One of my favorite writers, Lara Casey, introduced me to a great question, and today I want to share it with you. It’s that good. Why? Because it changed the way I think about goal setting as well as how I approach my goal setting and planning processes. Here it is:
What fires you up?
When I first heard this, I paused. I considered it. It’s so simple. It’s so easy. I should write this down. Respond with some thought. Yeah. Definitely. I’ll do it later.
And so I waited to answer. To craft my response. I’d think of it here or there, but I didn’t sit down and do it. I had buckets of good intentions, and zero action to back them up. That fact that I kept putting it off gnawed at my heart. I knew it was important for me to do this, and if something is important I need to make the time. After that thought crossed my mind – right away – I carved out a bit of time on my calendar so that I could do this work and next week I’ll post my results (here!). For a preview, visit my about page.
But these results? They’re going to look like just some pile of worksheets, and yeah, they are. They’re just some pieces of paper that contain some writing, pictures, and scribbles. But the collection of these, my response that’s contained in all of the writings, pictures, and scribbles, is so much more that that: it’s the fuel to my fire.
Full disclosure: I didn’t complete this exercise in the hour I set aside for it that day, but I did start. Over the course of the next few days when I had a moment or two, I came back to the sheets of paper, adding things and taking a moment to contemplate what I had already committed to paper. If at any point I felt like I didn’t know what else to add, I’d allow myself to put it down. When something fired me up, I’d jump up to find my sheets, eager to add it to the list. It took time, definitely. But even the process itself was illuminating.
While I was in the midst of identifying all of the little things that fire me up, I noticed something funny: I loved seeing these pages! The happy faces, the little scribbles, the imperfections where I had crossed out a word or whatever. All of these statements, this collection of stuff that fires me up, right here, in front of me. It was like fuel! Tangible, real, authentic, legit, powerful fuel. At that point, I knew my list was right because it spoke to me and uplifted my spirits. It inspired me.
Sometimes I forget how much I need consistent doses of these things in my life, even though in my heart and soul I know that I need them. I love them. I’m wildly and passionately crazy about them. Despite that, I forget. I find myself making little decisions that take me away from these things, and the little decisions add up, and it takes a toll on me: I start to feel drained. I feel detached. I feel exactly the opposite of fired up. I feel spent.
And this is why I know that completing this one simple exercise, where you take the time to answer one question, is something you need to do: Every single day, sometimes a few times a day, I can look at this collection of stuff that speaks to me and excites me. I can take a moment and check-in with myself; seeing these pieces of paper can make me feel grateful, humble, excited, inspired, eager to serve, the kind of happy where I’m smiling from ear-to-ear… all the good feels. And then I realize that, hey! I’m fired back up. Bam.
Being fired up keeps me in the frame of mind I need to be in to live a purposeful and intentional life. When I’m focused on this stuff, I walk that path. I find the goals and I chase them down. I choose the right things; consistently making good decisions that are in line with who I am and what I believe. Because, y’all, I have to tell you: knowing yourself is powerful. Knowing what fires you up lets you light a fire under your behind anytime. You can fuel you. You can inspire you. You know what makes you light up and want to dance and sing and be YOU – so do it! Take the time to write it out. To consider it. And then use it.