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What DO you want?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Here is an excerpt from the first of Five Questions for a Life of Fun, Inspiration & Action, and e course I signed up for yesterday. It doesn't really say anything new, and it isn't something that we haven't all heard before. But it is something that I have not actually sat down and really defined in quite a while. So, I'm sharing it here.

What DO you want?

It's one of the most powerful questions I know.
And it's a tough one to answer.

Pretty much just as soon as you get old enough to think... you have people telling you what THEY want. Parents, partners, spouses, children, friends, bosses, colleagues, customers and clients... they've all got opinions about what's best for you.

And sometimes their requests and demands can feel like a swarm of mosquitoes buzzing around you demanding attention. And if you're not clear on what you want, you have little protection against the blighters - what others want becomes very hard to resist.

So what can you do about it?

Here's an exercise to help get clear on what you want.

  1. Find some time and space for yourself. It doesn't need to be much - five minutes in a room, ten minutes in a coffee shop, a 15 minute walk around the neighborhood.

  2. Connect with your core values, those ways of being that are at the heart of you being at your best. If you're not quite sure what they are - and you'd be like most people if that's the case - then start to imagine what they might be now. If you think back to "peak moments" in your life, times you felt you were on top of the world, then you'll see some clues as to what they might be.

  3. Get clear on the situation at hand. You need context before you can decide on what you want. Is this about work? A relationship? Your own self-care? Something else? What's the challenge or situation or struggle you might be facing?

  4. Imagine outrageous success. Go on, amp it up. Or to put it another way: If you could not fail, what would total and fabulous success look like? Don't get caught up in the "how would I get there". Just let your imagination go on what outrageous success looks like.

  5. Clarify your minimum level of success. This is the bottom line, the "if nothing else, then this at least." Don't sell yourself short. And equally, make sure the "bottom line" really is just that. This is where you draw the line in the sand.

  6. Tap into your heart and find the sweet spot of what you want between those two end points. Sit with it for just a moment and get as clear as possible as to what it is you want,
    what it looks like, feels like, tastes like. The clearer you can make it, the easier it will be to start planning on how to get there.

So... What do you want?

brought to you by
Michael Bungay Stanier of
The Possibility Virus



Shirley Twofeathers said...

Ok, so I did steps 1 thru 4. It was really interesting, I did not end up with what I thought I would end up with.

One thing I did decide is that I would really really like for it to happen spontaneously, with no work on my part at all.. Just sort of like magic. Suddenly there!

And I suppose that's not realistic or even optimal. Or is it? I wonder.

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