What do you want?

Answer this question:

What do you want?

No one can have everything they want, but they can focus intently to gain what they want most. What do you want most? Answer it. Not in general terms, but in very specific ones. Then answer this question: WHY DO YOU WANT IT AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO GET IT?

In defining why you want something, you often clarify and intensify your determination. You also often develop seeds for your plan of action.

The key here is to remember an immutable law that deals with free will. You are free to seek what you will. But you are not free to impose your will on any other. These questions should be about you. Not about anyone else. How you can improve yourself, your life, your future.

If you’re constantly replaying old unworthiness tapes, or you spend a lot of time focusing on what’s wrong in your life or with everyone else, you’re on the wrong track.

Respect others and yourself and recognize that replaying those tapes over and over isn’t accomplishing a thing that will benefit you.

Bottom line: Look within. Your answers and benefits lie there.

Set a goal. Make a plan.

I won’t go into specifics here. Far too many slide day-to-day, going through the motions of living without investing in anything that excites them or arouses any passion for what they’re doing. That’s a problem. It’s a poor substitution for a life. Don’t get so caught up in busy-ness that you don’t even remember your wishes, hopes or dreams. And if you have forgotten them, pull them out of cold storage, dust them off and see if they’re still your wishes, hopes and dreams or if it’s time for an update–or even an overhaul If it is, do it. You should be excited about your life!

Upshot: Don’t drift, design.

Resolve to try at least one new thing.

If you do, you might find a new passion. If you don’t, you won’t. You might be missing something that could mean a great deal to you–and the saddest thing about that is, if you don’t try it, you might never know it. I’m reminded of a story I heard long ago about a guy caught in a flood. On three different occasions help came: a neighbor, a camel and a guy in a boat. On each occasions the man stranded in the rising floodwaters refused help, saying he was waiting on God to come help him. Well, the stranded guy drowned, hooked up with his Maker, and boy he was ticked. He demanded to know why God hadn’t come. God replied that he’d sent three different people to help. What exactly did the guy want? The moral of the story: Sometimes we’re so fixed on what we think opportunity looks like that we fail to recognize it when it comes. Of course, that won’t happen to you if you’re open to new things… Adopt an attitude of gratitude.

Of all I’ve written here, this is by far the most important. It’s easy to fall into a hotbed of negativity or into a bad situation that sucks you dry, sows more seeds of discontent, or steals so much of your energy and focus that you grow inextricably mired in it and lose sight of what’s good and going right in your life. When that happens, we react emotionally and that’s just not a good idea because our emotions aren’t reliable. We need balance to function with stability. We all have challenges. No one escapes them. But if we focus only on the challenges (versus on solutions to them and other things) then we’re doomed to a very rocky, very unstable road and that is definitely not in our best interests–or in anyone else’s. To gain more balance–which leads to more stable, less dramatic (and melodramatic) events that inflict trauma on us (and often on unsuspecting others)–we need only counter what’s wrong with what’s right. Counter challenges with blessings. See the good and be grateful for it. Sometimes that’s easier to do than at other times. I’m reminded of something Osteen once said about gratitude: There are times when the best you can do is to be grateful you’re not like x. (He pointed mid-air and said like him/her–I don’t recall which.) The intent in what he said fits situations and events as well as people. Be grateful for little things as well as the big ones.

We often learn most from the things we tag as “bad.” We all have something to celebrate. Where you focus, you follow.

Before you act, you think. And if you allow your thoughts to run wild and unchecked, you diminish the chances of them being in your best interest. Anyone, given enough time, can rationalize and reason himself right out of good sense–and rob himself of accomplishments and even his destiny. If you spend your time focused on the right things, good and constructive things, you’ll be purpose-driven and accomplish. If you spend your time focused on the wrong things, on negative or destructive things, you’ll follow that path and purpose and accomplishment (not to mention happiness and contentment) will elude you. You choose which you’ll do. You choose what you focus on and give your energy–how you spend your life. That’s as it should be. Again, you’re responsible and accountable for it, and you will live with the joy or regret of your choices. Now some will be busy weeknights and that’s just terrific. It’s also why I’m posting all of this on the weekday—so you have time to read and review and think about your life before next week starts. These things I’ve shared, in my humble opinion, are worthy opportunities. Ones that recognize, analyze and act to position you for powerful, meaningful personal gains in taking control of your life. For that and so much more, I am grateful. Put them to work in your life. What have you got to lose? More of the same? If they work, and you take control of your life instead of it running you, you'll have all the more reason to sleep peacefully and celebrate each morning.

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