We live in a world of nearly endless possibilities and choices. Nowadays, especially in the Western World, we have the privilege to be able to become nearly anything we want.
This overload in possibilities can easily result in the Paradox of Choice, feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed, hesitating to make any choice.
The only remedy against it is gaining clarity about yourself and what matters most to you.
Pursuing self-knowledge and trying to figure out one’s true priorities is certainly not an easy task, but once you gain sufficient clarity about them, they serve as a fundament to guide your daily living and as a decision-making heuristic, that filters and breaks all your choices down to the few ones that are in line with your values.
How do you figure out what’s most important to you? Well, by asking yourself the right questions and thinking about them. These questions might be something like: “What do I value?”, “What am I good at?”, “What interests me?”, “Where do I find meaning?”, “What are the things I want to do before I die?”, “What do I want others to say about me at my funeral?” and so on.
In our busy, hectic daily lives it is often difficult to find the time to think about questions like these. So you inevitably have to make time for them. A good way is to create a commitment by blocking a time slot in your calendar, say one hour every Sunday, just for pondering these questions and thinking.
The goal here is to get to know yourself better. I can recommend Mark Manson’s Life Purpose Guide, a free PDF that gives you some guidance.
As soon as you get some clarity about these questions (full clarity does not have to be achieved yet), you can establish some kind of long-term vision of how you want your life to look like in the distant future and principles/values you want to live by.
Call To Action
Write down the answer to some of the questions above and revisit them every morning before you start the day. This will engrain them in your identity and steer your everyday decision making and action-taking towards what is important to you. During the evening before you go to bed try to hold yourself accountable and check if you lived up to your own standards.
By doing that, you will come to realize that many things we give a lot of thought and worry about are actually some form of irrelevant and petty noise. In turn, you regain clarity about what to focus on and a sense of urgency to make the most of the limited time we have on this planet.
How do you gain more clarity about your priorities and yourself? Let me know in the comments below!