Wednesday, September 4, 2013

This ONE Question Gets You on the Shortest Path to Your Dreams

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Purposed (Photo credit: frances bell)
by Stacey Curnow

"Strength implies remaining the subject of one's life" ~ Simone de Beauvoir

What are the REALLY big questions I've talked about before that should be the basis for your life: Who do I want to be? What do I want to do? What do I want to have? How do I want to feel?

Those questions can feel pretty overwhelming if you don't feel close to where you want to be or what you want to do or have.

So here's one question that you can ask yourself everyday that will help you feel great about your day, everyday: What is the one thing I could do today that would be most satisfying?

If you really don't have a clue about what that might be, it's probably because you're aware of so many things you need to do, so many steps you could take, that you're totally overwhelmed.

When you're totally overwhelmed, how do you know which path to take?

Here's a thought ...

How about the shortest one?

Let's play a fun little mental game.

If you wanted to sell that piece that's been up on Etsy forever, RIGHT NOW, what would you do? If you wanted to write a book, RIGHT NOW, what would you do? If you wanted to rid your house of clutter, RIGHT NOW, what would you do? What's the shortest path to get to the thing you want?

Asking this question takes the matter out of the theoretical, where things stay overwhelming, into the present moment, where all of your power is.

Here's the thing: You're not asking what the best thing to do is. You're not asking what the most efficient thing to do is. You're asking what you would do if you had to do it now. So what would you do? The answer's probably really clear.

You want to sell the piece on Etsy? Well, you could start by telling people it exists, probably by linking to it on your Facebook page. If you want to get fancy, give some small incentive to buy (20% off, or free shipping, or something) and link to it, every 4 hours for a day. That would be a good start, right?

You want to write a book? Well, you could start by writing 750 words right now. Then sign up for Write or Die. It's a tool that you set for a length of time, like 15 minutes, and then you have to write. The catch is if you stop writing before the time limit, there are consequences. Here they are:

  • Gentle Mode: A certain amount of time after you stop writing, a box will pop up, gently reminding you to continue writing.
  • Normal Mode: If you persistently avoid writing, you will be played a most unpleasant sound. The sound will stop if and only if you continue to write.
  • Kamikaze Mode: Keep Writing or Your Work Will Unwrite Itself

Cue up Kamikaze Mode and you'd probably hit your word count, don't you think?

You want to clear your home of clutter? Well, you could start by setting a timer for 15 minutes. Then take 3 trash bags into a room and designate each for "Put Away," "Give Away," and "Throw Away." Fill them as much as possible before the time is up. Voila! You've just decluttered your home!

So let me ask you this ...

What's YOUR shortest path to your dreams?

Every Sunday I do my 30-Minute Manifesto and I identify my 3 top priorities for the week. I refer to the manifesto daily to stay on top of the things I most want to accomplish that week.

Every day I ask what's the one thing I can do that day related to my priorities. I try to do that one thing first thing in the morning, before the day has a chance to go all wonky.

You want to start every day with this one question. Once you find your answer, then take action every day, even if it's just for fifteen minutes.

Again, the earlier in the day you can do it, the better. Then go through your day and ask yourself, "Am I focusing on the tasks that are most important to me?"

There may be days when you don't have a lot of choice about how you spend your time. Your kid may get sick or your boss may be more demanding than usual and at the end of the day you may feel totally drained.

At the end of that day, you don't want to focus on your personal dreams. You just want to watch TV and dive into a bag of chips. And that's fine.

But I think you'll agree that those days are not as common as days when you're actually choosing to busy yourself with tasks unrelated to your priorities.

For those days, grab your timer and do a fifteen-minute sprint on that one thing you said you most wanted to do, the thing that puts you on the shortest path to accomplishing your dreams, and just do it!

You'll be amazed at how satisfied you feel at the end of the day, and how fast you reach your dreams.

Stacey is a purpose and success coach who helps you give birth to your BIG dreams. To find your purpose and passion, check out her FREE eBook, The Purpose and Passion Guidebook. Link: http://www.staceycurnow.com/purposeandpassion

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