When You Don't Know What You Want

Instead of asking ourselves, “ what do I want? ” and “ what do I want to do? " We should be asking ourselves, “ what do I not want...

When You Don't Know What You Want

Instead of asking ourselves, “what do I want?” and “what do I want to do?"
We should be asking ourselves, “what do I not want?” and “what do I not want to do?

We spend our entire lives being told we need to know what we want to do with our lives; we’re told we need to decide on the job title we want and the life we want to lead before it’s "too late.” We have to make choices now and stick with them for the rest of our lives. But dreams and goals should be flexible and ever-changing as we experience new things.

Wouldn’t it be better to ask ourselves what we really don’t want?

I don’t want to work for minimum wage.
I don’t want to work in a shop or an office.
I don’t want someone telling me what to do.
I don’t want my skills to be taken for granted.
I don’t want my creativity to be restricted.
I don’t want to be bored at work.


Only when we know what we don’t want, can we figure out what we do want. Even then we don’t have to make a choice immediately and we can change our minds whenever we want. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to always know what you want, so long as you know what you don’t want.

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60 SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

  1. Nicely said ! Good point!

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  2. Great way to look at it! A different perspective can make decisions clear.

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  3. Very reassuring point! I've fallen into the trap of thinking that I need to know what I want and that my time to do what I want is running out. Took me a while to realize that my time is not running out, I was just comparing my pace too much with others who move faster than me.

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  4. I teach in an all girls school and I teach them a subject called Wellbeing which is all about finding your happiness. I take the what would you not...rather that a what to do you..route on them. It avoids a lot of procrastination and they get to a better result so much faster. A womderful post! I'm nearly 27 and I'm still not 100% sure what I want but I sure as he'll know what I don't want to do.

    Sophie x

    www.sophieblunt.com

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  5. My mum drilled this into me from a young age, she was always big on "Just work out what you don't want to do, and avoid it" and I think it was one of the best pieces of advice she has ever given me. It's a great way to approach life.

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  6. How have I never thought of looking at it this way.

    This is perfect x

    http://thecornishlife.co.uk

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  7. You should always just go ahead and do what makes you happy, even if it means leaving your dead end job!


    Love this x


    www.caitylis.blogspot.com

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  8. I always ask myself what I don't want to make decisions

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  9. That's such good advice, unfortunately it always is easier to know what you don't want then exactly what you do.

    lucy | luceellen xxx

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  10. I'm graduating with college in a month so I have this pivotal question looming over my head and it's debilitating at times. Looking at the question like this makes it a lot more surmountable though. I don't want to work in an office and I definitely cannot do a job that stifles my creativity. Lovely words of wisdom to have read over my morning coffee.


    xoxoxox, Naomi | http://bunnyandfawn.blogspot.com/

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  11. This has really come at a time that's relevant for me - I'm in such a limbo in my life at the moment with work and relationships and the only thing I really love to do - blogging - is suffering due to everything else just taking over because I don't know what I want, and therefore I feel lost.
    I'm going to try this approach and make a list when I get home tonight of all the things I don't want and hopefully by doing that I'll get some clarity on the direction I need to take next xo
    LJLV | UK Personal Style

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  12. The thing that I want most in the world is to be able to leave Canada and move to England. Having said that, I know that the chances of accomplishing this are zero to none. I think about this practically every single day and it gets me down because I know I'm trapped here, in a place I don't want to be (not that I don't love Canada, it's just not where I want to spend the rest of my life). I try thinking positively and you always offer such phenomenal advice in your blog posts, but ever since I've had this problem hanging over my head, I just can't think about anything else (despite how hard I try to focus on other things).

    I'll be traveling to London again in May for two weeks and I know that when it comes time for me to hop on a plane and come home, I'm going to be a hot mess (just like I was last time I visited).

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  13. Girl, preach!


    I remember when I finished uni and was looking for work in the first year, I took on a ton of temp jobs. People would regularly ask me "oh, do you really want to do x,y,z?" and my first thought was, no but I'd rather figure out where my limits are -- what I'm willing to put up with, for how long, and what's a non-negotiable. This is SUCH a great article!

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  14. Helena4/07/2015

    Just what I needed. I've always been very unsure of what I wanted, and it didn't exactly help when people kept asking what I wanted to do, and when everyone said I was running out of time. To this day, I still don't know what I want with my life, but as I'm only 18 years old, I see absolutely no reason to freak out about it like most of my peers. This is such a great idea. Maybe if I write a list of all of the things I do not want to do (which I'm more sure of than the other), I will come closer to finding out what is best for me. I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate you writing so beautifully. You're such an inspiring person, and reading your posts gets me really motivated and helps me to understand that it's ok to be different and not doing what everyone else thinks you should be doing but following your own dreams. Thank you thank you thank you. Wishing you a wonderful day ♥


    http://simply-mode.com

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  15. Shauna4/07/2015

    I totally agree with this article... Finding out what we DON'T want will make it so much easier to decide what we truly want!

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  16. I sincerely thank you for writing this. Currently going through a situation that lead down different paths and this is so insightful

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  17. Imogen4/07/2015

    Thank you for this post! I found it really inspiring and just what I needed right now! x

    Miss Imogen Smith

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  18. This is amazing advice, I feel like it is always hard finding out what you want to do, and even if you do have your dream job (like me) finding out which direction you want to go in from there. Thank you! xx

    vihsee.blogspot.co.uk

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  19. That's an amazing post and is going to help me so much through my studies. I'll ask myself those questions every time I feel lost. Thank you

    Xoxo

    http://fashionbackyard.blogspot.fr

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  20. This is so true. As a soon-to-be graduate I really know what I don't want! No clue about when I do want though... Still figuring it out.

    clickforsomecoffee.com

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  21. I really loved reading this post, and it has made me feel happy I often get told that I am lazy because I do not want to like you mentioned above - I just realized I'm not. Thank you for this post, I’m not alone.

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  22. Great advice that can be applied in nearly all areas of life. It's so so much easier to to define what we don't want than to always know what we do want. After all, how should we know what we want if we haven't spread past our comfort zones and horizons to open our minds up to new experiences? We can only do that and learn what we don't want to get out of our own way.

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  23. I love the advice that you post because it can be applied to many different areas of life. Also I find myself relating to a lot that you post on your blog, you're a big inspiration to me! Thank you!

    Danielle

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  24. That really means a lot - thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog and I'm so pleased my advice helps.

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  25. Absolutely. I definitely think it's a good starting point; if we don't know what we do want it's easier to say "well, I definitely don't want to do THIS." It's a nice springboard into figuring things out.

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  26. I think it's a sign you're on your way of figuring out what you want. People translate that as laziness or absent mindedness, but I don't think that's the case. I didn't know what I wanted to do for the longest of times.. but I knew what I didn't want.

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  27. Everyone is still figuring things out to some extent :))

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  28. I'm so pleased it helped and I wish you all the best in your studies.

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  29. I agree, it's not easy knowing what we want to do for the rest of our lives and we're pressured, from a young age, to figuring that out and deciding super quickly. It's sad.

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  30. I'm so pleased - thank you for reading.

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  31. Thank you for reading and I'm glad it helped, even just a little bit. I wish you all the best :))

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  32. Absolutely. We are told to focus on 'what do you want to do' all the time that we forget to figure out what we don't want, and often that is what comes easiest to us.

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  33. I think it's important to also remember that A LOT of people feel the same way, even though they might not show it.

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  34. Ugh, that's awful - I hate that we are made to feel like we are 'running out of time' and if we don't decide soon we'll miss out. That's such a negative way of looking at life. We don't have to decide what we want to do with our lives immediately, most of us don't figure it out until we're older.. and even then some of us might change our minds!


    I wish you all the best x

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  35. Life is all about figuring those things out - we don't have to make a definitive choice, ever. Life is about learning, growing, and working things out.

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  36. This comment makes me really sad - why don't you think this is possible?

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  37. I really hope it helps you figure things out. I also think it's important to remember and think about what you want NOW and not worry too much about five, ten, or even a single year down the line.

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  38. It's a question that we are all forced to have hanging over our heads and I don't think it helps anyone; why force young people into trying to decide what they want to do.. for the rest of their lives? We all know life is unpredictable and even if we make these decisions, that doesn't mean things will always stay that way.

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  39. And then we can work from there to figure out what we do want :))

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  40. Absolutely. I have this thing where I roll a dice - odd numbers = one decision, even numbers = the alternative decision - and it's often when I'm shaking and rolling that dice that I realise exactly what I DON'T want the dice to land on..

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  41. Absolutely. I also think it's important to keep that dead end job if it means you can work on your aspirations in the mean time :))

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  42. Thank you for reading.

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  43. That is an awesome parent right there

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  44. That's so great to hear - I think it's really important to tell young people that it's OK to change your mind and they don't have to make a decision and stick to it for the rest of their lives.

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  45. Absolutely! Time is not running out at all - life is unpredictable and fun. It shouldn't be dictated by rules and decisions.

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  46. Thank you for reading.

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  47. Oh she is. In fact, my mothers side of the family is pretty badass anyway; very matriarchal and I was very lucky :)

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  48. THANK YOU! I'm fairly happy with what I do at the moment but I don't want to do it forever... thinking about what I don't want to do is some much easier than think about the opposite. I love how the advice on your blog doesn't have to be applied to creatives like yourself too - it's pretty all-encompassing :)

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  49. Well, the main thing that's holding me back is the fact that the English pound is so much higher than our Canadian one. So, even if I *were* to move, once I converted all my money to pounds, I would have HALF the amount I currently have in Canadian funds. So, that's the main issue. The second big issue is that fact that practically all my money is tied up in a new apartment that I purchased a couple of years ago. It's a totally new development, so it won't actually be ready for me to take possession of for another year or so (it's currently being built). When it IS finally ready, I'm debating either renting it out or selling it because if I move in, then I won't be able to travel to the UK every year like I usually do because I'll have, like, zero spare cash.

    It's so frustrating. Sometimes I actually CRY over it and that's certainly not healthy (especially for someone who's used to being carefree and happy most of the time). There are so many obstacles that are blocking me right now and it's not as if I can just pick up and go. I can't. How would I survive?

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  50. I totally agree with you, Sophie. Jumping into grad school right now is scary just because I'll be shelling out money without having took the time to think about if what I want to be doing is something I'll be doing for the rest of my life. Feels like getting kicked out of a plane without learning how to work the parachute!!

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  51. This is a great tip! And funny how the examples speak to a lot of people. :))

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  52. This post it awesome and truly inspiring. It's refreshing to hear someone say the opposite of what everyone is usually drilling down my throat. I'll be sharing this in my "links to love" this weekend.


    Christine
    www.DimesandDonuts.com

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  53. I cannot tell you how much I love this post. It is so right! Sometimes I feel like I am the only one who feels this way too. Thanks for all your thoughtful, unique posts, they really are refreshing and so helpful to read!

    Kristin | http://oldschoolswank.blogspot.com/

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  54. Great post! I think keeping my mind in the present, rather than endlessly planning about the future and agonising about past mistakes also helps! Do the things you love and have faith that things will unfold just how they are meant to!

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  55. It's indeed a great post, another point of view to take decissions. I've been living all my life think about what I want and what I like in orther to make choices but the other day my close friend told me something that opened my eyes and it's that we shouldn't always base our decisions on what we like, some people don't have that choice, to do what they want/like, some people base their choices on what they need, on what it's best for their current living situation. This doesn't mean that if we can we shouldn't do what we want/like. It was a reflection, when I read the post it came to my mind the conversation I had with him. xx


    herplaceattheuniverse.blogspot.com

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  56. I LOVE THIS! It's like a "process of elimination" that helps you zero in what you DO want.

    Berry Dakara Blog

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  57. So much love for this post! It's so much easier to think about what you don't want than what you do! Once you've eliminated the negative things and the things that put you down you can then decide what you actually want to do to make you feel happier. I definitely want to start thinking this way more :)


    Beth x
    www.bethany-georgina.com

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  58. Needed to read this today. Thanks gal!xx

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  59. Loved this post!! I'm wanting to change career at the minute, and yes it's scary but I don't want to do what I'm doing now for the rest of my life.


    emmatheakerx.blogspot.co.uk

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