Episode 053: What Do You Want?

I was afraid to say what I want because it’s impossible.  On an autumn walk, I found what I really want when I dared to speak it anyway.

(c) AdobeStock Photo

(c) AdobeStock Photo

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On This Episode

Rhythm of Life – A Perfect Hide-and-Seek Day
Random Riffs – Johnny One-Note
Feature Segment – What Do You Want?

Rhythm of Life – A Perfect Hide-And-Seek Day

Today was such a gorgeous day that I decided to go for a walk as the sun was going down.  As I passed one house, their outside light was on, and a young guy was walking around.  The way he moved made me think – this would be a perfect hide-and-seek day!

What do I mean by a perfect hide-and-seek day?  Listen to the episode to find out.

(c) AdobeStock Photo

(c) AdobeStock Photo

Isn’t it amazing how a walk can trigger a memory, and a pleasant one at that?

What a priceless gift I was given!  A beautiful day, a walk, and a precious memory.  All in one package.  I’m so glad I didn’t miss it.  Yet I would have if I hadn’t gone outside.

Don’t miss your priceless gifts.  Stop working.  Put on your play clothes.  And go outside.  You never know what you might see and experience.

Random Riffs – Johnny One-Note

Is your voice ruining your life?  That’s a question Roger Love poses in a fascinating TEDx talk.   According to Mr. Love, the average person uses 2.5 pitches, which is equivalent to notes on a keyboard.  And yet most of us have access to almost 3 octaves – about 22 notes!  Using so few pitches makes us sound predictable.  And often people stop listening.

You have about 15 seconds to make a good impression.  Most of that is based on how we speak, rather than what we say.

Roger says our speaking voice is like a musical instrument.  He wants us to think of our voice as having a musical melody.

Why not try an experiment?  Record your own voice reading something on your phone.  Then listen for the pitches.  Now read that same passage again.  This time try to make the passage sound like a melody.

You can even practice scales.  See how much range you feel you can comfortably speak and still have power and relatability.

So don’t be Johnny One-Note.  Be a melody.  Let your voice sing and soar above the crowd.  Whether you perform, speak for a living, participate in meetings at work, or just try to convince your family to go to your favorite restaurant for dinner.

Feature Segment – What Do You Want?

What do you want?  I don’t know about you, but there have been many times when people have asked me that question and it struck terror into my heart.  Why?  Because I didn’t know what to say.  Have you ever felt like that?

Today I went walking.  I was thinking about the day when I first went to my Naturopathic Physician and she asked me what I wanted.  I’d always say, “I want my life back!”  And yet even as I’d say that, I didn’t really know what that meant.  Or maybe I did, and couldn’t say it out loud because it wasn’t possible.

And then I heard God ask me the same question – “What do you want?” As I overlaid the question on the old story when I was sick, I realized what the answer would have been back then.  “I want my husband back.”  And I couldn’t bring myself to say it because I knew it couldn’t ever happen.  Because he died in 2004. So I didn’t even let myself even think that, never mind say it aloud to an almost complete stranger.  Even if she was my doctor.

Today on that trail, I did say it out loud.  That after my husband died and I wanted my life back, it was really my husband Jerry.  And when I got sick and wanted my life back, it was still really my husband Jerry.  And no amount of praying or wishing would make it so.  So why bother even acknowledge it?  It would only make me realize how much I’ve lost and can’t get back.

But this time on that wooded trail, I trusted that God had a reason for bringing that question to mind.  And the impossible answer.  It was only a few seconds before I heard a second question: “What do you really want?”  In other words, what’s behind what you want?

Suddenly the truth came flooding into my mind and heart.  What I really wanted was three things:

  1. Love
  2. Adventure
  3. Companionship

I saw that because I had now said what I hadn’t given myself permission to say before.  I had unlocked the meaning underneath.  I saw that Jerry wasn’t the only way for me to have what I really want.  In fact, once the door to insight was open, I saw how much that had already happened, both before I got sick and after.

And as I walked along the forest trail, I felt God telling me that all these relationships were gifts he had given to show me that HE is the one who really brings love, adventure, and companionship.  Even in times when there’s no one else, he’s there offering love, adventure, and companionship to me.

Do you ever quake in fear when someone asks you, “What do you want?”  Could it be because you’re afraid to speak it out loud?  Could it be because you believe what you want isn’t possible?  Could it in fact BE impossible?  Well, what if it isn’t?  What if, like me, when you answer the question in all its unreality and ridiculousness, you find another answer underneath?  You find what you REALLY want?  And that’s actually possible?

This is somewhat like the question Simon Sinek explores in his book Start With Why.   He shows a diagram of what he calls “the golden circle”  .  In the center of the circle is WHY.  The next ring is HOW, and the outer is WHAT.  He says most of us focus on the WHAT.  What we do.  Some of us also pay attention to HOW.  Usually missing?  –WHY.

So perhaps as you dare to ask the question of yourself, “What do you want?” you’ll go deeper to ask, “What do you really want?”  Which is really another way of asking, “Why do you want that?’  Or better said, “What about that makes you want it?”

Part of the reason it’s often hard to know your why, or what you really want, is that it is centered in the limbic part of your brain.  And that part of your brain isn’t where language lives.

So let’s circle back to the beginning.  Ask yourself in a relaxed and playful way.  “What do you want?”  See what pops into your head.  No filter.  No matter what comes out.  No matter how ridiculous it sounds.  Or impossible.  Play with it a bit.  And then ask the deeper question, “What do you really want?”

I know what you’ll discover will be amazing.  And beautiful.  An adventure – including some rough terrain.  Let me know what you find when you go exploring.  I can’t wait to hear what treasures you find along the way.