The Success Catalyst

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Sustainable Resolutions: Choosing What You Want Most

I once heard it said that discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want most. If that’s true then it would be good to know what’s really important to you and to your life so that, when you are making decisions about how you’re spending your time and who you’re spending it with, you can consciously decide whether it is either an attempt to temporarily alleviate the inescapable discomfort of being human or if it’s in greater service of your true heart’s desire.
The absolute best way to know the difference is to spend time getting to know yourself. No one can do this for us and the only way we can get to know ourselves is by spending real time with ourselves. You are the expert on you and there’s no better way to hear the wisdom of your inner guidance than to get quiet and listen.
Gandhi once said, “The only tyrant I will follow is the still, small voice within.” The truth of who we are is tyrannical and it patiently and persistently tugs at us, sometimes in a barely audible whisper, until we quiet our minds of the thoughts and the made-up stories that keep recycling in our brain, taking up precious time and space that could be used to bring us real and lasting happiness. And it’s not until we bestill the mental chatter that we can start listening to what it’s saying.
Most of us don’t stop to listen because we’re afraid that it’s going to tell us to do something we don’t want, like change the dynamic of our intimate relationships or friendships, eat the broccoli instead of the pizza, stop self-righteously judging someone and, instead, get into their world and see their point of view of things, or give up a night of TV to enroll in a class in something we’ve always wanted to do.
If the pizza were going to bring you real comfort, or the lack of real communication with others was going to bring you more meaning and closeness, or being right were viable roads to true happiness, then we’d all be set. But, it doesn’t work that way and, thankfully so because, at the end of the day, I can’t imagine anyone saying they wished they’d watched more TV, or closed more people out of their hearts, or ate more foods that made them feel sick.
So, the first step to finding out who you are, and this is going to sound brutal, is to stop what you’re doing and really start noticing the voice inside your head and hear what it’s saying. For those of you who are not used to doing this, which is most of us, you will, at first, not even know the difference between this voice and the real you, so be patient with yourself as you charter the tricky terrain of your mind and its creative ways of lulling you into looking outside yourself for approval, validation, and a sense of worthiness.
One of the reasons it’s so important to know the difference between that voice inside your head and your own inner knowing is that, without your awareness or permission, it will make choices for you that ultimately keep you stuck and unhappy and further from the truth of who you are. And, no matter how much you say you want something, if you don’t actually believe it, it will not come to be.
There are many ways to get acquainted with the voice in your head and, besides meditation, one of the best ways I know of is to start a daily morning practice of writing down your stream-of-conscious thoughts in a notebook – I’m talking good old-fashioned journaling that is for your eyes only. I have been doing this myself, off and on, since I was a teenager and it’s also one of the first things I get my clients in the habit of doing when we start working together.
The results my clients have experienced from doing this have often been nothing less than transformational – from restored relationships that seemed hopeless, to the breaking off of marital engagements that were based on fantasy and projection, to starting successful businesses generated from long-held creative passions, to going from feeling hopelessly unemployed to getting a six-figure job, to meeting and creating a life with the person of their dreams, to creating a more empowering and exciting role in their company that better reflects their strengths and interests, to changing their sexual identities (both ways!), and the list goes on.
But, most importantly, what comes from knowing ourselves is a greater ability to love who we are and that love is what creates true possibility – for ourselves, for others, and for the world. When we are so busy judging ourselves and others, there is no space for true creation and creating is what makes us come alive.
Try this: ask yourself, of these two choices, do you prefer truth or untruth? Now, ask, would you choose something that feels good or something that feels bad? Ok, now, which would you choose, something that feels good or something that is true?
If you didn’t laugh, you’d cry, right? This is where it’s easy to get stuck and choose the short-term gratification over the bigger picture of true fulfillment. And, if the price weren’t so high, like forfeiting your dreams and passions, then I’d say, no big deal and to go for it. But the cost of not authentically living into who you really are is to be miserable, at best, and life-threatening, at worst.
It’s not about being perfect, it’s about waking up and becoming aware of what’s true because, as it’s been said through time, the truth will set us free, and freedom allows us to choose powerfully. If you get and stay curious, challenge yourself to ask the powerful questions, and allow for the raw energy of life to move through you, you get your real self back and, from that place, anything is possible.
So, the great news is that, once we start exercising the often flabby muscles of our deeply-held desire to genuinely connect with ourselves and others and access our vibrant and creative spirit, we start to get into a groove and the very same techniques that got us stuck into old and destructive habits that keep us unhappy are now in service of activities, routines, and behaviors that actually bring us true happiness, peace of mind, and real joy. And, if you check under the hood of anyone’s new year’s resolutions, you’ll probably find very similar motives: to feel, do, and be their best. So, start getting “selfish” and focus on you and what you really want – it’s the greatest gift you can give yourself and everyone else.
Have fun playing with this approach and email me what you notice!
With Love,

One Response to Sustainable Resolutions: Choosing What You Want Most

  1. Yvonne BennettNo Gravatar says:

    “Start getting selfish and focus on you and what you really want–it’s the greatest gift you can give yourself and everyone else.” This is exactly how I felt this new year 2013. I am the mother of seven wonderful girls and I have been so focused on them and their lives, that I have literally forgotten ‘me’. They are grown now, so it wouldn’t hurt if I was to start listening to the voice inside and start working on myself. I have been so long overdue for a makeover. I need to be the topic of discussion at the moment. I need to be my greatest concern now. The girls are doing fine on their own now. So you know what, I have decided to take charge of my life and make the coming years the best yet. I must get started in my new found career and make it a winner. Only the best is good enough for me. Thanks Dani for opening my eyes and motivating me to make a change. Oh! and it’s nice to meet you.

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