It’s that time of year again: the time when chirpy little annoying articles everywhere say it’s the end of winter and we need to get ready to reinvent ourselves for spring!! Ooo what fun!!
The pandemic is hopefully ending, and you do want change but why is figuring out what you want next so very hard?
Everyone seems so enthusiastic about it: “Find Your 2022 Vision!” “Get Your Plans On Track!” “Buckle Down and Rev Up Your Goals!!” “Turn Your Passion Into Money!” “How To Get EVERYTHING You Want By March 30th!!!!!!”
But what if you don’t know what you want???
Everyone’s talking about focusing on what matters most…. But what if you just want to find something that you’re excited about but have no idea whatsoever what the hell that is?
What if everything, post-COVID, has fallen apart?
What if you’ve outgrown everything you used to love?
What if you’re no longer able to actually do what you love?
What if you’re feeling, oh, say, a little dead inside???
Here’s How To Suss Out What You Are Excited About and Could Possibly Grow To Have A Passion For…
Or simply some good questions to get your brain going in a new direction rather than the “Damn, I have no freakin’ idea what I want” mind-loop.
Just grab a journal, phone writing app or piece of paper and have at it. No rules. All answers are acceptable. There are a ton of questions below and you can do this over time, not all at once if that helps. If you want to skip some and jump ahead, of course feel free! Here we go:
- Who do you love to spend time with?
- What do you hate?
- What do you refuse to do any more?!!
- Who will you NOT do anything with ever-the-hell again??
- When does time stand still for you?
- What gives you meaning and purpose, like on a deep level?
- When did you feel proud?
- When did you feel uncertain?
- When did you feel like a complete schmuck?
- Who makes you feel smart and clever and funny?
- Who makes you feel brilliant and mature and wise and a badass?
- Name 10 things you are great at:
- Name 2 things you completely suck at but wish you didn’t:
- Name 2 more things you suck at and just could not give two shits about those things anyway:
- When do you feel secure?
- When do you feel totally insecure?
- When do you feel on fire and alive?
- When do you feel scared but excited?
- When and why do you jump out of bed in the morning?
- What are you amazing at?
- What seems like a complete waste of time?
- Where do you physically love to be on this earth?
- What kind of environment do you thrive in?
- What hurts your body?
- What makes you want to run screaming from the room?
- Do you want to spend time alone or with others or both? When and why?
- If you had a year to live, what would you do? (An oldie but a goodie.)
- If money were no object, what would you change?
- What have you been waiting all this time for?
- If you could wave a magic wand, what would you make happen?
- When this year did you feel most rested?
- When did you feel most relieved?
- What’s something you have always wanted to learn?
- What’s something everyone tells you you’re good at?
- Do you care?
- What’s something NO ONE tells you you’re good at but you so desperately wish you were?
- How much does money matter? Why?
- Name a time when you were blissful and money wasn’t part of the equation:
- Name the one thing your parents remember you did when you were little for hours and hours and they just couldn’t get you to stop:
- Remember a photo of yourself in a ridiculous outfit from around age 5-7. What were you wearing?
- What were you for Halloween when you were a kid? List at least 5 different years:
- What were you last year?
- Who was a boss or teacher you were totally impressed by and connected to?
- What was it about them that you were drawn to?
- What are people drawn to in you? If you don’t know, ask someone!
- Draw your dream house and who’s in it. Don’t think, just draw quickly. See who and what magically shows up.
- What movie just totally lit you up in the last few months?
- What movie character crush do you have from a recent film? Let’s imagine for a minute that the character is actually you: What characteristics in that character do you really wish you had yourself?
- Judge your friends. Right now. Judge the crap out of them. What do they have that you want? Even the things you judge them for… maybe you actually want those things?
- Think of a rom-com you love. What is it about the relationship that you crave somewhere in your life? Is there someone that looks at you like that? It doesn’t have to be romantic. Who is it? Is there someone you look at like that?
- Can you spend more time with people you are enamored with? Who?
- If you were going to change your hair or wardrobe drastically and could switch back immediately if you wanted to (magically) what would you change it to?
- If there was someone you never had to speak to again, EVER, who would that be?
- If there were a thought you never had to have again, what would that be?
- If there were a thought you could wake up to every morning, what would that be?
- What question or questions am I not asking you that would help you? Add some of your own!
I think the thing that’s tricky about all this life stuff is that we are never really done. It would be brilliant, wouldn’t it, if we could just wake up one day and be like, “THIS!” and then just stop! Hold onto it forever, totally satisfied. If we could just one day find ourselves grounded, impressively smart, well-loved, financially abundant, and with a body that never hurts and looks great in anything. But everything changes and there are always new fun surprises like pandemics and down-sizing and crazy politicians and bad knees. So we have to adjust, reinvent, get pissed off perhaps and resist like hell, but also figure out what happens next.
And what you want will change over and over and over. So we either cling to the ledge of the past and break our nails in the process, or we can accept that everything changes and learn to maybe even enjoy the process of being lost a little bit as we figure it all out.
I vote: play. Try stuff. Do new things. Experiment. Go down a wacky road for a bit. Confuse your family. And see what’s at the other end. And then… a few months or years later, do it again. If it becomes a habit to ask the above questions, your life will become more rich and fascinating rather than staying stuck. And your knees will thank you.
Katie Goodman is an award-winning musical comic, director, actress, author, speaker, and activist. Pretty similar to say, Gandhi. She has been seen on Showtime, Impractical Jokers, and she received a Time Out New York Critic’s Pick for Best Cabaret. Her political satire show “Broad Comedy” has toured internationally and her videos have amassed 3 million views. Katie and her husband Soren were nominated for the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant for their work in theatre.www.KatieGoodman.com
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