The swirl of life can lead to a lot of confusion. Demands on time clutter our connection and sometimes we’re just tumbling with the flow without knowing if this is the flow we even want to be in. Frustration sets in and sooner or later we don’t even know what we actually want. Or more importantly, we’ve lost our ability to find the answers.
Confusion isn’t the opposite of clarity, it’s the pathway. Shadowy, yes. But the pathway none the less. We know, we really do know, what we want and where we want to go. But the answers require us to settle down, mute distractions, and meet ourselves where we’re at by doing some thoughtful reflecting.
Over the years I’ve ditched traditional goal-setting for big picture visions and a lot of trusting in the process. But there are still plenty of times throughout the year that I’ll wonder, “What it is that I actually want?” We’re not lost because we ask ourselves that question. We’re simply recalibrating.
Recently, I decided to switch up the way I was thinking about that question and go a different route instead. What if I didn’t badger myself with demands of what I want? What if I, instead, stepped into the shoes of my future self to see what would make her feel like a million bucks. If future me were to look back on the last year her life, what would bring her joy? And what would I need to do in the next year to help her feel that way?
Throw yourself a birthday party. One that brings everyone together.
Don’t get in your own head on vacation. Show up fully present.
Keep on keeping on this workout train. And more veggies while you’re at it.
Write. Don’t worry.
Finally buy that new kitchen table and have your painting canvased.
The answers were easy. In fact, they were so much smaller than I anticipated. I actually laughed at how simple what I wanted actually was. It simply required listening to the feelings and honoring them in the present.
And that’s the difference… putting outcomes on paper that you’d like to achieve often leads to a whole lot of unfulfilled striving. It’s destination without direction. Instead stepping into how you want to feel can bring the clarity around what you actually need to feel that way.
Cross the horizon line of time and ask future you: what would bring her joy and what would you need to do in the next year to help her feel that way?
Do that and you’ll get into the simplicity of life’s desires. You’ll see that love won’t come from a new career just like purpose won’t come from a new partner. Life isn’t our list of goals. Life is our deepest feelings and simple decisions.
So honor future you. And ask her.