Those inner callings speak to us through our longings and our discontent. We may be enjoying our lives, yet something is missing. And just like a sore toe, that is what grabs our attention most of the time. We can have a thousand things going the way we want them to go, and we will focus on the one thing that is off course or incomplete or a nagging worry. It is human nature, and some of us are more prone than others to milk the worry for all its worth until we can’t sleep, we binge eat, we bite our partner’s head off and kick the cat.
If someone asks, “What do you really want,” we often can’t put into words what is wrong, or if we do articulate the discomfort or the lack, we know, and they know, that is not what is really at the root of our pain.
So what do you really want? How do you find out what it is, much less do something about it? How do you get down to what really matters and blow off all those superficial distractions that keep you trapped, trying this new thing, then that new thing?
It takes some soul searching to get down to the nitty-gritty. When you look back over your longings, what keeps coming up for you? What is that one thing that you feel is missing or needs to be different? Is it paying off the credit card debt that hangs over your head and wakes you up at night? Is it the boss who is demeaning or the work that is unfulfilling? Or would you like to be a better parent, lose the extra pounds around your waist, lower your blood pressure, or make a difference for your church or charity? Or maybe you simply need to feel better about who you are – feel more comfortable in your own skin – and not shrink away from opportunities that come along in life and in love.
No one can answer these questions except you. You may avoid these questions, skimming over articles like this one, and not making a commitment to yourself to make a decision to work on that one thing that gnaws at you.
Step One – Ask yourself, “If I only have ten more years in this lifetime, what are the ten most important things I really want to do?” Don’t overthink the question. Don’t take three days to answer it. Just start typing (or writing) and make your list.
Step Two – Study your list - Choose one or two of those goals to work on this year.
Step Three - Begin to shift energy! Ask yourself, “What are ONE or TWO things I can do THIS month to help me with my new focus?”
Step Four – Take a deep breath and start! It’s really that easy. Nothing changes until you act.
I am holding the highest thought that you are willing to put in some elbow grease and find the delight that comes from the follow-through for something that is important to you.