They know they want something but they just can’t seem to put their finger on exactly what that something is.
This inevitably causes them to not make any moves toward achieving what they want because, let’s face it, you can’t really reach a destination if you don’t know where the heck that destination is.
Yes, of course you could still be in for one heck of an adventure if you set out on some glorious Sunday morning just wanting to go for a drive.
But it’s not like you’re going to surprise yourself and end up in New York. Or Bali, for that matter (um, you can’t get there by car. lol).
What’s the single most effective way to know what it is you really want?
It’s going to sound kind of crazy. And it takes a lot of guts to look at.
But it’s something I do myself regularly.
It’s your inevitable death.
I recently ran across one of the most profound quotes I’d ever read. It knocked my socks completely off (okay, I wasn’t wearing socks).
“Definition Of Hell: On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.”
I actually did my dissertation on the fear of death.
I looked at whether fear of death was related to how optimistic someone was (it is). Basically, the more optimistic you are, the less you fear death.
But what’s really interesting is something called self-discrepancy theory.
Self-discrepancy theory states that we have an actual self (the self we are right now) and an ideal self (the self we really want to be).
And the amount of terror that the thought of dying brings up in us is directly related to the difference between the two.
If there’s a huge difference between who you are today and who you want to become, you’re going to be terrified of dying. Why? Because dying is the ultimate period at the end of the sentence. It ends the story. So, there’s no more opportunity for you to work toward being that ideal self.
The difference between your ideal self and your actual self = how much you fear death.
One of the great regrets of the dying is:
They wished they had lived a life that was more true to themselves rather than the life that someone expected of them.
When you life a life that’s motivated by your deepest desires, rather than what you feel you should be doing, you move very rapidly toward your ideal self.
Because instead of filling your life with other people’s opinions on what you should do, you start to fill your life with what actually makes you happy.
I consider should to be a dirty word by the way because it almost always reveals what we’ve been told to do rather than what we really want to do. Start paying attention to this word, even for a few days, and you’ll begin to see what I mean.
Some really cool things about your desires and your ideal self:
1. Your ideal self and my ideal self are not the same.
Who you want to be is not who I want to be. Neither of our ideals are the same. Perhaps on the surface many of these ideals may look the same. We all want love, more money, success, freedom. But what exactly do we want those things for? Perhaps you have the dream of buying a villa in Greece and I have the dream of being one of the first people on Mars. Neither one of those things are better than the other. They just are.
2. There’s no competition for becoming our unique self
If we’re all aiming for different end games, that means that there’s really no competition. You can’t take away my dream of being an opera singer by becoming the best permaculture gardener this side of the Rockies. We’re all free to pursue our own ideal selves, our own deepest desires, and we don’t have to fear that there’s not enough to go around because we’re all uniquely different.
A belief that becoming your ideal self somehow takes away from the opportunity for other people to become their unique self is a lack mindset. A lack mindset is the idea that everything in life is a win/lose situation. You win, I lose. And vice versa. But that’s a complete lie. When you understand that there’s no competition to be your ideal self you see that there’s always enough for everyone to win. Everyone can be their ideal selves. There’s enough for everyone!!
3. Your ideal self is made up of the deepest desires and is completely unique to you.
Your ideal self is basically a list of all of the beautiful, wondrous, and magical things that you wish to accomplish and experience in this lifetime. Perhaps it’s meditating in a cave for a year. Or sailing around the world. Or meeting Barak Obama. Or speaking 15 languages. Or learning how to hold your breath for a really long time. Or swimming with sharks. Or marrying a man who writes poetry. Or writing a best seller. Or singing on stage. Or learning to tap dance. Or laughing so hard you pee your pants as often as possible.
The possibilities are endless. And they’re 100% unique to you. Because you’re a special snowflake darling. And no one can keep you from these marvelous experiences once you identify them.
Seriously, I have a list that’s about 15 years old now where I have listed multiple things I’ve experienced in the last few years. Including living in a log cabin in the Rockies, moving to Hawaii, learning to surf, and traveling in SE Asia. I would never have been able to accomplish all of these things if I hadn’t had the guts at one point to sit down and say “hmm, what would I want to accomplish before I die?”
What Do You Want To Do Before You Die
Now let’s dig into that single thing that will reveal what your deepest desires are:
If you were to find out you’re going to die in a year, what would be on your “must-do” list.
I know, it can be terrifying to confront the thought of dying. But let’s be honest here – it happens to every single person. No matter what we all die. So the question becomes:
“Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
– Mary Oliver
Sit down with a great big piece of paper and let your mind go wild. If you were to die in a year, what would be your “must have” experiences? What would you be pouring your love and attention toward?
Now, after you’ve completed that exercise, back off from this drama of “oh shit, I’m going to die soon!” because most of us aren’t knocking on deaths door quite so fast. And contemplate, based on that list, what’s really important to you and what your “must haves” are in this lifetime.
What do you have to do before you die?
List out every single thing that you’re longing to be, do, try, learn, or experience no matter how silly (and in fact, the sillier the better. When I wrote my first list I thought living in Hawaii was like make-believe and impossible. And wowzers was I wrong!).
And there you have your deepest desires, in one giant list.
And now, for take a moment and reflect on – are your current priorities reflecting these “must haves”?
Are your choices reflecting those desires?
If not now, when?
(pssst – the answer is always now. Time to start doing something new honey buns!)
. . . .
Most people deeply desire to make more money. That’s just a reality. Because with more money comes more freedom, more ability to travel, more ability to make radical shifts in your work situation, and your living situation. Basically, more money = ability to knock things off the list above.
So here’s my gift to you. A free Money Mantra Meditation recording. No strings attached. Start seeding your subconscious mind immediately with the knowledge that YOU CAN BE WEALTHY (and trust me – that does NOT make you greedy. More about that in next week’s blog which you’ll receive if you sign up for the Money Mantras Meditation Here).
The Money Mantra Meditation download will only be availble for a limited time for free. So snag it now while you still can!