Discovering your destiny is easy. But it took me decades of getting it wrong to discover just how easy it could be.
In truth I’m just like my clients: an overachiever, well-meaning, hard-working.
And so I decided that the most sensible thing to do was to become someone else. To pursue goals that everyone else deemed worthy. To give up my own talents and interests in exchange for guaranteed success.
People like me go to law school and medical school because we think that will allow us to help others. We don’t want to waste our vast potential on anything less worthy.
But I was unhappy. Desperately so. I figured that there was something wrong with me. I just wanted to Do The Right Thing.
Apparently I’m not the only person who’s made this mistake. I talk to dozens of clients every month, a large number of whom share this exact problem.
What are they seeking? Why are they drawn to me?
They want permission to be who they are. They want permission to listen to their real feelings, do what they love, and use their unique talents to express their truth.
If I hadn’t spent a couple of decades making these mistakes myself, I wouldn’t be so well suited to helping my clients. The work I do now is so satisfying that those harsh lessons seem worth it.
I’d like to shortcut you to the five questions I ask each of my clients. They might save you decades falling far below your own true potential.
1. Do you believe you have a unique path to follow?
Every person has unique energy that wants to manifest through them. No two people are born to create and express the same thing.
And yet as a society we are raised and treated like clones: as if we are the same, and must want the same things. It’s a painful way to live.
2. Are you prepared to stand up for yourself and stop selling yourself out?
Popular myths include the idea that if you find a mate, go to a good school, get a great job, work hard and be nice, you will have earned your dues and are entitled to be happy. If you aren’t, then YOU are the problem.
Selling out your life for a popular illusion is a very bad investment. I ask my clients whether they are prepared to stop doing this, and to invest in themselves, even if they are the first person to have ever taken their truth seriously.
From what I’ve learned, the only guaranteed path is to listen to yourself – to your own feelings, intuition passions, and to invest in you.
3. Why are you negating yourself? Who told you that it was wrong to be who you are?
Think about which people in your life told you that you didn’t matter. That your tastes, interests and talents were not that important, and that instead you should focus on more mainstream achievements, like getting good grades and fitting in?
Ask yourself: where you rewarded for pleasing someone? For pursuing the standards around you, rather than discovering your own voice?
Even if you were praised non stop for your ability to perform, that praise is no substitute for being seen for who you really are and encouraged to embrace your unique gifts. Praise for obedience only gets you addicted to pleasing others and neglecting yourself.
4. Who are you at your very best?
This is the most important of the questions.
Think about a few times in your life where you were at your very best. When you used your abilities fully. When you felt most alive, most in tune with yourself, and most connected to others through your abilities.
What is it you were doing?
“At my best, I’m in my garden. I’m planning my planting schedule for the year.”
“At my best I’m negotiating deals. Drawing up contract terms. Managing counter offers.”
Consider your best moments. What were you doing?
Whether your talents seem unimportant to you now, or perhaps too generic, or too whimsical, they are important, and they can be developed into meaningful, valuable life work.
Take this time to consider who you are in your peak moments and exactly what it was that you loved about these moments.
For instance I initially thought I was at my best when I was researching information and organizing it.
But on deeper reflection, I realized that I was at my best when I was taking this information and sharing it with my friends and family as advice: when I was communicating the findings of my research with passion.
Take this information seriously, because it will lead you somewhere very important. To your destiny.
You were born to be who you are at your very best, and your destiny depends on designing your life so that you mostly live from this place every single day.
5. Can I commit to being at my best for one hour a day?
What if you reorganized your life so you did what you do at your best for just one hour each day?
With enough confidence and some small wins, you can gradually build your whole life around being who you are at your best: around being the person you were born to be.
It’s not a luxury. The very meaning of your life depends on it.