I was recently asked by my own coach, as we ponder a new year, to identify my 100 Desires; anything I would like to do, to be, to taste, to go, to have or to experience. Whatever came to mind was written down with little or no judgment. Interestingly the exercise turned out to be much more difficult than I thought it would be. The first 30 or so were easy but then it got steadily more difficult and by 45, I was done. I put it aside for a few days and came back to it and added another 5. The more I reflected on this exercise, the more I thought there was a catch or perhaps I was missing something.
So, in a creative moment of genius, I decided to view this exercise from the perspective of what would the people who I care most about say. I thought of my wife, my kids, friends, clients, work colleagues and before I knew it the ideas were flowing again. As I began to think in terms of what other people might ask of me, the exercise became quite liberating. I made it to 75.
While still challenged with how I might get up to that magical 100, I realized that in serving others I was very much in service of myself. Quite often people set goals that overlook the opportunity in helping or providing for others. As research from people like Shawn Aker will testify, true happiness is garnered from selfless acts of kindness. This latter piece of the exercise certainly got me more energized.
So as you reflect on what 2014 might hold in store for you, think about your Wish List, your desires. More importantly, be sure to consider what the stakeholders in your life might want of you; it may very well be what you want of yourself.