How To Discover What You Really Want

by Adrienne Smith on July 4, 2011

How To Discover What You Really WantI’ve met so many people over the past four years since I began my online journey. Everyone of them have been unique in their own way. But I’ve also realized that a lot of people seem to just be going with the flow so to speak.  When I ask people questions like who are they, what do they really want, what’s your life’s purpose, they don’t have a quick answer.

Your Core Values

When you are able to really live your life in alignment with your core values, you will realize that you are finally living the life you’ve always wanted.

Your core values all began with knowing what is the most important thing to you in your life.  What really motivates you!  When you become conscious of what these really are then you can design your best life.

So do you know what yours are, I mean do you “really” know?  Let’s do a little exercise. Write down a list of words that would describe what’s most important to you.  Start with a list of 20 words that would best describe what you really want and what motivates you. Here is a list of over 100 words that might help you get started.  You can print this out and just circle the words if that will be easier.  It might not be a complete list so by all means, include your own. This is your life we are talking about after all.

The next step you would want to do is narrow that list down to the top 10 words that would best describe your core values.  Prioritize them by importance with the first one being the most important.

You may say that they all are important but look at it this way.  If I told you that you were only able to pick just one word what would that be?  Now let’s say you were only able to pick two words, what would those be?  So list them in sequence of what’s the most important to you.

Once you have that completed you have now written down your core values.  They are your foundation.  They will help you realize what’s most important in your life.  Where do you want to be spending most of your time or where do you want to focus the majority of your energy?

Once I completed this exercise I realized that money and success are not at the top of my list.  Do you know what was?  Faith, family, gratitude, those types of things were much more important to me than the money or success.

What this exercise will help you realize is how you’ve been spending your time.  What you have been doing the most is not your top priority in your life.

I can hear you now saying “yeah I know that Adrienne, I really would prefer spending all of my time with my family but in order to have the freedom that I so desperately want I have to work long hours now.”  I know that it’s important to give up some things in order to get what we really want.  That’s so very true so I’m not going to argue with you about that at all.  But you will find that when you start aligning yourself with your core values you will start to become so much more fulfilled and start living your life to the fullest.

Moving On To Your Why

Once you have your core values down it’s time to move on to figuring out your real why. Why are you here, why are you building a business, why do you want to be successful?

Most people will list things like they are doing this because they want more freedom to spend with their family, they want to make enough to put their kids through college, they want to be able to take more vacations, they want to be able to support their family in a lifestyle they know they deserve, etc.  All very good reasons to be doing this and I applaud you.  We all want to have a better life.

But you will soon learn that these things are not what drives you.  It’s not what really motivates you.  When you dig much deeper and really start to look at this you will soon realize that your real why has nothing to do with you.  It has to do with what you can give.   What you can contribute or give of yourself that will help make this world a better place in some way or another.

Tony Robbins says that the biggest two core needs of a human being in a spiritual sense are to contribute and to grow and evolve.  When we aren’t doing that, we are unfulfilled.

The End Of Your Life

Studies have shown that when you ask people who are at the end of their lives what really mattered the most to them the majority said that what they contributed was what mattered the most.  It had nothing to do with what they had acquired, the money they had made, the status they had achieved, none of that was important.

Now remember, these are people who are on their death bed so they have nothing more to look forward to.  What mattered the most was their contributions.  What they were able to give was more fulfilling to them then anything else in the world.  How they treated people, their families, their friends.  How they actually showed up in their lives. When it was done with integrity and love, that was so much more important to them.

You can’t take possessions with you but you can leave a legacy behind.  How do you want to be remembered?

It’s Not About The Things

I’m sure you’ve heard plenty of stories in your life about people who have so many wonderful things.  The big mansion, the fancy expensive car, the bank account with millions of dollars in it yet they still aren’t happy.  Why do you think that is?  The natural core of every human being is to give whether it’s through love, gifts, understanding, sharing.  Most people are conditioned to think “what can I get”.  That’s why a lot of people are so unhappy.  Things don’t fulfill you at your deepest level.

I’m not saying that those things aren’t enjoyable and that they aren’t worth having.  What I am saying is that they aren’t fulfilling.

We have to fill ourselves up with what we want first before we can give it to anyone else. Take love for an example.  People want to be loved right.  The problem is if you haven’t learned to love yourself first then you will not have a successful loving relationship because you aren’t able to give in return.

I love helping others, I love giving to others so when I do, I am so filled up.  Sometimes I almost feel like I’m going to burst I’m so happy.  That’s what really matters the most.

How To Discover What You Really Want

Now that you have made your list and realized what’s really important in your life it’s up to you to create that life for yourself.  It’s not up to anyone else but you.  You are the one in control.

Once you learn to live the love, the peace, the gratefulness, whatever you put on your list, that is how you can discover what you really want.  What we want the most, we have the power to give the most.

So what did you discover about yourself after making your list?  What was at the top of your list?  Did you learn that it’s not about the money or success?  I know that a few of you are much more grounded and have learned what’s more important to you while on this journey so I’m sure you didn’t learn anything today that you didn’t already know.  But hopefully I was able to help just a few people who may still be struggling with trying to discover what they really want.

I’ve been on this magical journey and you know how much I enjoy sharing what I learn along the way.  Sometimes we just need that small piece of information to help us understand or maybe we need it explained differently in order to point us in the right direction.  Whatever that may be, I hope I’ve been able to contribute even in some small way.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic and what you’ve already figured out while on your own journey.  Do you know what you really want?  Did you have some of the same revelations I did when realizing that the things I thought mattered most in the world were really second nature?  Some people will be surprised.  I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bill Dorman
July 4, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Uh oh, a test; I’ll have to come back. But in case you are wondering, I still want to be king BTW……….:)


2 Adrienne Smith
July 4, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Oh and you are still King my friend… See ya later. :-)


3 Jeffrey Morgan
July 5, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Hey ……….. wait just a dog gone minute here !!!


4 Adrienne Smith
July 5, 2011 at 5:52 PM

LOL!!! Well he did ask! :-)


5 Bill Dorman
July 8, 2011 at 8:09 AM

He who asks first, right? Have you ever noticed the looks you get when your wear that Burger King crown riding around in your car? It’s almost as creepy as the Burger King dude they use in the commercials……..


6 Adrienne Smith
July 8, 2011 at 8:50 AM

LOL!!! Yep, pretty weird for sure. Unless you are headed to a costume party! :-)


7 Carolyn
July 4, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Congratulations, Bill, you got what you want. You are definitely the king, and I know I’m not the only one who thinks so! :-)


8 Bill Dorman
July 8, 2011 at 8:10 AM

Yay, thanks Caroline…………..:)


9 Bill Dorman
July 8, 2011 at 8:11 AM

Oops, I mean Carolyn……….at least is sounded the same, huh? I better look before I type or I might be calling you Gwendolyn or something; you gotta just knock my upside the head sometimes………..:)


10 Chrysta Bairre
July 4, 2011 at 9:52 AM

What a great article, Adrienne! I have seen many people who don’t know what they really want and have a history of attaching to what they have in life and leaving it at that. The problem with this method is it makes it very hard to be happy, especially when happiness depends on attachment to a person, place or thing instead of finding passion within ourselves.

When I write about loving my work-life, I write about being fully engaged in my choices, attitudes and actions and living a life that inspires me. I feel this is done by knowing what I really want and taking steps to put that into action every day.

I’ve learned to love my work-life by following my core values and incorporating them into whatever job I have as I work towards a career I want. Happiness and joy are not the result of my situation, but my mindset and being true to myself. Of course I must first know what my truth looks like.

Thanks again for this great article! I’m sharing everywhere!


11 Adrienne Smith
July 4, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Thank you Chrysta, I appreciate that.

As I mentioned in my post, I see it way too often. I’m also sure you can relate to how many people are really truly unhappy in their lives because they aren’t living it to the fullest. It breaks my heart and I do my best to help those understand what it takes to move forward but let’s face it, they have to do the work themselves.

See, I know I have some awesome readers who have learned these lessons. I appreciate you sharing with us what you have learned and how you apply that to what you love doing. Recognizing what your core values are is the first step. Once you do you’ll see life a little differently. You’ll realize what’s really the most important to you and then work toward that.

Thank you so much for sharing that with us. I greatly appreciate it and I’m honored that you are eager to share my post with others. Thank you again for that.

Have a beautiful and special day! :-)


12 Mouh
July 4, 2011 at 8:56 AM

I started online because of a person I loved. I did everything for that person. I was so passionate because of that person. Then I lost that person and lost my passion in the process. It was so hard for me. I couldn’t endure that and I am still suffering from it. What keeps me motivated now is the positive feedback I get when I help someone. That happiness you “read” in someone’s e-mail. I recently got the chance to help someone write and sell an eBook. The person was on a tight budget and wanted a discount (I offer a discount for those in need). I was so happy to help the person. The feeling I felt was life itself, I swear. I believe that’s all I want in life because that’s what keeps me alive.



13 Adrienne Smith
July 4, 2011 at 10:15 AM

That is the core to everyone’s happiness whether they realize it or not. See, you started this because of someone else and not for yourself. When you really dig deep down you will realize that the reason you really do things isn’t for you. It’s the feeling you get from helping others even if it’s just through words. Your heart will fill up so full and then you will truly realize why you are here. Everything else will just fall into place.

That is so kind of you to give discounts to people in need. I know they appreciate it Mouh and it sounds like you got just as much from that experience as that person did.

Thank you SO much for sharing that and I am truly sorry that you had to go through that. But look at the person you turned out to be because of having that experience. I’ve been through some ringers myself and they weren’t pleasant at all but I love the person that I’ve become and I guess I had to go through all of that to get here. So the ride was worth it.

Have a beautiful day my friend and thanks again.


14 Carolyn
July 4, 2011 at 12:38 PM

My values and goals seem to be in lock step with yours, Adrienne, and Mouh’s too. I’m happy for Bill, because someone should be kind and I vote for anyone who wants that job. Too much responsibility for me, lol!

I believe you can tell who is aligned with their goals, they seem more at peace with life. I feel as if I finally found my niche, writing about personal technology. I just wish I had listened to my many dear friends who had been suggesting that for years, they were right!

I hope you find your peace, Adrienne. You are a very talented, warm, caring and intelligent person so I know when you are headed in the correct direction, you will excel!


15 Adrienne Smith
July 4, 2011 at 2:37 PM

I can see that Carolyn, you strike me as that kind of person. Glad to hear that we have that in common.

I also agree with you that people who seem to be more at peace with life are more aligned with their goals. As that saying goes, better late than never right! Sounds like your friends saw something in you that you didn’t see in yourself. But you took that step, found out you love it and you are there. In the end that’s all that really matters.

I know I’m on the right road. I know what I love to do the most now so I’m going through some more training that I’m hoping will help me define that much better and then I’ll revamp my blog and stick to that path. What can I say, it’s taken me awhile but once again, better late than never. :-)

Appreciate your comment and for sharing your thoughts with me. As always, I enjoy hearing from you.


16 Carolyn
July 4, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Oops! Freudian slip there, I meant to say that I was glad Bill wants to be “king”, but I typed “kind” instead. I’m glad he’s both king and kind!

Thank you for your kind words, Adrienne. I’m so glad to have found your amazing blog and you!


17 Adrienne Smith
July 4, 2011 at 5:46 PM

I figured that was what you meant and I’m sure he did too! :-)

My pleasure and thank you Miss Carolyn, I’m so glad we are blogging buddies now.


18 Matt R July 4, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Found you through Benny’s awesome 40 people post!

Wow, this blog post couldn’t have been published at a more perfect time. I sat in my apartment for 3-4 days now and only going out for the occasional bite, not to be a hermit but to brainstorm what purpose and legacy I want to send to the world.
It took me quite a while but I figured it out and that clarity is so powerful, it has to do with the three principles: eliminate fear, make possibilities, help others along the way. And I just know how to tie them all into one!

Flow. Imagination. Uniqueness. Unity. Vision. Courage. Inspiration. Learning. Making a Difference. Energy.

Those are my 10. Thanks for this post.


19 Adrienne Smith
July 4, 2011 at 10:55 PM

Hey Matt,

It sounds like you visited just at the right time. I’d like to welcome you.

Thank you so much for sharing that. I can understand what you are saying here. I would beat myself up over it kind of mad at myself for not having “figured it all out” by a certain time. Sometimes we just need to look at things differently. So thrilled to hear that you are very clear on your top 10 core values and what you believe is the most important to you. Sounds like you are headed in the right direction now. I love hearing that and I appreciate you sharing that with us.

Here is wishing you the very best of luck and I have no doubt that everything will fall into place now. Hope you enjoyed your weekend and I hope I see you back again.



20 Ruzanne July 5, 2011 at 1:44 AM

Hey, Adrienne! Really GREAT post… a mighty affirmation of what I’ve just done recently. For a time, I thought working online was all about building an empire. But then I’ve come to discover differently – like helping out people, giving them directions and info on where they’d want to go, kinda like that. And guess what, I dropped off the blatant money-making endeavor. I’m happily stuck with my organic goals, loving every hopeful feeling that the actions that come after will really make me happy :) With this post, it feels even better to be on this track. So thanks, Adrienne!


21 Adrienne Smith
July 5, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Hey Ruzanne,

Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I know we all come into this thinking we’re here for one reason but when you really dig down deep, it has nothing to do with that at all. That’s just the outlet that will get you there but that’s not what you enjoy doing the most. I love these wake up calls, they keep me on my toes.

Appreciate you sharing this with us all. So here is to your success at doing what you love. I have no doubt you will do very well.

Adrienne :-)


22 sam July 5, 2011 at 6:42 AM

Nice post, earlier from do any thing in life you think on it so much time with cool mind because you need to set a perfect goal which you want to do you should not confuse in that, from my point of view we should do only that thing in which we are interesting to do .


23 Adrienne Smith
July 5, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Thank you Sam, I appreciate you contributing to this post.


24 Eddie Gear
July 5, 2011 at 8:05 AM

There are two ways I FOLLOW to identify what i really want. A self analysis on my strengths and weaknesses.

Evaluate my skills and see what best works.

The other is to pursue what my mind tells me and not think otherwise.


25 Adrienne Smith
July 5, 2011 at 10:22 AM

Sounds like that works very well for you my friend. I have no doubt that you are doing what you enjoy and having success. You just seem like that kind of guy, a real go getter. :-)

Thanks for sharing that with me. I appreciate it!


26 Riley Harrison July 5, 2011 at 8:08 AM

Freedom is at the top of my value list. Whenever I feel my choices are limited,happiness takes a hit, but when I truly feel that I really have choice I’m feel zestful and energized.


27 Adrienne Smith
July 5, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Freedom is an important one for sure Riley. I think when most people step back and ask themselves whey they are really doing this it’s because they want that freedom to be able to do whatever they want. The money is the vehicle to get you there but it’s not the ultimate goal. That really puts things into perspective when you look at it that way.

Appreciate you sharing that with us.


28 Adam
July 5, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Adrienne, awesome insights here my friend.

There is no doubt that once we come to realize what we truly want in life and live our life in alignment to them core values, self fulfillment and happiness will prevail.

I have realized over time that money doesn’t matter. Yes, it matters to survive in this world but it is not what makes me happy. Giving, helping, faith, family, leaving behind a legacy are some of the things that truly matter to me more than anything else. I also realized that no matter what I do and what I become, I cannot be happy unless I am happy with who I am and what I have become.

I am fixing to download the list and check it out Adrienne.
Talk to you soon!


29 Adrienne Smith
July 5, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Hey Adam,

Thank you for that, glad you enjoyed this post.

Sounds like you’ve already learned this huge lesson. I’m thrilled to hear that. I know so many people who haven’t figured all this out yet. I don’t think we think about it really until it’s been brought to our attention. But once it has it’s like all the lights have just been turned on and they are so bright.

Appreciate your input Adam as always. I enjoy hearing from you and I’m so thrilled you learned this lesson some time ago. I think we are a lot alike there. Maybe that’s why I like you so much! Oh, and because you live in Texas! :-)


30 Marianne Worley
July 6, 2011 at 3:40 AM

This is an excellent exercise Adrienne. I have a blue 3×5 card on my refrigerator that contains 20 words–all of them appear on your list! I also tend to write the most important words on my whiteboard for extra emphasis.

It seems like we’re trained to say things like “My goal is to make money.” But what we really want is just a little recognition for our accomplishments and hard work.

My top 2: learning and teaching. As long as those stay at the top, I feel like I can do anything.


31 Adrienne Smith
July 6, 2011 at 10:38 AM

That’s awesome Marianne, sounds like you are one of those that is on the right track. I applaud you young lady.

Wow, a 3×5 card on your frig, I’m impressed. I have a vision board that hangs over my desk and it really consists of a lot of things. Photos, affirmations, what I’m thankful for, who I am, you name it. I look at that so many different times throughout my day and they are constant reminders of why I do what I do and who I am as a person. It makes a big difference in my life that’s for sure. I’m impressed with your system as well. I believe we are on the right track my dear.

Thanks for sharing. Love it!


32 Ashvini
July 6, 2011 at 5:16 AM

Hi Adrienne,
I am back at your fantastic blog:).

What I like in life ? Money , yes quite there on my agenda but most of all , I want to help people to avoid mistakes that I did when I started my last venture. They say to learn something you have to teach first. Even though we are not teachers by profession, I think everyone of us knows something that is useful to other . In that sense I want to learn from you things that you know better and tell you things that I know.
In the process of learning , I have to read a lot , listen and meet people from whom I can take practical ideas and then convert them into stories.
In the process, if I get a lot of affection and love from my friends (including online and far away) , that I think is a great reward.
Your post is very useful to people who are looking for a direction to life and if they read it well can find many answers here.
Thanks for sharing.


33 Adrienne Smith
July 6, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Welcome back Ashvini, it’s always a pleasure to see you.

Ah, we ALL love money. It’s what helps make the world go round because let’s face it, none of us can survive without it. But it’s usually not your driving factor. You said yourself that you enjoy helping people so when you really ask yourself way down deep what do I really want, you want to help people. Now eventually we all want what we do to become a way for us to make an income because you can end up teaching others and that can lead to other things. It will all fall into place the way it should when you have recognized that.

I appreciate your comment Ashvini and thanks again for stopping back by. Always a pleasure to see you and hear what you have to share.


34 Marcus Baker
July 6, 2011 at 7:35 AM

Hi Adrienne,

What an awesome post and such an important topic too.

The values exercise you suggest is one I have done many times in my life and of course over the years my values have changed considerably, thank goodness! :)

Like you Adrienne, I am focused on looking for opportunities to make a difference to the lives of others wherever I can. I do this because it makes me feel so incredibly alive that I can literally feel the current in my body zing. This is what I want to be remembered for, making a difference to as many people’s lives as I possible.

I believe the reason why we feel so great when we do this is because we are acknowledging that we are all connected. When you give to others you give to yourself too. It’s about seeing the soul behind the eyes and knowing that we are all one.

Thank you for writing a truly inspiring post Adrienne!



35 Adrienne Smith
July 6, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Hi Marcus,

Thank you my friend for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on this subject. I felt that you would be someone who has done this many times and already knows where you are headed. I know my values have changed somewhat but luckily, not too terribly much.

I do love making a difference. Maybe receiving a personal note from someone saying thank you or a call from someone because they just wanted to tell me how much they appreciated my help. It’s so rewarding and you are right, it does make me feel so incredibly alive. What a feeling isn’t it!

Appreciate your input Marcus and thank you again for sharing your thoughts. Be sure and have a wonderful day!


36 Daca July 6, 2011 at 2:52 PM

What an amazing article. People probably can’t choose their priorities so easily. That’s why I think this list can be very useful – for both, personal and business plan. Great work.


37 Adrienne Smith
July 6, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Thank you Daca and welcome to my blog. I appreciate your comment, that’s so nice.

You are right, it can be very hard to chose but I think when they really take the time to think about what’s most important to them, it will be an easy decision. :-)


38 Jack
July 6, 2011 at 3:24 PM

I am in a bit of a transitional period of life so I am very focused on trying to do the things that bring me inner peace. That is where happiness lies and that is my focus.


39 Adrienne Smith
July 6, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Well sometimes our core values change over time so sounds like because you are in that transitional period, that can be a good thing. I’m sure for you, it is!


40 Iviana July 6, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Adrienne, this is so powerful! I’m so glad I found your site! This is something that I used to struggle with right when I got out of college. My main focus when I first started deciding on my career was how I could make the most money. I quickly learned that wasn’t what I really wanted. I wanted to make a difference in women’s lives. Then, I wondered, how in the world can I do it? That’s when I started looking at my values and my strengths. Many of us just continue life thinking about things on the surface and never really look deeply into our core values. When we do figure that out, we can start living!


41 Adrienne Smith
July 6, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Hi Iviana,

First I’d like to welcome you to my blog. So happy you found my site. Second I would like to thank you for your wonderful comment. I really appreciate you sharing that with us. You sound like you have a real good head on your shoulders and I have no doubt that you are doing really well making a difference in women’s lives.

I appreciate your comment and thank you again. I’ll be sure to stop by your place and say hello as well.


42 Franziska San Pedro
July 6, 2011 at 9:40 PM

Hi Adrienne,

this is just a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing!
It’s my husband’s birthday today and I got a gift for him that was just perfect, something that he really wanted. Today, I thought that I enjoy his birthday much more than mine because I love to see his tears in the morning because he is so touched by all the things that are waiting for him: candles, flowers, breakfast and a festive table setting.. I love the glow in his eyes and when I make him as happy as if he’s a little child again.

Those moments are priceless and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world.
You are an amazing woman with many facets that makes your personality just sparkle. This post is wonderful, thank you for sharing,

Franziska San Pedro


43 Adrienne Smith
July 6, 2011 at 11:02 PM

Thank you so much for that Franziska! Your husband is one lucky guy. All those wonderful things you do for him, I’m sure he’s so honored that you are a part of his life. Those are the wonderful things that make life go round don’t they! Thank you for sharing that with me. It really is the little things that truly matter most.


44 Robert Miras July 7, 2011 at 4:08 AM

I was actually having trouble with what really I wanted to. I find myself out of motivation as of now. Once I have someone whom I am inspired of and made me like I am that always in vigor everyday, but I lost her. The only thing made me breath as of now is my mother brothers and sisters. Your article would be a helpful tool for me to determine what I want most now.


45 Adrienne Smith
July 7, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Thank you for sharing that Robert. You have to learn to be okay with just yourself. If you aren’t happy with you then how can you expect anyone else to be? Until you can do that, relationships will be hard to hold on to. Dig deep within yourself and discover who Robert is and then the rest will start to fall into place. It’s wonderful to have people in your life, I don’t know what I would do without my family, but they don’t define you. You are the only one who can do that.

Appreciate you sharing that with me and I wish you the very best.


46 Jens P. Berget
July 7, 2011 at 8:10 AM

Hi Adrienne,

I finally got Internet access at the public library :)

This post was exactly what I needed. I have been looking for this answer for a long time, and I am still sort of looking for it. I know what I love, but it’s also about security, and passion. For instance, I love animals, and I’m really passionate about them.. but I won’t work with animals, because I just get too depressed when something bad happens to them :)

I have just bought an affiliate marketing course that I’m going to be reading (and listenting to during July), and maybe I’m finally going to start some niche sites and campaigns. I’d love to finally start earning money online. Sounds like the best job in the world :)

Have a great summer Adrienne, I’m on my way back to the tent and the ocean.



47 Adrienne Smith
July 7, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Hey Jens,

Hope you are enjoying yourself so far. Glad you have a public library near by. We would miss hearing from you for 5 weeks.

I’m glad you found this post useful. Sounds like you are on your own journey right now. I should have pointed you in the direction of my Affiliate Marketing blog where you can read all about how to build an affiliate marketing business. But there are definitely other and better ways for you to make a great income. We might have to talk about that some day. :-)

For now just enjoy your time by the ocean in your tent with no electricity. Wow, you are brave my friend to do that for the entire month. Can’t wait to hear all about your adventure. Stay safe!



48 Sheila Atwood July 7, 2011 at 12:27 PM


Nice steps for discovering your purpose. I think our basic purposes diminish as we grow older. If you are around children you will notice how much they want to help and contribute. Usually they are not allowed to help. Then we get into education systems that tell us we must do certain things to be a success.

Having our purposes opposed causes problems. And creates the game of life.

Rekindling our purposes is definitely the key to successfully moving the game forward. It is the key to growing bigger and handling more in life.

Thanks for your contribution. I appreciate seeing another person’s journey and how they take life apart and look at it. It was a fun exercise.


49 Adrienne Smith
July 7, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Thank you for sharing that Sheila, you are so right. As children we are taught one thing but as we grow older it all seems to change. No wonder so many people are confused in this world.

Glad you enjoyed the exercise and had fun with it. That’s all that really matters right!


50 Robert Miras July 7, 2011 at 9:42 PM

Thank you for your kind words Adriene. I will let you know if ever I got myself back again.
More power God Bless.


51 Bill Dorman
July 8, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Yes, family; integrity; trust are all important to me. But at the end of the day, I would like to be remembered for making a difference to someone. Even if it was one person who I had some positive impact on, that would mean a lot.

Sometimes we just tramp along on this road called life and you wonder if you have any impact at all at times.

Very thought provoking and sorry it took me so long to make it back. I hope you have a great weekend.


52 Adrienne Smith
July 8, 2011 at 9:05 AM

Thanks for stopping back by Bill, appreciate it. I know life gets pretty busy for us sometimes so you are a doll.

I know I mention my Dad a lot but when he passed we gave him a Memorial Service, a celebration of his life. We are members of a pretty big church and it was standing room only in there and that particular day we had a horrible storm. It was in February and it iced in some places so some family members couldn’t even make it to the service. We were so touched at all the people who got out in that weather to come and pay tribute to him. That’s because my Dad was one of the most giving human beings you would ever have the pleasure of meeting. He gave to his church and he volunteered at MD Anderson Cancer Center for years, just being there for the people who were going through what he was. He also gave blood when he could so I know at the end of his life, giving was so much more important. That’s how I would love to be remembered as well. Minus the cancer part that is. :-)

Thanks for your input Bill, I really appreciate it! Have a blessed weekend and hope your week went really well.


53 Bill Dorman
July 8, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Wow, what a tribute. Losing a parent is not easy, but what great memories.


54 Adrienne Smith
July 8, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Thanks Bill, he was an amazing man! :-)


55 Jeanine Byers Hoag July 8, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Hi Adrienne!

What an illuminating exercise!! My top five were comfort, authenticity, solitude, honesty, and peace. So my “why” is contained in my top two (possibly my top three). The reason I want money, success and things has to do with comfort.

What I want to give is authenticity. I want to help people discover & become who they really are.

And the third item on my list: one of the “things” I want is a house big enough to create solitude even when there are people around.

BTW, I agree about growth being a value but it didn’t make my top ten. And I wonder if, at my deathbed, I’ll be thinking, “did I get enough time alone?” :).



56 Adrienne Smith
July 8, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Hi Jeanine,

Glad you enjoyed this exercise and diving down deep.

I love your top three choices! This is why are here and I can see you accomplishing everything you have on your list. You do help people discover who they really are by what you share on your blog.

We all know that things change from time to time so your list may change over time as well. Funny thing is I didn’t have growth on my list either although I’m always growing. So I’m sure you feel the same way.

Don’t have those regrets, you can do something about that now. Take that time to yourself even if it’s just once a week and enjoy your life. You will be so much more refreshed and will be able to help others so much more when you have had that time alone. Live your life to the fullest young lady, you deserve it!

Thanks so much for your comment, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us.


57 marquita herald July 9, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Aloha Adrienne, in all honesty – at this very moment on Saturday afternoon what I really want is to be independently wealthy so I could sleep for the next 2 days and then spend my time doing things I value like supporting good causes, writing for the joy of writing, seeing my family on the mainland and taking a really loooong road trip across the country, instead of working all the time. However, since that’s not likely to happen any time soon, my compromise is to hang tough on my determination to earn a living doing work I find enjoyable, creative and worthwhile :-)


58 Adrienne Smith
July 10, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Well that definitely sounds like a wonderful plan to me Marguita! Keep on doing what you’re doing and the rest will fall into place. Thanks for stopping by! Appreciate you taking the time! :-)


59 Theresa Torres July 9, 2011 at 7:55 PM

Hi Adrienne,
I was at Adam Paudyal’s blog and then I saw your post from the commentLuv plug-in and I headed over here.
You know what, I was just reading Steve Pavlina’s popular post yesterday about discovering one’s life purpose in 20 minutes so when I started reading your post, I was thinking of how it’s kind of related.
He also suggested making a list of what we think is our true purpose in life and keep at the list until we get to the one that makes us cry.
I wasn’t able to make my list yet and if someone asks me today if I know my true purpose in life, I guess I won’t be able to give a definite answer so I’ll definitely take the time today to make that list and finally discover what I really want in life.
Thanks for sharing and have a nice day!


60 Adrienne Smith
July 10, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Hi Theresa,

Thank you for coming by and glad you found me over at Adam’s place. He’s a great guy, isn’t he!

Wow, sounds like Steve and I were thinking the same things with our posts. How cool is that, I love that! I think that going into this we sometimes have a little something in mind but after going through this exercise, you’ll really learn what you truly want. It took me a long time to discover that I really love helping people. Which is why I write on this blog and about different things. If just one person can learn something from what I’ve shared, my day is made! I hope you find this exercise helpful and good luck to you and your journey.

Thanks again for your comment, it’s always appreciated. Hope you’ll stop back by again some time and visit.


61 A. Leigh Edwards July 10, 2011 at 1:06 AM

Hi Adrianne,

Here’s my top ten in alphabetical order…

Courage – Dependability – Faith – Family – Flexibility – Freedom – Creativity – Honesty – Loyalty – Peace

I love this topic! True introspection can be a challenging pill to swallow for many because it requires us to be accountable. However, in order to enact change, we must first know and understand what’s most important (in the absence of external approval) and have the courage to allow those values to be our internal GPS, guiding us to a life of true fulfillment.

The true measure of “who” we are often occurs when all of the external “things” have been stripped away and our souls are bare before Spirit; when all of the material things and the “images” of success are stripped away, for whatever reason, one quickly identifies what’s truly important and the authentic self begins to emerge.

Beautiful job here!


62 Adrienne Smith
July 10, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Hi Leigh,

Thank you so much for sharing your top 10 with me. Wow, those are some really great values you have there. But knowing what I do of you, I can see why they are on your list.

You are so so so right. When it comes down to the bare essentials, what really matters to you. Really!!! That’s when you will find who you really are and why you are here. Just be your authentic self, that’s who we want to meet.

Appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me and thanks for that. I love helping people think! :-)


63 Dr. Bob Clarke
July 10, 2011 at 8:40 AM

This is a marvelous post, Adrienne because it causes people to pause and really think WHY they’re on social media or writing that blog post or creating that headline or just simply why they’re reading blogs on an early Sunday morning.

When I did this exercise (I’ve done it before in a slightly different way but this served to reinforce it), money did come up among the tops of my values. But not why you might think.

I’ve come to understand that wanting money is not a bad thing. It’s not selfish to want to make money, even more money than you can possibly need. Because when this happens to me, I have plans on using that money to give back to others. I figure the more I make the more I can give back.

But to be in alignment with my values, I must make that money in a reputable way. To me, that means no false promises, no pie in the sky pronouncements just to get people to buy my product or join my team. It means providing real value to people in various ways, so that they get what they paid for and I feel good about accepting their money.

It’s all about good faith, I suppose.

Anyway, sorry to ramble on about this but you got me thinking along these lines and I wanted to get it out! :-)

Thanks again, Adrienne… I love coming to your blog!


64 Adrienne Smith
July 10, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Hey Bob,

Why thank you for that, I do like to get people hinking! :-)

You are right, wanting money is not a bad thing. We can’t survive without it and like you, the more I have the more good I’ll be able to do in order to help others. But I think when most people go through this exercise it’s a wake up call to them that money is not their #1 top priority. Not that it’s a bad thing like we’ve already discussed… But it’s all those other values that will really drive you to doing better and being better in order to help others along the way. And that my friend is what can lead to more money.

I enjoyed your rambling, come on over to my place and ramble any time! :-) Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me Bob, I appreciate them so much. They get me to thinking too! I just love that.

Have a beautiful day and hope your weekend has been a good one.


65 Jane July 11, 2011 at 12:48 PM

Excellent post Adrienne, just loved the way how you teach people to find what they want. This is something very important for both personal and business lives of ours. Coz if we don’t know what we want, we are most probably doing the wrong things that lead us to something else rather than what we actually wanted.

It is good to initially find out our need and then check with ourselves periodically to see if we are proceeding in the right direction.


66 Adrienne Smith
July 11, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Thank you Jane, glad you enjoyed this one. I went through some of these exercises before but am going through some training that reiterated it again. Thought this time I would share this with others in case they are stuck or possibly going after the wrong things. It helps if you really know why you do what you do and I mean it coming from the heart.

Appreciate your input, thanks for stopping by. Always enjoy seeing a comment from you. You always have some interesting thoughts to share.


67 Jayne Kopp
July 12, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Hi Adrienne, what a wonderful post. It really makes you drill down.

Of course I want to be happy, but much of that happiness comes from my faith, and family.

My family and faith are the most important…. and this can be reversed of course, because it is because of my faith, my maker that I have my family in the first place.

Everything I do is for my family… and it really does not have as much to do with money or material things… although one of my fave quotes by Zig Ziglar is that Money is relatively close of oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale. (LOL). That is only because of the world we live in.

When it comes down to brass tacks, its all about my kids and family. Without them I really would have a hard time being happy.

Now funnily enough, I have a blog on my list to posts that is scarily related to what you have said. Its about your why and your reasons … and I will post it soon. It basically says some of what you say in a different way… yet similar.

My why is what I mentioned… but my reasons for doing what I do is to empower others.

I would like to be seen as honest, generous, empowering, trustworthy… and I truly from the bottom of my heart want others to be happy as well and achieve what I know they can.

I really so badly want to help other people get ahead and be happy and would be and (have been) so honored to have a part in their transformation.

its not all about me, although i want to be happy in this life and I am. but it really is about being of service and being able to live with a feeling of achievement and service to others.

I still have to work on that ‘one’ word… but many of them are so interlinked.

thanks Adrienne. I thoroughly enjoyed this and it has given me something to work on.

lots of love



68 Adrienne Smith
July 12, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Hi Jayne,

After reading your comment I can relate to you SO much. Our 2 top things on our list are the same but I’m not married and I don’t have any children. But family is right up there because I have an 86 year old mother. I’m the caretaker of the family so although she’s still in great health, I’m the one she calls when she needs something and I’ve had to rush over there when something happened (she doesn’t live close to me either). So I want the freedom to be there for her especially through the last years of the time she has on this earth. That means the world to me.

My mission here online is also the same as yours. I love helping people and when I can help someone realize that they can have everything they’ve always wanted and I can help show them the way, I can’t sleep at night I’m so excited. I would lie if I said the money that comes along with that isn’t nice but it’s showing them that they can make just as much or more if they want. It’s up to them. I love helping people realize that. That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m so excited to get up every morning, those aha moments people have is awe inspiring.

Thank you for your comment, I always enjoy visiting your place. You write from the heart and are always eager to help others. You are genuine, authentic and come from pure integrity. I’m honored to know you and be able to call you one of my blogging buddies. Thank you for that Jayne


69 Martin July 12, 2011 at 8:10 PM

You know, Adrienne, i believe there are two reasons why people can’t answer that question. One would be that they’ve been left without dreams, they have no way of achieving them anymore, so now they’re just drifting. The second reason that comes to mind is that they never had any dreams. They live their lives thinking there’s no point to dreams. These people also live their lives mechanically, not fighting the current.
It’s sad, but this is what society has become. The stress, the competition, the information load, all these build soulless humans.


70 Adrienne Smith
July 12, 2011 at 11:07 PM

Those are definitely two good points I will admit. But then you have them thinking they know what they want when all the time it was so much more than that. They have to really dive down deep and discover this for themselves. Either way, as long as they are willing to do the work to discover what that answer is, the sooner they can move in the direction they were meant to go.

Thanks Martin, you really do give us something to think about.


71 Martin July 16, 2011 at 7:53 PM

You’re right, you can tell them which way to go, but it’s useless if they don’t find their way by themselves.

See you again soon Adrienne!


72 Adrienne Smith
July 16, 2011 at 10:11 PM

Thank you Martin, I appreciate you saying that. Just helping them along and hoping they will figure it out is so worth it. I’ll see you again soon my friend.


73 Samantha Bangayan
July 14, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Adrienne, this is such an important post! I’m ashamed to admit that I often feel like I’m just going with the flow. =P I did this exercise once before I came to Peru and I still have the same top core values today — reflection, simplicity and learning to name a few. But I never got to the “Why” and I really need to be thinking about it. I’m actually taking a trip to Ecuador and leaving this evening, so I can spend the long bus ride thinking about this. =)

I really appreciate the reminder and lesson that what really matters is what we contribute. Other than giving joy, I don’t know what other concrete things I could give. I’ll add that to my list of reflections. =P

Thanks so much for having me think about this, Adrienne! I really appreciate it!


74 Adrienne Smith
July 14, 2011 at 6:43 PM

That bus ride will definitely be time to reflect on your “why”. Sometimes it takes us awhile to figure that out. I know it did me so don’t feel left out.

You do bring us joy by letting us live our lives through you. Being the person you are and moving off to Peru, you are so adventurous. We get to learn about their culture and their country. That definitely brings us joy girl. And then along the way people will start contacting you, you will pick up work doing what you love and life will fall into place. That’s how it all works wouldn’t you agree?

Have a great time in Ecuador and stay safe. We’ll talk to you when you return.


75 Anjana July 23, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Actually each and every one of us is seeking the happiness in life. But most the people do not realize that happiness can be gained not by money but by gaining what we really want. That might be love or publicity or anything but that will give the self-satisfaction. Good article


76 Adrienne Smith
July 23, 2011 at 10:45 AM

I couldn’t have said that better myself. When you start helping others get what they want, you will get more of what you want. If more people tried it and realized what it felt like, they would be so thrilled and happy. The money will eventually come. Thanks for sharing that with us, I really appreciate it. You realize that and it’s a fabulous feeling.


77 Samantha July 28, 2011 at 12:08 AM

It’s just a matter of self reflection. Every one of us must see and understand what our real purpose here is. Without those purposes, our existence would mean nothing. Nobody would want to live a meaningless life. Just free your self and live a life with satisfaction.


78 Sandy August 8, 2011 at 1:35 PM

This was a great exercise, Adrienne! I learned a lot about myself in the process, thank you for the suggestion. Now that I know what it is I *really* want from life, I think that I have a better idea of how to get it! 😉



79 Adrienne Smith
August 8, 2011 at 7:33 PM

That’s wonderful news Sandy. Sometimes we just need that push to help us figure it all out but once we do, the doors just seem to open more. I’m truly excited for you so congratulations on that. :-)


80 Susan August 8, 2011 at 7:24 PM

I first started blogging (about 5 years ago) after I had my first child and I decided to create an eco-blog to make improvements in energy waste. Over time that has changed, and sometimes I do feel that I need to sit down and clarify my desires in what I want to achieve. Thanks for post – I needed that!


81 Adrienne Smith
August 8, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Hi Susan,

Glad this post was helpful and I do hope you’ll take that time to sit down to decide what you really want. You never know what the future can hold for you once you have that figured out. Appreciate you sharing that with me.


82 Adrienne Smith
August 12, 2011 at 11:39 AM

You can’t live your life for other people but I’m sure you’ve learned that by now. I have another friend that thinks the same way. You need to live for yourself and do what makes you happy. So are you where you want to be in your life now Nicholas?


83 Steve October 27, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Thank you Adrienne very much for this excellent way of thinking about what you want.
I have included my list of my core values. Do they tell you about the nature of the work I should do in the future? I have had a lot of problems getting and retaining jobs and I think it is because I have been working in IT.

I am not very practical and and have worked as a manager, but now I am not sure what path to take. I’d be grateful for any further advice. Thank you. Steve.
1. Love
2. Family
3. Devotion
4. Wisdom
5. Mastery
6. Justice
7. Liberation
8. Loyalty
9. Truth


84 Adrienne Smith
October 27, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Hi Steve,

You are so welcome and I’m glad you found it helpful.

What a great list! I have to say after going through some of the exercises, what are you most passionate about? I see love at the top of your list so is that love of people, love to help others, love to learn, I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. You having that at the top of your list can lead to so many other things. Like mine was I love to help others. That’s so vague but as I ventured online and decided to give an online business a try, I’m now able to help others learn how to do the same thing so it’s so rewarding. Maybe that will help direct you a little more.

Thank you so much for sharing this with me. Hope we’ll talk some more. :-)


85 Steve October 27, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Hi Adrienne, By love, I mean love for my family and a sense of love for liberating others. Unfortunately, I am surrounded by people who don’t seem to need liberating, which is why at 48, I am unemployed.

Not sure what kind of career “liberating others” might lead to though.



86 Adrienne Smith
October 27, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Hey Steve,

Love of family and liberating others. Since you’re in IT and do computer work, maybe you could show others online how to find freedom. That’s a good bit of what the online businesses are all about these days. Time freedom! Since you are unemployed, maybe that should be something you can look into doing. Just a suggestion and throwing some ideas out that at ya.

You just never know Steve.


87 Steve October 28, 2011 at 3:26 AM

hmmm, that’s an interesting way of looking at it, Adrienne. I’m going to go over my core values again today and make sure I have got them right and not missing anything out. Part of my problem is I don’t know what I want. I thought the end of my career, spelt the end of my life, but that is definitely caused by losing sight of my core values. I think as you get older you feel that you have already achieved more than most and had a better quality of life than most. So you just kind of accept that you are finished. But perhaps there is something in these core values that can rejuvenate my life. I can of lost my way and basically couldn’t see the wood from the trees so to speak. 4 years in counselling hasn’t helped at all. In fact they go over so much ground you kind of lose any sense of who you are.
I’m going to think on about what you suggested. There definitely is something in that, given it brings together a lot of what is important to me.
Thank you again for your kind advice.


88 Adrienne Smith
October 28, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Hey Steve,

Ah, got you to thinking. I can relate though, I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t have any passion, no hobbies I loved, just nothing really stuck with me. As I went through these exercises and I started writing down all the things that had happened to me in my life and went through how I use to beat myself up about things, I realized that none of them were really 100% true. I labeled them, I did that to myself.

I have always been that “go to” person my friends and family would come to for advice. Which is why I love helping people so much. I guess I should have been some type of counselor but I didn’t know back then that those were my strengths. Since I left my corporate career back in 07, just promoting products online didn’t quite seem like something I could be passionate about. But helping people realize that at any age, they can start over and build an even better life for themselves is what drives me now.

Possibly your love for your family and friends and your determination to help others understand how they can also have the freedom to do what they want and be able to spend more quality time with their family would be beneficial for you. Be sure and check out my most recent post because it’s about achieving anything you want at any age. You might find it inspiring.

Hope any of my suggestions have helped Steve and I have a feeling if you dig a little deeper you are going to find what you enjoy doing and you’ll find your way. I’m here to help so reach out if you’d like. Best of luck to you my friend.


89 Adrienne Smith
July 11, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Thank you, I appreciate that. So glad to hear you enjoy visiting. You’ve made my day!


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