I’ve tried at least a dozen diets and they all proved ineffective for the same reason—each diet required me to give up the foods that I wanted the most. Few of us have the will power to completely suppress our cravings for extended periods of time. Researchers know this; that’s why nutritional programs like Weight Watchers (which I’ve tried and been successful at) suggest a complete reconstruction of one’s eating habits and relationship to food. I found Weight Watchers to be effective because it didn’t require me to pretend that I didn’t like cheeseburgers. It also didn’t shame me into avoiding these foods like the diet plans that allow for a “cheat day,” suggesting that eating what you really want is somehow evil.
Somewhere along the line our society made desire a bad thing. Maybe it was during the the late 1920s when greed and corruption led to the Great Depression. But going after your passions, what you really want in life, is very different from mindless consumption or greed.
I believe that the Creator hardwired each of us with specific desires that, if we follow them, lead us to our purpose and destiny. Yet, so many of us have been taught to suppress our heart’s cry that we end up filling our days and lives with what we think we’re supposed to be doing and not what really makes us happy.
Here’s my question to you: are you going after what you really want? If you are, then good for you. Share this blog with someone else who needs it. If you’re like me and you aren’t asking for what you really want in every area of your life, then keep reading. We’re going to go for it together. Ok, let’s take these three steps.
Get quiet enough to figure out what it is you really want. I’m guilty of over-researching my options when I face a big decision. I end up crowding my mind to the point that I can no longer identify my own thoughts. This week I’m stepping back from Netflix and taking that time to be quiet enough to hear my heart speak.
Give yourself permission to go after it. Only you can change the tape in your head that keeps telling you not to go after what you really want—that your dreams are unrealistic and unreasonable. So instead of entertaining those counterproductive thoughts, replace them with statements of faith, belief, and hope.
Make it plain. Write your vision in a way that is both clear and meaningful to you. Then speak what you have written—out loud—everyday. There’s power in repetition because eventually familiarity and fact become indistinguishable in the human mind. That is to say that you’ll have read it, and said it, and heard it so much that your mind will no longer question it and you will accept it as absolute truth. Check out our blog on daily affirmations here to get started.
Your God-given passions and desires will not be contained. They won’t go away, so you might as well figure out how to integrate them into your life. Trying to resist them is like me trying to resist the double chocolate fudge Coca-cola cake at Cracker Barrel. Chocolate always wins.