Listening to your heart

Are you struggling to find your calling? Taking the time to ask yourself some key questions could be life-changing


Listening to your heart

Our experts pose questions to ask yourself to find your true ambition.

1. What does success mean to you personally? 

You might think you want that top promotion, perfect relationship, dream home, more money… ask yourself to go beyond a generic view of success, to identify what you really desire. Check if it’s just your ego saying ‘no’ to all the material things you feel you ought to have.

2. Do you want what you want just because your friends want it? 

We know from behavioural scientists that the pressure to conform is natural in human beings. Research shows we’re programmed to go along with the ‘norm’. Once you’re aware of this, you can find ways to break out.

3. Is it making too much effort? 

Ask yourself which area of your life is unsuccessful no matter how hard you try – then take the radical step of letting go. ‘Effort is a good thing, but it’s not the only ingredient,’ says John Purkiss.

4. What are the opportunities you have refused because they weren't 'good enough' for you? 

Sometimes, you can avoid something that you think isn’t for you, for the wrong reasons. Kele Baker says: ‘When you focus on wanting prestige, you can miss out because you’re not looking at all the options available to you.’

5. Forget what you think you want…what do you need?

Getting to the bottom of your unmet needs will truly liberate you. The key questions here are: How do you want to feel through achieving an ambition? And, is there anything else you can do to feel this and still fulfill that need?

6. What is your motivational inspiration? 

Lisa Fortlouis Wood recommends identifying what you loved before you were even at school, to identify what makes you lose track of time now. Then you can set goals as you’re innately motivated.

Photograph: iStock