As kids, we used to play the wish game. And it went something like this: If you could have any three wishes fulfilled, for anything you desire, what would you wish for? Now that may sound a bit old fashioned, so let’s bring that question up-to-date. “What would you do if you won the lottery?” In any given office building, you can hear conversations about this very subject, during any given week. More often if the pot is exceptionally high. I’ve listened to these conversations and played along periodically and I’m always amazed that the first things mentioned tend to be framed negatively. In other words people first state what they would NOT do. “I sure wouldn’t come to work tomorrow”, “I would come in just to tell everyone off!”, “I sure wouldn’t be doing this commute everyday” and so on. Only after blowing off a little steam, do some of the deeper desires start to surface. “I would love to travel while the kids are still at home”, “I’ve always wanted a bass boat” or “If I didn’t need a paycheck, I have always wanted to serve in the Peace Corp.”
These seemingly random snippets of conversation actually reflect how many of us shape our wishes and dreams. We tend “wish” ourselves away from things we dislike rather than toward what we desire. We do this out of habit, and because it is common group behavior and because, truthfully, we don’t actually know what we want.
Daydreaming has become a victim of the continuous productivity movement which says that if you aren’t moving or talking or typing, you must not be accomplishing anything. Ironically, during a time when we are so encouraged (if not implored) to think outside of the box, the valuable tool of daydreaming is frowned upon. Daydreaming is critical to moving our thought processes and our lives forward. Schedule 15-30 minutes this week to daydream. If you don’t remember how, you can get started by asking yourself any (or all) of the following questions:
If someone handed me $100,000 what would I do? $50,000? $10,000?
If I had a month off to do as I pleased, what would I do? Who would I spend the time with?
If I was given next week off of work (with pay) how would I spend that time?
How about one afternoon?
If my body was healthy and I could move around freely, what would I do first?
If I had a maid/housekeeper, what would I do with my new found time?
This is about dreaming, so you don’t have to worry about tax implications, the corporate perception of taking time off or even the cost of the maid. Just answer these questions off the cuff and let your mind take you where it may.
In order to know your desires, you have to allow yourself to think beyond your current circumstances. You may not want more, you may want less, fewer or simpler. You may desire to expand a specific area of your life or eliminate others.
The good news is that you can get what you truly desire. The bad news is that you won’t get what you desire if you don’t know what those desires are.
If you would like to explore the process of shaping your wishes check out “Be careful how you wish for…”
Dedicate some time to discover your desires. I would love to hear your three wishes! And if you want some help sorting this all out, contact me here.