In a recent newsletter, Mark Manson wrote:
“When we lack real problems in our lives, our mind quickly sets out to imagine some for us. We invent threats to give ourselves a sense of purpose. We imagine obstacles to create a sense of meaning. We start conflicts with others in order to feel necessary.”
Does this strike a chord with you? Do you regularly feel overwhelmed? Or in conflict with those around you? Or stuck because of the many obstacles in your way?
If you are not sure about what you want in life, small things can overwhelm you. These small things seem like major problems, like a new crisis every now and again.
Do you want to break from this cycle of endless conflicts, problems and obstacles? Write down what you want.
When you write down what you want, you begin to get clarity. You realise what is most important to you.
Writing down what you want
You may get stuck when you try to do this, but it’s okay! Try anyway! Here are a few practical tips for writing down your wants:
Take out any negative words like, "not, don’t, won’t," etc. Write your wants in positive language.
Clarify and define vague words or concepts like, "better, more, best, successful,” etc. Why? You may think that you are living according to a definition, but you have no idea what the meaning of that definition is until you write it down.
Write in the present tense as if it is already a reality.
Let's try two examples:
“I want to be the best mom to my children.”
What do you mean by “best”? When you define the vague word you may find that it means, “listening intently, being present”. Now you can write a specific want down:
"I am the kind of mom who listens intentionally to her children."
“I want to have a successful business.”
What do you mean by “successful”? When you define the vague term you may find that it means that it is a business that gives you enough time to spend with your family. This creates clarity on where you are willing to spend your time and energy in creating this “successful” business. “I have a business that allows me to spend quality time with my family.”
Do you see how writing down clear, specific wants makes the most important things visible?
Upgrading your problems
Once you know what you want and start to pursue it, you create “better”, more worthwhile problems for yourself:
You no longer make mountains out of molehills.
You become protective of the types of problems you are willing to spend your precious time and energy on.
You upgrade your problems to things that you have control over.
You no longer spend time and energy on things that you have no control over.
Do you wish you could move past the problems you are facing now? Join our Clarity Quest and discover better problems as you clarify what is most important to you.