March 25, 2024 by Dymphna

T-Bomb: A back-door hack into desire

Truth Bomb Tuesday: Get this right and it will feel like magic.

People are often surprised to learn that figuring out what you really want is often the hardest part of the journey.

People say things like “Oh I know what I want. I want to be rich and financially free.”

But rich is just a number – some figure of net worth, and nobody is going to get excited about a number. To alchemise a goal into motivation and motivation into energy, you need to have a clear emotional connection to what you want.

So something like, “Have a net-worth of $5m.” isn’t really going to do it. It’s too cold. But something like, “Have enough money so I can quit my job and take the grandkids on an overseas holiday every year” is something you can get emotionally invested in.

Once you’re emotionally invested, you’re motivated. Once you’re motivated, it’s easy to find the energy.

So we need to give our dreams and aspirations real definition.

The trouble is, we often don’t really know how to do that.

Sometimes that’s just because we’ve never really had to. We’ve followed the well-worn paths of life – into a job, into home-ownership, into family, without ever having to determine if that’s what we actually want in our heart of hearts.

And most times it works out – we’re happy enough – and so we never have to dig any deeper.

Other times we don’t have a clear sense of what we want because we’ve grown up believing that life never gives you what we we want – that we don’t deserve it or the world is fundamentally a cruel place and if we get too excited about anything we’re bound to be disappointed.

No pointing digging into the soul to figure out what actually makes us happy because it’s never going to happen.

But whatever the case, many of us end up with under-developed desire muscles. We never stop to figure out exactly what we want.

And so the thing I normally recommend is ‘data sampling’. That is, just start experimenting in your life. Go on an overseas holiday. Work in a charity. Take your friends out for lunch. Sit on the beach for a day.

Just play with the clay of life until you get a clear picture of what it is that lights you up.

But there’s another way. A backdoor hack.

And that’s to look at what you’re instinctively inspired to offer others. This is often the clearest way to identify your core needs.

Do you always rush in to support your kids and your friends in their dreams? Maybe what you really crave is more support to be yourself.

Do you rush in to make others feel comfortable and at home – like they belong? Maybe what you really crave is belonging.

Do you rush into encourage others to relax and take time off work and to practice self-care? Maybe what you need is deep relaxation and refreshment.

They key to watch here is when you successfully offer these things – even though they seem to have been offered from a deep and instinctual place – when they’re successfully offered, we’re left with a bit of a hollow feeling.

We support our daughter at her dance recital, but something doesn’t land. We don’t feel satisfied. Do we need her to be more grateful?

Or we welcome the new guy into the office, make him feel at home, but again, it’s an empty satisfaction. We want him to be more grateful. He said thank you but would it kill him to bake a cake?

But we don’t really want them to be more grateful. We want to be offered what we are offering others.

And so I think it’s always worth checking the back door. Is there something that you deeply want, that’s only showing up as a deep-seated drive to offer something to others?

Tackle this one directly, and you will massively level up your happiness, with almost no effort.

It will feel like magic.