What Do You REALLY Want?


Article by Kristine CareyLately I’ve been struck by how people answer the question of what they really want. When I ask, they give me an answer that sounds more like what they’d be OK with rather than their bigger picture desire. If I probe a little deeper, they usually say something about how they’re just trying to be realistic.

Pie in the skyDoes that sound familiar to you? I know I’ve been guilty of it before – it’s almost as if you don’t want to get your hopes up, or you don’t know how to make it happen, so it’s safer to just not go there. The trouble with this approach is that if you don’t let yourself dream big once in a while, your daily life and business can shrink without you even realizing it, and that’s no good.

Years of coaching others to pursue their goals and dreams (as well as pursuing my own) has taught me that being “realistic” and needing to know “how” to accomplish something from the start is the fastest way to kill a dream. There is a time and place for needing to know the nitty gritty. Amazingly, if you allow yourself to dream big and get excited, the few specifics you do know multiply, and new ideas pop into your head. Doors open showing you how to do things or what to do next, and you meet people — or realize you already know people — who can help you pursue your goal.

The process can feel a bit like magic, yet all you’ve done is open yourself to the possibility that you can have what you want and notice all that’s around you which can support you in that desire. It’s good to make a step-by-step plan to pursue your goals and dreams. Be careful, though, that your plan isn’t so rigid that there is no space for amazement, surprise, coincidence, serendipity, and brain flashes.

So the next time someone asks you what you want in your life or your business, go ahead and give them the real answer. Sharing your desires with others helps bring desires to life, and brings you one step closer to making them a reality.

P.S. Keep this in mind the next time you fill in your Get Clients Now! Action Worksheet and answer the question, “How much business do you REALLY want?” It’s not asking how much you think your business model can make or what you think you can work out somehow — the question is literally: “How much business do you really want?” Take a deep breath and give the real answer…

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Reader Comments

Fabulous article and mindset, I agree wholeheartedly. I stopped using SMART goals with clients because I didn’t necessarily want them to be ‘realistic’ or have them decide if the goal was ‘achievable’. It’s all relative.

As you said we need to be ready and open to serendipity, coincidence etc.
The bigger the sky the higher we can fly!…

Great to hear about the SMART goal, Joan! Sometimes helpful, other times not so much…

I gave up trying to work what what I really wanted long ago. Instead, I allow the market I serve to provide me with new business. In other words, I do as I’m told. Recently I contemplated doing something entirely different. Within days I’d received two new jobs that I can’t start until late 2015/2016: I interpreted that as a sign to keep going. It’s a bit like booking a table in a restaurant for a few weeks ahead: it gives them an incentive to carry on!

That’s an interesting approach, Michael, and it sounds like its working for you! It’s good to remember that no matter how much we may think, we are not in fact “”in charge” of our business. It’s more like we and our business are partners, and we need to listen to our business, the market, and our instincts to see where the vectors intersect and go from there.