Feeling Our Way to Happiness
by Susie Ruth
Many of us have our relationship to success inside out. We busy ourselves so much with do-or-die goals we “should” achieve that we drown out the crucial signals life is sending our way—both from our own instincts and from others able to objectively see what we truly need.
According to Danielle LaPorte, author of The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul, knowing how we want to feel inside yields the most potent clarity in identifying what’s critical to us. “We need to have Soul-centered goals, and if we get clear on defining our core desired feelings—the way we most want to feel—then all of our goals are a means to create those feelings,” she says. “It’s that simple.” The external things we want to have and experience are secondary goals, provided they contribute to the first.
LaPorte’s Desire Map process is a holistic life planning tool that helps spur our thinking about our core desired feelings and how to use them to start creating some goals with soul. At heart, it involves the following four highly personalized steps.
How do you want to feel? Engage in a stream of consciousness, allowing each query to lead to the next and letting your desired feelings flow. Do you want to, for example, feel continuously energized, connected or prosperous? Consider areas such as livelihood and lifestyle (career, money, home, travel), health and wellness (healing, fitness, leisure, mental health) and relationships and community (romance, friendship, family).
Recognize patterns. Look for patterns in the desired feelings in order to distill your list to key, repeating words. Individuals tend to reach for the same feeling states across all areas of their lives. If you want to feel “vitality” within livelihood, then you likely wish to feel the same way in the context of wellness and relationships.
Declare your core desired feelings. Now zero in on three to five core feelings that resonate most strongly inside. Ask yourself what’s beneath each feeling. For you, perhaps “success” is really about freedom, creativity or excellence. Look up the definitions of words—every word is its own world. Which feelings do you find to be the most uplifting, positive, satisfying and compelling?
Ask yourself: “What do I want to do, have or experience to create my core desired feelings?” Thus, you begin setting goals with soul. You see and make connections between how you want to feel and what will actually help you feel that way. This is where you turn your ambitions inside-out and right-side-up to hitch your intentions to deeper and more nurturing meaning. This is the revolutionary beginning of realizing the ongoing success of a lifetime.
Source: Danielle LaPorte is an entrepreneur, inspirational speaker, social media presence and bestselling author of The Fire Starter Sessions; her latest release is The Desire Map. She is a former news commentator for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and director of a Washington, D.C., think tank. Visit DanielleLaPorte.com.