“What do you want?”
This is a pretty common question that I ask my Pete. But whenever I ask, he usually just looks confused and tilts his head.
Keep in mind that Pete is my rescue dog and has not the power of human speech or human logic.
But I firmly believe that he knows exactly what he wants. It usually involves play and food. And walks. And scratching behind his ears. All at the same time and usually when I’m trying to work.
Human beings aren’t that different. But humans usually paint what we want through the lens of what society thinks we “should” want out of life.
Who goes after exactly what they want? Who goes after what they want despite what society says you “should” want?
Let’s direct this question to the men.
Society says that you should go after certain things in your life. You should go for a 9-5 job. You should be a corporate drone or a blue collar lunchbox guy. You should get married. You should be a provider to your 2.5 kids. And you should do all this before a certain predetermined and arbitrary age.
Let’s flip that. Say you want to pursue interests outside of this narrow box. Let’s say you want to pursue an artistic passion – theater, for example. There’s a good chance that you’ve had someone subtly (or maybe not so subtly) make a comment about you being soft or gay.
The former fits what society says you “should” want out of life as a real man (whatever that means.) The latter, maybe not so much.
This is a pretty broad-brush example, but do you see my point? Going after what you want despite what society says you should want isn’t soft at all. It’s way more difficult to declare and fulfill exactly what you want despite the societal stigmas it may carry.
I want to revisit last week’s article for a second, Is it Time to Tear Down Your Comfort Zone. Is what you want inside your comfort zone, or is that really what you want?
I ask again – is it inside your comfort zone or is it really what you want?
Last week’s in-person coaching workshop was an unqualified success. I had an audience. They were engaged. I was loose and comfortable on stage. And it’s something I’m doing again next month.
Being the quietly snarky kid who always sat in the back of the class and never bothered anyone – that was comfortable. Being the outgoing, engaging personality that I was on that stage – that was not comfortable. But it became comfortable over time.
To tie this up, I’m going after a life that is against what society says I “should” want. I’m almost 40. I’m not married. I have no kids. I don’t have a 9-5. And I’m pursuing career interests outside of the societal norm.
Being an author and coach isn’t an easy path. But it’s the path I’m choosing because it’s the path I want.
I don’t care what society says I “should” want. Because I’m not playing just for today. I’m playing to make the next 35-40 or more years of my life extraordinary. Do I want to be a drone, or do I want to cultivate a new layer of joy in my life and in the lives of the people I know and love?
I’m still a young man. I believe a wife and family are certainly still in my future. But do I want to be one of those dads who can’t model real joy to his kids? Or do I want to show my kids that unfiltered joy is within all of us?
What do you want out of life? Is it against what society says you “should” want?
There are still a few slots left for sample coaching sessions. I’d love for one of them to be yours…y’know, if that’s what you want.
- Website: team-ryan.team
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: twitter.com/ryanhallwrites
One more thing before we go. As I’ve mentioned before, I am part of the coach training program with Accomplishment Coaching. Simply put, it’s the world’s greatest coach training program.
If any of you are in the New York area or could get to New York on Saturday, November 19th – we offer open observation from 10 am until noon. I’d love to meet you and show you a little inside baseball of what we do.
If you’re interested of if you have any questions, shoot me an email at email@example.com.
What do you want? It may seem like a loaded question, but it doesn’t have to be.
Photo by Kat Lovasi