When it comes to setting our goals, and visions, so much of our choosing only includes some parts of ourselves — the part we show to the outside world, the achiever in us. You may not even be conscious of it, but many of us are on achievement autopilot.

It’s too much about outer attainment instead of inner attunement. And it’s burning us out. Because we’re going after what we think we want with a vengeance. Faking it to make it. Sucking it up. Endurance. Achievables…

You’re not chasing the goal itself — you’re chasing the feelings you hope attaining those goals will give you.

When you get clear on how you want to feel (and I’ll talk more about that in a minute) you may find yourself going after different things, and you may find yourself going after them in a different way. In a way that’s less… anxious, nuts, uptight and totally stressed out. “Less,” as one of my favorite Buddhists monks said to me, “less pushy.”

I asked him about the nature of desire, since so many mystical teachings think desire leads to a lot of suffering. Being a modern woman with plenty of ambition and desire, I had to sort this out. I asked Lama Mark if there was a “right way to desire.” He told me you can’t get rid of desire. (Thank God. Thank Buddha.) Instead, “The art of it is to keep asking yourself: Am I being pushy? Is my desire tainted with all kinds of emotional overtones?”

Let’s review: We are naturally going to desire things and enlightenment, even. Having deep desire for freedom is an especially good thing — it moves us in the right direction, closer to our true nature. But if we’re a neurotic mess or a pushy mofo with regard to our longings, it all backfires. You with me so far?

We have the procedures of achievement upside down. Typically we come up with our to-do lists, our bucket lists and our strategic plans — all the stuff we want to have, get, accomplish and experience outside of ourselves. All of those aspirations are being driven by an innate desire to feel a certain way.

Here’s the guiding question — the potentially life-enhancing, soul-rocking question:

  • How do you want to feel when you look at your schedule for the week?
  • When you get dressed in the morning?
  • When you walk through the door of your studio or office?
  • When you pick up the phone?
  • When you look at your bank account, accept the award, make the sale or fall in love?

A lot of us are craving a new way to make things happens in our lives. Less driving and more inspiration. Deeper meaning but without compromising prosperity, cash, style. I for one, want more love and way less judgment. Way less.

What if, first, we got clear on how we actually wanted to feel within ourselves, and then we designed our to-do lists, set our goals and wrote out our bucket lists?

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

We need to make our feelings the heart of the matter. Feelings are magnetic. Each feeling is a beacon that attracts a reality.

Love attracts love. Generosity elicits a generous response. Anger creates more things that could make you even angrier, if you let them. What we focus on expands, so choosing to focus on life-affirming feelings is the surest way to create the experience you want.

Being deliberate about how you want to feel is at the root of self-reliance, and it’s also a collaborative effort you make with the universe.

I’ve seen countless women change their lives for the better when they declared that they wanted to feel “connected,” or “vitality,” or “light,” or “divine feminine.” Or any number of what I call your “core desired feelings.” Identify four or five of your core desired feelings and make those the center of your ambitions and you will turn on your true power source. You will do a lot less pushing and proving and way more living and creating. And that’s the ultimate reset.

Danielle LaPorte is an invited member of Oprah’s Super Soul 100, and author of the newly released White Hot Truth: Clarity for keeping it real on your spiritual path—from one seeker to another; The Fire Starter Sessions, and The Desire Map.

Special Offer for Readers of TheReset: Resetters can download a free copy of The Desire Map Ebook and the Daily Desire a yoga practice by clicking HERE