In the past few days, I’ve spoken about a better way to set goals and why those goals weren’t meant to be achieved (reminder: they’re designed to stretch you to become the kind of person who can achieve such goals).

Today, I want to offer another small distinction and that is that you don’t actually want what you think you want.

What do I mean by that? Well, let me explain with a story.

I was chatting with a coach of mine a year or two ago and telling him about my desire to run my own business online. Perfectly acceptable goal, right?

I thought so, too.

But my coach wasn’t convinced.

What he pointed out to me was that it’s not the location independent business I really wanted, but the feelings and experiences it would generate.

In other words, it’s not about the thing you want, but what you think that thing will bring you as a result.

I didn’t really want the business itself. What I really wanted was the freedom and ability to design my own daily schedule, make time for personal growth, work when and where I wanted to, travel if I felt like it while still being able to work, and be able to increase my income if I needed/wanted to (all things I’m able to do now).

Think about it this way. If I put out an offer right now that the first person to follow me on Instagram would get $1 million, you’d be rushing to your phone in a heartbeat. Yet you don’t really want $1 million. What you really want is what that money will bring you – perhaps more freedom, choices, security, etc.

Let’s translate this to your goals.

Take a look at what you say you really want, and see if there’s a deeper reason behind each of those goals. What is it about achieving that thing that makes you want it so badly?

Now comes the fun part. How can you look for ways to experience that thing already, without needing to first achieve the big goal?

For example, I’ve worked with a lot of people who want to quit their jobs in pursuit of the next big thing (or go travel). But often times, there’s an opportunity to create the conditions you wish to experience in your current setup, without needing to go through the stress of quitting your job or moving to another country. All it takes is a small shift in perspective.

Finally, you’ll find this process works a lot better if you make it a habit to celebrate the small wins along the way, appreciating the progress you’re making and knowing that what you want is so much closer than you think.

Over to you

What do you really want?

Why do you want it? What is it about that thing that makes you want it?

How can you create those conditions now, without needing to first achieve the goal itself?

Remember, it’s not the thing you want. It’s what you think that thing will bring you.


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