Probably the most important question I ask myself on a regular basis is:
“Michele, what do you want?”
Sometimes in a nod to my Southern heritage I even call myself “sugar” as in “Michele, sugar, what do you want?” Regardless of endearment, the question is a great way to check in and see what’s going on. Right here, right now – what is it I really want?
[Why, now that I’m thinking of it, I’m kind of thirsty so I’m going to go get some water.]
OK, I’m back.
Later, I will ask myself the same question and I may realize I haven’t had lunch yet, or I might want to sit down and write a bit on my new book project, or maybe I’ll want to take a minute and sit on the deck and feel the slight snap of autumn just coming into the breeze.
And some of you are thinking, “She constantly asks herself what she wants. That’s a bit…odd.” But you know what surprises me? I’m surprised that more people don’t do it.
It’s a simple practice, yet day in and day out in my work with clients, I see people who’ve forgotten that it’s possible to want something. I see people who have delayed and obeyed and contorted themselves to meet the expectations of others to such a degree that they can’t remember who they are.
Let alone what they want.
They have no preferences because there have been negative consequences for wanting something.
They’ve been told that their interests are stupid.
They’ve been disappointed so often that they’ve just stopped asking.
They go through each day in a sort of fog, feeling like there’s something missing and they don’t quite know what it is. And since they don’t know what it is, they don’t have a clue about how to get it.
They can’t remember how to listen to the little voice inside that says, “I’m thirsty”. They only get a drink of water if someone else is having one, too.
Now, I am not going all 60s Flower Child on you. I will not be quoting Crosby, Stills and/or Nash, and suggest that you “love the one you’re with” or “if it feels good, do it.”
No, I won’t. There’s something rather willy-nilly and potentially destructive in that messaging. Nope, instead I’ll give you this key:
Ask yourself what you want and be completely open to whatever you say in response.
No “it’s impossible”.
No concern about what anyone will think.
Just a simple question and an open answer.
It’ll change your life. Because you will be listening to yourself, and conscious of what’s really important. Remembering who you are.
Need some help to get started? Here you go:
“I want ___________.”
Now, what does this wanting tell you about yourself?
What do you want right now, you sweet, darling superstar?
Oh, you should see my grin just thinking of your answer, sugar.