The best life for you, which usually includes your ideal career, your perfect partner, and your dream living environment, are not things you need to discover, they are things you need to recognize in yourself. The templates and models for what is best for you in each of these areas have always been a part of you. You just need to teach yourself how to recognize and trust them.
You were born with a unique makeup that attracts you to certain things. Basically, your likes and dislikes. I realize that these things can change a bit as you experience the world and mature, but the foundation of who you are never changes. It does get polluted and manipulated by the influences of other people, however.
Your parents, siblings, friends, teachers, and especially the media (television, movie, radio, print, Internet) has infiltrated your psyche in both positive and negative ways. Parents, teachers, and friends who encouraged you without bias or self-interest toward your natural path were positive influences. Those who constantly tried to influence you to move in a direction that served them in some way were negative influences.
The media has a huge impact on people without them even realizing it. A person doesn’t realize it because most of it is received subliminally. Everything you watch, hear, and read is recorded in your brain. There is so much information that most of it is stored in the largest part of your mind –- your subconscious. The information is delivered to you on as needed basis through your intuition (gut feelings, hunches) and other mental processes. Like a search on the Internet, if you don’t query it with the right thoughts, you’ll get back a lot of information you don’t want or need.
Television and movies have taught us a fantasy version of how we should behave and live our lives. Advertisements have taught us about all the stuff we should buy in order to be happy. The problem, the confusing part for you and your brain, is that a lot of the information, images, scenes, and dialog are negative.
You cannot delete all the garbage on your mind’s hard drive, but you can partition it off, lock it, and not access the information. You do this by taking control of your thoughts. You decide which memories and topics make you feel anxious, depressed, and lethargic. They might include painful memories from your childhood, your mistakes, and your current problems. Then put them all into a folder, partition it off, and lock it with a mental “no access” commitment. You might call this folder “misery.”
You then decide which memories and topics make you feel relaxed, happy, and energized. They might include your happiest memories from your childhood, your successes, and your current list of goals. Put them all into a second folder without restrictions by giving it a mental “full access” commitment. You might call this folder “nirvana.”
If you find your thoughts drifting toward the contents of your misery folder, just remind yourself of your “no access” commitment. Then act on it by withdrawing from those thoughts and replacing them with thoughts inspired by the contents of your “nirvana” folder.
Go back in your memories to the time just before and after adolescence. What were the raw feelings and dreams you had about a career, life-partner, and living environment? Really spend some time thinking back on those days. Not the events or problems, but instead focus on your dreams and desires.
I am picking this period because your dreams and desires are the same but they take on different dimensions before and after adolescence. This is also the earliest point in your life, with the least amount of negative influences, where both of these dynamics take place. Before adolescence, they are pure and not influenced by hormones. The influence of hormones can be erratic. Afterwards, there is still a strong influence of hormones, but they are more balanced, so they can be used to your advantage.
Find a comfortable location where you won’t be disturbed. Then take a deep breath, close your eyes, relax, and travel back to the time just before and after your adolescence. It is in this memory bank where the blueprint for your best life including your ideal career, perfect partner, and dream living environment resides.
When I went back to this time to rediscover the best life for me, I had such a strong renewed excitement for life it was as though I had flipped a switch on! A switch that had been stuck in the off position for years!
I found that my true desires for a career where the same. I found that although my dreams were painted a bit differently back then because of my limited experience and knowledge, from a foundational basis they were exactly the same. I wanted to do creative work that allowed a lot of freedom; I wanted a short, petite, woman with long dark hair; and I wanted to live in a quiet, natural environment with a lot of space between neighbors.
Another way to access these things and bring them to life is by describing them in detail. You can do this by sitting at your desk and either writing on your computer or a pad of paper. First, write in a title for each area on a separate page. Then, just start writing and let it flow! Describe each one in as much detail as possible.
You don’t necessarily need to be specific like, “I want to be a writer for the Rolling Stone magazine.” But rather, “I want to be a writer for a cutting-edge, liberal magazine that gives me the freedom to write articles that I am passionate about.”
Here’s an example in the perfect partner area. “I want a partner that looks like my friend Jesse’s wife,” is too specific. Instead, describe her more generically so that you don’t get stuck on an image of a particular person. For example, describe all the attributes, characteristics, and qualities you want her to have. I wrote a book that includes an instrument with 60 categories for identifying your ideal partner, so I feel that in this particular area the greater the detail the better. But stay away from images of particular people you’ve known.
Here’s one more example. Suppose you’ve always seen yourself living on a large piece of land with beautiful natural surroundings. A place where your closest neighbor is at least an acre away instead of the width of an adjoining wall. Visualize the conditions, not the geography. For example, picture yourself living in a house in the middle of 5 acres. Don’t be specific as to the environment (mountains, desert, tropical) or location. That will limit your thinking too much, which might cause you to miss a great opportunity that is right in front of you.
Today, you, of course, have a lot more experience and knowledge to make much better decisions about these things than you could in your teens. Just don’t allow any unpleasant experiences or manipulative advice to persuade you now.
It doesn’t matter how young or how old you are. The only chance you have for experiencing the best life for you is by going after the things that you have always known will bring you the greatest amount of joy. Until you attain them, you will always feel a sense of unfulfilled yearning. Don’t waste another five years waiting for your dreams to come to you. Go to them.