“I don’t know what I want!” — a phrase I often hear from clients.
They know they want SOMETHING, but often that comes in the form of “shoulds” that have been prescribed by someone else: parents, teachers, self-help gurus, industry standards, or the like. They have a feeling that there is something that they should aspire toward, but somewhere between catering to the status quo and appeasing their inner and outer critics, they get stuck and don’t know what to do next.
That’s when I pull out one of my favorite exercises I like to call, “The Long and Rambling Email.”
This is an adaptation of an exercise that one of my favorite coaches, Steve Chandler, asks all of his prospects to complete before working with him. He may even call it “the long rambling email,” but that’s what I call mine too, so we’ll have to argue over the origin of the name one day.
Centering Exercise: The Long & Rambling Email
- Open your email.
- Under “To” write in your own email address. You are sending this email to yourself—no one else. If you choose to add someone else to the email later, that’s fine, but for now, this is to YOU.
- Set a timer for 30 min...or 45...or 60. It doesn’t really matter the exact time. Just make it long enough. This is the TOTAL amount of time that you will spend on this exercise.
- Under “Subject” write: “WHAT I WANT.”
- Then, write yourself a LONG, RAMBLING email using the question: “What Do I Want?” as the starting prompt in the email body.
- Don’t edit too much...just lay it all out there. What are your hopes, your dreams, your aspirations? What color do you want your Porsche to be? How much money do you want to make? How do you want to spend your time? Who do you want to be spending your time with? Where do you want to live, and in what type of house? All of these questions are fair game... ANY question is fair game.
- At the end of your time limit, decide if you want to add anyone else to the "to" field, and then press SEND. You may, at this point, choose to copy your coach or your best friend, or even me..but no matter what, DO NOT SEND THIS TO YOUR SPOUSE. The idea here is to give you an insulated, unadulterated record of what you want RIGHT NOW.
If you dig deeper, you’ll take away quite a few insights from this exercise.
First, you’ll clearly see little habits that you can start instilling today to get yourself closer to your vision of the life you’ve always imagined. Some of the changes may seem bigger and more overwhelming. It’s okay.
Having a clear goal of what you want your life to be like will initiate your subconscious mind working to get you there. You’ll notice the opportunities that you haven’t seen before, you’ll do things a little differently, and your set of circumstances will change, creating different, more positive outcomes.
The next time you need a little centering, open up your email program and do it all over again.
I hope you have a great week,