What do you want? What is something in your life that your heart desires?
I ask this question consistently when coaching my clients and future clients. So often, their response is, “I don’t know.” Another common answer is a description of the next rung on the corporate ladder or the next revenue milestone in their business. It seems like they aren’t truly answering the question of THEIR heart’s desire.
Why is that?
Maybe part of the reason is that they have given up on what their heart desires. There are so many obligations these days. Maybe they think that what they desire is no longer possible. Maybe they haven’t learned how to dream big or how to access their heart and its desires. The bigger problem may be that they aren’t self-aware. By self-aware, I mean they don’t know who they are and who they want to be or become. We have been trained to constantly look outside of ourselves to the paths laid out by others, to their opinions, solutions, and judgments about our lives. We don’t even know how to access our true wishes.
Recently I read a summary of the book “Die With Zero.” It seems to be the opposite of what we are taught. I totally agree with the premise, even if I have found it hard to implement in my life. Basically, you are to enjoy the money that you make by spending it on your experiences. It’s a cool idea, except I believe many folks have lost their wants. We believe that what we want is what is on the path laid out by someone else.
Our work and our roles take our wants.
What if we were to want again? What would that look like? Some folks think that it is painful to want something and not be able to get it. In truth, we don’t know if we will be able to get it because our brain tells us not knowing how to get it RIGHT NOW is the same as not being able to get it. So our brain tells us not to want. Our brain and logic trump our heart’s desires. What if we were to get in touch with our heart’s desires? What might be possible in our life?
Here are 5 questions you can ask yourself (your heart) today to get rid of some of the arbitrary constraints that your brain is putting on your desires.
- If you only had one more year to live, what would you care more about?
For me, I would care about taking care of my family and friends. I would care about the legacy (and I don’t mean financial) that I would leave behind. I love what I do. I love helping and inspiring others. I love sharing what I’ve learned and discovered, and I’d care about doing more of that in the time I had left.
- If you only had one more year to live, what would you care less or no longer care about?
I ask this question all the time as well, of myself and my students and clients. I think my answer is much like theirs. I’d care less about what other people think and listen to my intuition more. I’d care less about other people’s “mistakes.” Meaning I wouldn’t care about people cutting me off in traffic. I wouldn’t care about getting in the fastest/shortest line. I wouldn’t care about appearing to be smart or funny, or happy. I wouldn’t care about judging or being judged.
- If you only had one more year to live, what would you stop doing?
Along the same lines as above, I would stop worrying about what other people think. I’d stop worrying about posting articles like this and offending someone. I’d stop having stress around the possibility of being ‘canceled’ because of something that I say or write.
- If you only had one more year to live, what would you start doing?
So, I would start traveling more and meeting more people. I’d spend more time doing the things that inspire me. I would show and tell more people that I love them. I would spend more time hugging them and showing my affection. I would start asking for help more. I would start building a community of people who want to not only do good but also become good. I’d start surrounding myself with more people who would lift me up in these last days of my life.
- What causes my thoughts, emotions, and actions to change because I imagine I have less time to live?
It’s funny what happens inside us when we think our time on this earth will or could be compressed. I feel like I’d be more self-focused and yet, in the process, become more focused on creating things of value in the world… things that would last beyond my life. In a way, by becoming more ‘selfish’ about what I want, I would have more confidence, become more vulnerable, and be more inspiring, passionate, and focused than I am today.
When we condense the time we have to spend on this earth, why does how we show up change? When I answer these questions, I find that I can be more confident, inspiring, passionate, authentic, ambitious, intentional, and present. I can be less stressed, anxious, worried, preoccupied, fearful, complacent, and distracted.
What do you want? What does your heart desire?
Now, who do you aspire to be? What attributes do you need to be more or be less in order to do and become? How can you show up every day ready to take action toward those dreams?
Take some time today to answer these questions. Please post your thoughts in the comments below. Let’s stop letting someone else make your decisions for you. Check-in with your heart and your imagination, and don’t let your head use logic to talk you out of dreaming big dreams… of becoming the person you want to become.