She asked me what I wanted, and what I saw for us for in 5 years. We decided (yeah... you're right - SHE decided) that we would write what we wanted on a napkin, and then read them to each other. She was literally finished in 10 minutes, while I took my sweet little time. By, "sweet little time," I mean over an hour! I couldn't commit to writing a single thing on that stupid, little brown napkin. I hated that napkin!!
Why was it so difficult for me to answer the question, "what do I want?" What was I afraid of? Was I even afraid? What was holding me back? Come to find out, I was in the majority when it came to answering this simple question. Why do so many of us stumble when attempting to visualize our future wants and needs?
When we do finally come up with an answer, why is it often so safe and predictable? Here's an example from a past session I had with a man who wanted to start his own business: After talking with him for 15 minutes, I asked him to answer the dreaded question, "What do you want from your business, and how much do you want to make in the first year?" I was simply trying to gauge his mindset and attitude towards, not only his business, but of himself. He listed a few basic wants for his potential clients, but when it came to his yearly income, I almost fell out of my chair... remember, he could make whatever he wanted - there wasn't a ceiling on his potential. He said he wished to make $65,000 the first year. WHAT??? I gave him the green light to make any amount, and he only chose $65,000? Now, many of you may argue that's a good first year for a new business, and is probably more than he was currently making, which is a valid argument, but...
THAT'S NOT THE POINT OF THE QUESTION!
Why did he choose such a small number when he didn't have any restrictions on his answer? He told me he wanted to be "realistic..." There's that freakin' word again. Let me translate what he really meant when he said realistic:
"I was scared out of my mind to reach for a higher salary, in case I failed and didn't get my business off the ground. I didn't want others to laugh at me for wanting to make hundreds of thousands, or god-forbid... millions. What if I would've said I wanted to make $3 million my first year? Everyone would think I was crazy, and setting unrealistic goals for myself! I'm too afraid of stepping out of my comfortable, safe zone, so I'll give you a small salary for the first year and see what happens."
After weeks of careful coaxing, I got him to agree to "want" $165,000 in his first year. He made $159,000!!! Great Job, Jason.
Think bigger, believe bigger, EXPECT bigger!
*On a side note: I did finish my wants ten yrs. ago, and have reached 8-10 goals! That "stupid brown napkin" is taped to my wall.