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  • Darci Daniels

What Do You Want??

2011 Sedona, AZ hike
This was my first coaching retreat in Sedona, Arizona. I want more of THIS.

“What do you WANT?”

I was asking a client of mine, who had gotten really good at complaining and being dissatisfied with her life, but wasn’t taking many steps to change it, other than hiring me.

“What do you mean?” she asked, bewildered.

“I mean, you’ve spent a couple of sessions telling me what you don’t want, but what do you WANT?” I asked again.

She paused. Then softly, she replied,

“I don’t know.”

“If you’re waiting for me to tell you what you want,” I pointed out gently, “you’re going to be waiting a long time. I can’t tell you what you want for your life. No one else can do that but you. However, I can help you figure it out, and then we can work on a plan to get it. Are you willing to answer some tough questions and work through this?”

She wasn’t thrilled about the word ‘tough’, but her dissatisfaction with her life had finally hit it’s peak, and she was sick of her own bullshit. I could see it. She could feel it.

“Yeah. Okay. Yes!”

“Great! Now we can get started.”

Here’s the thing – if you don’t know what you want from your life, you’re going to have a tough time getting it. We are excellent at complaining about what we don’t want, about how we’re unhappy with our job, the way our spouse does this or that, the way our kids yell at each other, how much traffic sucks, and how expensive everything is. We get irritated and frustrated with the day-to-day, and ask pretty much anyone, and they’ll probably be able to tell you without hesitation what went wrong this week. But ask them what went right this week, what made their life better, what steps they made toward their goals, how happy they are with the path their life is on, and they would probably have to think about it before they answer. Well, let’s be honest, first they’d probably look at you like you’re a little nuts for asking.

And that’s the world we’ve created – we don’t mind talking about our problems, but ask us about our dreams and how happy we are? That feels weird.

My coaching teacher, Martha Beck, talks about how nature heals. As in the outdoors, Mother Nature can heal itself– but also our own true nature heals. In her book ‘Finding Your Way in a Wild New World’ she states: “Your job, now and for the rest of your life, is to heal that true nature and let it thrive.”

If that is true (spoiler alert: it is), then how can we possibly heal our true nature if we don’t even acknowledge it?

You don’t have to talk about your hopes and dreams with anyone who asks how you’re doing. In fact, you shouldn’t. Not everyone has earned the right to hear your story. If you’re going to talk about things close to your heart and soul, you’ll want to do that with people who know and love you, who will be supportive of your dreams, and who will lovingly give you a kick in the ass when you need it. You don’t need someone in the cheap seats giving you feedback or advice when they’re not even working on making their own life better, or when they have an agenda. (Your boss is probably not going to give you honest feedback about whether or not you should quit your job and persue your dream of living off the grid, for example, unless you’re already really good friends with them and you know they have your best interest at heart.)

If we assume Martha is right (she is) and our job is to heal our true nature, what does that MEAN? I’ve recently discovered my own answer to this, and I felt like I was smacked in the face when I figured it out, so I quickly typed it into my iPhone notes. (Side note: I believe the closest we can come to peering into another person’s thoughts may just be perusing the notes in their phone.) Here’s what I wrote:

What if, the entire point of my life, is to conquer myself??

To deal with my own shit, to be the best me possible, to turn my bad habits and qualities into good? What if nothing else really matters, and no other successes will mean anything compared to conquering myself and falling in love with myself so big,

that it will light up the heavens?

What if that’s the entire point and purpose of my life?

Let me tell you, I have no memory of writing this into my phone. I know I did, I remember the smack in the face feeling, but I don’t know where the words or thoughts came from or why they occurred to me. I CAN tell you what kind of effect it has on me to read them back, and why I think I used the word conquer… First, I fight with myself. A lot. I fight with my lower impulses, my bad habits, my toxic thought patterns, my moods, my hormones, my anxiety. If I conquer myself, that would mean I’ve succeeded in consistently living from a higher place than just my lower impulses. Second, we can train 3 things—our craft, our bodies, and our minds. After nearly 10 years of being a coach, I feel like I’m (Finally!) training my mind on purpose. I know it can be done quicker and easier. I know I’ve been a tough case. I overthink and over analyze things to the nth degree. In my defense, not only do I believe I was born this way, but I wasn’t much good at training my body or my craft either. This is not something that comes naturally to me. Sitting on the couch and vegging out comes naturally to me. But I’ve worked hard at changing that and have been training all 3 for the last year in a big way. I really am my own best client.

Reading that paragraph back gives me hope. If I can deal with my own shit with moderate success (which I am), then I can help other people far more! It is TOUGH to work on yourself. This is why people hire personal trainers. This is why athletes have coaches. This is why YOU should hire a coach, like me, who is working on their own shit and walking the talk.

Once a client comes to me, unlike in the example above, they’re usually ready to get over their lower impulses and build a better life for themselves. They may not know what they want (yet), but they know they can’t keep going like they have been. They know there’s something more, and they are smart enough to know they need help figuring it out.

I have a coach. I have several, actually. But I’ve insisted on doing most of my work in the last year on my own. There are a lot of reasons why, but mostly because I’m a tough case and I’ve wanted to do it the hard way. Now that I feel like I’m turning a corner, I’m going to hire a regular coach again. (By the way, I don’t recommend the DIY approach. There are a few reasons I’ve been able to wade through with success largely on my own – most of my best friends are coaches, and they’ve been there for me. I had a coaching mastermind group I was in for the first 6 months of the year that helped me tremendously. I have had an inordinate amount of flexible time as I build my business, and coaching myself fits into that. I have a decade of experience in coaching others and the skills to go with it, I know my own bullshit, and I’m stubborn as hell, so I keep digging and pushing my own pain points until they give. I don’t think most people have the resilience to do this to themselves. That’s probably a good thing.)

So, back to our true nature, getting what we want, and treating it like our job to thrive: do you have any idea what this looks like for you? Do you have an idea, but need some help? Do you have a good idea, have been working on it for yourself, but like me, now have turned a corner and want to speed up the process? Wherever you’re at, I’d like to talk to you. But first, here are some questions to ask yourself to jump start you (wherever you’re at).

· If you could do anything tomorrow, what would it be?

Forget other people’s expectations, how much you have to do, or what “normal” looks like. If time were frozen and you wouldn’t ‘lose’ a day, what would you do? Sky is the limit. Money is no object. The laws of time, space, and gravity do not apply, so if you want to go from LA to Paris, there’s no flight – just imagine yourself there. If you want to go back to ancient Egypt to see how the pharos were prepped for burial, go for it. If you want a new car, imagine yourself sitting in it and driving it.

Go there with all 5 of your senses and really breathe it in.

· Got it? Okay, now – why do you want that? What difference would it make in your life to do or have that thing? In other words, what feelings do you think it will give you? What are you craving more of in your life? Or, were you escaping something in your here and now, and there’s something in your daily life you need less of?

What did this exercise do for you? Did you notice resistance? Or did you dive into a vision and connect immediately with how you want to feel? Did you read the questions but not answer them? Do you think this is all a waste of time?

Understanding yourself better, holding a vision of what you want, and figuring out what you want more of in life is NEVER a waste of time. It’s actually essential to connecting to your true self and living a happier, more productive life. Yes, I said productive. Having a vision isn’t that different from setting goals, except it’s more powerful. This vision isn’t necessarily where you’re going (although it may be), but it’s a good first step to having an overall vision for your life. The more regularly you can connect with your overall vision, the more likely you are to be healing your true nature and thriving, not to mention living the life you want.

Remember – if you don’t know what you want from life, you’re going to have a tough time getting it. So, are you ready to train your mind?

Email me at, and we’ll talk.


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