What Do You Want? The Secret to a Fulfilling Life

 
What do you want?

What do you want?

This is a simple question that is often thrown around, but rarely internalized or manifested into more than a grande, non-fat mocha with extra whip.

We ask our children this question ALL the time. They have no problem answering with a dissertation of desires, wants, and needs. What a beautiful thing! Somewhere along the continuum of life, this question gets watered down or eliminated. Distractions seep in, and we lose focus of what makes our hearts swell and our minds tingle.

When was the last time you asked yourself what you wanted, beyond, “Where do you want to go for dinner?” If you let go and explore all that your heart and mind desired, what would your dream day look like?

  • What do you want from your relationships?

  • What do you want from your career?

  • Do your desires match your reality?

A while back, I asked myself this question, and to my surprise, I didn’t have an answer. White noise followed by “I have no idea” is all that went through my mind. I have always been a motivated person with a to-do list a mile long. A list of tasks, a calendar full of obligations, and an overflowing inbox did not hold the answer to my question. So, what now? I had an awareness that there was a void in my life, but no idea how to fill it.

Fortunately, I wasn’t alone in this season of life.

Many of my clients come to me trying to answer this question. In the first phase of our lives, we operate in a manner influenced by outside factors. It’s a function of doing what we’ve been “programmed” to do by our parents, family, and society. We go to college, start a career, commit to a partner, and oscillate in this world until we feel a shift of wanting to do something that matters more to us. We feel the need to contribute in a meaningful way.

We begin to extend the question “what do I want?” to include “what do I want to make my life fulfilling and fruitful?” 

There are some helpful things you can do if you have found yourself sitting with this burning question, grasping for answers. 

  • Journaling: I’m not talking about five pages a day. Spend some time listening to your inner voice and jot down whatever comes to mind when you think about what you want. Keep a light grip on this process; don’t let your inner critic stifle your thoughts. It is meant to be free-flowing and loose.

  • Create a vision board: Create something that gives visual representation to all that you want! Keep the board in a place where you will see it daily. It will provide a beautiful reminder of the things you are working for or towards.

  • Keep an action journal: This will document all the things you are doing to get what you want.

  • Hire a professional coach: Coaching is a powerful partnership with a professional who works with you to help you define what you want and how to get there.

If you ask me today what I want, the answer can be found in my daily life. I want to nurture others to help them achieve their goals and positively navigate change. The answer has always been there; I just had to clear away the distractions and dedicate time to cultivating it. If you have found yourself wrestling with the desire for more, don’t dismiss it.

It could be exactly what you want.

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Jen Shannon