Okay, I get it now. After leading the first local chapter meeting of Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map Book Club, I realized that what Danielle is asking us to think about are our core desired feelings, not the static goals that we may or may not achieve. For example, a traditional approach to goal-setting is to write down—in the present tense—the things you hope to achieve in your life. A “personal goal” might be: “In 2014, I am married to the love of my life.” Sure, that’s great. What an accomplishment! But Danielle then asks us the question, “Why?” She wants us to dig deeper and ask ourselves, ‘Why do you want to be married to the love of your life? Is it to feel complete, happy, less alone?’
Danielle pushes us to investigate whether or not we really need that thing out there to feel how we want to feel. In other words, if we want to feel happy (which is a highly subjective word to begin with), can we achieve that feeling by actively pursuing own own gifts? What a concept. Sure, maybe our happiness will stem from being someone’s spouse or…maybe it will simply come from organizing a road trip to a gastropub in Brooklyn with great friends.
Our core desired feelings set the direction of our life. They are:
- what prevent us from having that third glass of wine because we know we don’t want to feel hungover and we do want to be able to trust our judgment when we make decisions the next day.
- what nudge us to get at least seven hours of sleep a night so that we can feel rested and in control of our health.
- what compel us to meditate every morning so that we can feel peaceful before we head out to face the day.
- what convince us to book that appointment for a haircut/pedicure/massage so that we can feel like we are taking care of ourselves.
- what encourage us to send that email to our idol so that we can feel excitement at the possibility of having him or her respond.
- what prompt us to confront the rude waitress at the restaurant so that we can feel confident she doesn’t get away with lying about how much money we gave her.
Core desired feelings ask us to stand bigger and bolder in our lives. Committing to some of them can be damn uncomfortable too. When I confronted the waitress, for example, all of the blood immediately rushed to my face. I could actually feel my heart beating…in…my…face. Is this what confidence feels like?! At times, yes. It’s stepping outside of our comfort zone and being brave enough to know that standing up for ourselves—in every sense of the expression—comes with age and wisdom. It comes after we let go of that crazy notion that we (women) shouldn’t make a scene. I’m here to say: we absolutely should. Make a scene—a beautiful scene—as you pursue your core desired feelings. You will know you’re achieving them once you feel them warm your entire body, covering you in a blanket of comfort, peace, and joy.