Make a list of five things you want to do that you’re not doing. Now cross out all but one. Everyone can make change in our lives, but not that much change. And you’re not making the change you really want because you haven’t realized that you can’t do everything on your list.
That should be the end of the post. But it’s too difficult. Because the issue is actually how much you want to accomplish something. To do something on your list you have to want it so much that you will give up the other stuff. So what’s hard is paring down the list to just one thing, and that’s keeping you from doing any of the things that matter to you.
So I’m going to help you. Here are three ideas .
A career that changes the world for the better.
Careers where someone is actually changing the world are also the careers where people are totally driven. They work long hours and they are hyper-focused on their mission. This is what is required to change the world.
Most people don’t actually want that, because no one who is dreaming about switching to that career will ever have that kind of career. If you truly want it, you already have it.
If you don’t already have it, then what you probably really want is a job that’s meaningful to you. But meaningful jobs that are not all-consuming are volunteer jobs. I mean, really, why should someone pay you to casually, and comfortably help make the world a better place?
If you have a job now, it’s probably fine. For now. Most people who want to have a meaningful job that does not preclude a home life end up taking care of their own kids. Or having a job that pays very little.
I know. This is not popular to say, but it’s popular to do (especially INFJs who are most likely to want a meaningful job, most likely to loathe the business world, and most likely to say they are not having kids until the day they have them.)
A significant other.
In order to find someone who is not a complete loser, you have to admit to the whole world that you hate being alone and you are sick of being lonely and you want someone to love you.
A lot of you will think that sounds desperate and needy. You know who does not think this sounds desperate and needy? The people who have a long-term commitment from a loving partner. The most well-adjusted, capable, wise people want to be with someone who needs them. No one wants to feel disposable, and the opposite of disposable is needed.
To make someone feel needed, you have to tell them you have needs. Which means you need to make time in your life to feel lonely. Because if you never feel lonely, you don’t have a need for someone to meet. And if you do not have time to experience loneliness then you have not made room in your life for someone to come into it.
So to find a significant other, you need to give up whatever is taking up so much of your time. You need to give up the idea that you are SO BUSY. You need to sit at home, sit with yourself alone, and figure out what you need instead of what you have.
Time for yourself.
This is, of course, the anthem of women who have kids and a job. I confess that I have never heard a guy tell me he needs time for himself. I have only heard men say they have no idea when the baby takes a nap.
Time for myself is always on my own list. So I did what all time management gurus (who I do not like but whatever) do: I created a schedule that included “time for myself.”
I scheduled 40 minutes for yoga every morning but then I didn’t want to do it so I drank coffee instead. I felt bad that I was not following my schedule so I added a lot of milk and sugar and I drank it fast like an addict and it seeped into the next, non-yoga part of my new schedule.
I also scheduled time to read. But I think I have to be honest about reading in that I get way more pleasure from working. I mostly just read to work. (Example: I just read an issue of Departures magazine. Melissa had it because she is super-genius-golden-platinum on American Airlines. I only read it because I knew I could tell you about things the super-rich care about, because who isn’t curious about that? What I learned is that just like a new car has a distinct smell, a new trench coat has a distinct smell as well. And Burberry scent aficionados say new trench coat smells like a combination of cardamom, lavender, tarragon and grapefruit.)
So it’s not that I want time for myself. I’m really good at knowing what I want to do and then actually doing it. I am already doing what I want to do. So my to do list (and maybe yours too) is the list of stuff I don’t actually want to do that much. It’s all equally not-essential to me. Nothing is so important that I would cross off everything else for it.