I've never been much of a goal-setter. I know that sounds grossly unambitious — and ambition is something I consider to be of great value — so perhaps I'm more...dreamy, than I am ambitious. I never had a five-year plan, I have no idea where I'll be in 10 years and in 20? Well, I better be highly enjoying myself, in my 50s, doing more of what I love and less of what I don't. But that's all I've got.
The only goals I can think of ever having I've most certainly achieved, however — finding a life partner and getting married, having kids, losing 10 lbs. And let's be honest: I've done that last one more than a couple times. But...that's not goal-setting, at least not to me. Maybe that's really arrogant, or simply...conventional, but I suppose I always took advantage of the fact that I'd find someone to settle down with, and one day we'd start a family. We did, I'm here, and it's only been a recent conversation and my purchase of Danielle LaPorte's Desire Map program that got me thinking...should I have goals? Should I plan out where I want to be in 5, 10, even 20 years? It seems...impossible, really. I wasn't sure I was up for that sort of challenge.
Lucky for me, The Desire Map is only about goal-setting in a soft, serene, roundabout sort of way. Be prepared...to absolutely flip your life on its head. I'm going to give you a sneak peek into the program's basic philosophy, and you can feel for yourself the spring in your step as you suddenly start to see everything in a new light — and I mean everything, from your career to romance to spirituality to dinner. (Of course, I have to include something about food!) Are you ready?
The Desire Map, in essence, is a program to help you approach life, goals, ambitions and dreams in a way you've probably never thought about before. Let me ask you: Are YOU a goal-setter? Have you ever set your heart on a guy, a promotion, a house or a new car and due to some circumstance or another the whole darn thing fell apart? How did that make you feel? Or the reverse: Recall a time when you planned and schemed and maybe stepped on a few toes to land a job or score season tickets. At the risk of sounding like a therapist, again: How did that make you feel? Did you start your own company and discover it was absolutely everything you ever imagined? Or maybe you bought the dreamy SUV and felt a little empty driving it off the lot. (All that scrimping and saving, and...it doesn't even have heated seats?)
In any of the above-outlined situations, a number of things could happen. You profess your love to Larry; he tells you he thinks of you like a sister and you feel crushed. You climb the ladder and are the first female CFO in a company's history; you feel like a rock star. Hot. On fire. You decide to start your own company; it feels liberating, freeing, confidence-boosting, amazing. You drive off into the sunset inhaling new-car-smell, and it hits you: This feels crappy. Exorbitant. Sleazy.
Understand this, right now: We're going about this all wrong. Completely upside down, totally out of sync. We are lusting after things, accomplishments, love stories, successes; but what we're really after, if we get honest with ourselves, is how we think we'll feel when we get those things. Big. Important. Successful. Wealthy.
So what if...
What if, instead of making it our goal to go to business school, or visit our relatives in Thailand, or lose those last 10 pounds, we made it our goal to feel...auspicious. Connected. Radiant.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Have you ever gone to a party or an event, not because you wanted to network or apologize to an old friend for not calling but because you wanted to feel more alive? Have you ever thought about ordering something off a menu at a restaurant because you wanted to feel light and energetic instead of picking something according to the latest faddy diet (I'll have the salad, no croutons, dressing on the side, and can you check to see if the chicken is organic)? I don't know about you, but I have never. Ever. Planned out my day, week, month or year around how I really want to feel — at my core, on a soul level, every minute — as opposed to just...going through the motions. Doing and talking and maybe even dreaming, about stuff, places, errands, to-do lists. Never giving a single thought to setting an intention for the day in terms of, well, feeling good as the bottom line.
I know. This can come off as very woo-woo, and maybe even impossible. But you've got to believe me when I say that as a mom of two very young boys, working 40 hours a week, with a partner who also works 40 hours a week, all the while trying to maintain some decent relationships with friends and family...and a clean house...and a somewhat consistent spiritual practice, exercise schedule, writing on the side, cooking healthy meals (what else am I forgetting?), if I can use this program in very real, tangible, practical ways every day — and I do, I'm putting its principles in place already and I'm still listening to some of the audio, playlists and haven't even started watching the amazing videos included with the Desire Map, so I don't consider myself to be "finished" with it at all — anyone can. A busy executive, a world traveler, a retired nurse, a first-year university student — I can't think of anyone functioning in today's society who wouldn't benefit from this sort of deep dive into what you really want out of life, today, next month and next year on a clean, focused, soul level. I can't. You can. You can flip your life and everything you ever thought you wanted right on its head.
In the coming weeks, I will be sharing my very personal Desire Map experience with you. I encourage you to visit Danielle's site, check out the free audiobook sample, read some of her other juicy, extremely helpful work and — if you're so inclined — pick up a copy of the Desire Map. You can start the program on line, or you can wait for the hard copy of the book to arrive. Know that it calls for honesty, authenticity, concentration and enthusiasm. This is not something you want to buy and breeze through like just another coaching program or self-help book. That is not. What. This. Is. And I know it can be scary to look at things this way, especially if you're feeling anything but "inspired" at your current job or you instantly think, just from reading this post, that all you want is to feel "passionate" about the cause you've devoted the past 10 years of your life to...but you don't. You feel drained, exhausted, bitter and angry. I get it. But I'm an optimist, and I 100% believe that life is what you make it. I have limiting beliefs; I'm stuck in a lot of areas right now and it would be VERY easy to throw in the towel in a way. That, however, is not the way. And if you have any desire at all to be happier, or healthier, or simply content with your work life, spiritual life, relationships, etc, you will benefit from the Desire Map, even if it's just by following me on my journey. It's awesome. I'll show you the results as we go, to prove it to you. In the mean time, start thinking about what you want. And by what you want, I mean how you want to feel. You'll find out how I want to feel — and what I'm doing to get there — soon enough.