Life is yours for the taking
Lets imagine that your life is a blank page. And you are about to write your own story, from today onwards.
Where would you want the storyline to go?
Don’t take into account what others want. It’s your life which is at stake here. Not theirs. Free yourself from the values and goals that your parents might’ve pushed onto you. Maybe mom and dad wanted you to be a doctor or a lawyer so they can be proud of your social standing. Maybe your friends think that dieting is lame, and smoking weed every weekend is cool. Maybe everybody’s telling you to get married and have kids because you’re not getting any younger.
Ignore them, they’re irrelevant. We’re focused on your own desires here.
I knew an acquaintance in her fifties who loathed working at her insurance company. She switched to working part time, in order to create an association. Its purpose is to finance a primary school in a small Somalian village (she was very familiar with that part of the world). Since she has done that, she’s been feeling incredibly more driven and fulfilled. Why? Because she acted on her need to provide support to others. Although she has reduced her income, she feels more at peace with herself.
Reflect on what you want
What goals would you love to pursue, in the areas of professional life, relationships, personal health, spiritual life?
Here are some suggestions:
- Obtaining a body that you are proud of
- Financial independence
- Building a business
- Dedicate your time to helping others (become a teacher, or create an association)
- Finding a job that better suits your skills or personality
- Working for yourself as a freelancer
- Getting back in touch with long-lost friends
- Strengthening your ties with your family
- Having a child
- Finding your partner in life
- Taking care of your parents
- Traveling the world
- Cutting out people who take advantage of you from your life
- Dedicating your life to academic research
- Finding god
There are plenty more, your imagination is the only limit.
If you don’t know what you want, check my insightful article on understanding yourself. It might give you a clearer vision of your needs.
Get closer to your goals with every passing week
Here’s what I personally did years ago. After some several hours of brainstorming, I had written down objectives that fit my values and needs: change jobs to office work instead of retail, build a side business that will one day become my main source of income, increase my savings by 20k every year, spend more quality time with my family, slim down to a lean physique. Some of these goals are a bit narcissistic in nature, but they reflect what I deeply strive to accomplish – I’m naturally ambitious and I like to rely on myself.
Afterwards, I came up with a plan that would allow me to achieve these objectives. Each week, or month I’d come up with a new idea to implement, that would move me closer to my goal. Let’s take savings for instance. I initially quit smoking. Afterwards, I got rid of cable. I then reduced my “restaurant budget,” and prepared more meals at home. Subsequently, I moved out to a slightly smaller flat with cheaper rent. Next, I discovered I’d save money by buying frozen fruits/veggies instead of fresh ones (btw frozen fruits contain more minerals and vitamins than fresh ones, as they’ve been frozen before having the time to deteriorate). Etc…
The idea is to have a long term goal. Say, one year from now. And then set smaller goals that pave the way to this greater goal. Writing goals down is a crucial part of the process. Indeed, studies have shown that people who write down their goals are more likely to attain them.
To this day, I’ve made progress in all the areas I’ve mentioned. I am relentless in pursuing my objectives, every single day. This gives purpose to my life, and makes me wake up with a drive to get things done. I can finally say that I am thrilled with where my life is going. That, my friends, is the antithesis of depression.
If you’re dead set on beating depression, and want to go further… Here’s the book that I recommend.