When you know what you want, and want it bad enough, you will find a way to get it. – Jim Rohn.
(This is a post by Sally Anne Giedrys).
What’s keeping you from living your life? From doing your work?
Something is, right?
Or you’d be doing more of it.
The thing is, creating a lifestyle that lights us up from the inside out isn’t rocket science. Finding – or creating – the work that we actually want to do on Monday morning isn’t some complex scientific formula.
But it requires us to get honest about a few things. And most of them begin with a heart-to-heart with one person very close to us. A person we might want to take the time to get to know a little better than we do: ourselves.
We don’t always know what we want.
As a career and lifestyle design coach, I ask clients what they want all the time. And sometimes, the answer is silence. Sometimes it’s “I don’t know.” Sometimes, it’s a list of all the things they don’t want. And sometimes, the things they do want are fighting each other.
The answers are all over the map.
How can we create our lives, our way if we don’t even know what we truly want and what matters most to us?
Sounds crazy, I know. But it’s not crazy at all. It’s just how many of us live.
I remember clearly the day my own coach asked me what I really wanted. It was many years ago. It was summer. I was newly divorced, laying in a hammock in the front yard of a home I didn’t know if I could afford, surrounded by grass I had not found time to mow, whining about a job that I really did enjoy but that was stressing me out and not meeting my needs.
She said, simply: “So, what do you want?”
It was a revelation. And I don’t use that word lightly.
I didn’t have a good answer.
I hadn’t asked myself what I wanted in a really long time. Maybe I hadn’t ever asked. I’d earned my gold stars in doing what I had to do, what was expected of me, what sounded good at the time, what was good for “us”. I’d graduated from college, traveled and studied abroad, fallen in love, gotten married, taken and succeeded at jobs in my field, bought a house.
You know the drill.
And with it all falling apart – the marriage gone, the boring but good-paying job given up for a lower-paying, stressful but more fun nonprofit job, the house now straining my time, energy and budget… well, what the hell DID I want? I had to ask myself the hard questions and dig in.
When was the last time you checked in with yourself?
- What do you really, really want?
- Why do you want that?
- What will be different when you have that?
- How will you feel when you have that?
- What kind of life do you want to create?
- What are your deal breakers?
- What’s most important about work for you?
These are critical questions. Answer them. Write them in a journal. Discuss them with someone you trust to listen.
Living a life we love – one that is full of those things that matter to us, not to our best friend or our mentor or our partner, but to us – isn’t some crazy pipe dream. Though there sure are days it feels that way. But it requires us to know on a deep level what that actually means to us.
It’s not all bubbles and unicorns either.
Creating an intentional lifestyle, living with purpose, having a job or career or business that just feels like “you,” mapping out and going after what lights you up is still going to be work. Life is still going to throw us all a few curveballs.
But think about getting up every single day excited to get to it—whatever your IT is. Imagine a vision that is unfolding each day bringing you more of what you want. Close your eyes for a second and think about what puts a big fat smile on your face.
Life is sure a hell of lot more enjoyable from that place.
And that’s all yours. But the first step is know what you want. What you really want. For yourself and for others.
To know why you want it.
And to own that.
Only then, will you truly begin to create it.
Sally Anne Giedrys is a career and lifestyle coach who helps professionals and entrepreneurs get clear about what matters to them and how to create it in a healthy, balanced way. What lights her up is reinvention, big and small, and helping people successfully find what’s next for them in life and in work. Connect with Sally at Whole Life Strategies, or on Facebook (sometimes she’s even on Twitter).
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