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Let’s talk about your future. What do you have in store for yourself? What are your goals and your priorities? These are questions we ask ourselves when we plan for our goals and dreams. But in the process of working towards them and even after attaining our goals and fulfilling our dreams, sometimes we still doubt: is this it? Is this what really makes me happy? Was it worth it? And now I have it, do I still want it?
Guess what: it’s okay to doubt. Actually: it’s great!
The truth is, we can never really know what the future will look like. For years, I have been working towards a ‘best future I could give myself’. In and on itself, that is not a smart way to live. (Something about the journey and not the goal…) Now, I did fulfill some of my dreams.
And then there is a ton of ideas, dreams, and goals that have not been pursued. But I have also done many other things that came my way. I have achieved different and unexpected things. My life has changed, and I too have changed in a way I could not have planned.
Life is always changing and we too are always changing, learning and adapting. This implies that there has to be more than one way to live our life. And also more than one way to be happy. Studies have shown that a healthy amount of reflection on your day to day life helps you being and staying happy. That can be anything that helps you revisit your thoughts and emotions, like keeping a journal for example. It can help you to stay on track and adapt to new situations.
This applies to every facet of life: career, relationship, maybe even spiritual growth. And it applies to everyone. Your partner, your neighbor, the friend you look up to, that pretty girl who looks so confident, even your all-time hero has doubts -and yes, that includes Batman as well-. Every life comes with its very own blessings and difficulties and both of them change as we adapt to them and learn to use them to our advantage. (How cool is that?)
Those doubts will never completely fade. But a certain amount of doubt about anything in life is a good thing. Just like physical pain, it can give you clear signals. After all, the brain transfers all those messages equally.
Doubt is a base for improvement. It’s only by doubting a scientific theory or a study that we recreate, discover and improve scientific knowledge. The great Greek philosophers were all taken for madmen with their theories, but once they checked whether they were right or wrong to take those doubts away, science could really continue to change or build upon them.
Doubt has the same function in our own lives. Take the time to reflect regularly. If you realize you are continuously feeling unhappy, unfulfilled or doubtful about your current situation, maybe it is time to change. I do not tell you to quit your studies or your job from one day to the next. But for some people, it could be exactly the right thing to do.
Maybe you only have to change something small. Something within your job or within yourself, your way of thinking or behaving. Maybe you can feel more fulfilled by taking on a new hobby besides the job that you do like.
For myself, I’m generally not one for impulsive decisions. But sometimes I just know for sure what to do and I feel like it’s no use waiting or doubting any longer.
Whatever works for you, whether it’s a long process of reflection or a radical life change, by all means, doubt! do it! Dare! The most important thing is the movement. Keep thinking, doubting and adapting. And follow your heart, it knows the way…