You deserve the life you desire.

Those words are staring at me in the face every day. They’re written on a note card, pinned in front of my desk at home. I grabbed it during my first WDS. At the time, they came as mantra I sorely needed.

But what I didn’t realize then is how long it would take to finally figure out what was the life I actually desired.

Life: what do you actually want out of it?

In the quest of always coming closer to a firm answer, I have recently started a program called Purpose + Profit from The Happy Startup School.

The first module is about Passion and understanding what makes your heart beat a little faster, what puts you in flow state and what flavor of shit sandwich you prefer. Because, let’s be real, if you’re going after the life you desire, there will be a phase of shit-sandwich meals, so you might as well figure out which type you’re most willing to gulp.

At the end of the day (literally), it all comes down to how you want to feel. And that feeling stems from whether or not your needs are being met.

When my needs are met, I feel fulfilled. When they’re not, I feel bored. As far as I’m concerned, it’s that simple. And I get that the answer might be different from one person to the next. I have certainly had heaps of conversations on the subject. Some people want to feel safe, some want to feel proud, some like to feel challenged… It doesn’t matter that your objective feeling is different from mine. What matters is that you identify that feeling and that you acknowledge its importance.

Because once you have it, you can start designing YOUR version of life.

During an Action Café with the HSS community, I met Karen. Karen is a teacher who loves her job but hates the conditions that are imposed on her to practice it.

I don’t want anyone to tell me when I’m allowed to take a bathroom break,” she mentioned on the call. That resonated very strongly with me. It might be a detail for most, but it’s a very fair statement in my eyes. And understanding that is already a huge step toward identifying what you want (or don’t want) out of life.

And then what?

Once this main feeling is labeled, it’s easier to dig a little deeper and understand which needs you should meet in order to achieve it.

In the program I had to identify three needs that make me feel most happy when they are met. I chose:

Adventure: adventure is important to me because it makes me feel alive. It is what is going to prevent boredom and feed inspiration and creativity.

Freedom: freedom was at the core of launching my first business. It is the foundation on which I base my entire approach to life, and I tend to push it to unconventional levels.

Appreciation: there’s no greater joy for me than having someone telling me that something I said resonated with them and transformed the way they were seeing things.

So adventure, freedom and appreciation… does that take me any closer to where I need to be to achieve this life I desire? Does this mean I need to drop everything and become a travel blogger? Not necessarily.

What it tells me is where I should be focusing my energy. It serves as grid to evaluate the relevance of new projects and endeavors. Adventure, freedom and appreciation can come in many different ways in life and if I’m able to spot where I’m already getting them, it will also serve a non-neglectable purpose: it will make me happy and grateful.

And… who doesn’t want that? Right?

Photo by Caroline Hernandez