How I Make Decisions in My Life + Business

Over the last two years, I’ve come up with a very simple five-point, fail-proof checklist that now guides nearly every choice I make in my life and business. So whether it’s contracts, coffee dates, outfits, opportunities, friends, free time, finances or furniture purchases - if the option, experience, path or person I’m considering doesn’t garner at least one checkmark out of five, it’s just not happening.

Honestly, this framework has been a complete and total game-changer for me. Not only has it saved me a ton of time, money and energy, it’s also eliminated a whole pile of uncertainty, resentment, and clutter (both tangible and internal) from every facet of my life.

Yep, it’s THAT good. Really.   

From what I eat to what I wear, to how I serve and choose to earn, to how I react and who I spend time with - my trusty rubric gives me the capacity to make smart and empowered choices that consistently feel really, really good. 

And while I’m quite happy to share it with you, unfortunately, it will most likely be entirely meaningless and completely useless to you. But, here it is anyway:

// Brave

// Lovely

// Rockstar

// Wildly Supported

// Divinely Present

Isn’t it great?!? And yes, I actually do make serious business and life-altering decisions on the benchmark of “rockstar.”

Ok, so perhaps a little more explanation is required.

A Different Perspective On Leadership

As a starting point, my take on leadership is a little different than the traditional paradigms many of us have picked up along our personal and professional paths. I believe that it’s only through the conscious alignment of presence, purpose and passion that we expand our capacity to make more impactful contributions in our lives, our work and the world. And for me, leadership is equal parts how we live and what we give.

Genuine leadership means that we spend more time identifying and leveraging our unique gifts, strengths, skills and talents, and far less time shoring up our weaknesses and perpetually aiming to fix our deficiencies. Importantly, we also extend this practice to our teams, colleagues and loved ones.

In business, it means that what we stand for is far more important than what we sell. And as we create grand plans for our success and security, it means that our core desired feelings are simultaneously the sturdy foundation and the driving force behind everything we do.

My core desired feelings (cdf’s) happen to be brave, lovely, rockstar, wildly supported and divinely present. But these are mine, and mine alone. Yours might be free, calm, nourished, vibrant and playful. Or maybe they’re generous, creative, accomplished, luxurious and stable. However, if you have absolutely no idea what they are or how to even start identifying them, it might be time to do a little soul-searching and desire-digging to help you figure it out.  

Your Feelings are the Heart of Every Matter

When I initially learned about the idea of core desired feelings, I’ll admit I was more than a little skeptical. In the first place, my educational background is political science, governance and change management. Secondly, strength and personality assessments repeatedly pinpoint me as a strategic and analytic thinker with a tendency towards intellectualization and problem-solving. And while I’ve also identified strongly as a creative and spiritual person, new-age woo-woo concepts were definitely NOT my thing. 

Yet, when I read Danielle LaPorte’s The Firestarter Sessions in 2012, something shifted rather swiftly and deeply in me when I came across the following words:

 Knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form of clarity that you can have. Generating those feelings is the most creative thing you can do with your life.”

Somehow this made instant, perfect and potent sense to me. It truly was a light bulb “a-ha” moment. It seemed strangely radical, but also enduringly eloquent and very simple.

According to Danielle, we have the procedures for achievement, attainment and goal setting completely upside down. Typically we first come up with our to-do lists, our bucket lists and our strategic plans that outline all of the stuff and things we want to have, get and experience in life. However, all of these dreams, goals and aspirations are actually being driven by an innate desire to feel a certain way.

It turns out that we’re not really chasing the big house, the big job, the hot bod, the ideal mate, the new business, the next degree, the dreamy vacation – we’re in fact pursuing the FEELINGS that attaining those things will give us. We’re really after security, strength, significance, love, fulfillment, contribution, courage, adventure, ease and relaxation - just to name a few.

The Desire Map

So here’s the million-dollar question you need to ask and answer for yourself: How do you want to feel?

For some, the response comes effortlessly, but for the vast majority of us, this question conjures up some major uncertainty, intimidation, palpable resistance, and even the cynical skepticism I mentioned earlier. Enter in The Desire Map.

The Desire Map is an immersive and experiential program for clarifying how you really want to feel in every area of your life and then using that powerful awareness to guide your actions, goals, and dreams from now on. It encourages us to look at our perceptions around “feelings” and goal setting, while examining how we drive and strive, and see where in our lives we experience freedom and joy — and where we want more of it.

Through the process, you are guided through 5 life areas, to explore your most desired feelings in:

  • Lifestyle + Livelihood
  • Creativity + Learning
  • Body + Wellness
  • Relationships + Society
  • Essence + Spirituality

The Desire Map taught me how to make better choices by making decisions based on my core desired feelings. And that boils down to living a life that feels good to live. This process has inspired major transformation in my own life and I’ve seen it do the same in the lives of many others. I believe in this material — I know that it works.

Goals with More Soul: A Desire Map Workshop

Whether you are a passionate and perpetual goal-setter or a free-spirited and reluctant planner, living a purpose-driven life requires a deep understanding of what you’re going after, and why you’re going after it.

Habitual and unconscious goal-setting will numb you out and leave you frustrated, unfulfilled and anxious.

Are you ready to discover how to move with greater velocity, conscious clarity, and deep-seated devotion towards your dreams?

Consider joining me on June 25 + 26, 2016 in Saskatoon for Goals With More Soul: A Desire Map Workshop.

In LEVEL ONE of this workshop (JUNE 25) you will:

// Uncover your Core Desired Feelings (CDFs): a new guidance system for empowered decision-making.

// Re-evaluate everything you know about feelings and goal-setting so you can experience less struggle and live with more freedom, ease and intention. Less driving + striving, more thriving.

// Explore the five key areas of your life: Lifestyle + Livelihood, Creativity + Learning, Body + Wellness, Relationships + Society, and Essence + Spirituality, to figure out what’s working, what’s not, what’s missing, and where you need to let go.

// Honour yourself within the sacred space we create together. Working with your Core Desired Feelings is deep, powerful, and life-changing work and requires a sacred container.

// Lighten + expand by releasing old, heavy stories and setting your limiting beliefs on fire (figuratively and maybe even literally!).

// Anchor your life with the declarations you’ve made from your soul and attach them to some every day plans. Poetic to the practical.

// Celebrate all of this rich goodness with a community of like-minded women. We will offer up our own wisdom, relate and learn from each other - like women (and some very cool + enlightened dudes) always do.

In LEVEL TWO of this workshop (JUNE 26) you will:

// Dive deeper into the perceptions of goals and goal-setting, especially in relationship to ambition, external approval and traditional notions of “success”.

// Identify a healthy handful of goals and/or intentions that are purposefully aligned with your Core Desired Feelings, and design a soul-centred, actionable plan to realize the best and brightest version of your life.

// Transform your relationship to pleasing, performing, perfecting and procrastination.

// Create meaningful connection. Give and receive unbridled encouragement. Generate big love.