“How Do I Want to Live My Life?” (2022)

“How Do I Want to Live My Life?” (1)

Such a simple question, so difficult to answer.

Today, I want to reflect upon this question for myself. Until now, I haven’t taken this seriously enough and from what I have seen, the same holds true for many people around me.

Because I never took this question seriously enough, I didn’t really give myself the time and space to answer it completely to the point where I was satisfied with the answer.

And yet, I think that this is so incredibly important.

How am I supposed to know which changes I need to make in my life, if I myself don’t know what I want my life to look like?

I think one of the most important things to do in life, is to identify the single next step that brings me closer towards my goals. But if I am not sure where I am heading, then I also won’t know what step I need to take.

And that is what I am trying to find out right now.

My ideal (average) day.

“How Do I Want to Live My Life?” (2)

(Video) How do I want to live my life ?

The way I imagine my ideal day, I wake up at 7am. I use the first hour of my day to have breakfast, take a shower and generally get my mind up and running.

I spend my time from 8am to 1pm writing. Sometimes, I write in the garden. Sometimes, I write in my room. Sometimes, I write in a co-working space. No matter how exactly this writing time looks like, this is how I will spend the first four five of my day (with one break somewhere in the middle).

After that, I get lunch and make myself ready to go out.

For maybe two or three hours, I spend time in nature. Either I go for a light hike, for a surf, or simply relaxing in a park. The important point here is that I take my time to simply relax and reconnect with nature.

From around 5–7pm I will then do some of the other kinds of work that need to get done. This includes things like marketing, responding to emails/comments, scheduling meetings and so on and so forth.

The rest of the day is completely dedicated to different kinds of ‘off time’, which includes things like:

  • spending time with my partner
  • playing the keyboard
  • meeting friends
  • going to the sauna
  • sitting on the balcony while looking at the sky
  • whatever else comes to my mind

I go to bed around 11–12pm with a calm and peaceful mind, having done those few little things, which I have set as priorities for the day.

There is no stress and pressure to perform. Only a routine, which leads to the desired results over time.

What goals am I working towards?

With this, I don’t really mean as much which goals I am trying to achieve career-wise (although that is part of it). What I am really trying to get to, is my whole purpose for working.

For way too long, I have been working for the sake of working. But that should never be the end goal. In the end, the reason why I am working, is because I want my work to enable me to live the life I want to life.

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Since I love being creative, work is a large part of that.

But it is certainly not everything.

There are so many other aspects of life, which are important to me. For once, there is family. I have family in two different countries and I want to spend as much time with both sides as I possibly can.

At the same time, I want to continuously experience new cultures and learn from them.

Consequently, I want to be able to have permanent homes in at least two countries, while also having plenty of long-term stays in various different countries.

This is the most important goal and long-term priority in my life. Besides that there are many different things which are important to me:

  • Health: I want to do the kind of sports which keep me connected with nature. Whether that is hiking, surfing, skiing or martial arts, it doesn’t really matter. The point is, I want to spend as much time outside as I possibly can.
  • Community: I want to be part of a community both offline and online. The least thing I want is to always work from home. It is simply too boring and isolating. Instead, I want to be part of a community of creatives and entrepreneurs.
  • Money: Primarily, my goal here is for money not to be a concern in my life. I want to reach a point where I am capable to do whatever I feel like doing without first having to consider my financial situation. That doesn’t need to be a lot, but it needs to be enough to maintain my lifestyle.
  • Creativity: I see myself primarily as a creative. And yet, the danger is always there for that creativity to remain limited to my writing. I want to make sure that I remain creative in all aspects of life — whether that is through hobbies, in business or in other aspects of life.
  • Pets: I love animals since I have been growing up around dogs. But because of my desire to travel constantly, it was difficult for me to get one. Recently, though, we have finally decided to get a cat (I know, traitor). Since then we have been joking that we can run a little side business breeding Persian cats (my partner is from Iran). These days our ‘joke’ becomes more and more attractive.
  • Simplicity: I’m not interested in building a massive business or a life full of adventure. What I am looking for is a simple life that allows me to fulfil my basic needs. I want to find a good balance between routine and the occasional small adventure.
  • Volunteering: my whole ‘wanderlust’ started when I went to Bali for one and a half months to volunteer in an orphanage. I was so fascinated by how people who don’t even speak the same language and come from completely different backgrounds, can nonetheless communicate with each other just fine. What I definitely want more in my life is the ability to spend more time supporting local communities in countries around the world.
  • Freedom: if there is one thing I hate then it’s to be limited in my decisions because of some external factors. Whether that’s financially or due to other factors, I want to reach the point where I am in complete control over my life.
  • Business: obviously, I see my business as something that goes far beyond just my writing. For example, I have plans to create a software which allows people to ‘practice’ communicating with people from all different cultures in a VR environment. I am patiently working towards turning my writing into a movement that will eventually open up for all sorts of opportunities.

How I don’t want to live my life.

“How Do I Want to Live My Life?” (4)

The next step for me is figuring out how I don’t want to live my life. Or, more specifically, things in my current reality, which do not go together well with the ideal life I had in mind.

And, quite honestly, the picture is horrifying.

While doing this exercise I realized that, in many ways, my current life is the exact opposite of what I want my life to look like.

In many ways, my life used to be what I have described as my ideal life. But many things changed, when I decided to move to a massive metropolitan city two years back.

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While at first, this felt like an adventure as there was something new to explore everywhere in this city, it slowly turned into a nightmare. With all the pollution, crowdedness and traffic, I hardly wanted to go anywhere.

Combined with the sudden- and unexpected financial pressures I got since about 8 months, this has put me into a prison of my own making.

My current reality looks more like this:

  • sitting in my apartment all day
  • working on my laptop from morning till night
  • hardly meeting any friends/colleagues at all
  • no access to nature at all (besides walking a little park near my home)
  • no travel at all (besides one little trip every few months)
  • no sports (besides walking around the city)
  • seeing my family one for one or two weeks every couple of months

Essentially, the last 8 months of my life, were defined by hardly anything but work. Slowly, even the thing that I enjoy the most in life — writing — is becoming torture for me.

This is mostly due to two reasons:

  1. How much time I spend for it
  2. Because I am dissatisfied with all the other aspects of my life

The result of this is the feeling of being constantly drained. Having insomnia. Waking up already exhausted. Living with chronic stomach pain and digestion problems.

In short, a state which is probably pretty close to burn out.

I have been telling myself that I have no choice but to keep going this way.

That because in this city it takes me way too long to get anywhere and because of the financial pressures I am facing, I can’t change anything until I have finally succeeded at moving away from here.

BULLSH*T.

While there is some truth to both of these factors, that doesn’t mean that I can’t change anything. It doesn’t mean that I can’t make some little changes, which will nonetheless have a huge impact on my life right now.

What steps can I take right now?

“How Do I Want to Live My Life?” (5)

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Here, I am not talking about some huge changes. At the moment, because I am already struggling to pay the bills (and yet our living costs will double once I move back to Germany) I have no choice but to keep up a tough working schedule.

But that doesn’t mean, that I can’t change anything at all. And that is what this exercise is all about. Some litte changes, that can have a huge impact on my current life satisfaction.

So, let’s get started:

  • Health: This is the most important thing of all. As things are now, I am destroying my health completely and that is just unacceptable. The least thing I can do (and I have been talking about this for a while, I know) is to take Karate lessons nearby my home. While this is not exactly what I am looking for, it is in walking distance and therefore a blessing in a city where you can’t get anywhere quickly.
  • Community: There is a co-working space not-so-far from my home. Being around other entrepreneurs would definitely make a large difference in my life. I will have to figure out whether they offer memberships on a monthly basis, though. After all, I have no real idea how much longer I will be staying in this city.
  • Nature: I could decide to take three days off every two weeks and drive out to quiet places in the nature. Desert, forests, beach es— everything is realistically reachable for a three day trip from here. That would (perhaps) make the biggest difference in my life right now as it allows me to get out of this monster of a city.

These are probably the three areas of life where I can realistically make some changes right now while still keeping up with a similar working speed.

Even if it reduces my productivity a little bit, but increases my life satisfaction by 10%, that would be completely worth it. After 8 months, I’ve had enough of this misery of a life.

I think the question “How Do I Want to Live My Life?” is one worth answering for every single person on earth. Ignoring this question for a while has certainly put me into a position that I don’t want to be in whatsoever.

It is, of course, a difficult question to answer. There are so many different aspects to it. This overwhelms our mind and, quite often, we are unable to come up with any answer at all.

That’s why I have divided this question into four little exercises:

  • What would my ideal (average) day look like?
  • What goals am I working towards?
  • How do I NOT want my life to look like?
  • What steps can I take right now to get closer to my ideal life?

Answering the question what I don’t want my life to look like, certainly feels easier than the other way round. At least to me, it is quite easy to see which aspects of my life I am dissatisfied with.

That’s why, I think, this exercise is probably a good place to start from, if you feel lost about what your ideal life would look like.

The last exercise is probably the most important one. It helped me translate whatever I have learned throughout these exercises into practical action steps that I can follow right now.

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I knew that my life circumstances won’t allow me to get to my ‘ideal life’ anytime soon. But at least, there are some little steps I can take right now, which bring me a little bit closer to where I want to be.

Every little step forward is worth taking.

Tim Rettig is the author of “Struggling Forward: Embrace the struggle. Achieve your dreams”. It’s a book about the psychological journey of struggle, which every (creative) entrepreneur must pass through, before they can turn their vision into reality.

FAQs

How do you want to live your life answer? ›

Here are 101 ways to live your life to the fullest:
  1. Live every day on a fresh new start. ...
  2. Be true to who you are. ...
  3. Quit complaining. ...
  4. Be proactive. ...
  5. Rather than think “what if,” think “next time.” Don't think about the things you can't change. ...
  6. Focus on WHAT vs. ...
  7. Create your own opportunities. ...
  8. Live consciously each day.

How do you want your life to be? ›

11 questions to understand what you want in life
  1. What makes you happy? ...
  2. What are your needs? ...
  3. What are your personal values? ...
  4. What gives you purpose? ...
  5. What activities put you in a flow state? ...
  6. What would you do if there were no limits? ...
  7. Who do you admire or get jealous of? ...
  8. How do you envision the patterns of your life?
Apr 11, 2022

How do I live my life essay? ›

Not every individual can have a beautiful life in which he/she can live successfully. But to live, to love, and to laugh can make this possible. * L I V E * As the saying goes, “Live life to the fullest!" Always live each day as if it were your last. Enjoy every moment of your life and have everything you wish.

Why should I live my life? ›

Life's challenges don't exist only to upset us—they exist so that we understand ourselves better and get to know who we really are. To live is to discover something about ourselves of which we were not aware. To live is to look at ourselves in the mirror and discover a message of love in our own eyes.

How do I live my life for myself? ›

Living For Yourself: 9 Ways To Live Your Life for Yourself Guilt-Free
  1. Get to Know Yourself Better. ...
  2. Get Clear on What You Want. ...
  3. Practice Being Your Authentic Self. ...
  4. Define Your Own Terms. ...
  5. Identify Your Core Values. ...
  6. Design a Life You Want to Live. ...
  7. Do More of What You Enjoy. ...
  8. Choose Your Company Well.
Nov 16, 2021

What is the best way to live your life? ›

16 Ways to Live Your Best Life
  1. Focus. Whatever you do, focus. ...
  2. Take Responsibility for Taking Action. Taking action can feel scary. ...
  3. Live in the Present. Every day is a new opportunity to live your best life. ...
  4. Practice Mindfulness. ...
  5. Declutter. ...
  6. Relish the Simple Things. ...
  7. Journaling. ...
  8. Make Someone's Day.
Jul 3, 2022

What do I want in life examples? ›

Material Things
  • Big house.
  • Nice car.
  • Fashionable clothes.
  • Plenty of money for dining out.
  • A big enough budget for luxury travel.
  • Thin friends.
  • An attractive spouse.
Aug 8, 2011

What makes you really happy? ›

A 2010 study found that there are five key items that contribute to positive thinking, which, in turn, results in happiness: being grateful, being optimistic, practicing acts of kindness, relishing in how lucky you are, and using your strengths.

How can I keep everything to myself? ›

These 7 tips can help.
  1. Get better acquainted with yourself. Building a strong self-relationship is a great way to return your focus to yourself. ...
  2. Make sure you're seeking what you really want. ...
  3. Create a self-care plan. ...
  4. Practice self-compassion. ...
  5. Spend time doing things you love. ...
  6. Avoid the comparison trap. ...
  7. Examine your values.
Sep 10, 2021

What are my desires in life? ›

We want health, wealth, comfort, good relationships, success, good progeny and fame. There are also spiritual desires - we have a desire to know about life after death, about how to remain detached and equanimous under all kinds of circumstances and we want to be at peace.

What are the life goals? ›

100 Life Goals Ideas
  • Become an inspiration to others.
  • Master a difficult skill.
  • Become a thought leader in your industry.
  • Get promoted to an executive role at your company.
  • Learn about how to become a millionaire.
  • Go on a trip around the world.
  • Travel to your dream country.
  • Double your personal income.

What do I want in life examples? ›

Material Things
  • Big house.
  • Nice car.
  • Fashionable clothes.
  • Plenty of money for dining out.
  • A big enough budget for luxury travel.
  • Thin friends.
  • An attractive spouse.
Aug 8, 2011

What do we want from life? ›

You can't pinpoint exactly what you want in life if you're constantly sacrificing your time and dreams for other people. You have to put yourself first. Ask yourself: If you weren't tied down by your job, family, friends, or anything else, then what would you be doing right now?

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