Yesterday I received a phone call from a businesswoman who had seen me on stage – a successful entrepreneur with her own enterprise, several seats on administrative councils and besides all that, she also manages her family life. She said something that I get to hear often: “Nicole, I have achieved a lot in my life and I am very proud of that and grateful. However, recently I have been asking myself more and more often: Is this it?”
This question is caused by an underlying dissatisfaction. Many people are familiar with it. And many do not take that notion seriously. They try to shrug it off as a first world problem. After all, they live what many can only dream off: they have their own home or apartment, two delightful children, the Range Rover in the garage and the dog in the garden. A picture-perfect idyll – they should be extremely satisfied. But they aren’t. Why is that?
Because they live the idyll or the dream of many others. But not their own. They live according to the expectations of others.
This is the reason why the same question creeps in over and over again. And if not given attention, it becomes more pressing. So: Is this it? And the answer is a loud and clear: No!
But what should step in for this well-functioning life plan? Postgrad studies? Should you sell your business? Quit your lucrative job or look for another one?
What do you want?
We cannot live anyone’s life. Only our own. And for this purpose we need to know: “What do I want?” I repeatedly experience a helplessness in my clients. When I ask them directly: “What do you really want?” – I am often met with silence. Or I am given a vague answer: health, happiness, fortune. But these are not true life goals. They are general conditions, which most of us aspire to.
Why is that?
We are living beings. If we don’t grow, we will waste away. We only feel alive and happy when we strive for more and become more of ourselves. Today, we have more than ever the opportunity for personal fulfillment. We are able to let off steam hedonistically to our heart’s desire. Hold on a second – to our heart’s desire? Something is not quite right here….
Yes, your heart is not interested in consuming any goods. Your heart wants to express itself. Only when you have your own goals – and the must be high, so that they challenge you – are you able to grow. Then you can reach your full potential. Goals are not merely here to achieve them, but to grow.
The shift to the heart
As soon as you have identified your true goals, an important shift is going to happen – you make the most important shift, from the outside to the inside: Instead of simply managing external situations, you will start to mobilize your inner strength and create your own life. You go from reason to the heart, from the ladder of your career to your individual path of life. This shift will change you in a phenomenal manner – from the expert to the personality.
Maybe it’s not that obvious: If you do something really well, it gives you self-confidence. It means: This is what I can do! But shifting to the inside, you receive self-awareness, i.e. you are aware of your self. That means: This is who I am!
Expertise alone is not enough for our happiness. An example: Google boss Sundar Pichai wants to make us happier by making us more efficient and effective. However, our happiness is not situated in a life full of efficiency and effectiveness. You will notice very quickly: Something is not quite right. Because sustainable happiness does not come from the outside – it comes from your inside. From your heart. And there is a way to achieve this.
In search of the golden treasure
The meaning of life has something to do with a sense of purpose as well as with sensuality. With the desire to experience life and not only to accomplish things. Only our heart’s desire can lead us there. That is where we feel vibrant and alive. We are in our element. A sales target may lend our eyes a flicker, which will however quickly fade – connected with the question: “What’s next?” On the contrary, you can literally feel your heart’s desire with all your senses, you will feel how it will take possession of you – and won’t let you go.
The journey inwards is therefore in my view the biggest and most important adventure. If you want to gain your full strength and live a happy life, you should most definitely start this journey of discovery inwards. This is where the true golden treasure is buried. You only need to lift it and bring it to shine. Take your time. Break free of the golden cage and hamster wheel. Start your journey for the real gold – the one you really want. Then you will have reached your heart’s desire.