What do you want out of life? And, before you answer that, consider that vague concepts aren’t something that can be given. If you tell me, “I want to be successful” I can only respond by asking, “By what standards?” That might be a little confusing, but I defer to the movie Bedazzled, starring Brendan Frazier. (I don’t think this is the first Brendan Frazier movie I’ve referenced… Hrm…)
If you remember, Brendan’s character, Elliot, was granted 7 wishes by Satan (played by Elizabeth Hurley). However, Satan made sure that each of the wishes she granted were somehow tainted, not giving Elliot what he wanted, which was a happy life with Allison (Frances O’Connor). When Elliot protests that Satan is messing with him on purpose, Satan defends herself by specifying that Elliot wasn’t specific enough with his wishes. The movie ends when Elliot wishes for Allison to have a happy life, voiding his contract with Satan, and causing him to meet the girl he falls in love with (who looks a lot like Allison).
Hold on now, mister. You wished that the two of you were married. You didn’t say anything about her loving you.
– Elizabeth Hurley, Bedazzled
©2000 20th Century Fox
Truth be told, the movie was campy and mediocre at best. However, we can at least glean a lesson from it. If you aren’t specific enough, you won’t get what it is that you want. So, back to my original question; What do you want out of life? In fact, do me a favor and write it down. I’ll wait…
Look at what you wrote down. Are you being specific? Can you be more specific? What day, month, and year do you want that to become your reality? In what city will you be living, and what state or province? What country? Who will be involved? How will it happen? There are a million questions that I could ask, but that would make the article too long. If you don’t have an answer to a question, decide one, otherwise you’re not being specific enough. When setting goals, you can never – NEVER – be too specific.
Follow that up with a plan to make it happen, and you’re as specific as they come. Remember to always ask, “Can I be more specific?”
Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Manager of Social Innovation at Twitter, lets us in on some specific action steps to keep our priorities – one of the biggest areas of vagueness for all of us – in line. Read it, then sharpen a pen and get to work.
Oh, and have an awesome day!