The question “what do you want?” is a strategic one. Counselors use it with those they help to clarify the goal for their sessions. Those of us who lead coaching and consulting programs ask it of our clients so we know the desired outcomes. Much of my strategic coaching work is spent helping people set and achieve goals.

And it is always the first question I ask potential clients for the Arbor Research Group or the Selking Performance Group. That seems like a “duh” level statement, but think about how many times you wished a coach, friend, or parent first started there so that they “got” you and understood your motivation and goals.

Most parents ask “what do you want?” to their children (of all ages) when it’s unclear what the desires are. A three-year-old could just reach out her hand and make an unintelligible sound, but the astute parent asks the child to state their want in words. Jesus asked it of those he met, even those who had obvious physical needs.

There’s something about stating what it is that we want that gets to the heart of the matter. It reveals our desires.

What do you want?

But we have to be honest about the answer. The answer has to be our true desire. And for too long most of us have learned to ignore what’s really gnawing at us or what really drives us each day.

Desire. It’s what compels you.

However, desires do more than compel us. They can overwhelm the disciplines that should be guiding us.

  1. Many of our desires are like slotted spoons. We think they hold something significant, but when we get there we are rarely satisfied. Think of money, objects, sex, and more. How many people have purchased or built their “dream home” and then were living elsewhere within 7 years? I have four large homes in mind, each of them the stuff of magazine feature articles. None of the four families live there now. Two ended in divorce and two down-sized.
  2. The trinkets of the day distract us from important values. I think for 2019 and beyond, distraction and focus are going to be necessary for coaching topics. Those who can get things DONE have figured out a way to stay focused and to navigate the many distractions that want to eat away at our time.

What do you want?

It’d be good today (tomorrow morning might work even better!) to pull “away” for 15 minutes and try to answer that question. When you see yourself working your hardest, what is it that drives you forward? What compels you to action? What fears do you have when you work?

ALL of these are telling of our desires. If we’re honest.

Be honest. What do you want?

Photo by Alexis Fauvet on Unsplash