Do You Really Know What You Want and How to Get It?
By Donn Kirst
Humans are goal striving machines. We are constantly working toward something. For some people in this world, survival is the first and foremost goal. Things like: "What am I going to eat today?" takes on a whole new meaning when you are fighting for survival. The majority of us however, have elevated our goals past survival and into wants and needs.
These more common goals revolve around money, career, relationships, spiritual, physical, recognition, personal development, travel, and things. Most of us in the U.S. society for example have based our wants and needs on our social and economic surroundings. "I want the 7 series BMW, my business to be making $1 million, a lover who shares my dreams and desires and likes me for who I am, and a 2-week trip to Europe all by next year." Or maybe even we go deeper: "I want a deep connection with my creator, teach a Yoga Class, learn Italian, and to help feed five families during Thanksgiving next year." Maybe you want to do a combination of all kinds of goals. It is not for us to judge what other people want as goals and dreams. We do however should be judging our own goals and dreams.
I have written goals on paper since I was a kid in school. I would write these goals and then lose or never look at them again. Time would go by and I would realize that I wasn't working on some of the goals that excited me. Then I would feel bad. Then I would write a whole new set of goals. It is pretty bad when you are such a procrastinator that you procrastinate writing your goals. At one point in my life, I was feeling pretty bad for myself after I had just finished a goal writing session. I then found an old notebook that contained goals I had written a few years earlier.
I had accomplished a good portion of some of the things I had written down. I had accomplished things like:
1. Being fluent in Spanish
2. Own a house.
3. Drive a Mercedes.
4. Travel to England.
5. Pay off collections and debts.
6. Have a successful real estate practice.
7. Have two rental properties.
8. Get my degree.
I had done all of those things in three years, and I hadn't even been conscious of it. It was something that was so engraved into my brain that my goals appeared magically. Yet, I was feeling like a loser because of things I didn't have yet. I had never been able to carry out a consistent exercise and food intake program, I was not conducting my own seminars, I hadn't written a book, I was not jet setting all over the world, my wife wasn't in school, my kids did not have a college fund, and I didn't have a retirement account. The point is that I started to focus on all that I had hoped to accomplish at that point in my life. That focus took away my previous good feeling of accomplishment. I was looking at my role models and comparing myself to them. To my role-models what I had accomplished was small potatoes and to others around me, I had done some amazing things.
Doesn't the story always go that someone wanted something for so long and when they finally get it, they realize that is not what they really wanted? How many celebrities and talented stars struggle with fame and fortune? How many lottery winners go broke? How many people that focus all their efforts on having that great relationship, suffer tremendously when that person dies or goes away? How many athletes get the scholarship, the trophy or the Professional contract and then throw it all away with some stupid decisions? It's all too common. Yet, we all admire and secretly envy these people that seemingly "have it all." We believe they have what we want. And those people are looking at someone else and wanting what they have. The typical scenario is: The successful actor has addiction and relationship problems. The successful businessman doesn't know his kids. The successful talk show host can't win the weight battle.
Everyone is trying to figure things out for themselves and nobody has it all perfected and figured out. The most spiritual person and the richest person both struggle with some sort of character flaw or values conflicts. Thus our goals emerge and change and mold with maturity. I can almost guarantee you that you goals and the picture of how your future should look is a lot different now than it was when you were fresh out of high school. Maybe you still have some deep seated desires to accomplish something that you thought was possible when you were younger. If that idea or vision constantly pops up in your head even if it has been ten or twenty years later, then you need to work toward that goal. In my case that thing would be writing a successful book and screenplay. So being conscious of that deep seated desire, I now make a conscious effort to write every day. I don't necessarily write parts for my book or screenplay every day but I do write something, either it be for private or public consumption. When I am on purpose I can whip out something so profound that I amaze myself. I feel like I am channeling some genius that I don't even know. When I am forcing myself to write something that does not excite me or inspire me, I write a few sentences and hit the Select All and Delete on my WORD document. When I do write I am getting in touch with that identity of myself that I had suppressed for so long. Writing is once again apart of my identity. That is what you should first analyze about yourself before going any further with writing and working towards random goals.
So how do I figure out what I really want?
1. Take a deep hard analysis of your life. (Look at the good and bad, the victories and failures, and the gratitude and regrets.) This may take a few days of deep thought, a notebook and some tissues.
2. Think about what you want. (Not what your spouse, your boss, or your kids want.) You cannot make anyone else happy, only they can do that. You can make you happy by being that person you deserve to be. You can be their inspiration but if your goals are wrapped up in other people's ideals, then you are not being authentic.
3. Think about the times in your life when you were happiest. (A vacation with your family, a speech you gave, a successful venture, a great body.)
4. Design the majority of your goals around these desires and discard old goals that were not your own. (Are you an architect because your dad wanted you to be one? Did your spouse insist you stay with that job you hated because they had good benefits? )
5. Look at your new and improved list and then look at each goal with the question: Why? (Do you want the Mercedes for the feel, look and comfort? Or are you trying to show up your neighbor's car?)
6. Do any goals conflict with your identity and values? (I once was offered a high paying job for a Cigarette company. I did not believe in the product and even though I was broke, I could not see myself doing that job.)
7. Refine your list again and now you have your top goals. (Take these goals and write a timeline for the major breakthrough goals.)
How do I get what I really want?
1. With goals in mind, dream of a passionate vision for a future with those goals already accomplished. How would your life look now that your Mortgage is paid off?
2. Write out your goals in an affirmative and positive statement with a date for its achievement.
3. Do not overload your goals or make unrealistic timelines for your goals. (Don't say you will be a millionaire next year when you are still in debt and have little income.)
4. Make goals that will move you in the direction that you want to go. (You have to lose 5 pounds before you lose ten pounds. You have to pay off debt before you can create wealth.)
5. Make sure your goals keep you inspired and you read them aloud and you can visualize their attainment.
6. Each goal should have an action plan. (Ask yourself: "Did I do something toward the accomplishment of my goals today? If not: Why? And When? ) If time goes by and you still haven't done anything toward that goal, then you need to take a look as to why. It may not be a bad reason, maybe one of your other goals took off in a positive direction and you had to focus more effort on this while the momentum was there.
7. Have fun and don't be so focused on the outcome that you miss other opportunities or work toward something that pulls you away from your main purpose. (You are so focused on getting that one job with that one company that you missed a better opportunity and didn't get the other job as well.)
Make it happen!
You may have had so many goals that were pulling you in different directions. You may now realize that you were like a ball in a pinball machine bouncing around back and forth and getting nowhere. Now that you are more conscious of who you are as a person and what your true desires are. Then the achievement is more fluid and effortless. (Not easy, but effortless like water molds to its container.) Purpose and goals keep you alive and keeps you passionate about your life. You cannot tell your kid or someone else that they can do whatever they want in life, while you are miserable in yours. You have to be the inspiration and the example for others to follow. As long as you are being true to yourself and not purposely hurting someone else in the process, then you are on the right path.
Donn Kirst is a writer,speaker, and trainer.
He is dedicated to making a difference in people's lives and wants to encourage all people to live life to the max.
To contact Donn Kirst