View profile

How I Figure Out What I Want

How I Figure Out What I Want
Do you actually know what you want out of life?
Or at this moment?
“Sure I do, Jordan.”
But wait.
If I were to pop through your computer screen and ask you that question right now, would you immediately and confidently know what to say?
Or would it leave you grasping for answers?
Knowing what you want, whether out of life or from a basic interaction with a friend, is a powerful skill.
And it’s one you should develop.
Let’s talk about how.

"I Don't Know What I Want."
How my brain felt before I focused on figuring out what I wanted.
How my brain felt before I focused on figuring out what I wanted.
But first, it can be helpful to know where I started before I figured this all out.
So let’s go over a scenario that features yours truly not knowing what he wants.
It’s how I operated when I first got into the working world.
Let’s say I had a meeting or a call with someone that was important to my work, a call or meeting in which I needed to move some kind of task forward.
Seems simple enough, right?
But what does move a task forward actually mean?
Analyzed in a literal sense, it could mean anything.
It could mean making progress. It could mean make a decision. It could mean literally moving the task physically forward.
And that’s the problem with my not clearly defining what I hoped to achieve before I jumped on a call or had a meeting.
By not stopping to think about what I actually wanted from my interaction, literally anything could happen–and I wouldn’t be able to tell if it was good or bad.
I wouldn’t know if it moved me in a positive direction or if it snapped me back to somewhere worse than where I was when I started.
Over the years, I realized that it was a lack of intention that prevented me from not only making rapid progress with my work goals–but with my happiness and overall mental health as well.
How to Figure Out What You Want
And so let me ask you again:
What do you actually want?
In this moment?
During your day today?
The roots of happiness are grounded in the questions you ask yourself.
Because questions have a subtle power that is only unearthed when you ask them over and over again.
The more questions you ask yourself, the more you build a habit of intention.
The Habit of Intention
This is what I want you to do the next time you are face to face with a situation in which the outcome is not certain–but in which you have a vested interest.
It could be a project at work. It could be who is going to be the one personally responsible for caring for a loved one this week. It doesn’t matter what the nature of the task is as long as it meets the above criteria.
This is what you should do.
I want you to stop.
I want you to identify this as a situation in which you have a vested interest and in which the outcome is not certain.
And I want you to start asking yourself questions.
Questions like:
What do I actually want from this?
What do I hope to achieve?
Is this something I should even be involved with in the first place?
If yes, what’s my role here?
If no, what would be a better way to handle this?
A habit of intention is not about going through the motions.
It’s not about living your life in a robotic way.
It’s about opening yourself up to possibilities and to the great power you have to choose your way forward.
As you probably know, there is a sort of narrowing effect as you get older. Opportunities seem to condense into a hallway that angles in at the sides the farther you walk down it.
But questions get you out.
Questions remind you that there are doorways to your left and right–and that you may not even be in the right hallway to begin with.
Questions, when all is said and done, are the openings that create the space for your new habit of intention.
So the next time you feel stuck, or don’t know what to do, or you simply feel like your life needs a refresh, ask yourself a question.
And then ask another.
At the very least, you’ll have a better idea of what you want.
And at the very most, you’ll become the kind of person you’ve been asking about.
It’s a new week and a new you. Take some time this week to think about what I wrote here. And then ask yourself some questions. You might be surprised by what you find out!

Have a great start to your week,
Jordan

P.S. I just partnered with an innovative telepsychiatry company that is making various adolescent / addiction / geriatric / etc. psychiatry services more accessible in rural areas in Montana (to start). Is this type of remote service something you’ve ever tried? Could you or someone you know benefit from this kind of service? Let me know what you think by replying to this email. At the very least, I’m going to create some content that features the innovative–and extremely important–work they do. Help me shape this partnership.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Become a member for $10 per month
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Jordan Brown - Mental Health Newsletter Writer, Poet, Social Worker, and Advocate
Jordan Brown - Mental Health Newsletter Writer, Poet, Social Worker, and Advocate

The Mental Health Update provides you with authentic mental health articles that make mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and OCD meaningful AND accessible.

This is different from typical mental health newsletters and articles.

It's not just an Anxiety Email Newsletter or a Depression Email Newsletter - It's two weekly articles packed with timeless mental health wisdom and inspiration to start your day in a thoughtful, uplifting way.

I was tired of other newsletters blasting out generic lists of links and depression articles.

And I was especially tired of them not focusing on the everyday reality of mental health issues.

So I decided to come up with something I wanted to read.

This health newsletter is like a caring friend that just wants you to feel better.

Mental health awareness articles don't need to be all doom and gloom and filled with jargon.

With The Mental Health Update, you'll get practical mental health information, tips, and new ways to view the world. Especially now, with people reeling from the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic, we need trusted voices telling it like it is.

We discuss topics like anxiety, depression, OCD, the mental health to mental illness spectrum, social and communication skills, and much, much more.

This is what a few subscribers had to say about The Mental Health Update:

"If you haven't yet subscribed to Jordan's mental health newsletter, you absolutely should. It's chock full of good stuff to read and will help make your day better. Not unlike a daily vitamin for your mental health and soul..." - JR

"Encouragement from someone who has “been there” when it comes to mental health struggles. Comes in the form of stories and simple, actionable tips for reframing and working with - and through - your issues. One of the few newsletters that has survived my ruthless inbox decluttering sprees. Highly recommended!" - Kelila

"Jordan's mental health update is a welcomed email in my inbox. It often provides me with a chance to break from the mundane tasks of working in an office and take a moment for myself to hear his thoughtful and well put together thoughts on many aspects of mental health. As someone who works in the psychology field it's often a nice reminder and way of grounding myself to all the great work that's going on and the journey we all must take in supporting mental health. Thank you Jordan!" - Rob

I take my no-spam policy very seriously. I consider it a mental health obligation to not abuse your trust.

Newsletter articles sent on Monday and Wednesday.

Members receive detailed information from those articles on Tuesday and Thursday AND an exclusive Friday email as well.

You can manage your subscription here
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue
Missoula, MT