It is probably fair to say that I've never really had this problem myself.
Wanting is something I'm really good at.
If anything, I struggle with an almost insatiable want for more of everything... more time, more love, more money, more experiences.
But, many of my clients (and friends) aren't big wanters. And yet, they aren't exactly content, either. They have no idea what they want, they just know "I don't quite want THIS."
Not knowing what we want isn't a problem if we are 100 percent happy with where we are.
But, if we aren't happy, and we don't know what we want that might make us happy, what do we do?
We start by daydreaming.
As a child, do you remember daydreaming? I do! I dreamed of being a famous actress on Broadway, a marine biologist who talked with dolphins, an eccentric writer who lived on the cliffs of a rocky shore. I dreamed of being a mother. Of falling in love. Of having a beautiful home.
It is our dreams that drive us forward. The wanting of something in the future. It is the middle school wanting of a boyfriend or girlfriend that ultimately creates the courage to go out on our first dates, have our first kisses, hold hands with our crush. It is the high schooler dreaming of college that creates the drive to write one more paper, take one more test, and try to do a little better each time. It is the college students wanting of a career that creates the curiosity to try out different internships, write for the school journal, or attend the lecture by the expert in our chosen (hopeful) field.
Then, as adults, we dream of a career, a partner, a home, children.. and then.. for many of us...the daydreaming stops.
We become weighed down by responsibility. How can we dare to dream when our task is to make the money, pay the bills, keep the house clean and manage children who are hell-bent on self-destruction for much of their childhood? We don't dare dream, because we are scared we can't have more. That it means we don't love what we already have. That we will only be disappointed when we realize that we surely hit the ceiling of how good it can get for us.
Oh, my friend. It does not have to be like this!
I don't care where you are in life today, don't stop wanting! Be grateful for what you have, for how far you've come, for the accomplishments already in your pocket. But go ahead and want deeply, and wildly, and fantastically from that place of gratitude.
If you are only focused on your past or just surviving your present then that is all you will ever have. And, for some, that may be fine. But, for most of us, we can still dream up a future that excites us!
Once we have some dreams, we can trust there is way to move closer to them. To achieve them. To make them come true.
We are smart enough to reverse engineer from our future dream to the actions it would take to achieve them. But, what most do, is freeze in fear that those actions are impossible.
But, guess what? They aren't! Because people just like you are achieving BIG, BOLD, AMAZING dreams right now. The only difference between you and them is the feeling they have that is putting the into action.
But, Leslie, you might say... I'm just not a driven person!
And I will say, my friend, "drive" is not something you've either got or not.
Every single person that feels drive, excitement, motivation, determination... every.single.one.of.them. is creating those feelings with the thoughts they have.
They aren't thinking "It is impossible. It can't be done. I'm not pretty enough. I'm not educated enough. I'm not lucky enough." If they were, I promise you, they would not be able to get up and do all that must be done to achieve their dreams.
They ARE thinking things like "I'm going to figure this out, no matter what. I can't fail unless I quit. I know there is a way, I just have to keep at it."
It isn't that they've just got the successful gene. Or the dreamer's gene. Or the lucky gene. It is that when they meet up with obstacles or "failure" they don't stop there. When you know what you want, what you really, really want, nothing stops you from getting it.
I had a client just last month who went from having NO IDEA what she wanted out of life to dreaming up some pretty big ideas, feeling excited, and getting into so much action that she's already achieved several things that just a few weeks earlier seemed completely out of reach. As soon as she realized it was up to HER, that SHE got to decide, she took life by the wheel and started driving like never before. She's unstoppable now, because something clicked and she knows it is really up to her. All she has to do is dream it up and if she wants it enough, she'll find a way.
So, don't settle. And don't wait. Dreaming is free, but the dividends will pay you for your whole lifetime.