How To Get What You Really Want And Achieve Your Goals

The Critical Role Emotions Play in Accomplishing Your Goals

There is a common misconception in the world that once we get the diploma, the raise, the big house, or the perfect family, then we will be happy. But this isn’t true. In fact, that is all wrong. Dr. Wayne Dyer says “There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.” If we have the belief that we will somehow be magically transformed into a happy person once we achieve our goals, then we have the wrong model for happiness.

Research in positive psychology shows us that people are more resourceful, creative, and energetic when they are already experiencing happiness. To create the life, we are desiring, we need to learn how to orient our thoughts around what matters to us the most. So, what do you really want?

Let’s say your goal is to receive a promotion at work. Next, ask yourself “Why do I want the promotion?” I doubt your answer is because you want more work and stress in your life. If your reply relates to anything materialistic, then continue to ask yourself why until you get to the emotion behind it.

You see, we don’t really want things in our life, we want the feelings we believe what we are seeking will provide us with. We want the feelings of security, achievement, power, freedom, pride, excitement, adventure, love or recognition. For example, I love sports cars, but I don’t really want the sports car, what I ultimately want is the feeling of freedom, pride and excitement I associate with them when I roll down the windows and go for a drive.

Emotions move us into action. As much as we try to claim we are rational beings who can leave emotion out of the equation, we really can’t. Emotion gets us up in the morning or keeps us in bed. It is the primary driving force of our lives. If you like your job, it is because you associate a positive emotion to it like satisfaction or contribution. If you tolerate your job, it is because you associate emotions like fear to leaving it or hope that it will miraculously get better one day.

We may tell ourselves stories like I have to go to work today to pay the bills, but the truth is we are either moved by the feeling of security from knowing you can pay your bills, or by the fear of disappointing our families when we can’t pay them. Whatever the reason you tell yourself for doing what you do, what you really want is to avoid feeling negative emotions while trying to gain the feeling of positive ones.

Now you can begin to consciously arrange your life around the things that really matter to you, emotions. Since the meaning we attribute to any situation determines our perception of the current reality, and we can choose that meaning, doesn’t it make sense to start orienting our mental map around the positive emotions we are seeking rather than negative ones?

 Take a moment and complete the following exercise.

 1. Write down all of the emotions you experience during a typical week.

 2. How many are positive and how many are negative?

 3. What emotions would you like to experience more?

 4. What emotions would you like to eliminate from your life, or experience less?

Once you have honestly answered the above questions and discovered the positive feelings that you want to experience, it is time to start aligning your life with those emotions.

For example, let’s say you want to improve your relationship with your spouse. Notice what emotions you feel the most when you are with him/her. Next, decide which ones you would rather experience in the future when you are together? Let’s say you are currently experiencing lots of frustration. However, you would rather feel love and joy in their presence. To flip this negative into a positive, start with your perception of the situation.  

Most people would try to make this shift in their relationship by trying to get the other person to change. But since you know you can’t change other people, you must begin with yourself. If your belief is that your spouse must change because they are the problem, then you have made yourself helpless because you have given away all your personal power. The only person that we can ever change is ourselves. But by changing ourselves, we may begin to influence others. 

To make things better, we must realize that no one is responsible for our emotions except us. Instead of blaming others for the way we feel, try changing your mental map from “I will feel happy when they show me more understanding,” to “I will feel gratitude for my spouse now, and I will work on trying to understand their point of view more.” By shifting our focus from what our spouse is doing and back to ourselves and our character, we can learn to be more loving and a better listener. By positively vibrating love and understanding instead of frustration and anger, we may find our spouse beginning to change also. 

The theory of reciprocity supports the last statement. Reciprocity means that what we give, we get back. If we smile at someone, we are more likely to receive a smile from back from them as well. Charities know that the best way to get someone to give is not to ask directly for a donation, but rather to give out something small first. The simple act of giving someone a mint, before asking for a donation ups the odds of us getting one, and it increases the amount given.  

In short, if you want to be understood, be understanding. If you want to be loved, be loving. In other words, don’t wait for it, be it. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Or as Michael Pritchard says, “The good you do will come back to you.”

Question: What emotions are you seeking in life? Do you experience them as often as you would like to? You can leave a comment by clicking here.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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