The heart wants what it wants, and there’s no two ways about it. To the extent that we don’t get what we want, we make ourselves unhappy and unsatisfied. That may leave us feeling upset, frustrated, disappointed and deeply discouraged.
I think many people just give up. Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Sad and kind of pathetic, right?
I don’t want to live my life that way and I don’t want you to either. Most people try to convince themselves that they are happy enough (when they really aren’t). It’s very easy to rationalize and make excuses for not getting what we truly want. Most people are expert at it and well practiced. They can tell you instantly all the reasons why their life is not turning out as good as they hoped it would.
I hope you’re not in this camp, but if you are… maybe it’s time to stop making excuses and start making a change.
Based on many years of observation, education and personal experience I have a theory which explains the situation. My theory holds that most people are too vague about what it is that they think will make them happy. At the center of this vagueness is almost always the desire to have more money. For example, how would your life be different if you won the lottery? (Let’s say a million dollars a year for the next 20 years.) Easy street, right? Now your biggest problem will be how you’re going to spend all that money.
Along with money (and more of it), people tend to be vague about their time management, their health, their relationships and their endeavors. The reality that each of us must face is that we need to be specific about what we want (and don’t want). We need laser-sharp focus. That takes effort. Most of us don’t want to make that effort because it’s too much trouble, or because we don’t believe it’s possible to get our heart’s desire.
My theory holds that people can get their heart’s desire if they know what it is, and decide they want it so badly they will do whatever it takes to get it (like that million dollars a year).
So don’t waste one more day being vague and unhappy. Let’s use a laser-sharp focus about what we truly want. Ask yourself the following questions and feel free to come up with more questions of your own. (Better yet, write everything down. When you write something down—you own it.)
If you could have your life anyway you want:
What would you do for a living?
What kind of house would you like to live in and where would it be located?
What kind of shape would you be in?
How much time would you like to spend with your lover/family?
Where would you like to travel?
How much money would you like to earn?
What kind of car would you like to drive? What color?
How would you like to divide your time between work, play, family and so on?
What kind of foods would you like to eat?
What would your top five recreational activities include?
How would you describe your ideal lover/partner?
What habits about yourself would you like to change/improve?
How much time or money would you like to donate to worthy causes?
If you were to pass, what would you like to be remembered for?
If you owned your own business, what products or services would you sell?
What are your top fantasies and which of them would you like to try in real life?
What are some top adventures you’d like to experience?
Which famous people would you like to meet?
What would you like to do to make the world a better place?
What are you thankful for?
That’s a sample of 20 questions, and I’d like to suggest that you answer them as best as you can. The more focus and detail you can come up with the better.
How can you get what you want if you don’t know what it is? Once you are crystal clear about an objective, it’s usually pretty simple to figure out what you have to do to get it.
Please continue the list and come up with questions of your own as well. You don’t have to do this in one sitting (although you could and it would be a lot of fun). At the end, ask yourself how different is your life now from the way you’d like it to be? Take some time with this and be specific. Then, ask yourself what you’re willing to do about it. There’s the rub.
These thought-provoking exercises will help you discover who you are and what you’re about. Most of us don’t get the life we’d really like to have. What most of us get is the life we do have and we learn to make the best of it. We learn to roll with the punches. We learn to rationalize the reasons why we don’t have the things we really want. We become expert at making excuses. We find that in many cases, the things we want require a lot of effort, investment and sacrifice.
In other words, a lot of people want to enjoy the benefits of being successful without making the effort or doing the work that it takes to create and enjoy success.
What many people usually come to realize is that they don’t want the things as badly as they thought they did. Once they realize that, then they no longer make themselves feel bad about not having them.
They make terms and come to peace. No more feeling bad. No more excuses.
So for every one of us, there is the way things are and the way we would like them to be. Our happiness hangs in the balance. My goal is to help people identify what makes them truly happy and then show them how to manifest that in their real life. That’s what my books are about and that’s what I do with my private clients.
Since I can’t reach everyone, I created the 21 Day Challenge to help people get a fresh perspective and turn their life around to go in a better direction.
Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from you.
I’d like to leave you with another quote by Henry David Thoreau that’s more uplifting: If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.