What is your secret wish?
This is one of my favorite questions to ask clients. It’s not the kind of question you normally expect from a leadership coach, and it takes people by surprise. Almost always, the response I get is a thoughtful silence, accompanied by a tiny smile, and then an almost conspiratorial whisper as they lean forward and confide in me something they have barely dared to admit to themselves.
“I want to be the company president.”
“I want to retire by 45!”
“I want to be a stay-at-home mom.”
“I want to be the CEO.”
“I want to take a long hot bath every single day.”
Some of these wishes are easier to grant than others. Simply stating that wish about the bath got one client to launch a remodel of her bathroom that very same day and get the sunken bathtub of her dreams. The others took several years to come true, and some never do. But more often than not, just saying the words aloud makes them come alive.
It happens like this. Somewhere in the dark recesses of your mind, your secret wish hides, afraid to come out and face potential ridicule or failure. When you bring it out in the open, you see that it’s actually not so crazy after all. Other people have had this wish; why not you?
You decide to share it with someone else – someone close to you just to see what they say. Surprisingly, they think the wish is a good idea. More than that, they assumed this was where you were headed all along, and they’re so glad you’ve now realized it too.
Suddenly you decide to start taking your wish seriously. Privately, maybe, but seriously. You build some goals around it. You take some action. Your secret wish becomes a point in the future towards which you orient your present, and you start moving closer every day. Step by step, you move closer to your wish, and as you do it becomes bigger and bigger until it is no longer a wish but a plan, and then a decision, and then…your life.
In the legendary words of that famous coach Jiminy Cricket, “Anything your heart desires will come to you, when you wish upon a star…as dreamers do.” Today, take a break from innovation, strategy and implementation, find a star and make your secret wish.
Turn the page and put the blank Your Wish worksheet in front of you. Anything is possible. Think about it. Write about it. Dream. What’s your secret wish?
The ideas in this article are drawn from The Inner Edge: The 10 Practices of Personal Leadership and the accompanying eBook called The Extension. The eBook is designed to give you simple, engaging personal leadership exercises and activities to help you be a better leader, and lead a better life. Get your copy today! Click here for a Preview and to Order.