It seems like a simple enough question. What do you want?
I now live on an island. Everyday if I drive more that a few miles, I will inevitably go over a bridge. Looking over the edge of that bridge knowing that the ocean is just a bit away, fills me with joy. Seeing the sunshine bounce off those beautiful blue waves just... does something for me. Simple right? It was a need that I didn't know I had. This time last year, I had to ask myself that question. What do I want? What do I REALLY want? All I knew was that I was cold, and didn't like it. But I didn't know what it was, specifically, that I wanted that would make me happy.
And when you first ask it a whole bunch of "superficial" answers come up. I want cake. I want a million dollars. I want that new dress. I want to travel the world. I want, I want, I want... and then, if you keep at it, you dig a little deeper.
I want more time with my children. I want to sleep peacefully at night. I want to live in a warmer climate. I want to write and write and write... and yes, if you keep going, it gets deeper still. You start to realize those deeper needs; the important ones that get glossed over as we push through our daily routines.
It's hard to look in the mirror and realize that you are not where you want to be. But you can't change that, until you know what you want. So I offer this exercise up to you.
Take out a sheet of paper and write. I WANT...
Then, set a timer for three minutes and write. Write everything you want. Even if it seems outrageous. Even if it seems selfish. Even if it seems impossible. Write. Don't pick up your pen from the paper until the timer goes off. Don't worry about being descriptive or specific or spelling or what anyone else might think. This is for you. Write.
If you get stuck, answer these questions, but keep writing.
Where do you want your finances to be? Where do you want to be health-wise? Who do you want to be with? What items do you want? Where do you want to live? What do you want to own? How do you want to spend your day? What do you want to do to earn an income? How do you want to spend your down time?
Dig deeper. How do you want to give back? How do you want to continue to grow? How do you want to be remembered? How do you want to affect others in your life? How can you show love to others?
When you have finished, choose the top ten things that matter the most to you and re-write them on another clean sheet of paper. This time around, we are looking for balance. Find at least one thing in each category. Finances, relationships, recreation, health, career etc...
You can't find happiness if you don't know what it is. It's like trying to hit a target that you know is "out there" but you just can't see it. Bring it in to focus. Once your brain knows what it is looking for, it will switch gears to try and get it for you. (You have to take the steps to get there, of course...) But the brain will start thinking of ways to get you what you want.
I believe that our purpose here on earth is simple. We are here to give back. Whatever gains you have been blessed with, give some back. I'm not just talking about finances. Giving of your time, your knowledge, your resources, your love... give what you have and it will be returned to you ten-fold. I know this to be true for a fact.
And the other thing, how do you want to grow? I believe that if you get all the best "toys" and are living the biggest house, it will never be enough until you find balance. And part of finding balance is to make sure you're always growing. Learn new things, see new places, meet new people, strive to become a better you.
Okay... sorry, back to the exercise.
Take your ten things in your various categories and write a sentence or two about WHY you want these things. Unveil your heart. Again, this is only for you. Why do you want your top ten list? Your brain functions on reason more than want. So write down the reasons you put this on your top ten. (It would be helpful if you write down more than "just cause". -Can you tell I'm used to working with teenagers? Lol!)
Then, when do you want them. Write a time line for each of the ten items. (You might need to be a little more realistic on this one. If you want a million dollars, it might need a bit more time to show up than 24 hours!)
And then, read your list. Every day. Every night before you go to bed. Keep those things in your mind. And slowly check them off when they come into your life. (Then replace them with new things!)
Yes. Yes. A lot more goes into getting what you want other than making a list. But first thing before all else... you have to know what you want.
So, just for fun. Take a few moments and spend them on yourself and discover what it is that you want.
Some things you may realize that you already have in your life but have perhaps taken them for granted. This is the time to freshen up or take a new look at what's around you. Maybe you don't want things to change too much, but you just have to love (or find new ways to love) what/who you have a little more.
I knew I needed a different life, but I didn't know what. It wasn't until I saw that I really needed to do some major changing to clean out the toxicity in my life, that I could make those changes. And I did. I see the ocean (or at least arms of it) every day. It was one of those things I wanted. Really wanted. And I am happier for it.
I check my list everyday and am pleased to say that I cross things off and replace them with new items all the time. It works to corral your focus and really get what you want.
So let me ask you... What do you want?
(Did somebody say cake?)
What are your priorities? What moves you to work a little harder? What motivates you to reach your goals? What is on that priority list that you keep in your head? Do those items move your forward? Or work as a reward for you? Or keep you in defeating habits?
Traveling, is a priority to me. It seems to me that I am most productive when I am traveling. I'm not sure why that is... Maybe its the lack of a set schedule, or the relaxed state of mind that I fall into when I am allowed to leave my daily grind. Or maybe it's just the change of scenery that shakes things up a bit.
When I am driving, out on the long highways of America, a couple things happen. First, I am so filled with a patriotic pride that I live in a country where I am allowed to freely move through state after state just because I want to. And let's not forget the beauty that each state has to offer as I pass through their small towns and big cities and miles and miles of untouched land. I get to meet and talk with people from all walks of life and all matters of culture, and food! Don't even get me started on the variety of foods there are to try!
And second, those hours spent in the car, my mind is free and has no boundaries. I come up with my best ideas, story-lines and future plans behind the wheel of my SUV.
Being able to travel is a high priority for me. Even when my budget is tight, I have to make an allowance that will let me travel. Usually to an ocean destination. The ocean feeds me, makes me feel strong and yet very small at the same time. It literally washes away my tension and no matter how many times I see it, I stand in awe.
When I am allowed to travel, I write more (which is important for an author!). I am inspired. I feel sense of worth and can clearly see the goals for my future. I also know that these circumstances are limited, so I try and make the most while I am away. A little work, a little sight seeing, a little cultural experience and a little relax time. It's a balance that has taken me years to perfect!
I also travel because the winter does bad things to me! I absolutely hate to be cold and am not a big fan of snow. But for the moment, I must stay where I am residentially, so I use travel to help break up the long dark winters.
And finally, traveling keeps me moving forward. Literally. It works in a circle. I am more motivated to reach my goals, to create more speaking events, to make more money, to be able to travel. And now being asked to travel AS my job? Well, that's just about perfect! I am so thankful that my world is opening up to create those opportunities!
Keeping those priorities in front of me!! Keeping me on the road and traveling...
So keep an eye out for me in your town in the near future. I am going to be offering a whole new series of seminars and speaking topics!! I am so excited about what my future has in store for me and I am excited to share it with you! I'm looking forward to meeting you and visiting your home towns. So, if you live in a warm climate I could show up any time! But if you live in the colder climates, I'll be around to visit in the summers!
Big things happening at elizabethbourgeret.com! Stay tuned so you don't miss a thing!
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