Here is a quick exercise to find new insights about the general direction of your life.
Take just 5 minutes away. Find a quiet place and sit down.
Think about the last decade of your life. Notice how your life has changed. Compare how you feel about your life 10 years ago with how you feel about your life now. Here are some specific, relevant questions to ask your self.
Whatever you are doing, did you ever aspire for it in life? Was it a strong wish, a dream to do what you are doing currently?
Maybe you are working in a respectable firm, just like the one you once dreamt working for, maybe you have a respectable title you had once dreamt of holding. Maybe you have the biggest room on the floor with a glass window facing out to a beautiful view.
Or maybe you are a student in a reputed college for which you prepared hard.
Maybe you are a mom and a housewife.
Think back of the time before the dream, the drive to be at this juncture, entered your mind. What kind of things were you doing? What did you do for fun? What was your life like?
Maybe you were a young, carefree student. You probably didn’t like tests and exams. Maybe you even hated some of your teachers. Maybe you looked forward to intervals in school or for the evenings when you went out with friends and had lots of fun. Maybe just a small fraction of what you earn today made you happy.
Or maybe you were an employee with a smaller title, sitting in a small cubicle with some other people. You might have disliked some or all of your work, maybe you disliked your boss. You probably shared jokes often with your cubicle mates and went out with them on coffee breaks. Probably you enjoyed those conversations.
Are the problems you had then, that you thought will be gone when you reached this juncture, really gone? Maybe you did not have enough money, maybe you didn’t like asking for money from your parents, maybe you wanted more respect and comforts.
And are there other problems now? How do you feel about them, compared to the ones before? Do you feel more in control now?
Do you still have those kind of friends? Do you still have as much fun? ARE YOU HAPPIER NOW?
Don’t get me wrong here. I am not trying to push some emotional mumbo-jumbo on childhood or youth being the times when we really enjoy, or that progress is anti-happiness etc etc. What I am saying here is, it is worth a while to really sit down and think back on how much of what we wanted, we achieved. Has it made us happier, or are we loosing our happiness? This is not an exercise to feel nostalgic, going down memory lane(although do so if you feel like, just don’t get carried away :)). This exercise helps us learn from our lives and helps us make better, more informed decisions going forward.
It seems common sense to learn from past mistakes(and past successes). But how many of us do it sincerely?
So, this weekend, take some time off to think about the direction your life has taken as a result of your decisions. Think about whether you really achieved what you wanted to achieve. If you got something different from what you wanted, or the after effects were different from what you had anticipated, do you really like the results you have in front of you now? Be honest to yourself, if you lie, you will only be fooling yourself and setting yourself up for frustrations and confusions later.
Maybe this will give you some new insights into what you should be changing. Or, maybe it will reaffirm to you that the decisions you have been taking, the direction in which you have been continuously shepherding your life, have been right for you.
P.S. I know this may take more than 5 minutes for most, I just lied to pull you in! Enjoy your weekend :).