“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver
I am amazed how often when I ask the question of people “What do you want to do?” the answer is – “I don’t know.” Even more scary is how many people find it hard to answer – “What makes you happy?” with anything other than a very blank or bemused expression as though you actually asked them the directions to the moon.
Is it because people are scared that the answer to those questions means they may have to make a change? Or because they are scared that whatever answer they give might be the wrong one? Or it might change? Or what if they say it out loud, does that mean they actually have to DO something about it?
For me, the long-term goal or my dream life or the idea for what I want to do with this life of mine has morphed and changed over time. There are definitely some common themes but the specifics have altered over the years.
The trick however, is that I have always taken steps towards whatever I wanted AT THAT TIME. Whatever my ideal was then, I have found a way to work towards it. I started down the path. The destination may have changed along the way, but I am at least a number of steps forward compared to if I had just stayed at the beginning not sure if the goal or dream was the “right” one.
So, perhaps I need to learn to rephrase my question to ask about how people feel in that moment.
Can you answer these questions?
What makes you happy RIGHT NOW?
What do you want to do with your life RIGHT NOW?
What is your big dream RIGHT NOW?
And then of course, what steps are you going to take RIGHT NOW to help you move towards that dream or goal or place of happiness?