Have you noticed that some people (usually those we see as successful) really know what they want in their life. They seem totally focussed, with clear goals and action plans and everything seems to just work out for them really smoothly…..
And then there are those who like me in my earlier years when I drifted along through life without a clear focus of what I wanted and falling into jobs rather than planning for them, without a clear vision or ambition of what I wanted to do… I was a ‘late developer’ when it came to planning my career and other aspects of my life.
Finally though, I saw the light and started to put myself in the ‘driving seat’ of my life. I started to focus attention on what I wanted in my life. I found the Wheel Of Life a great tool for starting the process of gaining clarity in my life on what was going well and what needed to improve. Check out my early post on this: https://brilliancewithin.com/2016/03/02/the-wheel-of-life/.
I re-commenced my studies and at the age of 35 got my first management job and worked very hard over the next few years to achieve my ambition of becoming a Senior Manager.
If you’d asked me in the past, what it was I wanted, I may have struggled to answer the question. I think that’s fairly common for lots of people and yet We generally know what WE DON’T WANT:
- I don’t want to be poor
- I don’t want to be in debt
- I don’t want to work somewhere where my journey takes hours to get to/from work
- I don’t want to be away from my family for days on end
- I don’t want to come home every night too tired to enjoy time with my family
- I don’t want chips every night for my tea
- I don’t want to be fat
- I don’t want to be unhealthy
- etc. etc. etc…… I’m sure many of you reading this would be able to add lots more ‘don’t wants’ to this list!!
Why is it sometimes difficult for some of us to emerge from the mist and be clear on what we DO WANT? (Although I appreciate some of you reading this post may be the ones who travel easily through life with your focussed ambition, clear goals etc.)
However, if this is something you recognise in yourself and your drifting without focus you may want to try the following exercise to help you develop improved clarity in your life:
- Take a piece of paper and fold it in half or draw a line down the centre
- On the left side of the page, write a list of all the things you ‘DON’T WANT’ to be doing or experiencing in your life
- Now on the right side of the page FLIP IT… Look at what you ‘don’t want’ and then write down the opposite.
I Don’t Want To Be Unhealthy when flipped becomes I want to be healthy
I don’t want to be poor = I want to be wealthy
I don’t want to be in debt = I want to have savings
By writing down all the things you don’t want, it’s possible to become much clearer on what you do want.
The final stage of this is to then expand on the I WANT list that you’ve created. So when you say
I want to be healthy – what does this mean ?
Describe what ‘healthy’ would look like for you and then you are in a much better position to start setting Goals that will help you achieve your ambition.
Having a clear Vision helps us to start taking the actions and noticing the opportunities that will help us move toward your vision. Check out my posts on creating your Vision Board here: https://brilliancewithin.com/2016/04/26/how-to-create-a-dream-vision-board/
For me, becoming ‘healthier’ was a significant lifestyle change and involved reviewing how I was living my life and then setting some clear goals around losing weight, taking up exercise, improving my work/life balance. I’d drifted along without any clarity – I knew I didn’t want to be ‘fat’ but didn’t have a clear vision about what ‘healthy’ looked like for me. Having done this exercise, I was able to set a clear goal:
To lose 3 stone in weight & To reverse my diabetes and bring the blood sugar readings back into ‘normal’ range.
Once I changed this and became clear about what I WANTED, for the first time in a long time, I was able to set some very focussed goals and then develop an Action Plan detailing precisely what I needed to do to achieve that Goal. Taking this action has enabled me to start losing my excess weight (1 stone 6 pounds lighter) and start to reverse my diabetes.
Clarity really is an important key which enables us to start being pro-active in order to create the life we desire.