Imagine you just sat down to eat at a new restaurant in your neighborhood that everyone has been raving about. Your best friend sits across from you, and you can't wait to dive in.
The waitress pops by with a big smile and introduces herself as Cheryl. She sets two waters on the table and gives you both menus. You look at the menu for a while but are more excited about catching up with your friend than you are getting specific about your order. A few minutes later, Cheryl comes back and asks if you're ready to order. "Yes, I'm so hungry!" you say. "Great," she replies. "What will you have?"
"Food. I would love some food." Cheryl looks at your friend, then back at you. "OK. What can I get you?" she asks, holding her pen to her notepad. "Food," you repeat. "And if you can hurry, that would be great." At this point your best friend chimes in with her order of the seared scallops.
You look around the restaurant, noticing the people at the table next to you are enjoying their salads with fresh, colorful vegetables and an avocado dressing you can smell from your seat. "Yum," you think, licking your lips as Cheryl walks away with a puzzled look on her face.
"I wonder when the food will come," you think. I really need it. Everyone else around me has food. I hope mine comes soon.
Before you know it, Cheryl circles back with your friend's scallops. It smells amazing. Your stomach rumbles. You look at Cheryl and ask where your food is. "I'm really hungry," you say. "I need some food, and I need it now."
She looks slightly panicked and returns several minutes later with some cold rolls. Suddenly, you're upset. Why did you have to wait so long? And why did you get yesterday's bread? Why aren't you enjoying a delicious salad with avocado dressing, looking just as happy as the man to your left?
What is the fatal flaw in this story? You didn't specifically ask for what you wanted. You stated a need: hunger. You thought about what would satisfy that need: salad with avocado dressing. But you didn't ask for it. Why? You were too busy focusing on the need and the timing.
This is the lesson I want to share. How we get so caught up in how to get all of these things that seem to be making other people happy instead of taking time to get clear on what it is that we really want. I call it focusing on the when and the how instead of the why and the what.
The good news is, the why and the what are actually the easy parts. It's the when and the how that send us into fits of anxiety. Let's dive into two powerful techniques that will help you to change the projection simply by changing the projector.