Our list of goals in life, whether carefully crafted and written out in detail or simply floating around in our heads, tell us something about what we really want out of life. When you take a good look at that list, achieving a goal, attaining a possession or status, is less about acquiring that thing and more about the feeling - the emotion - we are are yearning for.
You may read this and have an initial reaction of "Hey, wait a second. This trickster is going to try and talk me out of wanting that boat because it's materialistic and not what life is really all about." Don't worry - you can keep the boat on your list and hopefully have weekends filled with sunshine, lake breezes and cool cocktails! This isn't about taking materialistic goals off of your list at all, it's just about taking a good look at your list and figuring out what each goal, each achievement you are seeking, is really all about.
Let's say you have a big house on a corner lot on your goal list. You may even know which house it is. You may drive by it every Sunday afternoon. Just seeing it gives you peace and an inner motivation to take on the work week ahead of you! What you may not realize is that you don't really want that house on the corner lot. That house may signify security when you are feeling unstable. It may signify status when you are feeling less than. It may signify pride of achievement when you are feeling weary from lack of progress. There are deeper emotions at play here and in order to really connect with our goals, we must find out what we are truly searching for and better understand what we actually want out of life.
If we can attach an emotion to our goal and focus on how to bring that emotion into our lives, a funny thing can happen - our list of goals may grow or even shift. We learn that there are a number of different ways to bring that emotion into our lives, and it can happen fast than we had planned for.
I read a quote a few years back that said, "You are responsible for the energy you bring into this room". It is so true! We cannot wait for outside forces to make us happy, to feel successful, to feel optimistic or energetic. We need to bring that energy into the room with us. So, if you have a goal of buying a boat so that you can have more adventure and freedom in your life - you can keep that boat on your list. I mean, who wouldn't want a boat, right? But don't wait for the boat. Find ways to add adventure and freedom into your life right now. Wake up on Saturday, put on your sneakers, pack a lunch and a bottle of water, and go for a hike. You can infuse the emotion you are seeking into your life TODAY.
We will never achieve happiness if we put it on the other side of achievement.
In today's worksheet, you'll rewrite your too big and too small goals and attach the emotion you are seeking by reaching that goal. If you haven't read last week's post on this, start with that post. For each goal, you may find that more than one emotion comes up, and that's okay. You also may find that a single emotion is feeding many goals. Once your list is complete, pull out your top 2-4 emotions you are seeking to heighten in your life. These will be used in next week's homework!