Can you answer a simple question?
It is a short one but it may be one of the hardest questions in your life. It may take hours, days or weeks to find the true answer. It’s a question about you, about the present and about the future. The answer will help you set your goals in life, but finding it requires to listen to your heart, be honest with yourself and requires courage and strength.
My experience is that very often when I ask this question, the person I am speaking with starts to describe how difficult life is and how hard it is to achieve anything. Or sometimes I just get a shallow quick answer with the first thing that comes into the mind of the person, just avoiding the question this way. And sometimes people just admit “I don’t know”. Why is it so hard to answer this simple and yet so fundamental question – “WHAT DO YOU WANT?”
There is a very good exercise I’ve done a few times and I find really useful if you want to find the answer – your answer! Curious as it is, every time I make it, I get to similar answers. The exercise is the following:
- Get in front of the mirror or find another person that will ask you the question.
- For 5-10 minutes get asked and answer the same question – “(Why), what do you want?”
Usually, the first answers are related to material desires like a new car, trip around the world, new house, boat, yacht, motorbike, money, luxury vacations, etc. Just continue answering with the intention to really get to what you really want.
What stands behind the material desires? You may come to things like your health or your family being happy and healthy. You may find out that you want better relationships. And again just continue asking yourself (or get asked by the other person) until you reach the deepest level of what you really want.
If you get to answers like “I want to be loved”, “I want to be happy and smiling”, “I want peace”, “Joy”, ”Balance”, “Confidence”, “Passion”, etc. then you’ve done it!
Not clear enough?
Here is an example:
Q: What do you want?
A: I want a new car.
Q: Why, what do you want?
A: I want to feel special.
Q: Why, what do you want?
A: I want people to recognize me.
Q: Why, what do you want?
A: I want to feel valued.
You’ve probably noticed that in this example, in the beginning, the answer is not really a goal (new car) but while going through the questions a vision is revealing itself (to feel valued). The good news is that once you have the vision, you have the freedom to choose the actions that will serve you best to reach it. Of course, you can make this exercise as many times as you want and find different visions for your life. And, yes, then you’ll know what you want! 🙂
Sadly, not many people in the world really know what they want. Some of the people know what they want, but just in one area of their life. And most of the people don’t know or don’t want to know what they want!
Once again – why is it so hard to find the answer to this question?
Because it requires to take responsibility for what happens in our lives! We prefer to live in our comfort zones and even though our comfort zone may be problematic it is easier to stay there and find excuses for that. As I said, in the beginning, it requires courage to find the answer to the question and that is because the answer is usually outside our comfort zone.
And what is it, which we focus on while staying in our problematic zone? Right! We focus on the things we’ve piled up during our life – things people said to us, things people did to us (or did not), etc. And those things obviously don’t serve us anymore! We focus on what’s not working for us. And as you already know from my previous post (“Do you need to set goals?”), the things we focus on, are the things we get in life!
Now, let’s focus on what you really want!
Give yourself some time and sit in a relaxed position (do that now if possible). Imagine you have no limits when it comes to time or money. Think about what you would like to happen with you.
Don’t limit yourself in any way:
- Unleash your dreams, imagine you can achieve anything you want.
- Get specific – how you will know that you achieved it. Visualize yourself as you’ve already achieved it and see how it would change your behavior, what you would be doing, what would you feel, etc.
- Be realistic – imagine a year has passed and how this dream is part of your life.
- Think positive – think about 5 positive affirmations that can help you achieve it.
- Be honest with yourself and answer why you want it – is it because of yourself or because somebody else told you that you need something?
- Decide on ACTION. And then make the best you can to achieve it.
It is a very good idea, to do both of the above exercises focusing in different areas of your life. When I do that I usually find the answers to the “Three most important questions”:
- What do I want to experience?
- How do I want to grow?
- What do I want to contribute to the planet?
Find the answers to these three questions. Forget about the limits. Go straight to the vision and you’ll have the most powerful thinking you can do in terms of setting goals for your life.
So… what is it that you really want?