When people are thinking about making a significant life change, they often confuse what they really want with three other things–
First, what they think they can have. I remember a client telling me that every move she had made to that point was because a recruiter had called her about a role. She was totally at the mercy of what others offered to her. She never reached out on her own or even thought about what else was possible.
While that’s an extreme case, most of us, most of the time, tend to think in terms of, “what I currently have, but 10 percent better.” And we wonder why the next thing doesn’t satisfy us!
Second, what they think others expect from them. I have had many conversations with overacheivers who thought their spouses, their families, needed them to provide a particular lifestyle or amount of money. In one recent case, I asked a client to actually ask his spouse what she wanted. He was stunned when his spouse and kids most wanted was for him to be around more. They didn’t care about all the nice things they could afford or his job title; they wanted him!
This client was also falling into the third trap—thinking that achievements or money can somehow fix some deep flaw they see in themselves.
But when my clients see that all of this is simply thoughts that come and go (just like the rest of their experience), it becomes clear very quickly that there is nothing outside of them than can ever fix an internal experience.
When people really see that, they are ready to tune into the key way to know what they actually want.
Desire—simply wanting something just because you want it—is a precious gift. It is our road map. When we want something just because we want it, creating it becomes fun.
And when we truly commit to that creation, somehow magic begins to happen. One of my favorite quotes is from William Hutchison Murray in his book, “The Scottish Himalayan Expedition,” published in 1951. Forgive the gender specific language—
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness…[T]he moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.
“All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”
You might not know what providence will bring, but the first and most important step is to actually begin. When you do that, guided by your desire, you can create what to the outsider looks like miracles.
What do you desire? And what are you willing to commit to?