How to Figure Out What You Want in Life

It's a big decision. As far as we know, you only get one life. It's only natural that you want to make the best of it.

While the answer might come easily to a lucky few, most of us feel quite burdened and unsure about how to proceed.

Many people are content to take whatever job pays the most. A few of us want more out of life.

You can have a life that is meaningful and manages to pay the bills on time each month.

Give this issue the time it deserves but be sure to make a decision. Failing to choose can create more challenges than choosing the wrong thing.

Completing these steps will help you to find the life you were meant to lead:

1. Determine how hard you're willing to work.

For example, if you want to be a billionaire, it's probably going to take a tremendous amount of work.

But, maybe you're the type of person that has a lot of hobbies and likes to spend evenings at home or with your friends. Are you willing to commit to the time required?

Think about how much time you're willing to work on something and ensure that the possibilities you consider fall within that limit.

2. Make a list of your values.

Your values are an excellent starting point. Someone who values security and success will have a different life purpose than someone who favors family and fun above all else.

Most people aren't aware of their values because they've never thought about them.

Make a list of every value you have, and then prioritize your list by placing the most important values at the top.

Focus on the top 10. What you want to do with your life should support those values.

3. Think about your past.

What did you like to do as a child? What did you want to become at that time? What have you enjoyed doing in the past? What did you find fun and exciting?

You already know yourself quite well, and you have a lot of past data you can use to choose a fulfilling future.

4. What are your interests right now?

What are you curious about? What would you like to spend your time learning and doing?

5. What are your strengths?

What are you already good at? Could you build those strengths further and apply them to your life in a meaningful way?

6. How can you best contribute to the world?

By answering this question, you will come up with ideas that are good for others and yourself. You'll feel good about yourself if you're helping others.

Ask yourself how you can alleviate the most suffering in the world. Some people accomplish this by telling jokes on a stage or by fixing broken transmissions. How can you be most useful to the world?

7. What do you not like to do?

Perhaps you hate the thought of working in an office environment. Or maybe you don't like working long hours or working on teams.

Think about jobs you've had in the past and what you didn't like about them. Consider your list of dislikes before formulating a plan for the future.

Do you have any new ideas? Since you'll be living the rest of your life for the rest of your life, take the time to figure out how you want to spend it.

Ask yourself the important questions and consider what you like and don't like. Understand your values and how you can incorporate them into your vision for the future.

Figure out what you want in life and then go live it.

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The Big 5 Personality Traits and You

There have been many personality models developed over history. A scientist by the name of Lewis Goldberg developed the most commonly accepted model in use today. This model is named 'The Big Five.'

The combination of these five personality factors can accurately describe a person's personality and predict their behavior and success in life quite well.

Use 'The Big Five' to understand your personality and gain insight into your current challenges:

1. Extraversion.

On one end of this scale are the extroverts, and on the other are the introverts. Most of us lie somewhere in between.

Think of introverts as those who gain energy while spending time alone. They tend to tire from social interactions.

* Extroverts are just the opposite. Being alone drains their energy and they are recharged by spending time with others.

Extroverts are commonly described as sociable, socially confident, talkative, energetic, and assertive.

* Introverts are frequently introspective, reserved, and quiet. They are often, but not always, lacking in social confidence.

2. Agreeableness.

This characteristic is self-explanatory. Agreeable people are polite, sensitive, cheerful, patient, and enjoyable to be around.

They are likable and like others. Those low in agreeableness are often described as blunt, rude, sarcastic, and abrasive.

Not surprisingly, studies show that most prison inmates rank in the bottom 2% for agreeableness.

Those high in agreeableness are well-liked by everyone.

Women tend to be more agreeable than men by a significant margin.

3. Openness.

This isn't the willingness to share your deepest, darkest secrets. Openness in this context is a measure of how open you are to new experiences.

People high in this trait are interested in new ideas and perspectives. They also tend to value art and music.

This trait is closely linked to intelligence.

4. Conscientiousness.

If you're high in conscientiousness, you value order, achievement, self-discipline, and like to take care of business.

You are not particularly interested in new experiences or novel stimulation. You are neat, organized, and like to work from a schedule.

This trait is strongly correlated with success. If you know someone that doesn't seem all that smart or talented, but they are still successful, they are almost certainly high in conscientiousness.

Those very low in conscientiousness are chronic procrastinators, disorganized, and often labeled as underachievers. I

f your life always seems out of control, it's likely that you are low in conscientiousness.

5. Neuroticism.

Those that rate high in neuroticism tend to be unstable, seek short-term enjoyment, are impulsive, and negative. They have poor job performance, a greater tendency for addiction, and difficulty adjusting to change.

There are several Big 5 tests available online for free or for a fee. You can also contact a mental health professional about testing.

If you're struggling with life, it can be helpful to know where you fall within these five personality traits. You can then begin making adjustments to alter your scores as needed.

For example, if your life is a disaster, and you realize that you are low in conscientiousness, you could start taking control of your day by creating a schedule each evening.

This has been found to be very effective in raising your level of conscientiousness.

Those low in agreeableness can make it a point to do something nice for someone each day.

If you're high in neuroticism, learning to meditate or reading on book on anxiety reduction can make a big change in your life.

Understanding your personality can help you to tame the challenges you're currently experiencing in your life.

If you're feeling stuck, a quick personality test might provide the answers you're looking for. See how you score on The Big 5.

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 Cheers, Helene Malmsio

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