We all have things we desire, things we want to achieve or accomplish or just plain get done. And so we create to-do lists and make New Year’s resolutions, claiming these things as our goals in life. But what is it we really desire, deep down? Is it not to feel a certain way? Isn’t that the real reason behind these “goals”? We want to feel joyful, peaceful, creative, abundant, adventurous, alive, authentic, balanced, bold, brilliant, centered, confident, connected, energetic, sexy, free, love, open, safe, spiritual, strong, vibrant etc.
In her book, The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul, Danielle LaPorte claims that getting clear on what are our “core desired feelings” is better than focusing on our “goals”, those achievements we think we desire, or should desire. By focusing on how we want to feel instead of what we want to achieve, our goals will become more authentic, more in line with who we really are and what we really want.
We all have certain feelings that we are drawn to more than others, 3-5 core desired feelings. For example, one of my core desires in life is to feel creative. When I set goals for myself that don’t make me feel creative, no matter how great they sound, no matter how much I think I “should” want to achieve these things, they are not going to make me happy (happiness being the ultimate feeling that we’re all striving for). By focusing on wanting to feel creative rather than on what I think I should achieve, I can set goals that will bring about that feeling of creativity.
Our core desired feelings become a light to steer by.
How do you want to feel? Another way to approach this question is to ask yourself what does not work for you. For example, if I’m around people all the time, I get a little crazy; I need a lot of alone time! Being a writer is a much better goal for me than, say, being a salesperson! Journaling is one of the things that has helped me figure that out. What are some of the things that make you crazy? Knowing what does not work for you can help you discover what does work for you.
When answering the question, How do you want to feel?, it can also be helpful to focus on one area of your life at a time. LaPorte’s categories are: livelihood and lifestyle; body and wellness; creativity and learning; relationships and society; essence and spirituality.