I remember a time when I wanted to be a singer, and then an even more distant time when I wanted to be an archaeologist and then an actress. However, today I haven't achieved any of those goals, I've found other paths and other ways to move forward. I’ve definitely suffered a few setbacks, but I was pretty much at peace with it before that damn journal asked me what my aspiration in life was. I'm in my thirties, I should probably still have aspirations and still want to accomplish great things, yet I can’t think of anything…
Does having no dreams mean I have no drive or ambition?
Not having a defined goal is often linked to a lack of willpower. We certainly would like to accomplish ourselves, to get out of our comfort zones, yet in reality, why take the risk, we are so comfortable in our own little bubbles? I often like to tell myself that I am one of those people who don't have much to lose, yet the little that I have is still too much to say goodbye to. In fact, I may have a goal, but I couldn't live it, so what's the point? So, when people ask me what I'd like to do for work, I can't even find an answer. Not having ambitions is a bit like being trapped in a lazy blackhole, which protects us from taking risks but also makes us go around in circles.
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Childhood dreams VS reality
We believe that when we were children, we had more visions, in fact, we were simply only answering the eternal question ‘what do you do or want to do in life?’. If being a princess, a singer or a poet made everyone laugh when we were 7 years old, 20+ years later our goals had to become much more serious. We are not really taught to dream, we are taught to be serious, hard-working and to do whatever it takes to earn a comfortable living. So, it's not totally absurd that I find myself totally stuck when it comes to putting my goals down on paper.
As I grew up, I had to learn to make concessions. My vision of a great career as a publisher came to an end after 2 years in the midst of an economic crisis and after a long chapter of unhappiness and bullying at work. How can I have goals after that? So, now I’ve decided to privilege my personal life. When I was younger, I never fantasized about a life as a wife and mother, but I have to admit that now it makes me happy and cures me of my professional failures. Do I have regrets? Do I feel like I’ve missed out? From time to time, yes. Although, I can be proud that I’ve built something and that I’m still building something, and that something is a relationship, a home, a family. I may never be this powerful woman with a resounding career, but I've moved on from that. And besides, does chasing one's dreams have to be a goal?
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The joy of a life that suits us
I don't think that happiness is a goal that needs to be reached in a certain period of time, in fact it’s more of a constant challenge. It’s the balance that needs to be found between what makes you joyful and what needs to be done. Having a job just to pay your bills is okay if when you get home, you're content to find your own private life. If, on the other hand, we feel that our life does not suit us, then yes, we must find what animates us and makes us alive. The important thing is to find meaning in what we do.
How do we discover what our dreams are?
Ask yourself these 3 questions to put you on the right track:
1. What did I like to do as a child?
Going back to your childhood dreams means going back to a time when we knew how to listen to our heart. By thinking back to what we enjoyed doing at that age, we can undoubtedly discover what we are fantasizing about now.
2. What would I do if I had more free time?
We all have busy schedules, we're all snowed under 24/7, but what if we stopped for a while? Let's take a moment away from the hustle and bustle, and instead enjoy the calm and silence to think about what makes us feel good.
3. What would I do if I could do anything?
This is a question that must be answered with your heart. If we were no longer reliant on money to pay our bills, then what would we choose to do?
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Editor's note – Don’t feel guilty about not having a passion
It's easy to feel guilty if you don’t fit into the traditional expectations. Not having ambitions isn’t an issue and you shouldn’t let people make you feel bad about it. Your aspirations don’t have to be grandiose; they could even involve decorating your home, visiting a museum or even baking. There is undoubtedly in you a creative and curious soul. This indicates that you are someone who can't be satisfied with just one passion, because you love so many different things.
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