Health and Wellbeing, My head

Do you know what you want?

April 8, 2015

do you know what you want?

A young man on Humans Of New York caught my mind with this recently –

“Many years ago I had a martial arts master from Korea. It was just like in the movies—he’d make me do crazy things like carry buckets of water up flights of stairs. He was very unaccepting of apathy. I was young at the time, so when he’d asked me a question, I’d often answer by shrugging, or saying ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I guess.’ Then one day, he told me: ‘You never give me straight answer. Your life is too complicate. I make simple for you. Do you want to be weak or strong?’
I said, ‘Strong.’
‘Do you want to be slow or fast?’
‘Fast.’
‘Do you want to be smart or stupid?’
‘Smart.’
‘Do you want to be alive or dead?’
‘Alive.’
‘You shrug one more time, you’ll want to be dead.’”

So often we know we want something but we don’t quite know what it is, or if we do, we don’t quite know how to do it.

We humans are born fairly useless. Compared to all of these beautiful, instinctual creatures that walk and hunt within hours of arriving in the world, we are pretty much useless for a few years…. and then, we only really get great at stuff if we mimic, and learn and study and practice, practice, practice.

When I tell people I now write for a living many reply that they want to write a book, or start a blog, but they just don’t know how. Or they can’t decide what they want to do exactly.

While I started with no plan whatsoever, and I would thoroughly tell anyone to simply begin heading in the direction you think you want to go, I will also say if you don’t know what you want, how can you achieve it?

I knew I wanted to write, and I knew getting paid for it would be amazeballs, but I had no idea what the rest of the picture would or could look like.

Pinpointing what your passion, or identifying the source of your dissatisfaction, may not come easily at first, but instead of continuing to put off doing SOMETHING and allowing satisfaction to slip further from your grasp, maybe your should just begin now.

If you start something and decide it’s not your thang, and subsequently quit it that is not failing. That is stopping because it doesn’t float your boat, or you’ve realised that it isn’t ultimately what you want.

I’ve done that a million times.

do you know what you want?

I found this on my friend Talking Frankly’s instagram feed. Perfect.

And I gained a wealth of experience that creates the intricate jigsaw of abilities and knowledge that make up the picture of my skill set.

If you start and it morphs into a different direction and you end up on a totally different track, that’s awesome because you’ve been a brave explorer discovering new lands.

If you think you’re too old to start reaching for a dream, in five years time, you will just be 5 years older and still no closer to satisfying your yearning heart, so age is really not a valid reason to wait.

Too busy is a totally valid one, but life never truly slows to a pace where you can fit more in, but when you take something you love on, time seems to be created. It’s a strange phenomenon about the elasticity of time.

If it’s your career that shitting you but you don’t feel you can pack it in and start afresh, you needn’t run away and join the circus and shun all responsibility. You could find a casual way to dip your toe into new waters. A weekend cooking or writing course, an amateur drama society, tango or sailing lessons once a week.

If it’s your relationship that you feel isn’t satisfying you, you need to first work out if the issue is just your underlying dissatisfaction or does your relationship need some help? We get in ruts, in our entire lives, and suddenly everything feels like Groundhog Day….. so again, I ask –

Do you know what you want?

I received a response from my newsletter (have you signed up – you totally should) saying it made her want to be a bit braver.

How awesome is that?

I asked her what that would look like….. Her answer made me smile and it’s her answer not really mine to share, but it made want to ask you guys do you know what you want?

Do you know how to get it? If you were to be a bit braver, what would that look like?

I believe in just making a start and working out the details as you go, otherwise you can get bogged in the details and you never end up starting anything.

So today I want to say be brave.

Be brave and just do it.

And don’t stop doing it until you’ve achieved what you want.

 

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14 Comments

  • Reply raphaela April 8, 2015 at 7:57 am

    You inspire me!

    • Reply Danielle April 8, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      so what are you going to do??

  • Reply Genie April 8, 2015 at 8:47 am

    I want to be all the things!

    My problem is that I browse online and find so many people that are way more talented than I am. It makes me feel like a fraud. It’s a little ridiculous because there’s enough work to go around and not everyone wants the next rockstar writer/designer/photographer.

    I’ve been meaning to get my photos together to form a portfolio because I’d love to make money as a photographer on the side of my freelance design stuff. But then the other day I was talking to a photographer acquaintance and I just felt like so much of try hard noob I chickened out. I didn’t even have the guts to tell her I wanted to be a professional photographer too.

    I have put hundreds of hours of practice into photography and thousands into post-editing. I need to accept that the practice I’ve put in qualifies me.

    Practice, grow, practice.

    • Reply Danielle April 8, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Dude, I still feel like a fraud every single job!! Fake it till you make. You’re a great photographer. All that practice plus a creative eye definitely means a lot!

  • Reply Glen April 8, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Fantastic article Danielle. It is so easy to be continually in a holding pattern because we have not confirmed the first step of our dream/goal. We waste so much valuable time from lack of confidence.The first acknowledgement is always simple to sidestep as then comes the commitment and hard work. Glass half empty. The reward and satisfaction of achievement, glass half full. My Dad used to say, give it everything you’ve got. The only failure is in not having a go. My euphoric moment of arranging music came at 65 when my neighbours asked us to research and arrange music for freestyle dressage for their horse. It was a huge honour, and I’ve never had so much fun. I was euphoric and they squealed with delight…..so it is never too late.
    Great article, very revealing go Girlfriend!

  • Reply Shell Parsons April 8, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Danielle. I LOVE THIS POST!! I have just spent the past hour and a half working on my first novel. I’ve now got the grand total of 10,557 words written and it’s so true what you said “when you take something you love on, time seems to be created. It’s a strange phenomenon about the elasticity of time.” I giggled my head off with the story from the guy on Humans in New York (LOVE that blog) and your quote from Talking Frankly. I adore your perspective that trying something and figuring out that it’s not for you isn’t failing but rather gaining “a wealth of experience that creates the intricate jigsaw of abilities and knowledge that make up the picture of my skill set.” and “If you start and it morphs into a different direction and you end up on a totally different track, that’s awesome because you’ve been a brave explorer discovering new lands.” What a beautiful way of looking at things. Have a fabulous day. Shell.x

    • Reply Danielle April 8, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      Go you good thing!! How awesome are you?? Well done, Shell. Keep going!!

  • Reply Sonia from Sonia Styling April 8, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    You have a way of making me want to fist pump the air and yell “HELL YEAH!” You know my dream, I’ve shared it with you. I’m quietly working away on it in my spare time, but I want to get bigger and bolder with it. This year IS the year! x

    • Reply Danielle April 8, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      this IS the year!

  • Reply [email protected] April 8, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Love this, thanks!! I have a lot of dreams to do with writing and finding something that I love to do for work. I am slowly but surely working towards them. Great to hear you’ve had success.

  • Reply San April 9, 2015 at 11:07 am

    You really reached me with this post hunny, tears and all. I am CONTINUALLY sabotaging myself with negative thoughts and projections of what OTHER people think of my work. (I am a singer/songwriter) I find if others around me , particularly in ‘the industry’ don’t get all up and blown away by my work, and let’s face it, when you do creative stuff, it’s incredibly personal to you, I lose momentum BIG TIME. I’m kinda’ ALL or nothing and will do things in fits and starts, more fits I admit. What I need to do is be BRAVE, be DISCIPLINED and NOT GIVE A FAT RAT’S CLACKA’ what I think others think of my work. It’s none of my business anyway. SO, BE BRAVE AND PRESS ON McDUFF, HELL YEAH…. sniff…

  • Reply Nicole- Champagne and Chips April 11, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    Ahhh golly. I want all the things at the moment. I can’t narrow them down, but that’s OK, it’s a nice spot to be in, to have options. I sometimes feel that because I can’t pinpoint the ‘want’ I’m not putting the ‘energy’ into it and it can’t happen. However, I am brave and I don’t settle, but keep pursuing the things that keep my spark going. So for now, just continuing on with all my things is OK, I anticipate that at some stage a path will again become clear.
    I love this: “And I gained a wealth of experience that creates the intricate jigsaw of abilities and knowledge that make up the picture of my skill set.” Whenever I get quizzical looks and an air of judgement as to why I am on my third career path already or why I’m not using my degree to make money and ‘be comfortable’. I think about my crazy, varied skill set and know that it’s all going to work out fine. Or maybe even work out awesome 🙂

    • Reply Danielle April 13, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      Yeah man, it’s all about the jigsaw puzzle. We can’t see the full picture until we get all the pieces. Keep getting those pieces, honey!

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