What Do You REALLY Want?


"Language is very powerful. Language does not

just describe reality. Language creates the reality it describes."

~Desmond Tutu



Some years ago, I was sitting down to dinner, exhausted and so frustrated over something now long forgotten that had happened at work, and my throbbing head was in my hands. I said, almost to myself, "How on Earth did I get here?" Immediately and intuitively I answered my own question, "Because I created this."


What I realized in that moment is that you put yourself where you are. I had actively sought that position; I created it having analyzed data for a year, imagined filling a voide with something new, and had even written the proposal and corresponding job description that the organization and approved. A mentor reviewed it and I'll never forget his response: It's interesting. With this you'll have a lot of responsibility and influence, but you won't be the decision maker. If you can trust the people above you, then it might be worth it.


I created that position. But it wasn't what I wanted. . . why? With hindsight being what it is, I can now see that I wasn't answering that most essential question, What do you really want? In that moment, I might've thought I was but I now know that I was creating not what I really wanted, but what I thought I could get.


How often do we do that? We settle for something that might be a small stretch because we think (or even know) that we can reach it. But what is that you really want? What seems so consequential that you're reluctant to even name it out loud? Maybe you're not even sure precisely what it is and you definitely don't know how to get it, but I bet you have a sense of how achieving that goal will make you feel.


My challenge to you this week is to sit down with a blank sheet of paper and describe in detail what you would like your days to look like. I know you don't want to be sitting at the table exasperated and exhausted at the end of a day as I described above; so what would your day look like? What would your week look like? If it's not in alignment with what you're currently doing, describe what it is that you really want.

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