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In this world of too many distractions, sometimes, we can get distracted in our purpose and don’t know what we want. Today’s episode is all about figuring out what we want or getting clear on what we want.
In this podcast we go through a simple strategy or question that we can use when we start to feel resentful or when we feel like we’re starting to lose our purpose.
It’s a simple, 2 minute question to ask ourselves to get clear on what we truly want.
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Hi guys, and welcome to the self-development collective. This episode is all about figuring out what we want or getting clear on what we want. And this is a simple tool, a strategy that I used when, um, when I start to feel resentful, when I start to feel like I’m not fulfilling my meaning or, or, or purpose doing the things that I love to do, doing the things that fulfill me.
And this is something that I speak about in an episode, which I’ll link in the description in the description below, which is about, um, the feelings of resentment that come up when we spend a lot of time doing things, you know, that take coins out. So there’s a whole idea that our out energy considers our energy in a jar of coins. And every, every day we do things that take coins out. So whether it’s household duties, whether it’s the work that we do, but we might not love, excuse me. And then there are the things that we do that bring back coins in, so that gives us energy. And usually, that’s the things that we love to do. The things that bring meaning or purpose to our lives.
It might, it’s also the simple things that we do, whether you like to sit outside and read a book, or whether you like to walk, it’s about doing the things that fill us up literally. Um, and obviously the metaphor of the coins is, you know, we’re doing the things that give us coins and fill that job back up so that we can be the person that we need to be for people in our lives and also for ourselves, because obviously the more coins we have there, the more we can give as well. It’s, you know, it’s a fine balance.
So this strategy is for me when I start to get really resentful. And usually, that’s when I’m not following through with things that are fulfilling for me, again, adding coins, um, and perhaps, maybe I’m spending more time taking those coins out. Um, also sometimes it’s really easy these days with Instagram and tik tok to really get on that bandwagon of feeling like we need to beat or do something else. Um, it can be really overwhelming.
We get a lot of different ideas and things heated us in one go, when you think about how quickly we scroll Instagram, we tend to get a bit muddled with our wants and needs because we tend to look at others as well and say, what makes them happy, or especially with Instagram and other social media accounts. What w what, uh, sorry, social media apps.
We might look at things and get these ideas of happiness from other people, and tend to get a little muddled with our own wants and needs. Also, it can be a case sometimes of trying to fill the expectations of others and doing a lot of what others think we should do or need us to do. Again, these are all just examples of when this strategy has come into play.
So for me, a couple of years ago, I heard about this strategy called the rocking chair test from Tony Robbins. And it was a way to get clear on what you wanted, um, and just to really get to the nitty-gritty of, you know, what’s important to you.
So with this test, you imagine yourself in a rocking chair at 80 years old, and you reflect back on the things that you would be regretting. And then obviously the idea is, as you reflect back on those regrets, you start to understand what’s most important to you to see what you really want to pursue, what things you love, perhaps maybe how relationships could be different for you. You never know what comes up in those types of scenarios, but it’s great to really help us understand and get to that, um, to get clear, I suppose, on the different areas of our lives and what we want in those areas of our lives.
The only thing is for me, when I thought about regrets when I’m 80, it didn’t really stress me because I’m 30. And, you know, if, if I’m lucky enough to get to 80, well, that’s a really long time. So I really don’t have to worry about those regrets for a while.
So for me, I didn’t find that strategy really motivating, obviously since then, uh, a lot’s happened. And one of the things that, you know, I speak about quite recently is, you know, my brother passing away and, um, something that was really interesting throughout that experience was hearing my brothers reflections, uh, hearing the themes he’d wished he’d done, um, hearing the themes he wishes he’d follow. He’d, um, pursued. And two things really stand out with me for that. Uh, the first thing was he often spoke about a trip that he didn’t go on because his girlfriend at the time didn’t want to go on it. And when he came, he said, when he, when his friends came home, they had all these inside jokes and they all got tattoos together, and it was such a good experience. And when he was unwell, he reflected on that a lot and said that he’d wished he’d gone. And something else that came up for him as well, was his career. He had pursued a Korea that perhaps was influenced by, you know, society’s expectations and also cultural expectations. We had grandparents that came here from literally nothing, um, with the goal of providing opportunities for their grandchildren. And they did exactly that. And it became a little bit challenging because to them taking those opportunities meant taking, going to uni, and getting a job. And, you know, um, there was a little bit of an obsession, I think, within our, within our family culture of becoming a lawyer and whatnot. And there was a lot of pride around that. And, you know, for my grandparents, that was something that they weren’t able to do.
So my brother pursued a career in, and I think that for him, that was something he really reflected on as he realized that perhaps it wasn’t the career for him. And, and he was more influenced by those, around him rather than his genuine needs and interests. And he started working on trying to change his career, um, throughout the time that he was unwell and just doing different courses and really exploring what he wanted. And so this is where these tests come from.
So I realized that there is real power in looking at our situations and when we’re starting to feel resentful or tired or muddled or confused about what’s important to us, I do something called the hospital bed tests. And this also come, this also helps sorry with anxiety because, you know, sometimes we would be worried about little things that we miss things because we’re busy worrying. And we always say, you know, I w I wish I wasn’t so focused on that. I probably would have been more present. And I think that that’s something too, again, that we tend to do. We tend to worry about things and miss moments. So I have something again, it’s called the hospital bed test. And despite it being a quite alike intense thing, I do think that, again, this is just a self-reflection tool to help us get clear. So I do want to emphasize that, and I understand if this might make you uncomfortable. I know this might be, um, a bit challenging for some people, perhaps a bit triggering.
So please be mindful of that. If this is something that doesn’t resonate with you, I always say, take what resonates leave? What, doesn’t the, excuse me, this is just one suggestion and something that I wanted to share with you because I’ve found it so helpful in getting straight to the point and helping me take action.
So that I’ve void the regrets that I’m worried I will have. And especially after experiencing those things with my brother, I under, I think I just saw it firsthand and really understood how they come into play when our life doesn’t turn out the way we are, um, the way we thought. So basically what it is is I, every time I imagine, or sorry, so recently, a couple of months ago, I was a little bit stressed and I was really losing again, that meaning and purpose. I wasn’t really doing things. I was really overwhelmed with uni. This is why the blog, um, I took a step back because uni was just so overwhelming. I was doing four subjects. I was really stressed, really angry, not great for the people around me, again, also not great for myself. It’s not a great feeling that constant fight or flight all the time. It’s really exhausting, not good for your health, but also not good for your mental state either.
So, and also something I’ve learned with my brother is I really wanted to make sure that I wanted to pursue the things that I love, but also make sure that I balance that with being present. Sometimes we get so focused on goals and, and, you know, we tend to miss what’s right here. And, and I really wanted to make sure I had a balance between striving and also just enjoying the moments that are around me. So I did. So I sat there and I was like, okay, I’m really stressed right now. I’m really confused. I’m feeling like for some reason, I’m not fulfilling that, meaning that purpose. I’m not getting it completely from uni. Why is that? And so I sat and I kind of imagined it myself. And I said, okay. So if something went wrong tomorrow and I was in the hospital and they had given me a diagnosis of something, um, what would I be thinking, what would I be regretting? What would I be wishing that I had done or didn’t do? And what would I be wanting to change? And so I sat there and I was like, I love my blog. I love doing this work. I love chatting with you. I love being here. I love the idea of creating this community with you and I wasn’t doing it.
But the thing was, I still loved the idea of studying and becoming a psychologist and getting to that point where I can have this community, but also work one-on-one with people around me too. So I sat there and I was like, okay, well, the first thing I would be upset about is the fact that I have spent so much time stressing and being angry and frustrated and being in a rush. And I really didn’t understand why I was rushing to get through uni and rushing, to get through these subjects and putting so much pressure on myself. And I thought, okay, well, if I was on my hospital bed and I did get a diagnosis, the first thing I would change is I would drop my units. I would go down to two subjects and I would focus more on the podcast. And I’d actually do 50 50, because if I did get a diagnosis, say like my brother were, or any sort of thing where we get, you know, unfortunately, get told that we have a certain timeframe or, or they don’t know our timeframe, or, you know, suddenly uncertainties right in front of us. I would want to still study. I would want to still be doing it, but I would want to be doing it 50 50. And that was my whole goal in getting to this as well.
My intention was always to continue the book, the podcast and do that as well. And so I quickly realized why I was getting frustrated and it was so enlightening like I was driving. And I was thinking, this is amazing. I actually just got to such a quick decision. And it was so clear to me because I had used the hospital bed test and sat there and said, okay, what would I be stressing about? What would I be worried about now? This is just one example for me. And it really helped me. It also helped me to shift my way of thinking. I realized that I was getting really frustrated and I, something that always comes up when I think of the hospital bed tests, and what I really envision it is I imagine that I would miss the moments with family. So it constantly reminds me of when I’m not spending enough time with my family.
I have a cousin that I’m really close to and there’s a big age gap. Um, and sometimes, you know, life happens, but this test always brings me back to what’s important to me. And I think that’s the biggest thing. It helps me to figure out what I want and also get clear, especially again, when that resentment bubbles up. So also the hospital bed tests help me when I start to get anxious about things. Like, for example, with uni, I think, oh my God, if I don’t get the marks, what am I going to do? How am I going to do this? Um, and then I remind myself that I would figure it out. And if I was in that situation, I don’t know if things are a little less serious when you do the hospital bed test in a way, I think not your worries are a little bit less serious, if that makes sense. Um, and that’s something like that I really experienced with my brother.
We didn’t really tend to worry about the things we used to worry about anymore. We, we kind of were just grateful for the tiny moments and every time I do the hospital bed tests, it reminds me again, to get clear on how important some of those tiny moments are. So again, this can be a bit overwhelming. So take what resonates and leave what doesn’t. But if you’re trying to make a decision, if you’re trying to get clear, if you’re not sure what you want, try the hospital bed, test, try asking yourself. If I got diagnosed with something tomorrow, if I got a timeframe, um, what would I change? What would I be doing differently? And what would I regret that I hadn’t changed yet? And the whole idea with the hospital bed test is it’s not about giving us like panicking and saying, oh, we don’t have much time. It’s actually an experience that helps us reflect on the fact that we do have time and we have the time to change things.
And that’s something for me, every time I do the tests, I don’t come out of it with anxiety. I come out, I come out of it with gratefulness that I’ve reflected on this and gotten clear on things because it’s kind of like you’re washing away those regrets. You’re thinking about the things that you would regret and you’re washing them away, by adjusting them adjusting your decision-making and your choices. So again, I highly suggest taking what resonates, leaving what doesn’t, but this is a really good way for me to get clear. And I have mentioned it to one of my friends who has used it and has mentioned to me that she found it really helpful when she was stressing about things, um, and feeling overwhelmed. It helped her again, to get clear, um, to really be present. So I know that she’s found it really helpful, and that was really good to know. Cause that helps me to know what to share with you guys, um, here and what strategies I think you might find helpful. So try it, let me know what you think. Um, I really am interested to see if this helps write it down, journal it, use it as a journal experience.
See if it gives you clarity if it gives you an idea of what’s, what’s meaningful for you. What’s what gives you purpose? What brings those coins in, uh, what moments perhaps, maybe you want to be more present in. There’s just so much that these simple questions can help give us and just find visioning that experience and imagining it’s so close. I think that’s a difference between the rocking chair test in these it’s so close to us that it helps us to get clear and take action now. So I hope you liked this episode.
If you love the content that we have here, make sure to join the waitlist for the self-development collective community. We’re starting a membership where we have lots of, um, sorry, different monthly topics, uh, with little exercises and things. We can do nothing too overwhelming, just a community to do the inner work, to work on the self-development. Uh, some of the ideas that we do here and just to really help each other, be accountable to creating those changes and finding the courage to make them. So thank you so much for being here. I will catch you in the next episode.