What You Always Want Is a Feeling

Whenever you set any goal what you are seeking is a feeling.

When you understand these feelings it’s easier to make choices that make you happy over the longer term. For instance, most people get married because they want to feel loved and possibly secure. Yet one third of marriages end in divorce. This is a clear indicator that marriage, for those people, didn’t fulfil their needs. Sometimes it’s impossible to achieve a goal in exactly the way you want but you can always achieve the feeling. The feeling is the real goal. When you place your attention on the feelings you want to create rather than a specific goal, you usually find that you have more choices.

By asking yourself what makes you happy, then aligning your answers with a value you will gain a clearer understanding of what you really want.

For instance: If spending time with friends makes you happy, your value could be love or companionship. If always having money available makes you happy, you could value security or possibly freedom. If you love writing, music, or art you could value beauty, self-expression or creativity depending upon whether you are part of the creative process or a person who enjoys the end result.

I’ve found that when it comes to work goals the vast majority of people go to work for the social interaction with others. People who value relationships at work have a vast array of career choices available to them. However, there are jobs which provide casual interaction with others and there are relationships you can form with a client or co-worker which are more meaningful. People who value casual interactions could be happy in a job, such as a bank teller or a shop assistant, or any role where they would get to chat with people, even co-workers regularly.

People who value more meaningful relationships at work, or who want to make a difference, would gain more from being a counsellor, teacher, life coach, financial planner, nurse, or any role where they work one-on-one with people, usually in a supportive role. Or, they could flourish in an environment where they work in a team.

What I wasn’t aware of when I started my small businesses was that I was trying to find work that provided me with freedom and matched my personal values.  That is why working in the corporate world was never a good fit for me because I often didn’t agree with the ethics of the organisations I worked for. At one time I worked in the customer service department of an investment company and a sweet old lady asked, “Dear, do you think this is the best place to put my money?”

Quite frankly I didn’t think it was, but if I said that I would have lost my job. Doing work where I make a difference is something I really value, so I needed to find work where I could be true to my personal values while at the same time help others. Creating a business that meets my needs has transformed work from being a job that I do for money, into work that I am so passionate about, I never intend to retire.

My hairdresser’s son, who is 13-years-old, wants to be an actor. He is so passionate about performing he clearly values work content. People who value work content often know specifically what they want to do from a young age. Was there something you wanted to do as a child? One of my clients told me that as a child she used to go from door-to-door offering to sing for money. As an adult she became a very successful singer.

For some people where they work is most important, they value the environment they work in, for example this could mean working outdoors, or in a variety of different environments. I have a lovely young man who assists me with my garden. After finishing school, he went to university and obtained a business degree. When he finished his degree he couldn’t face the prospect of working in an office so he now works as a landscaper and gardener. He has two passions, surfing and travel. His work allows him to work intensively, and then take off overseas every few months. He never experiences winter as he always follows the sun. He said, “It’s a wonderful way to live”.

If you don’t know what you want, then think about what you don’t want and write it down. Then when your list is complete write down the opposite of what you don’t want.

For instance, if you don’t want to be around negative people you know you want to work and socialise with positive people. If you don’t want to worry about money you know that financial security and possibly freedom needs to be a top priority. A lot of the time most people know what they want, they just don’t have a label for it.

The Passion Factor

If you had told me when I first started working that work could be so much fun I wouldn’t have believed you. Back then I had the mindset, as did most people, that you found a career and worked in it for the rest of your working life, with or without passion. Thankfully that way of thinking is behind us and now if you are brave enough you can create work that you love, and a whole new adventure for yourself at any life stage.

The older style of career counselling focused on skills and how to utilise those skills to create a new career. What I discovered is that you don’t need to have the skills or specific knowledge to change careers. As long as you have a strong desire, the willingness to do the work, the courage to take the plunge and persist, you can always acquire knowledge. What is most important is finding a job, career, business and lifestyle where you can fill your most important needs. If you can fill one need that is great, but when you find work that fulfils multiple needs, you discover your passion.

What I never realised when I was younger is how important creativity and intellectual stimulation are for me. I dabbled in sketching and painting, although I wasn’t very good I found a passion for it. I wanted to write but all of my bosses told me to forget it. However, I always felt that I was meant to write and as I pursued that avenue people came into my life to help me develop my writing skills. I expected that to be as far as my creativity went. Now a whole new world has opened its doors to me.

When I first started coaching I discovered that it was a creative process. Being able to understand people and knowing how to motivate and guide clients required creativity and that was stimulating. Then I discovered that I actually enjoyed writing courses. I love learning and research. I love teaching. I love meeting people from all walks of life. Last year I started making training videos and found them to be a lot of fun. Now I am thinking of creating a cartoon series for teens to teach them how to love their lives and every time I think about it, I feel joy bubbling up inside me. There is no end to the opportunities ahead of me.

The Passion Factor

I was having a chat with someone when I said, “I want to die kicking and screaming saying ‘I’m not finished yet’”. I could die tomorrow and be content with the person that I am and the contribution I have made with my life, while at the same time I want to do so much more. I want to live every moment of my life feeling alive, feeling this effervescence bubbling up within me.  This feeling was not given to me exclusively, you can have it too. It takes courage to risk failure, to face your fears, to break free from the tribe, and there are challenges to face.

I thought long and hard about writing Love the Life You Live because I wondered how could I, as an obese woman, tell people how to love their lives. I have had people say to me, ‘You don’t look the way you’re supposed to look’. At the time it hurt momentarily, but that blip was nothing compared to the feeling I get when a book reader tells me how much my book has changed their life.

Choose to be part of the minority who live a life filled with joy because you dared to trust yourself. Engaging in your passion on a regular basis is what makes you feel alive.

Freedom Is On The Other Side Of Fear

As a young woman I was the treasurer for a charity group. One night I was asked to fill in for another member of the committee at a group discussion, it was only a small group, about 12 or so people who sat in a circle. However, when I was asked to make a comment I felt as if I was going to choke. A few weeks later I walked into my home with a baby in one arm and a bag of groceries in the other and raced to answer the ringing phone. It was a major radio station asking for a comment on behalf of the charity and we were live on air. I can’t even remember what I said and if I was coherent, I was so frozen with fear.

Those experiences motivated me to do something to overcome my fear of public speaking so over the next couple of years I did several public speaking courses. I had to do more than one to gain any level of competence. I later went onto to have individual lessons with a speech and drama coach. Since facing that fear I have had the privilege of being a teacher and motivational speaker, talking to as many as 1500 people at one time and appearing regularly on radio and TV.

I believe that the other side of fear is freedom. My definition of freedom at one time was being able to do what I want when I want. I now know that freedom for me is passion, joy, fulfillment and being my authentic self. I could never have achieved those feelings if I had allowed fear to rule my life.

Freedom Is On The Other Side Of Fear

Your fears show you where you need to make adjustments or changes within yourself so that you can become the person you were born to be. So many people worry about what other people will think of them but when you give yourself permission to make mistakes, to fall flat on your face at times, life gets easier. Failure is as much a part of life as success is, and if you don’t get comfortable with failure it’s hard to move forward.

When I reflect back over my life I have had more failures than successes, but the pleasure, joy and personal satisfaction that I have gained from my successes are what make me feel good about myself and the life I have created.

Life is never about what other people think about you. At the end of your life it will come down to how you feel about yourself, and the way you have lived your life.

Power Vs Force

If you are making a cake you need certain ingredients. Without them the cake wouldn’t look or taste any good. To discover your life purpose you need hope, faith, trust and a compelling reason. If just one of these power ingredients is missing you can struggle. For instance if you have just hope, faith and trust you may achieve your dreams only to find that your life has no meaning. You may have a compelling reason but if you don’t support that reason with hope, faith and trust you won’t go far.

Never before has there been so much information available on the law of attraction, mind powers, quantum physics and this information is all good and valid, but without faith, willpower can only take you so far. This is the difference between making it happen and letting it happen. Making it happen is all about willpower, it is about using your energy and actions to force an outcome that you desire. Sometimes you will succeed but force of any kind doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness and it’s a stressful way to live.

Letting it happen is similar to letting go. It means that you ask for what you want, prepare for it, take regular action then get on with life.

Power Vs Force

Your goal does not consume all of your attention and you are able to live a balanced life. It also allows you to accept that there is something better for you if you are unable to achieve that particular goal. It enables you to trust that you will be guided and supported by a force larger than yourself.

When you let it happen you never abdicate responsibility, you always do your part, however, you allow the Universe to work through you. This is the pathway that leads to success and joy.

Ask for what you Want

About ten years ago a book reader wrote to me saying she wanted to do my course but she had no money. She told me how she wanted to run women’s empowerment programs in the Maldives and she went on to tell me how she planned to do this. She also promised to pay the course fee when she made enough money.  I agreed to her request and she went on to run women’s empowerment programs in her country and in other countries under the United Nations Development program.

She also started a hospitality training school and every trainee who went through her program was taken through my life coaching process. Sadly, Anthu passed away a couple of years ago but she left me feeling privileged to have known her and to have made it possible for her to empower others. She gave me a reason to feel good about saying ‘yes’. She honoured her commitment to pay the course fee, even when I said it wasn’t necessary.

Last year I offered a scholarship to my life coach training course and I received a ton of requests. Most of those requests told me about their needs, why I should give them the course. Only two people told me what they would do with the knowledge that they gained from the course. The person that I gave the scholarship to told me about her commitment and that is why I chose her. So when asking for something think about what benefit there is for the person granting your request. When you ask with wisdom, your focus is more on giving rather than just getting.

Another way to empower yourself is to ask yourself questions. Any time you make a fixed statement such as, ‘I can’t afford a holiday’, or ‘I don’t have enough time’ you close the door on opportunity. You could house sit and mind someone’s animals and have a free holiday. You could be given a holiday. A friend of mine was going on holidays with her sister when her sister was hospitalised. The holiday was non-refundable and rather than go alone my friend offered me the holiday at no charge. I said ‘yes’ and had a great holiday in Singapore and the Maldives and all it cost me was spending money. I’ve been blessed with so many opportunities and material possessions simply because I’ve asked myself a question.

When I asked myself, “How can I make a profound and positive difference through the work that I do?” the answer I received was to get my school accredited. When business doesn’t flow the way that I would like I ask, “What do I need to do to reach more people?”

Ask for what you Want

Whenever I am coaching someone I often ask the question, “What does it look like?” In one instance I asked a man what ‘love’ looked like and he had no idea. He spent the next few months observing people expressing love until he became very clear on how he wanted to give and receive love. When I’ve asked the question, “What does success look like?” some people have been surprised by their own definitions, their answer have sometimes led them to reassess their goals. When I’ve asked people, “If you had enough time what would you do?” often they have had no idea.

Sometimes people make a lot of excuses to themselves. More often than not it’s a fear, not the excuse that prevents people from taking action.

Establish the habit of asking for what you want. You can ask for a hug, for someone to listen, for help or support, for money or for clarity. You can ask ‘How can I let go of this fear?” There is really nothing that you can’t ask for. Always remember though when asking someone to give you something, think about what you can give back to them.