I have been going through a program called B-School these last few weeks by the very talented and spunky Marie Forleo. I have followed her for a few years now and her approach to business and life has really resonated with me.
One of the first things she taught us in this course is to get really clear about what you want and why you want it, and I thought it was such a simple but powerful exercise.
Too often we stop at the “what we want” part. We want what we want when we want it. But we don’t always stop long enough to be thoughtful about why we want it.
The point of the exercise is to establish an emotional connection to what we want. If our whys are strong enough, we will persevere and not give up as easily. However, if we aren’t clear about why we want what we want, it’s just another idea that we may or may not follow through on.
For instance, people typically make News Year’s Resolutions, but very few people are still focused on achieving those goals 30 days later. So let’s consider a New Year’s resolution of “Losing Weight”.
In contrast, when one is about to get married, or be in a wedding, and they want to look their best in their dress or suit and the photos that will be taken, that person may also make a “resolution” to lose weight.
The difference is that in this example there is a specific emotional connection to the goal that is established, and the likelihood that one will follow through and do the hard work required to achieve the goal is much greater.
It is a simple, yet effective, exercise to help with motivation and perseverance and self-accountability.
What do you most want in your life? In your business or career?
What difference do you most want to make in the world?
How do you want to show up every day?
What experiences do you most want to have?
Make a list! Write it down!
And for each and every item on the list, now write down your whys. Why do you want each item on the list?
How strong are your whys?
Are they inwardly focused – do they make you happy and your heart sing?
Or are they outwardly focused – based on what other people will think of you or aimed at getting a specific reaction from others? Or are they things you think others expect of you and that you therefore “should” do or want?
All the ones that are about you and what makes you happy are great items to keep on your list. Focus on things that will fill you with joy and love and peace and will make you happy.
Give any that are about eliciting reactions from others another look. How can you shift your focus to make it about what resonates for you? How can you create for yourself whatever you are seeking from others? Whether it is about receiving love or admiration or respect or meeting expectations, or anything else.
By giving to yourself what you most want from others you will attract those same qualities in others in an authentic way instead of spending your time trying to be something you’re not in order to please others.
You are important and your dreams are important!
Take this opportunity to get clear about what YOU really, really want, and then chart a course to take action and make those things happen.
If you want to go even deeper into taking action on building the life and career of your dreams, check out my Design Your Next Chapter workshop, which will be held again in July in Atlanta.
I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below the post here to let me know the top thing you really want in your life or career and why.