Why do we want things? Why do we set goals? Why do we strive?
What is it that we are looking for when we make efforts to advance in our job, make a certain amount of money, get a particular house or find a partner?
I would like you to consider that ultimately what we are looking for is an experience. Of self-esteem, achievement, love, fulfillment, security, or a whole host of other inner experiences.
Inner experiences that we are looking for in outer experiences.
There is nothing wrong with this, its normal and part of being human. The piece that is interesting however, is the fact that there are many ways to get to this feeling and we get stuck on one way.
The problem with this focus on one way to get to what you want, is that it blocks off every other one of the infinite paths to get to that emotional experience.
Think about a goal you are trying to achieve right now. Lets say you would like to live in a particular location in a particular type of house. A large-ish farmstyle house in an area that has lots of space. Right now you live in a townhouse in the city. Now consider what is the experience that you want from that house. It may be something like closeness to nature because you have a garden, it may be freedom because you don’t feel hemmed in anymore, it may be a feeling of spaciousness and room for your stuff. The desirable feeling will be different for different people, but its important to see that the feeling is the goal, the house is just a means to get there.
The next thing that it’s important is to realise that in this big wide world, there will be many ways to get to the feeling, and the desired feeling, rather than any one thing, is what we need to focus on.
So in terms of bringing what we want into our life, how can we apply this practically?
- Think about something that you want. A ‘thing’ such as a relationship, object, job.
- Focus on the desired feeling the experience will give you. Sense how it will feel in your body to have it.
- Imagine that feeling when you wake up and when you are going to sleep. The times when you are on the edges of consciousness and your mind is more receptive.
- Be open to any opportunities that come your way that may lead you to the feeling you want. Follow up the big opportunities, in the case of the farmhouse, go check out property in the areas you think you like, and also act on the small, easily achievable actions that can give you something of that feeling right now. For example plant a herb garden on your balcony for an immediate dose of nature.
Rather than narrowing your world to the one thing you must have, taking big and small actions toward the feeling that you want broadens the infinite opportunities to get to the ultimate goal of an experience.