How To Get What You Want: Engage!
06.28.2016 by Dr Bob Wright
Is something missing in your life?
Are you looking for something more but you don’t know what that “something” is?
Do you feel like you’re just going through the motions instead of really living?
Here’s how to get what you want out of life!
Is This a Snapshot of Your Life…?
Your Career: Are you working hard at your job, climbing the ranks, yet still feeling beat down? Maybe you’re the top salesperson, but you’re still miserable at work because you don’t feel the same “high” you used to feel when you close a deal. You show up, you do your job, but you don’t quite feel the joy.
Your Relationships: Do you hear every word your spouse says, make eye contact, and nod in agreement? Can you repeat every word right back to them? Then why do you keep hearing, “I feel like you just don’t listen.”
Your Social Life: Maybe you’ve got a great group of friends and acquaintances. You go out to dinner, host a regular game night, or meet up with your buddy for a weekly trail run. You have conversations and it’s nice, polite and pleasant, but it’s not the same as that exhilaration you used to feel in college when you met new people who really challenged you.
You’re probably busy. You don’t sleep enough and you may indulge in wine, food, and other soft addictions a little too often. You enjoy it all, of course, but physically you feel a little run down and blah. You go to the gym, but it’s the same old routine—twenty minutes on the treadmill, a few rounds on the weight machines, shower and go back to work. You’re healthy, but you’re not where you used to be.
At The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, we talk a great deal about engaging. Transformation and personal growth requires engagement and action…but what exactly does it mean to engage?
How To Get What You Want and Feel Alive Again
Most of us have felt “flow” at one point or another: it happens when we’re doing well and we know we’re doing well. We’re connected to our significant other and loving our job. We have stimulating friends and we’re taking care of our physical body. When everything seems to be working, it feels you’re on top of your game and on top of the world, right?
That flow, the hum, the buzz, is engagement. It means you’re present in the moment. You’re emotionally and physically encompassed in what you’re doing. You’re growing and learning, you’re striving and thriving, and even if you’re not at your destination, you’re on the way.
Then, you peak. You reach the point where you close a big sale, you land your dream position, you say, “I do,” or you run that 10K. You’ve hit your goal, then you shrug and say, “Well, I guess that’s it.”
But you need The New!
Our brains are hardwired to crave change and challenges. We’re designed to derive pleasure from engaging. We need new experiences to facilitate our brain’s plasticity and growth.
Neuroscience shows that it is only by engaging—being aware, paying attention and intentionally doing new things—that we learn, grow and ultimately transform into someone doing something that would have been unimaginable without full engagement. –Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living
If we aren’t growing, we can’t engage, and if we aren’t engaging, then we’re definitely not getting what we want—because we’re not reaching our full potential and doing the great things we could be doing with our lives.
Each of us must seek out new challenges and new experiences!
We all have desires and yearnings. If you think of what you truly want the most—acknowledgement, to be in charge, to be loved, to be heard…those are the things that drive us toward our goals. Those are our yearnings and they keep us striving for the next peak. Many of us climb to the first summit and we might have met our goal, but yet, we still feel unfulfilled. It’s only by climbing for the next peak and the next beyond that we can continue to find fulfillment.
To meet our goals we must fully engage.
How Do I Know If I’m Engaging?
Engagement isn’t simply action or listening. It’s not even attention. You might pay attention to a movie but chances are you aren’t fully engaged (and you may even be using the movie to escape from engaging in the real world).
Many of us are extremely busy. Multitasking and taking on tons of tasks doesn’t necessarily mean you’re engaged at work. Enjoying time with your friends or your spouse, and going out and doing things doesn’t mean you’re engaged in your relationships.
Instead, we might actually be suppressing our underlying wants and desires, using activity to mask the connection. Engagement is emotional. It’s visceral. It means being challenged and pushed. It can mean conflict and passion. Engagement is more than filling your day with activity.
Engagement also doesn’t mean making sweeping changes. If you divorce your spouse, quit your job, enroll in a Masters or PhD program, or go out and adopt a St. Bernard, you might still end up being the same person you were before. You might still feel unfulfilled and dissatisfied, but now you’ve got more debt and a dog to clean up after.
Motivation for engagement can’t come from a place of avoidance. Engaging means to get into things, not to get away from them. It doesn’t mean swapping out one relationship for another or finding a different career path. It means learning how to grow and transform and get fully involved where you are. It means rather than avoiding, you roll up your sleeves and start to work on things from where you are, rather than jumping from one ship to the next.
Engagement isn’t just working hard or throwing ourselves into a single-minded task. It’s about having the grit and wherewithal to stick to something. It’s about perseverance and learning and growing in each experience.
When you make mistakes, learn from them and build on what you’ve learned. Celebrate mistakes as a chance to grow and a sign that you’re taking risks and getting involved. Seek out new experiences and people who challenge and push you. Each experience is a chance to learn more about who we are and uncover deeper things about ourselves.
Engagement is about doing the things we aren’t successful at, over and over until we get better. Get back on the horse when it bucks you off. Don’t just pack up your spurs and go home. Don’t just rest at the summit and forget there’s a peak to reach (and another beyond that).
To learn more about fully engaging and how to get what you want out of life, join us for our next Foundations Weekend Training. Don’t miss our transformative high-value workshops. Join us to discover the tools you need to go forth and ignite your world. [Learn more!]
Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.
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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.