2.3: Prepare for Action: Talk

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You are about to change the total direction of your life. You are going to move from a life of relative idleness to one of ambition and perhaps even sacrifice and the transition can be scary. You need to talk.

Some people will think you are nuts if you declare your intention to make a difference with your life. You probably do not need therapy, but you do need to discuss your thoughts, aspirations and concerns with someone who will listen.

But who do you talk to and how much should you share? Your choice of a confidant can make or break you, so choose wisely. Here are three suggestions and one caution:

First of all, choose someone who will listen and not do too much talking. That will probably NOT be your best friend or a member of your immediate family. Remember, you are not so much looking for someone’s opinion as you are seeking to examine your own ambitions and motives. It might be a professional or pastoral counselor, someone somewhat removed from your daily life, who will work best for you.

Second, share your heart only with those who will respect you and encourage you. When you talk about fulfilling your purpose in life you need encouragement not criticism, good advice not nasty insults. You do not need someone to call you crazy. You need a sensitive, listening ear, someone who will help you clarify your thoughts, identify weak points in your thinking, suggest alternatives you never thought of, and assist you in making good decisions.

Perhaps the most important characteristic you want in a confidant is wisdom. A wise counselor will help you find harmony with yourself, give you a sense of inner peace, and help you grow confident. He/she will warn you, encourage you, instruct you, confront you, question you, and release you.

One warning: be very careful to share your greater goals with only a few people. Psychology tests have shown that announcing your goals can make you less motivated to accomplish them.

For instance, if you declare to all your friends, “I’m going to write a book!” Their response will be to cheer and encourage you at the moment of your declaration. Your mind perceives that the goal has already been accomplished, so the next steps to writing your book are more difficult to take.

You are better off to share your short-term goals with someone who can hold you accountable. Tell someone, “I need to write 1000 word this week. Will you call me on Friday to hold me accountable?” In most cases, you will get those 1000 words written before Friday.

Here is what you want to accomplish by talking to someone about the desires of your heart: You want to clarify exactly what you want to accomplish. You want to grasp what it is going to take to realize your vision. You want do discover options you may not have thought of previously. You want to know your next step.

To prepare for action: Think, Pray, Talk … next Listen: How to Take Advice

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