth your path towards the challenge. At last, confront your discomfort and dive right in.
Open-mindedness could pave the way for better things in life!
3. Crown a romantic symbolic figure to use as a driving force
Romanticism is the belief of embracing subjectivity, tangible or intangible. And as flawed human beings, we possess this inherent competitive nature in which we stress on making impressions, specifically for our objects of affection. Simply put, we all need an image to steer the drive.
During the 18th century Romantic period, civilians needed a symbol of hope that manifested itself as willpower. Timeless and relevant works of art were the product of turbulent emotions due to the influence of Rousseau’s romantics.
Romanticization might be an exaggerated perspective, but it’s most certainly an effective one. For instance, Beethoven’s supposed “immortal beloved” Josephine Brunsvik, was his muse. Without her, one of the world’s most renowned love letters would cease to exist.
The point is, romance surfaces an unconditional desire that propels us to impossible heights.
Through all this romantic talk comes a solid piece of advice: try to find something that signifies positivity or goodness in your life and run with it.
Your muse could be a pet, a late or living family member, a historical legend or even a fictional concept. The concept of an inspiring figure instills a passion that could transform itself into something bigger than you. All that’s left to do is take the reins.
Or instead of framing it as a resolution, try different goal-setting techniques…
4. Forget New Year’s resolutions…you need a New Year’s mantra
If you made it this far, you are well aware that the new year, new me motto is very real in the New Year. Surely, those in your surroundings are now setting their goals for the year ahead—many of which are unrealistic, exaggerated and unattainable.
Whether you’re the type that considers the objective-setting process stressful, perceives it as deceptive or doesn’t believe in New Year’s resolutions—don’t stress, we’ve got you covered!
If you want to lose that 30 pounds or become a homeowner before the clock ticks down to 2023, turn your goal into a mantra for the year!
Aim for an annual theme and stick to a broad thematic scope to help you achieve without feeling much distress. Keep it practical, feasible and avoid the hyper-focused approach.
Wondering how to proceed? Once you determine your overall theme—that could be health, wealth or happiness, among other things you’d want to improve on—identify where you’re lacking and follow-up on your progress over the course of the year.
At times, we can all benefit from a subtle nudge that feels a lot more natural and much less harrowing.
5. Take small steps and (slowly but surely) work your way up
Should the first day for improvement be January 1st? Many will answer in the negative, arguing that it’s just another day.
And frankly, it is.
Rather than waiting for a specific moment, strive for annual self-progression. Any day of the year can be the start date!
If you have a precise goal in mind that you seek to achieve, take the first step once you feel ready and, most importantly, start off small.
Still insist on losing 30 pounds? You don’t need to begin with training at the gym day in and day out. Take it one step at a time with shorter and simpler workouts.
Want to cut down on sugar and eat healthy? You don’t need to quit cold turkey. Instead, set weekly or monthly objectives by introducing small changes to your diet.
Then, you can gradually take bigger steps. For example, if the at-home workouts are not doing the job anymore, you can consider getting your gym membership and set more regular training sessions.
Start off the 2022 progress right and normalize the slow and steady. After all, they’re the ones who win the race. With this mindset, you can turn your smaller goals into habits and allow yourself time to see a bigger change.
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About the Authors
Mila specializes in content and copywriting at Third Wunder. As a multi-faceted creative, Mila uses her ability to connect through her unique observational skills to enhance a brand’s voice. She transforms visions by translating them into words for their target audience, catered to each client’s individual needs to express themselves the way they deserve.
Seeba specializes in copywriting, copyediting, and UX research and usability testing. She uses her expertise, combined with her other professional experiences, to conduct web audits, write content for the web, and provide recommendations to improve digital marketing strategies and content strategies.