We’re living in an age of constant stimulation, over-productivity, and in some cases a deep disconnect from who are and our true desires.
So why do we have this constant drive to achieve at any cost, to any level, when more often than not, our efforts never seem enough? Bestselling author, entrepreneur, and member of Oprah’s Super Soul 100, Danielle LaPorte says we need to stop externally looking for answers, and instead realise our own inner desires so we can make real change in our lives.
“It’s difficult because we are obsessed with productivity,” Danielle says, adding that our need to succeed is deep rooted.
“It goes way back. Many of us didn’t get love from our parents. We want to prove something to ourselves. We’re obsessed with having to prove ourselves by all the great things we’ve accomplished because then people will love us more, or then we’ll get paid more money, or then we’ll be able to buy more stuff so we can look more worthy of the love that we want.”
The constant hustle and drive, to be better and do better, led the 48-year-old to write her latest book, White Hot Truth, which encourages people to fully own their own wisdom while exploring the conflicts between spiritual aspiration and our compulsion to improve.
“I was tired of trying to become a better person, so I just preached,” the brunette beauty laughs.
“I really want to contribute to the contemporary conversation around betterment so it’s intended for people to read it and feel free.”
But Danielle says that some people simply won’t set themselves free until they accomplish outward success and end up feeling empty when they get there, because it’s not until we stop looking externally for answers, and realise our core desires, that we can be at peace.
Danielle, who’s often described as a ‘spiritual badass’ has even developed an entire process to help people discover their desires.
“Desire Map helps you go through every area of your life from your career, to your romantic relationships, to your body and your wellness, and asks the question, ‘How do I want to feel?’ If you do that, I guarantee you will start to see a pattern of what your core desires are.
“Because the same thing you want to feel in your relationship will be very similar to the ways you want to feel in your career, and very similar to the ways you want to feel when you look at your bank account.”
The entrepreneur explains that the end goal is to narrow it down into four or five core desired feelings that you have the commitment, self-respect and courage to live your life around.
“So for example if the holidays are coming up, you can ask yourself, ‘How do I want to feel during these holidays?’ And based off your core desires you might want to feel connected, you might want to feel at peace, and you might want to feel creative. And then you need to ask yourself what that might look like?
“It might look like, not going to your in-laws. Have the courage to choose. Make sure you’re getting what you need on a heart level. It’s about intentionally creating your life based on your heart’s desires.”
Danielle says it’s important to integrate your core desires into everyday life by using a planner or diary to not only write them down and have them visible every day, but to also schedule actionable ways to generate those feelings.
“It can be anything. It can be dancing in the living room, going for a facial, getting an extra hour of sleep, meditating or getting rid of a bunch of stuff. It’s about asking yourself what you are committed to doing in order to support those core desires.”
Because to the mum of one, self-expression is everything.
“It’s self-expression or death.
“Repressing is depressing. You are depressing your soul. That’s not the only reason for depression, there are lots of other reasons for depression, but yeah depression, anxiety, misplaced rage, disconnection, deep loneliness – they are all the things that we are over medicating and struggling with.”
And the edgy author who is known for her feisty opinions and hot truth bombs, admits that like everyone else, she is also human and is not exempt from experiencing worry, fear, or doubt.
“I think everybody has to contend with fear. But you have get clear on what your flavour is with fear. So, for some of us it’s anxiety, or it’s a fear of failure. I’m not that driven by a fear of failure because I’ve failed lots and succeeded many times and I just keep going. My thing is doubt, so I have to actively work with doubt.”
The modern-day spiritualist says she often wonders if things will work out the way she planned, but she doesn’t let limiting beliefs hold her back, and quickly brings her attention to her core desires.
“I focus like a mother fucker. On my desires. I pay attention to the doubt and I thank it, and I reprioritise it, and I give my energy to something else.”
She says she’s constantly bringing her awareness back to gratitude and her faith.
“Faith is actually a muscle and you have to nurture it every day. Every day I have to put my faith in life.”
For Danielle faith comes in a form much bigger than herself.
“I have to have faith in the creator, in the universe and my guide, and then I have to have faith in the people around me.”
Her unwavering faith is what drives her mission is life which is to be, “Devoted to the light”.
The way she stays focused on this bold intention, is through the practice of meditation.
“You need some form of stillness and contemplation in your life. There’s no way around it. I kind of wish I can give people a sexier answer. There isn’t one. It’s that you need to meditate, you need to be still, you need to pray, you need to have some silence. Pick one, and do it. It’s just some form of contemplation where you’re tuning in with your body and your mind and your version of the cosmo, to just check in otherwise you’re a hot mess and you’re not clear and you’re not connected.”
And when it comes to that constant drive to achieve and succeed, Danielle says she is more focused on feelings than she is goals.
“I have things that I want but mostly I know how I want to feel and I do things every day to feel that way. I work really devotedly to bring that feeling to life so if I don’t get what I want, I had a good time getting there – I’m still solid and satisfied in the process.
“I have intentions which are similar to goals, but you know, there’s a different vibe.”
Which begs the question, maybe if we were as addicted to our desires are we are to our goals and being productive, how different would our life be?
To find out more about Danielle LaPorte and her work click here. http://www.daniellelaporte.com/
Image Credit: Catherine Just