Danielle LaPorte says a lot of wise things. One of the wise things she says is that we’ve got success all backwards. We tell ourselves that if we do this, and this, and this, we’ll feel that, and then we’re surprised when accomplishing what we set out to do doesn’t make us feel the way we thought it would.
She says we need to go at it from the other direction – decide how we want to feel, and then do stuff that makes us feel that way. It sounds easy to me, in that way that logic makes everything sound easier than it is. For instance, “If you want to be a writer, write!” is the best advice I’ve ever gotten on the subject of writing. That’s some irrefutable logic right there, but there are days when I think sprouting giant pterodactyl wings and taking flight from my balcony would be easier.
Still, I’m in the middle of an exhilarating transition, personally and professionally. It seems a good time for me to turn old assumptions on their heads – assumptions like the one that says if I accomplish great things (a big, bold, expanded Love Project for example, or a book deal, or a happy marriage, or a ginormous shiny platform), I will be happy.
The idea of deciding first what “being happy” even means, and then, second, doing the stuff that makes me feel that way appeals to my leaping, skittering genius, the part of me I most want to engage and expand. I think Danielle LaPorte is onto something.
So over the weekend I wrote down a bunch of things I want to feel. Words like alive, connected, inspired, brave, soulful, and compelling spilled out of me and onto the page in a stream-of-conscious flurry of self-examination. When I was done, I stared at the page and, following Danielle’s advice, I narrowed my list down to three. Three things I want to feel all the time, because if I’m feeling these three things, it will mean I’m successful and happy (two words that are so general as to be utterly meaningless).
Here are the three things I want to feel: wildly creative (the adverb is important here – I want to indulge my most playful and daring impulses in everything I create); abundant (never operating from a place a lack, but rather from a place of knowledge – absolute and cellular – that I am enough, I have enough, I do enough); and immeshed in meaningful (rooted in my connection to others and to the planet, bullshit free).
Now, as I decide where to focus my energy, I think “what things can I do today, this week, this quarter, that will make me feel wildly creative, abundant, and immeshed in meaningful?” I know it won’t make every moment of my life kickass and evolutionary, but it will make more of them feel that way, and who wouldn’t want that?
Okay, so now it’s your turn. Even if you just do it to play with me, I really want to know: how do you want to feel? And what can you do today to feel like that?