So often we long for more options. We feel trapped by not having more. The truth is, though, that when we have fewer options we have to dig deeper to figure out what we really want. When surrounded by many things we become confused and distracted, and we treat important decisions like road trip meal shopping. What does that mean?

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You’re on the road and begin to feel hungry. You and your friends decide you  have to stop somewhere and are taking a survey to figure out where. No one seems to be sure of what they want. Finally, you go to the closest place. Now you have to decide what you want to eat. Again, no one knows what they want until they view the menu. (Sounding familiar yet?) The menu, therefore, has dictated what taste you longed for. Does that even make sense? No, it doesn’t. A menu can’t dictate your taste to you, just as proximity can’t tell you what you really desire. In the case of food it may not be such a big deal, but in other cases it could prove detrimental.

You don’t know what kind of job you want so you take anything and find yourself stuck in an unhappy, unfulfilling rut. You don’t know what kind of relationship you want so you take the cutest thing that comes your way and find yourself, again, unhappy and unfulfilled… and maybe even worse.

“The Notebook” movie: What do YOU want?

We need to spend time with ourselves, learning about who we are and what influences may have brought us to this point in our lives. We need to separate what we truly desire from what we were taught to desire, or were over-exposed to in our formative years and so accepted. We need to take a good hard look at the things that we don’t like about ourselves and that need to be changed and get to changing them (or get help changing them) before they begin to sabotage our progress and relationships. We can’t expect our friends, family members, and partners to deal with the very things that we ourselves can’t deal with in ourselves.

Let’s not choose to live our whole lives taking what looks good enough or is easiest instead of taking the time to find out what we really want, what we really love – that’s what leads to true fulfillment, peace, and happiness. Don’t be afraid to find out who you really are (before fear and hurt scarred and hardened you) and be that!