Getting What You Want

“Nearly all rich and powerful people are not notably talented, educated, charming or good-looking. They are rich and powerful by WANTING to be rich and powerful. The difference between these two points is where the work begins.”

– Paul Arden, It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be

Do you WANT something in your life that you don’t already have? 

This seems like a pretty basic question but you’d be surprised how many people have never asked themselves this question and certainly haven’t spent time getting crystal clear on it! Most of us (myself included) are in default mode: we’re relatively happy but oftentimes are too caught up in the “busyness” of day-to-day and forget to dream, set goals, or even desire something more for our life. Instead we accept this is how life is, or will be.
BUT, what if you COULD change it.  Have you even considered the idea that you could have something more, something different?  Have you planned for the long-game in your life?

*Disclaimer: Answering the question of “what do you want that you don’t already have” DOES NOT apply to things like defying gravity or avoiding death. You can’t want-your-way to becoming invisible or seeing through walls. ONLY KEEP READING if you want or wish for something DIFFERENT in your life. If you have a dream for something and are ready to achieve it. 

Pick a specific area in your life you’d like to work on. 

Pro Tip: be careful not to default to “I don’t know”. You DO know.  Here are a few examples:

  • Your career
  • Your productivity
  • Your stress level
  • Your weight
  • Your relationships
  • Your finances 
  • Your marriage

You’re a bunch of over-achievers so do me a favor and just pick one for now! You can do this over and over on every area (later).

Let’s say you really want to improve or change your career
Step One: Define where you are are NOW.

My work with people across the country is built on a Model that has solved countless issues my clients have been facing in their life. It’s simple and highly effective if you’re willing to do the thought work. 
The premise of the Model is that everything breaks down into five categories: 

  • Circumstances
  • Thoughts
  • Feelings
  • Behaviors
  • Outcome

Get a piece of paper and a pen. Yes, a real life writing utensil and piece of paper! Don’t just go through the motions reading this, write down the answers to ALL FIVE of the following questions. There’s a chance you’re not going to like some of the answers but you need to get honest to get the change you desire.

What are the CIRCUMSTANCES of your current situation?
If we’re focusing on your career this might include where you work, who your boss is, what your job title is, how long you’ve been there, how much money you make. Only include facts when we review circumstances. Make no judgement and apply no opinions to this first questions.  Example: I work at Nordstrom. My boss is Janet. I’m a sales person. I make $60k per year. 

What are your THOUGHTS about your current situation?
Brainstorm all of your current thinking about your situation. What are your opinions and judgments? What are you unhappy about? What don’t you like? What do you wish could change? Get it all out! Example: My hours are terrible. My boss is a tyrant. I don’t make enough money for the long hours I work. I’m not growing or fulfilling my potential. All my co-workers are idiots. The commute is too long.

How are you FEELING in this current situation with these current thoughts? 
Your feelings determine your level of satisfaction (or dissatisfaction). Often we don’t pay enough attention to how we feel and can be just powering through something that we feel terrible about without even realizing it. Example: I feel frustrated and stagnant. I am bored and total uninspired. Here is a list of feelings if you need some help putting your finger on the right words.

What are your BEHAVIORS in this situation when you feel this way?
Take a step back and look at how you are showing up. If it’s your weight you’d like to change – how are you eating. If it’s your relationship – how do you act towards the other person? For your career – how do you show up to work? Example: I have a bad attitude. I gossip about my tyrant boss and terrible co-workers. I do the minimum required just so I can get my paycheck and go home. I complain to everyone. I’m not motivated to do my best.

What is the RESULT of you acting and behaving this way? 
For this question, be brutally honest about how your behavior(s) affect the situation. Take as much responsibility as you can here to see what effect YOU are having on the situation. Example: My performance is low and my boss is always on my case about it. I don’t have a good working relations with any of my co-workers. I dread being at work.

Your THOUGHTS create your FEELINGS that drive your BEHAVIOR leading to your RESULTS.

Okay, I’ve got good news, you’ve done the hardest part!

Step 2: Now comes the fun part. DREAM! 
Most people aren’t willing to look at their current state of affairs and they don’t have what they really want. Far too often it’s because they don’t even know what they want OR they don’t believe they can actually have it. They are filled with excuses and complaints and haven’t even considered that they can DECIDE what is possible. You are different. You do hard things every day!

Think about everything you’ve ever wanted in your life. Allow yourself to truly want. Anything is possible and nothing is too good to be true.  Maybe you want to find a new job. Maybe you want to further your education and go back to school for an advanced degree. Maybe you want a better relationship with your husband.  Maybe you want to lose weight. Maybe you want to take your dream vacation.  Whatever your biggest dream or desire is, I want you to have it! 

Back to the Model that has solved so many problems for my clients.

Circumstances: What is the best case situation to my dream? What does this wish, dream or desire look like, specifically.  If we’re focusing on a new career, some examples might be: I work in an office building with people who are as driven and motivated as I am. I am passionate about the work I do each day. My commute is less than 30 minutes. My boss understands work-life balance and encourages us to go home at 5pm to be with our family. I have ample time off work to schedule vacations with loved ones. 

Thoughts: What do you think and believe about this dream that makes it so amazing?
I believe I will be a better employee – happier and more productive while I’m at work. I will be a better wife/mom/sister/friend to be around.  I believe I will make more of an impact. 

Feelings: How does it feel to have this dream?
Motivated, Excited,  Encouraged, Alive, Productive, Happy, Calm, Fulfilled

Behaviors: How do you act or behave differently because you’re realizing your dream?
I’m more friendly and patient. I’m less irritated and unhappy. I’ll be more fulfilled knowing that this work is important and necessary. I’ll have more time for my family and to get involved in my community to give back. I’m highly motivated every day. I am more confident than ever and it shows in my work.

Results: What is the ultimate outcome you get when this dream is a reality?
I have a career where I’m able to pour my heart into work that I feel is meaningful and impactful.  I will spend more time with my family and create a better balance between work and home.  I will have a boss and co-workers who respect me, my talents and opinions.  There will be more time to give to others. 

NOW: Make a list of everything you need to do to achieve this goal and decide on ONE small step you can take TODAY. 

If you want a new job, update your resume or Linked In profile. 

If you want to lose weight, drink more water than you normally would and go for a walk around the block. 

If you want a better relationship with your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend, plan a date night to talk about. 

What do you want? What would you change if you could? What is your wildest dream? What will you focus on?

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