Most of us would like our lives to be different in one way or another. And, while many of us feel this way, very few of us actually know in detail how we would like our life to be different. Why is this? Have you decided exactly what you want out of life? Listen, as we explore the first part of goal setting, simply identifying what you want out of life!
“If you're bored with life - you don't get up every morning with a burning desire to do things - you don't have enough goals.” —Lou Holtz
It's time to decide what you want to do, be, and have. What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to experience? And what possessions do you want to acquire? In the journey from where you are to where you want to be, you have to decide where you want to be. In other words, what does success look like to you?
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The Real You
Inside of each of us is that tiny seed of the real “you”. The you, that you were meant to become. Unfortunately, you may have buried the real you, in response to your parents, teachers, coaches, and other incidental role models as you were growing up.
You started out as a baby knowing exactly what you wanted. You knew when you were hungry. You spit out the foods you didn’t like and avidly devoured the ones you did. You had no trouble expressing your needs and wants. You simply cried loudly— with no inhibitions or holding back—until you got what you wanted. You had everything inside of you that you needed to get fed, changed, and held. As you got older, you crawled around and moved toward whatever held the most interest for you. You were clear about what you wanted, and you headed straight toward it with no fear.
So what happened? Somewhere along the way, someone said...
- ‘Don’t touch that!’
- ‘Keep your hands to yourself.’
- ‘Eat everything on your plate whether you like it or not!’
- ‘You don’t really feel that way.’
- ‘You don’t really want that.’
- ‘You should be ashamed of yourself.’
- ‘Stop crying. Don’t be such a baby.’
Then, later, as you got older, you heard...
- ‘You can’t have everything you want simply because you want it.’
- ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees.’
- ‘Stop being so selfish!’
- ‘Stop doing what you’re doing and come do what I want you to do!’
The lesson here is, DON’T LIVE SOMEONE ELSE’S DREAMS.
After many years of these kinds of sanctions, most of us eventually lost touch with the needs of our bodies, and the desires of our hearts, and somehow got stuck trying to figure out what other people wanted us to do.
We learned how to act and how to be to get other people’s approval. As a result, we now do a lot of things we don’t want to do. We do many things to please a lot of other people:
- We go to medical school because that is what Dad wanted for us.
- We get married to please our mother.
- We get a “real job” instead of pursuing our dream career in the arts.
- We go straight into graduate school instead of taking a year off and backpacking through Europe.
In the name of being sensible, we end up becoming numb to our own desires. It’s no wonder that when we ask many teenagers what they want to do or be, they honestly answer, “I don’t know.” There are too many layers of “should’s,” “ought to’s,” and “you’d better’s” piled on top of and suffocating what they really want.
So how do you reclaim yourself and your true desires? How do you get back to what you really want with no fear, shame, or inhibition? How do you reconnect with your real passion?
You start on the smallest level by honoring your preferences in every situation—no matter how large or small. Don’t think of them as petty. They might be inconsequential to someone else, but they are not to you.
The solution is to STOP SETTLING FOR LESS THAN YOU WANT.
If you are going to reclaim your power and get what you really want out of life, you will have to stop saying, ‘I don’t know; I don’t care; OR it doesn’t matter to me.’
When you’re confronted with a choice, no matter how small or insignificant, act as if you have a preference. Ask yourself, If I did know, what would it be? If I did care, which would I prefer? If it did matter, what would I rather do?
Not being clear about what you want and making other people’s needs and desires more important than your own is simply a habit. You can break it by practicing the opposite habit.
One of the characteristics of successful people, is given the choice between different options, they have the capacity to make decisions quickly. This is important. It will allow you to decide and move-on to the next task in front of you.
I’ve been asked several times, how to be more decisive. When given a choice, how can I make a decision quicker? Well, the answer is more simple than you may have thought.
You see, when you’re faced with a choice, the decision falls into 1 of 2 categories. You either need more information, about the options, to make an informed decision. Or, you have all of the necessary information, and the differences, between the options, are negligent. If this is the case, just trust your instinct, make a choice, and move-on. But, if you don’t have all of the information, get more information, and then make a decision.
For example, I invest in residential real estate. If I was trying to decide between buying a new rental property in Neighborhood A, vs neighborhood B, I might not be able to decide because I need more information. So, I’ll do more research. Based on my research, I may find out that neighborhood A has better schools, and I may find out that neighborhood B, has a park and a community center. At some point, I’ll feel like I have all the necessary information, to make a decision. Given all the information, it’s decision time. Whether the choice clearly stand-out, or I have to trust my intuition. Successful people learn to trust their intuition. This is sometimes what they must use, to make decisions, and move-on to the next task at hand..
Exercise - “I Want…”
One of the easiest ways to stop settling, and begin clarifying what you truly want is to make a list of 30 things you want to do, 30 things you want to have, and 30 things you want to be before you die. This is a great way to get the ball-rolling.
Another powerful technique to unearth your wants is to ask a partner or friend to help you uncover what you really want out of life.
I sometimes use the following technique in my workshops.
I have people get into pairs. To start, one person will ask “What do you want?”, and the other person answers with whatever comes to mind. The person asking, will ask again, “what do you want”, and other person will answer again. This will continue for several iterations.
You’ll find the first wants aren’t all that profound. In fact, most people usually hear themselves saying, “I want a Mercedes. I want a big house on the ocean.” And so on. However, by the end of the exercise, the real “you”, begins to speak: “I want control of my life. I want people to love me. I want to be able to express myself. I want to make a difference.” ... wants that are more true expressions of your core values.
This is a great exercise, because it not only uncovers some basic items that you want, but it also helps to uncover what’s really meaningful to you, which can be used as your fuel, your motivation, to achieve your goals.
My first goals list was basically just a list of things/changes that I wanted in my life. I created it when I was 18 years old, living at home, in a small town in Texas, working in the library at a local Community College. My list included things like:
- Live somewhere with a sunny and comfortable climate
- Be able to travel to interesting places
- Have a new car
- Be able to buy all the clothes that I wanted
And many other items. Probably, about 20 items in total.
At the time I created the list, I didn’t really know anything about goal setting. I just made a list of changes that I wanted in my life.
About 10 years later, I moved to California. And, on my first trip home, my Mom, told me she found some old things of mine. She handed me a box. I looked in the box, and re-discovered the list that I had made 10 years earlier. Almost, every item on that list had come true.
This was just a list of items. The items had no particular format or structure. I created the list, and never looked at it again. And most of the changes still happened. What if I kept that list where I could see it daily, keeping those goals fresh in my mind? Perhaps they would have happened sooner. Perhaps every goal would’ve been met.
I remember getting chills, as I read through earth item. To recognize that so many of my accomplishments were written down years earlier, felt magical.
Lou Holtz Story
Lou Holtz, the legendary football coach of Notre Dame, is also a legendary goal setter. His belief in goal setting comes from a lesson he learned in 1966 when he was only 28 years old, and had just been hired as an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina. His wife, Beth, was eight months pregnant with their third child and Lou had spent every dollar he had on a down payment on a house. One month later, the head coach who had hired Lou resigned, and Lou found himself without a job.
In an attempt to lift Lou’s spirits, his wife gave him a book, The Magic of Thinking Big by David
Schwartz. The book said you should write down all the goals you want to achieve in your life. Lou sat down at the dining room table, turned his imagination loose, and before he knew it, he had listed over 100 goals that he wanted to achieve before he died. Big goals like having dinner at the White House with the President, appearing on the Tonight Show, meeting the Pope. Lou couldn’t wait to show his wife his extraordinary list of goals! He watched for her excitement, as she read each goal! Lou’s wife was impressed. She said that's amazing, honey. But I need you to write down just one more goal. Go ahead and get your pen ready. Okay write this down “get a job”.
Lou set a total of 107 goals! At last count, he had achieved 102 of his original 107 goals, which included coaching at Notre Dame, leading his team to a national championship, and shooting a hole-in-one, not just once, but twice!!
Lou even accomplished a goal of landing a jet on an aircraft carrier, because, while coaching at Notre Dame, Lou posted his list of goals near his office. This allowed the players to not only support Lou, on the achievement of his goals, but help him as well. For example, one of Notre Dame’s former players called Lou, and said, “hey remember that goal you had for landing a jet on an aircraft carrier, well I’m now a pilot, and I can help you to achieve that”.
Next Episode - SMART Goals
Be sure to subscribe to the Podcast, so you can catch my next episode, where we’ll turn your “I Want” list into true goals. I’ll explain the optimal structure for setting your goals, so they have the highest possibility of becoming a reality.
Last show’s question:
In what year was Liz Lira a choreographer on “Dancing with the Stars”, for Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough?
And the winning answer…
...was submitted by Tracy Overton, who correctly guessed “the year 2010”!! Congratulations, Tracy!!
Today’s trivia question:
Which successful person in history, was quoted as saying the following:
“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”
Send your answer from the Web Site, “TheLifeIDeserve.com”. From the Web Site, you can leave voicemail or email. Just click on the “Contact” tab.
Again, which successful person in history, was quoted as saying the following:
“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”
Go to “TheLifeIDeserve.com”, to submit your answer.
The winner will receive a complimentary ticket to the my next, Success Principles Workshop, in Marina del Rey, California. You can visit TheLifeIDeserve.com/workshop for more information.
Well, that’s going to do it, for today’s show. I hope you found this episode valuable! My mission, is to use my love and creativity, to inspire and empower, those that I encounter, to live full and meaningful lives, by sharing lessons learned, tools for self improvement, and life-changing perspectives. Subscribe to the Podcast, so we can take this journey together. I want to challenge you to create your “I Want” list!! And share it with a supportive friend! Or me! I would love to check-it-out! :-)
Thanks again, for listening to the “The Life I Deserve”. This Podcast was designed for you! Designed to enhance your health, grow your wealth, and fill your life, with happiness!! Visit “TheLifeIDeserve.com”, and send me voicemail, or email. Let me know something about you. What inspires you? How I can help you? Do you have a suggestion for the show? Let me know. And, if you just happen to love the show, please post a review on iTunes! :-)
Thanks, again! Love you all!! Until next time… goodbye.