Whatever you just answered, I challenge you to ask again. And answer again.
You see, every year at this time, I ask this question of myself. I’ve done this for many years, as part of an intentional planning and goal setting process for the new year. What do I want to change, to accomplish, to continue? Now that I’m self-employed, I ask what I want for my business. These can be tough questions, if you’re answering honestly. If you don’t know how you’re going to get there.
But if we aren’t asking ourselves the questions, we won’t get any answers. And ultimately, it’s pretty difficult to ever get what you want if you don’t have a clear idea about what that is.
Sometimes, it’s easier not to know. But it’s never as fulfilling.
Earlier this year, I was invited to explore this question a bit deeper – and it was a profound experience. I was asked, “What do you really, really want?” And what else. And what else. And what else. The person who asked me listened intently. (This happened during a workshop with leadership coach Dave Ellis. And I’ve since “stolen it” with permission.)
What happens when we ask ourselves what we really want? Or what if we asked a friend or a partner—and really listened to them? What happens when you don’t settle for the first answer? What if you keep asking until your list is a mile long?
(Actually, mine is contained in a whole box of index cards that I keep in the kitchen.)
Is this uncomfortable for you? Many of us share a belief system that holds wants and desires as somehow less than. We’re not supposed to want anything, right? Especially when others are struggling or when we have others to care for.
If that’s you, consider this:
Without desire, nothing gets accomplished in this world. Nothing small. And nothing large. Desire causes action. I am healthier and fitter this year for one reason: because I wanted to be. Likewise, the world’s greatest social changes, inventions and developments happened because somebody wanted them. More often, a lot of somebodies wanted them. It’s entirely possible that wanting is not a selfish act. We can want for everybody.
As you get ready for the new year, I invite you to ask the questions.
What is it that you really, really want? And what do you want for others?
- In your life?
- For your family?
- In your career?
- For your community?
- For future generations?
Knowing your answers could completely change your life.