“The first indispensable step in getting the things you want out of your life is this: Decide what you want”
-Ben Stein (Actor and Author)
Defining what you want
If you had to characterize “success,” what would it look like? Without a doubt, it will contain all the things you want to do, achieve, and gain. Even the stuff on your “bucket list.”
Unfortunately, many people are running the entire scenario backward. Start with what they want to have first, then, later in life, they find themselves at a point where they realize they don’t know either why they’re here or what their meaning of life is.
They don’t have the inner performance they’re hoping for. And there is a total lack of the deep sense of joy that should come from living their life purpose.
Let this thought inspire you: whatever your age or circumstances, you can still decide to do things differently. You can start by deciding what you want.
“I am defining in clear and compelling detail what I want to be, what I want to do, and what I want to have.”
Letting go of childhood programming
Do you know that you were born with the seed that you were supposed to be inside of? You were born without inhibitions or fears, too; you screamed when you were hungry. And to do anything that you want.
When you grew older, you were told to stop crying, grow up, and stop being selfish. You’ve learned to disregard the things you really wanted and to fit in with what your friends, teachers, or society said was best for you. It’s time to unlearn and replace the decisions of childhood.
Michelangelo, the Renaissance sculptor and painter who spent four years painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel on his back, said, “The greatest danger to most of us is not that our goal is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” Wow…!
“I am letting go of childhood programming that holds me back and replacing it with positive thoughts and images about my compelling future.”
To help you decide what you really want, try the following two exercises:
1. Create a list of “I want”:
Write down 30 things you want to do, 30 things you want to do, and 30 things you want to do before you die. Large things—cars and houses—are still going to be at the top of the list, but you’re going down. You’re going to rediscover your core principles like making a difference.
2. Make a list of “20 things I love to do.”
You don’t think you should make a living doing the things you love? When you write them down and really think about what it would be like to do it every day. You’re going to discover that you can make a career out of doing what you do!
Find a place with a warm, comfortable atmosphere, and then explain your vision of an ideal life that is simple and precise. Include these seven fields of your ideal life: work and job, finances, fun and leisure, health and fitness, personal goals, relationships, and your commitment to the broader community.
“I am focused on what I truly want for my life based on my own values and life experience.”