Nobody wants to settle for a life without the things they really want, but what if you’re still unsure of what those things are for you? How do you move forward to create a life that fills you with joy?

A deeper look may reveal things you never knew about yourself--and without being clear about those things, you may never discover how to find true, authentic happiness. Read on to find out how to determine exactly what you need to be happy now. And in this article you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that this time it’s not all about finding “your life's purpose."

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself any of these questions:

• What is the purpose of my life?
• Why am I here?
• What do I really want?

If so, you're on the right track. Asking yourself these types of questions is an essential first step in creating a life you love. At the same time it’s also the cause of much confusion and frustration for many people.

As with any questions, there are many ways these can be answered, and no question is ever as straightforward as it seems. So with that said, we would like to start with the understanding that you will REALLY WANT many things as you live your life. A common frustration many people have comes from believing that "by now" they should have figured out "THE" thing that will give their life meaning--the one thing they were meant to be, do, or have.

We suggest that you begin looking at your life as a glorious, never ending stream of opportunities (or whatever metaphor works for you). Realize that what you REALLY WANT changes with time and from situation to situation. What you really wanted when you were younger is probably very different that what you want now. What you really want in your professional life may be very different from what you want at home or with friends.

To get clearer about this we suggest you start investigating different areas of your life to discover what's deeply important to you, what might be missing for you, and what would be the most wonderful way to spend your time. The clearer you become about this, the clearer you will become about the things you really want. Once you begin letting go of the idea that there's only one thing that you want, you're freed up to notice an abundance of opportunities for creating a meaningful life.

If you're like most people, more than anything else you want to be happy. Authentic happiness usually comes when our lives have a sense of meaning and purpose. If this is true for you, then the question becomes, how can I figure out what is most meaningful to me and how can I live my life in ways that make me truly happy?

This is not about finding your "life's purpose." In fact, we think that "life purpose" is often just a strategy you choose that best helps you to live in harmony with your core values. It's more of a means to experience what you value than an end. If this is the case, can you see how knowing your core values would help you find purpose and meaning in your life that would be very satisfying?

To discover your core values we suggest you start by answering questions like these:

• What do I love to do?
• How do I love to spend my time?
• What makes me feel good?
• When am I most passionate?

Answering these questions will help you start identifying what's most important to you--what you truly value.

To support this process you can download our free Values Exercise, which you can find by visiting our website and clicking on “Free Stuff”.

Once you identify what you truly value, we suggest you start investigating different areas of your life. Notice if you experience these values in those areas. If they are easy for you to spot then celebrate--you already have what you really want. If you're not experiencing them as much as you'd like, this is an opportunity to figure out concrete ways that you can start to experience more of what you value most.

This is the beginning of figuring out what you REALLY WANT. The more you practice this the more you will start living a values driven life. The more your life reflects your values the happier you are -- which turns out is what most of us REALLY WANT in the first place.

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