That is the standard question in any goal setting or personal development workshop. If you could define what you want, then you could achieve it. And you believe that. So you define what you want. You follow a goal setting workshop. You make up a list of everything that you want including:
And you make up a plan to achieve that in maybe 1,5 or 10 years. We all have been to this, right? Raise your hand and say “I” (okay I raised my hand now and said “I”). Come on, you can do it too. It’s save here. But the problem with all of this goal setting is, that you are focusing your attention on the external world (yes even with health). This being stuck on the external focus will never show you, what you really want. It will just present you lots of means or ways that you think will lead you to what you really want.
Everything that you wrote on these goal setting lists is just a means to something much deeper inside you. But it covers up what you really want, and therewith makes it impossible for you to realize your true desires.
How Do You Find out, What You Really Want?
It’s simple. In fact, it is so simple that all children know how to do it. It is one of their favorite games. It is called playing: “But why,…?”. If you have kids, you know how stubborn they could be playing this game with you. If you give them an answer, they follow up with just another “but why…?”. Although you might get irritated by this, use it to your own advantage.
Play the “But why…?” game with yourself. Ask yourself: “But why do I want it?”. Why do I want money, fame, love, etc.? Then you come up with an answer: “I want more money, so I can be free and can buy a great car”. But don’t stop there. Remember the children. “But why do you want to be free and have a great car”.
Don’t stop after following with a “But why do I want that?”. Drill down your level of answers. Keep going. You will at first come up with a lot of superfluous answers, but insist like a child until you reach the root, until you find within you, what you really want out of it.
What You Will Find Deep Down the Rabbit Hole?
Each “But why do I want it?” will bring you further down into the rabbit hole, that is built from your reasons, that you constructed to justify your wants.
It is like all these reasons are like clothes around your body, or wrappings around your mind. They might cover you, but they are not the real you. The don’t belong to you. They hide the real you from being seen. Strip yourself from all these reasoning, those false wrappings around your true desires.
What you will ALWAYS come to, if you dive deep into the rabbit hole, is that whatever you want to achieve or have, is only a means to the root cause of all your desires.
YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY.
That’s it. There is nothing more. Maybe you want to avoid pain, but that is just the flip side of wanting to feel good and happy. Because you can play with your “want to avoid pain” another round of “But why do you want to avoid pain?”. It will also lead you to your desire for happiness.
Why We Must Make It Hard for Ourselves to Feel Happy?
Okay – now we found out, that all that you have written down on your goals list is just a means to your real want to be happy. What is left then is the question: “Why do you need the means? Why not go for feeling happy directly?”
Because we associate feeling good as something that we are not worthy, unless we have earned it. Feeling good is something you must work for, that you have to give something upfront, before you can experience it.
It is this perverse combination of being happy, not feeling good enough, and thinking that we must earn the good things in life that causes the greatest grief, stress, anxiety and turmoil in the world. Whether that Belief System (aka BS) was installed by your parents, society, the church or your tradition doesn’t matter.
As long as you think that you have to do anything in the external world to deserve happiness you are bound to pain, frustration and will never achieve happiness.
And you know this already deep inside. What happened as you got the car, house, new job, lover, new toy or whatever, that you were so longing for? Yes it felt great for a while. But after a while your fascination dropped. The high that you felt when you got it, vanishes with time. Always. And that is so frustrating to you. You were running for that high of happiness, and now it vanishes, again. So you go out and hunt for another goal, hopping to catch that feeling again and this time hold it. But of course this will be boring after a while again. And so you will keep repeating that vicious circle.
Wanting – Getting – Satisfaction – Being Bored – Dissatisfaction – Wanting
It is like you were in a donkey race and someone was presenting you the carrot of happiness right in your front view, while at the same time giving you the stick of frustration and unhappiness to make you run even faster. You can’t win that race. If you get into it, you lost it already. The only way is to get out of it and see, that you were tricked (or tricked yourself) into a false belief system (BS).
How to Get What You Really Want?
Going for external goals will never make you happy.
Happiness is your birthright. You can decide to be happy. Here and now. There is nothing you need to do for it. You can’t earn happiness. You can’t buy it.
You can simply BE it – NOW. Decide to be happy – for no reason.
And out of that happiness, you can decide to do some things, that you enjoy doing. Not because you want to feel happy through them, but because you want to do them out of your happiness. There is nothing wrong with goals, if you set them because you enjoy the process of getting there. But don’t confuse a goal with what you really want, your real drive behind it all.
The source of all your wants, all your power is not in the outside world. It is within you. And it is waiting for you to remember just that.