All year on Style Maniac we've been talking about risk and joy and what it takes to follow your dreams. Conventional advice would be that to realize your dreams you first must figure out what it is you want. Danielle LaPorte disagrees.
LaPorte says the key to finding joy in life -- because after all that's what we're all aiming for, right? -- is to first figure out how you want to feel.
Then, determine what you need to do to feel the way you want to feel.
To guide you in that journey she's created an empire of empowerment: books, blog, website, journals, day planners, decks, audio guides, seminars and a licensing program of "life leadership coaches." At the core of it all lies The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals With Soul, a workbook that aims to help you uncover what it is you truly desire.
It may all sound like a bunch of phooey, but I trusted the friend who recommended her (thanks, Jen!) and LaPorte herself has an earthy, soulful yet not sappy vibe that drew me quickly into her world. Her Truth Bomb series on Instagram and the no-b.s. honesty of her blog posts (sample title: "When Things Suck"), intrigued. So I went ahead and gave The Desire Map a try.
Still a bit skeptical at first, the more I worked through the book over the course of a weekend, the more LaPorte's idea made sense. After all, there are any number of avenues in work and love that could seem to be a good fit, but if they don't, as Marie Kondo would say, "spark joy" then they really don't fit at all.
(Captivated by the art of Marta Spendowska, I tried a Desire Map Planner as well, but the format didn't suit me as much as my pedestrian yet highly effective Planner Pad. If I fell for the art again--a new image is chosen for limited editions each year--I'd select a Journal format.)
Did The Desire Map bring me joy? Well, so far yes and no. The exercise helped me focus on what I really want and why. It has made it clearer who and what I should be spending my time with and doing. Does that mean unicorns and rainbows are dancing on my doorstep every day? Of course not. But maybe it's a little clearer what form they would, for me, actually take.
What do you think? Check out LaPorte's "Public Library" -- aka her blog (brilliant piece of branding, there) -- and share your thoughts, or if you've tried the process let us know what effect it had on you.
Banner art by Marta Spendowska. Planner photo by Doreen Creede. Danielle LaPorte photo by Catherine Just.
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