I watched a fantastic film with my kids the other day called ‘Megamind’. In it, the dastardly (but rather ineffective) eponymous villain finally achieves his goal of ridding the world of his nemesis, the annoyingly perfect Metroman. After getting over the shock, then a few days of rejoicing by generally menacing the populace and bringing the city to its knees, Megamind realises that he’s bored and unfulfilled now that he doesn’t have Metroman to battle, and he sets about creating a new arch enemy for himself.
This got me thinking about what can happen when we’ve made our dreams come true, especially the big ones that we’ve worked towards for a long time. There can sometimes be a sense of emptiness afterwards if there is nothing further to strive for (you’ve run the marathon now), or no ‘nemesis’ to battle against (the clutter is finally cleared). So, you’re walking into the sunset, hand in hand with Prince(ss) Charming and the credits are rolling – but what next?
Imagine yourself at that point of reaching your target, of ‘getting there’. What will that be like? How will you know you’re there? How will you feel? What will you see and hear?
From that happy vantage, look to the future. What’s possible now? What do you WANT to do? Notice the feelings that bubble up, positive or negative. If you’re excited and inspired, fantastic – jot down some ideas for further projects beyond your current big goal. No time for maniacal cackling and then slumping when you get there – raise a glass and then get on to your next exciting thing.
How about if the feelings aren’t so positive? If, frankly, you’re feeling a bit freaked out?
Feelings are a great compass for whether we’re going in the direction of our own values or someone else’s, and whether we’ve got our sights set on the ‘right’ destination in the first place. And here’s the thing – sometimes, we distract ourselves with a goal that’s actually enabling us to avoid the scary leap of doing what we actually REALLY dream of. It’s a circuitous detour which can send our compass haywire.
Do you keep trying to lose some weight, get into/out of a relationship, clear the clutter, get a better job, clear the city of your nemesis…? That’s your goal but you never – quite – get there? You know that you’ll be capable of anything when you succeed, but first you’ve just got to keep… on… trying… THEN you’ll get on with your proper, brilliant life.
It could be that you’re using your goals to stay ‘small’ and safe. That, by waiting until you’ve lost a stone before you go and conquer the world, you’re actually just procrastinating. And that’s possibly why it’s taking you just so long.
What do you REALLY dream of? If you woke up tomorrow and all the distractions and excuses were gone, what would you do? Get inventive. Can you REALLY not start that today? Does it REALLY require you to be living in a perfectly tidy home first? Get out of your own way and go for your big dreams – and you might just find that Metroman disappears quietly as part of the journey, along with the clutter, the weight and all the other excuses. And trust your compass! You don’t need to create yourself a new nemesis to battle against, but to become who you are, magnificently, in your full power.
(Megamind does just this, by the way – but I don’t want to spoil it, so you’ll have to watch it yourself to find out how.)
Still scared? Not sure where to start? Give me a call!