What do you want, and what are you doing to keep it out of your life?
I originally titled this post “What Stops Us,” but it didn’t work for me.
On the one hand, I realized it was a huge question and I didn’t want to write a 1,000+ word post.
And on another, I really like the question above.
Knowing what we want is so important that saying it’s critically, vitally important is an understatement.
The thing is most of us don’t really know what we want.
If we did we’d be working on its creation.
Odd as this may sound, we know a little about what we want and a lot about what we either 1) will tolerate and or 2) don’t want.
Things we tolerate often resemble what we want or have become habitual. The power of resemblance and habit can’t be overstated. We are creatures of habit and settling.
As for #2, things we don’t want, you are likely recoiling and thinking I’ve gone off my meds. But I haven’t. We often do things, or keep things in our life, based on what others want for us.
Because we are social, pack/tribe oriented creatures we will often strike an unconscious bargain with what others want for us to keep them in our lives and/or to maintain relationship harmony.
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Now, for the second half of the opening statement: what are we doing to keep what we want out of our lives.
Perhaps the best way to understand this is just say that we can have whatever we want in our lives if we get clear about what it is and have a true desire for it.
(Embedded in that supposition is the idea that it must be what you truly, deeply and authentically want. To the extent that is unclear, or co-mingled with what others want for you, creating it will be difficult (if not impossible).)
I’ll admit I’m not saying we actively, and with conscious awareness, say to the things we want: “Go away! I say I want you, but I am keeping you out of my life!”
What I am saying is that what we (actually) do matters. What we do either brings us closer to what we want or it doesn’t.
Our lives are a collections of actions, to include thoughts.
(Thoughts, by the way, are indeed actions because they are a combination of electrical impulses and neuro-transmitters – both of which move.)
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Because of how our brains and bodies work, much of what we do is habitual. In many respects, this serves us.
However, once something is habitual it is essentially hidden from us. Habits serve to free up our conscious mind for other things. A long time ago, those “other things” was ensuring our survival (gathering food, seeking/maintaining shelter and being ever vigilant for physical threats).
Well, what if 1) those ancient-human survival needs were irrelevant for most on the planet and 2) some of our habitual behaviors didn’t serve us and our true desires/goals?
Welcome to Now.
That’s what happening “to” us.
We are still subject to the programming of a brain that is largely suited to keeping ancient humans alive.
Do we have a thinking brain? One that we can use to think grand thoughts and create amazing things?
But we’re also dealing with a brain that is way more concerned with what-that-noise-was or I-should-eat-while-the-food-is-front-of-me or . . . .
* * *
Anyway, back to the second half of the opening statement.
Let’s assume you’ve taken the time to discern what you truly, deeply and authentically want.
All you need do is reverse-engineer its creation – keeping in mind that you can only know so much about the middle, and last third, of the process.
It’s quite possible to know what the first 15 steps of a 100 step process are at the beginning. And that’s all you need to know.
Really. The great thing about goals and success is that they are iterative.
Meaning: 1) it’s a process that builds on itself and 2) you can’t know what the middle or end are going to be until you start and create the beginning parts.
Creating or achieving something is not completely knowable at the start.
But you must start.
So, decide what you want and what you must do to move towards its creation and, here’s the critical bit, stop doing the things that are contrary.
I’ll repeat that: stop doing the things that are contrary.
Once you have sufficient clarity, a whole bunch of contrary stuff will appear.
When faced with this wonderful, but sometimes difficult/painful truth, you can stop doing the things that keep what you want out of life.
Or, you can keep what you want out of your life.