What Do You Want and What Stops You from Having It?

Joyce Shafer

Joyce L. Shafer

During the final moments of your life, you aren’t going to review what title you held or your bank balance. You’re going to review what you feel about how you experienced your life.

This is your opportunity to answer the following questions with no limitations, no judgment or criticism of your answers. This is between you and you. Remind yourself that at the end of your life, you want to know you found a way to let the splendor within you express itself.

Deep within you is the kernel of your purpose—the essence of what it is that is your ultimate gift to be given while you are here. (Your true ultimate gift is to be your authentic self.) So, how do you define or find your life purpose? You do not define your purpose as much as you distill it. The way to get to a one-sentence statement that accurately expresses your purpose is to start with the questions—

• What makes you feel truly alive? (You do know what this is.)
• What is it that you feel in those moments when you’re doing this?
• In what way does this allow you to believe you are being of service to others in a manner that is appropriate for you?
• What might you do to make this a part of everything you engage in?

It’s best if you write your answers then distill them into one concise life-mission statement. Making people laugh or feel better IS considered a life purpose. How you do this is up to you.

You may have many things you would like to do. Make a list of them and mark through them with a high-lighter as you accomplish them over the course of your life. For now, select the one very important thing you want to focus on. This can involve career, family, education, spirituality, or any area of concern—whatever is important to you.

What I’d really love to do is . . .

Now, describe it in even more detail. Really make it come alive here. What does your life look or feel like, on all levels, as you live this reality?


Will you have to confront negative beliefs about yourself? Give up some spare time or rearrange your routine or schedule to develop your plan and take action? Give up some anonymity, time with family, or fears? Really think about this.

If you’ve stumbled over or sabotaged your success in life, ask yourself if there was ever a moment when someone said something to you that caused you to believe success, especially financial success, came with a penalty. Does any person or event come to mind? You may be holding a feeling of needing to punish yourself (guilt if you do well) or punish another (which punishes you). Becoming aware of this block is the first step to removing it from your life.


What will it cost you, personally, if you don’t do this? Will you deny your life’s purpose or see yourself as not deserving better? Will you remain in a self-imposed prison without bars, possibly based on someone else’s opinions or fears?

It’s possible you’ve already paid this cost long enough. Set yourself free from it.

(Partial excerpt from How to Have What You REALLY Want)

You are what you practice.
© Joyce Shafer

You’re welcome to reprint this article as long as you use my complete bio.

Joyce Shafer is the You Are More! Empowerment Coach and author of I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say, as well as six more books/ebooks, most easily found online at Lulu.com (jls1422@yahoo.com). Check out the terrific freebies and articles (and more), and learn about private coaching sessions, found in her free weekly online newsletter at http://stateofappreciation.webs.com

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