I finally figured out how to find out what I want. It only took one life coach, the root cause analysis process, and the Spice Girls to get me there.
First, the Spice Girls. Because they're just the inane soundtrack. (Man, I don't remember them all being so skinny! Oh, the 90s.) They've got the right idea. But they don't ask the question quite enough.
So, tell me what you want, what you really really want?
Root cause analysis is a technique used in healthcare performance improvement to find out why an error really occurred, i.e., the root cause. One of the steps is to ask "Why?" 5 times. No, I'm not kidding. Yes, that's a very specific number, but you can keep going.
The first answer is flippant. But then you start to go down passageways, toward answers that aren't so obvious.
For example: Why did the nurse drop the baby?
Because she was distracted.
Why was she distracted?
Because there was a lot of activity in the room at that moment, and the nurse was on overtime and exhausted.
Why was the nurse on overtime?
Why were there staffing issues?
Because the hospital had let quite a few staff go recently and had not replaced them.
Why were there layoffs at the hospital?.
Because the financials were not so good last quarter.
So. you can infer that a nurse dropped a baby because the financials were not good. Terrifying, really. If you kept going, you would end up so zoomed out (the big picture!) that there was nothing you could change at the local level. (Why? Because the American health care system is broken. Why? Because humans can be selfish and greedy and reluctant to change. Etc.)
So what does that mean to me? In my endless struggle to do stuff I want to do, as well as the stuff I have to do, it helps to know what it is you want. And sometimes, the first answer is flippant. So, my latest approach is to lay in bed and think of what I want out of this day. And then ask myself, and then what? Perhaps, 5 times. This, I stole from the life coach, Martha Beck.
Does it work? Yes, I think it does. It gets you closer to the truth. And although that can be a little scary, it's also necessary. I also like that it's supported by techniques in other fields. (You know, references! Always important.) So I'm going to try it a little longer.
So, TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT, WHAT YOU REALLY REALLY WANT.