06/07/2011 06:14 pm ET Updated Aug 07, 2011

What You Want Is What You Have

You already have what you want.

As I get ever closer to my dream of being able to impact huge numbers of people, I am reflecting on the journey I took to get here. If you had asked me a couple of years ago, I am not even sure I would have admitted that I had dreams that were beyond where I was then. I was awfully satisfied. Then, forced to come up with something, I created small and incremental goals: build the business a bit, impact more people, get better at public speaking. Do you hear how fascinatingly vague and unassertive those are?

To fall (or stay) deeply in love, to have a smoking hot body, to make a huge positive impact at work, or to have the courage to leave work and start something new are popular dreams. A lot of us think we want something or even say we want something, but we don't really mean it -- at least not yet. Why is that?

Probably, when you start to contemplate your dreams, some other voices in your head start talking really loudly. I call them "the chicken" and "the brat" voices. The brat doesn't feel like doing the real thinking and dealing, and the chicken is scared to. You must learn to have the voice of the dream drown out those other two relentless pests, and you must unpack all the juicy stuff from your history that gives the chicken and the brat their fuel.

Whenever you overcome the chicken or the brat and do the brave thing or start to deal with the right actions for your dream, you feel great! The brat never wants you to know or remember this, but I am telling you so you know. And I will repeat it, even to myself, because we all forget it so easily. The brat and the chicken convince us in a million ways that we don't even want what we want or aren't ready yet, when maybe we are!

Today I ask you to consider, using the little self-assessment (below), whether you are really letting yourself "want" what you think or say you want.

If any of these are true for you, then you might be more satisfied with the status quo than you thought.

  1. You haven't taken the time to create a clear and specific vision of what you want. (Not vague, like my example above.)
  2. You aren't taking any actions that would help forward what you want.
  3. You are manifesting signs you aren't "ready," like bombing a presentation or having bad dates.
  4. You are missing or overlooking opportunities to forward your dream but are ever present to how other people get theirs.
  5. You feel fear about your desires and you think that's a good reason not to pursue them.
  6. You always seem to have some urgent distraction like an ailment, other people's crises or complicated life issues to resolve first.

I am suggesting that "maybe it's you." I know that's an upsetting thought at first, but then it's very empowering.

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