who am I and what do I want out of life

This blog post was repurposed from a Readers Are Leaders segment I wrote for my company email newsletter. It was inspired by this article, shared by the lovely Lauryn Evarts.

Do you ever wonder what the difference is between the people who get what they want and the people who don’t? Luck? Destiny? Hard work and drive? Money (assuming that’s not what you want to begin with!)?

I’m sure all those things play a role, but a concept that I dare say changed my life is that the people who get what they want get it because they actually want it.

Wait what?

Let’s take a step back for a second.

This blog, at it’s very root, is me trying to figure out this whole “adulting” thing. Sure, I don’t make my bed and I sometimes eat freeze pops for breakfast, but I also pay my bills on time and attend my bi-annual dental cleanings. Progress never perfection, my friends.

Of course one of the biggest parts of “adulting” is that quarter life crisis you have where you question “Who am I and what do I want out of life?”

This question isn’t super helpful because the core of our answers is probably the same—

–to be happy.

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So if you really want to figure out what you want out of life, don’t ask yourself what you want out of life. Instead, ask yourself,

“What pain do I want in life.”

Why? Because happiness requires struggle.

It’s not enough just to want something—you have to want to sustain the pain necessary to get it.

Let me give you an example. I could list a thousand reasons why I’m not a size 2, but the crux of the problem is that I don’t really want it. Would it be nice to be a size 2? Sure. But I don’t want it enough to make it happen—to always leave work at a reasonable hour to get to my gym class, to say “no” to pizza every Free Lunch Friday, to stop drinking half my calories…

So how do you choose to suffer?

This question just might change your life because it forces you to move past what you desire (high paying job, nice car, house with a white picket fence, Tom Hardy, etc.) to what you actually want. Because at the end of the day:

  • You can’t want the reward without wanting the struggle.
  • You can’t want the result without wanting the process.
  • You can’t want the victory without wanting the fight.

The next time you wonder why your coworker was promoted before you, know that she’s at the office at 10:25 p.m. while you’re pounding margaritas at Alero. The next time you wonder why your sister looks better in her jeans than you do, understand that she’s willing to get up every morning to run before work while you abuse the shit out of your snooze button.

Unlike me, life isn’t easy. You don’t get to go through life pain-free. So choose your pain.

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