What Do You Want?
I just returned yesterday from delivering a closing keynote at a conference in Medora, ND, and this was one of the questions I gave the group as we were wrapping up.
This question has been with me since I watched The Secret and I can't seem to stop thinking about it.
In a way it should be rather simple, shouldn't it? Like Joe Vitale says in The Secret: it should be as simple as going through a cosmic catalog and picking out all the "stuff" - everything from new cars to life experiences - you want to have for yourself and your life.
But I understand more now how important it is to be as clear as possible about the answer to that question, because it needs to go beyond mere wanting in order for us to experience transformation. A simple process, yes, but maybe not so easy.
I always give my audiences these four questions to help them focus on the results they want for their lives:
1) What do you want?
2) What are you doing to get it?
3) How is it working?
4) What might you do differently?
But recently I've begun altering question 1 for myself, and am sharing it with audiences through my own experiences. When I can get more focused on first what I want, in response to question 1, I then alter the question to become "What do I intend?" and then work through the following questions. Even more powerful for me is "What do I commit to?" because it causes me to be much more intentional in my own life.
I'm reminded of the original question "What do you want?" because I've become more curious about how other people in my space might answer that question for themselves. Throughout my entire life, when I think about it, I've had many occasions during seemingly random or chance encounters with people I sometimes don't even know, I've felt like I have the statement "Tell me all your troubles" tattooed on my forehead. I'm sure that's why I've been drawn to the coaching field - it seems to come rather naturally to me.
But where I used to be much more passive in my listening - I was good at just reflecting and almost found myself as an enabling listener - I find that I can't stay in that space anymore. When people begin telling me their troubles, my mind immediately switches to the question "What do you want?" When people feel the need to dump, what do they really want from the listener? Do they really want to get to a different place or do they want company in their misery?
I have a friend who had a sign on the wall of his office that said "Misery has got to stop loving company" and I can't forget that. It's true.
What do we want as it relates to our troubles, our woes, our heartaches? I know from my own experience how much more fulfilling life is when I can get to the point where I'm ready to get over the reasons that have gotten me stuck in the first place, and am ready to move on. Wallowing in my victimhood and pity party doesn't move me or anyone else forward. After all, as Marianne Williamson says, "We've got a planet to save."
So consider exactly what it is you want - then that you intend - and then that you commit to for your life. What is the payoff you get for staying where you are? What is the cost? That may be the first step on a brand new path.