Aspirations 101

The first of a three-part series

It’s absurd to believe a client would engage in coaching to prune, shrink or marginalize their power. It’s equally preposterous to think that someone would hire me to help them hold back from making their biggest, brightest contribution.

In truth, I’m hired to support people as they make transformations, as they search for ways to make a difference. Together, we discover how to make meaningful shifts and work on specifics to reach aspirations.

Drawing from the multidisciplinary fields of Neuroscience, researchers are showing how self-expression and the cultivation of aspirations are critical means by which humans connect to, navigate, explore and transform their lives. In addition, we’re learning that all great transformations include aspirations.
 “An aspiration is a dream of the heart.” — Judith Glaser, Conversational Intelligence® Lecture, Module 3—Aspirations

Look up the Latin origins of the word aspire and you’ll find “ad” meaning to and “spirare” meaning breathe. When we become transparent about our aspirations and intentions, we allow our head, heart and gut to breathe together. When we honor our aspirations and intentions with deliberate action, the outcomes are irresistible. When we allow our soul space to breathe, speak and align with aspirations, we can outreach our highest expectations.

This happens, in effect, because we’re changing our neuro-chemistry when we pay attention to our heart dreams. Whenever we’re able to communicate our aspirations in a judgment-free zone, we’re released from fear, opening up a space for self-expression. We literally move out of the primitive and limbic part of our brain into the prefrontal cortex. We move out of patterns that secrete cortisol and into an area that generates oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin (the chemicals of leadership). What this can mean is you may open fresh, new space to feel affirmed, more confident, more hopeful and more courageous if you’re willing to share deep intentions. You may also find answers to problems or new visions of what’s possible. Endless discoveries await—discoveries you’re willing to explore because you’ve connected to the power of your own aspirations.

If you’d like to have a go at expressing your “dreams of the heart,” try this exercise:

STEP 1—Capture your aspirations over a week’s time. Take one to five minutes per session to brainstorm. These questions can help:

  • If I could wish for the impossible, what would I want?
  • What adventures and activities intrigue me?
  • If I had all the time, all the resources and I knew I couldn’t fail, what would I want to have happen?

After five to seven days of this sort of brainstorming, you are primed to make a shift. You may feel ready to move away from limitations and fear toward risk-taking and inspiration. Watch for tomorrow’s post— Aspirations 102 —to learn how to take this next step.