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Feeling is believing

February 5, 2009
You have to plan for it first

You have to plan for it first

Zen Habits has a guest post up from Danielle LaPorte from WhiteHotTruth.com. WhiteHotTruth is a blog site devoted to self-realization along much the same lines as things you see posted on here fairly frequently. Danielle’s post puts a tremendously new twist on the age-old process of goal setting, and it’s challenging in a much different way than traditional goal-setting.

Here’s what I mean:

Danielle’s focus is all about setting goals for feelings. Not for tangible results or step-by-step actions, but how you want to feel when you accomplish things. It’s a different way of looking at the question of “What?” Throughout college — and, ironically, the life-changing leadership development courses I’ve taken — I’ve done several exercises in goal-setting. But each one of them consists of one central question: “What do you want to accomplish?” And it’s corollaries: “How can you accomplish these goals? And when do you want to accomplish them?”

All of these questions and exercises are great, don’t get me wrong. You’ll never accomplish anything if you don’t first plan to accomplish it. You’ll float along. As a good friend of mine slapped me with a few days ago: “You can’t just sit on your hands and do nothing, Eric.” She actually followed that up by making me think about (I wrote them down, actually) 3 ideal situations of where I would see myself come this August. If you’ve been following my life trajectory for the past few months, you know that I’ve been not exactly struggling with per se, but more like exploring all my different options (Peace Corps now, vineyards, etc.).

But in the back of my mind is the notion that I’m also pursuing happiness. And happiness is a feeling. I had just never specifically gameplanned my feelings for the future.

Yet just as you’ll never accomplish anything if you don’t plan, you’ll never feel accomplished if you don’t plan for those feelings. And so it is with the rest of my career decision process: I’ll continually ask myself how I want to feel instead of what I want to do. The questions are linked, and the answers are complementary. I can’t wait.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 6, 2009 2:54 am

    thanks for the props.
    xo
    Danielle

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