What do you want? It seems like a simple question—and yet why does it seem so difficult to answer? I have watched my clients and potential students go through the struggle. Well, I want this… but I also want that. I want to have a successful career but what about my family? So, what I have found is that people do knowwhat they want they are just afraid to admit it. It is like a really well kept secret. While this secret remains safely locked away in our innermost storehouse we wander the world trying to achieve our “goals”.
So, what is a goal Anyway?
A goal is some outcome we set our sights on achieving in life, career, relationship, home, and/or health. Every good achievable goal has some way or path to getting there. This path is often called a strategy or game plan. It seems logical that one could choose a goal and figure out a clear way toward achieving the goal and –voila life would be easy. If it’s so easy why aren’t more people achieving what they want? One problem with this model, among many, is that we settle for less than what we really want. We settle for less because of many things including: fear of judgment, fear of failure, or a pure lack of faith and creativity. When we settle for less we mistakenly turn the “game plan” into the goal and therefore sacrifice true desire.
For example: I once knew a woman who wanted to move from Sedona, Arizona to San Diego, California and had been self-sabotaging this goal for years. Sabotage came in many forms i.e.: If it wasn’t her job stopping her from moving–it was the job market, if it wasn’t money stopping her– it was the economy. There was always some excuse as to why she couldn’t make the move. When I asked her what was important about moving to San Diego she replied, “I want to spend time with my grandchildren” –and thus her best-kept secret was revealed.
The actual goal was to spend time with her grandchildren. Moving to San Diego was just one game plan to achieve this goal. Unfortunately, when she only focused on the “game plan” of moving to San Diego all other options faded into the distance and this became her only goal. Truth be told, she could move to San Diego and she could live next door to her grandchildren and not actually spend time with them. So once she began to look at the actual goal as “Spending Time with my Grandchildren” the “game plan” began to change and greater truths were revealed. By broadening the perspective new options came to light. She could take her grandchildren on vacations. She could talk to her job about working remotely for portions of each month. Indeed, she had never really wanted to move to San Diego in the first place. She just felt it was her only option at the time. By settling on this as her outcome she had limited other options that would guarantee quality time with the people she loves.
How do you determine your real goal?
- Imagine for a moment that you are safe, completely free to be yourself. Can you remember a time when you felt safe and free? Perhaps when you were younger and you were pretending to be a superhero or character from television you felt these feelings? Or maybe, you can pretend you are taking a long walk through the woods in autumn? Whatever you do, allow yourself to feel these emotions completely as you pretend to be safe and free.
- Now, pretending that you are safe and free, allow yourself to feel free from judgment of people and the world around you. Imagine what life would be like if you had a magic wand and could instantly create all the money, time, resources, love, acceptance, etc.. that the world can offer.
- And then ask yourself, “What do I want?”. What would your life look like if for just a moment you removed the little voice of doubt and fear inside and allowed yourself to dream?
The answers you find are your best kept secret.
These are ideas and thoughts lingering in the back of your mind. While it may seem like there is only one route to achieving your true desire, or no path seems apparent at all, you never know where your next best idea will come from. If you were able to soar above your life like a bird what would you see? Would you have more faith because you could see further down the road? Or would you become more creative with your strategies and game plans because you can see all roads that lead to your destination?