Has this ever happened to you?
After FINALLY getting started on a project, you face one interruption and sidetrack after another … then end up at the close of the day wondering whether you really accomplished anything at all.
Did you ever have a day like that?
A week like that? A month like that?
Have years gone by … and you’re still not sure where you’re headed (or even why)? Do you feel your dreams slipping away like a blob of ice cream melting on the sidewalk — leaving nothing but a familiar, sticky residue to remind you of the good things life once promised?
You’re not alone.
It’s easy to get in the habit of facing the day like you’re a plate spinner at the county fair — running from point to point while you try to keep everything in motion — then fall into bed at night wondering where the time went and promising yourself tomorrow will be different.
Guess what: Tomorrow is here.
Invest a few minutes with me here, and I’ll give you the secret to getting what you want and doing what you want. I’ll show you how to resurrect those dreams you thought were gone forever.
How can it happen?
All you need to do is make one simple decision.
The Key to Getting What You Want from Life
One of my favorite stories concerns a monk who was intent on reaching the Holy Mountain. After months of hiking through thickets of brush, crossing barren wastelands, and fording cold, rushing streams, he came to an old man sitting by the path smiling.
“Old man,” cried the monk, “please tell me how to get to the Holy Mountain!”
“It is simple, my son,” came the matter-of-fact reply, “Just keep walking in the that direction.”
Like the monk, if you’ll decide where you want to go, then launch out in that direction … and don’t stop walking … you’ll get there.
Your Direction Is More Important Than Your Goals
If you want to see a panel discussion by success experts explode into a shouting match, ask them to explain the difference between vision and mission or plans and strategies. If there are five panelists, you’ll get five different opinions, and none of their answers will be clearly defined.
For the past 10 years, I’ve worked with The DEEP — trying to make the concept easy to understand and apply. Along the way, I’ve found that simplicity is difficult to attain. One of the primary roadblocks to clarity in human undertakings is our reliance on setting goals as a means of getting the bus known as “us” to go where we want it to go.
We declare our resolutions on January 1, but most of us have abandoned the pursuit by February. We make our five-year and ten-year plans, file them away in a drawer, and get busy putting out the fires that surround us daily. Then, near the end of December, we realize we’ve made zero progress towards the things we once thought were essential.
Like a swimmer caught in the riptide, I realized one summer that life was taking me further and further from shore. I could see the vacationers there, working on their tans and sipping cold drinks at the cabana. But I was doing my best just to stay afloat. My family needed me, my employer needed me, my community needed me … I had become the hole in the donut, the lifeguard about to be drug under and drowned by what seemed to be the frantic thrashing of a host of people who couldn’t survive without me.
My first need was to get out of the riptide. I needed to abandon my ambitions. I had to become willing to give up the battle and turn in an improbable direction that seemed to look more like defeat than victory. I couldn’t carry the load any longer.
Direction is more important than goals.
Who Are You, Anyway?
Thomas Merton, the celebrated Trappist Monk and prolific spiritual writer, reminded us that we’re “human beings, not human doings.” His signature advice to the stressed-out masses was, “Don’t just do something. Stand there.”
The best start is a good stop.
You can do it now.
Stop fighting. Stop worrying. Stop scheming.
Breathe and look inside to your deepest desires. What do you want more than anything? What is there that you could give your whole life, your whole being to?
That is your direction.
But what if I decide I really don’t want to go there?
I’ve saved the best part for last: You can change your mind anytime you want. In my own work with The DEEP, I’ve made several major course corrections along the way.
Here’s the amazing part:
Once you pick your primary desire and start walking in that direction, doors begin to open and road signs begin to appear.
This journey doesn’t require you to know exactly where you’re going or when you’ll get there. It only asks you to seek, trust, and try.