What do you really want?May 08, 2023
Are you ready to stop settling for less and start living the life you truly want? Follow these principles to learn how to identify and achieve what you really want from your life's next chapter.
What do you want in life?
It's the first question I ask a new or prospective client.
Most find it a challenging, even impossible, question to answer.
I call it "the hard problem."
Most often, after a long pause, the first answer given is "More money" or "More time."
When I follow up with, "For what?" we're usually right back where we started.
What to do?
Here are some principles to consider.
Not all wants are created equal.
After your existential needs (food, water, safety), the next priorities are psychological needs like social connection and self-esteem. These all must come before we get to our wants around self-actualization.
Start with what you don't want.
It's often easier to define what you don't want. You can then reframe this as what you do.
Play your game.
Your wants and path to them are as unique as you are. Don't compare or measure your journey against anyone else's.
Keep open loops.
Get curious and stay curious. Consider as many options as you can imagine without attachment or expectations.
What are your core values and talents? Who are the people who share your values and need your talents?
What have you loved to do or found rewarding in the past? What achievements would you like to repeat?
Who are your heroes (and rivals)?
Who do you look up to? Who are you jealous of? What do these qualities reveal about your dreams and desires?
The process is the shortcut (and the reward).
Meaning, purpose, and fulfillment come from the intention and integrity of your aims and effort (even if things don't work out).
Distinguish wants from expectations.
We are all capable of achieving far more than we suspect. Get real about your inner dialogue around worthiness, self-limiting beliefs, and belonging.
Find your flow.
What activities absorb and energize you? Do more of that.
Think big picture.
Don't get caught up in the minutiae. Defining wants is an exercise in understanding the gestalt of aspirations. Goals are much more than simply the sum or combination of all their parts.
Wants aren't fixed.
You and your wants are works in progress. Clarify and iterate as you go. If you decide a want is no longer a want, choose something else instead. Rinse and repeat.
What's worth it?
What are you willing to work for? What are you ready to sacrifice? Vulnerability, courage, and resilience are required skills for success seekers nurtured by doing the work.
Getting clear about what you want in your life's next chapter is not about perfecting any or all of these principles. You simply must get enough of them right enough to start iterating your way forward.
So, what do you really want?
Scott Perry, Encore Life Coach at Creative on Purpose
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