Knowing what you want allows you to set goals that you want to achieve, choose a strategy and execute.
And everybody who lived this process will tell you how fulfilling it is – among many others:
You pursue what you deeply want – not what your family, your colleagues or society want for you
You have more energy, focus, skills and leadership
You get surrounded by inspiring people
You feel proud of living up to your values
Want to have a taste of it? Here are some real life stories to illustrate each point.
1) Knowing Yourself Helps Distinguish Your Inner Wishes From Those Of Your Environment – and Following Your Own Wishes Is Fulfilling
After her business school, Maria worked in a consultancy helping hospitals organize more efficiently.
Due to parental pressure to earn money with the diploma they had paid for, she refused to listen to her longing for becoming a doctor, although her husband clearly felt she was unhappy with her professional situation and offered her his support to start new studies.
Every morning, she went in the medical part of the hospital she advised.
And every afternoon, when taking off her doctor’s coat before going to the administrative building, she cried.
She finally deciding to quit her consultancy and start medicine studies. She now blossoms in her 4th year of studies. And during her internships, she feels at home in the hospital – and during week-ends and holidays, she is eager to return and see her patients!
2) Identifying Your Dreams and Striving For Them Gives You Energy, Focus, Skills and Leadership
A few years ago, I left my position as organization consultant to strive for a dream: becoming choral conductor.
Consulting was already a demanding job, sometimes taking my whole days from Monday to Friday.
Yet, as a music student, my commitment went to another level – I worked 6 to 7 days a week, most evenings included. And I felt happier and more aligned than ever.
My deep wish to become a conductor gave me the energy and focus that I would not have been able to pull as a consultant.
This energy translated in progress that I first doubted I could do – 2 years after starting, I got admitted in the best conservatory of the Netherlands, in Amsterdam.
And I discovered that my leadership naturally stemmed from my wish to see my projects get real – I started and conducted a 12-voices vocal ensemble.
3) Knowing What You Want Helps You Notice Relevant Opportunities – and Maybe Attract Them
When Rébecca resigned from her job and announced publicly that she wanted to become a coach, the next month, which was totally free in her agenda, literally filled in one week. She received dozens of offers of support, mentoring, drinks, lunches…
After her first year only, she reached financial balance.
Other story: the first time I talked to Adèle, orchestral conductor and music teacher, Adèle realized that she wanted to teach less and conduct more.
The very next day, she was offered to conduct a choir in one of her conservatories.
Trust those stories – and many others – : knowing what you want and expressing it will generate opportunities.
4) Knowing What You Want Surrounds You With Inspiring People
Lise is a smart and driven consultant.
Afraid of not making it in the top 3, she started her career in a good yet not top strategy consultancy.
She discovered that she could progress quicker in a top-tier consultancy. It was highly frustrating to her, to the point that it started affecting her relationship.
After 3 years of growing frustration, made the move. She got offers from the 3 companies and could choose.
She was then surrounded by brilliant people, in a company with a culture she enjoyed. She stayed there for 4 years, pulled out the intense engagement required, and reached the level of manager.
5) Knowing Your Values Helps You Stand For Them – and Feel In Peace With Yourself
Your values are… what you value – what you know is useful, what you give value to (money, time, energy…), what you are willing to stand for, even if it costs you.
One of my values is Ecology – I want to minimize the negative impacts I can have on myself and other living beings.
When I was invited to Helsinki for the entrance examination of the Sibelius Academy, I minimized my carbon footprint and went by train.
The trip took 3 days, 8 trains and 1 ferry, and was far more expensive than a plane ticket.
I attended the examinations, in competition with 5 other choral conductors.
And I failed.
2 hours after, when I embarked on the ferry for my trip back, I felt profoundly peaceful.
A photograph took a picture. I was radiant.
I wanted to train for this competitive examination. I did.
I wanted to preserve the environment as much as possible. I did.
I had spent time, effort and money to stand for my Ecology value. And my self-esteem got a great boost.
3 Powerful Introspection Questions
Feel like taking some time to identify your inner wishes? I suggest starting with 3 powerful questions:
If I had 1 000 000 000 $ on my bank account, if I could live 10 000 years and if nobody was going to judge me, what would I do?
What things or values have I stood for, event at a cost?
What to I enjoy so much doing, to the point I could do it for free?
I encourage you to write down precise and detailed answers. It will probably inspire you to take small steps towards your inner wishes, starting today! If you feel like it, you can share your answers in the comments section.