“What do you really want?” It sounds like such a basic question, but sometimes it’s not so easy to answer. For many people, their response is, “I never thought about it. I honestly have no idea.”
We can often identify what we want for our lives for today, or even for tomorrow: To get a good night’s sleep, to go for a run, to spend time with friends, to shorten our to-do list, to go to yoga, to do nothing. But, beyond that, we often draw a blank. We have no clear vision of what we really want. Many of us have never even stopped to consider what we truly desire for ourselves. We barely have time to get the laundry done, let alone think about what makes our soul sing. We run around taking care of everything and everyone, except for ourselves and our own happiness. We are dead last on our own to-do list, if we even make the list at all.
As a result, our lives are essentially steering themselves. We are stuck in the status quo, day after day, playing it safe in our comfort zone, even if our comfort zone proves not to be very comfortable at all.
I once lived my life like this. For a number of years, I was a practicing lawyer. I worked in a well-regarded, large law firm where all I did was work. I was young, motivated, eager, and dedicated to my job. I worked obscene hours. I had little time to date. I rarely worked out. I relied on sugar and caffeine to get through long days, and my adrenals were drained. After 5 short years that felt very long, I completely crashed at the age of 30. I had what I call my “early-life crisis.” I was unhappy. So, I quit my job and left the law. Somehow I knew I wanted more, but I didn’t know what. I wanted to figure out what kind of job would tap into my passion, nourish my soul, and bring me joy, so I worked with a life coach. And, a few years later, I became one.
I often think about what my life would look like if I had stayed at the law firm and continued to let my life steer me, instead of the other way around. Little did I know until working with a coach that the key to steering my life and knowing what I want lay dormant within me. I could have accessed it, if I had simply known how. What I learned is that for any of us, the key lies in stopping the noise, turning our attention inward, and listening to our intuition.
Deep down, we all have an inkling of what we want for ourselves. Our intuition speaks to us regularly through self-talk, daydreams, hunches, or gut feelings. It drops hints about what we want to do, say, have, or become. Sometimes we listen, but too many times we ignore that little inner voice. We tune it out because we are distracted by the fires we are frantically extinguishing in our every day life. We tune it out because we may be afraid of what it has to say. We tune it out because somehow we know that it might require us to do something scary, like change our jobs, change our mates, or change our lives.
If we just stop for a moment and really tune in to ourselves, our intuition shares with us exactly what we want – what we really, REALLY want. It already knows. It is smart. And, it wants the best for us.
Long before I left the law firm, I knew that I was not fulfilled by my job. I heard the little voice, but I chose to ignore it, until I couldn’t ignore it anymore, and my body literally broke down to get my attention. I didn’t know at the time that my intuition was trying to get my attention, to help me steer my life, live my passion, and be happy. As I look back now, clearly with the benefit of hindsight, it is painfully evident that I should have listened to that little inner voice much, much sooner.
We all have the answers to what we really want. The key is in deciphering the messages. We just have to get still, be quiet and muster up the courage to hear what that our intuition is saying. All we need to do is stop, listen, and find out in which direction that little inner voice inside of us wants us to steer.