The Desire Map is a concept created by the wonderfully inspiring Danielle LaPorte. It’s essentially a book, but it has evolved into a global community that LaPorte has created to encourage people to stop setting themselves endless lists of hefty goals to achieve and instead explore how they want to feel, in order to live happier lives.
An example of how it works is that on New Year’s Day I could set myself the goal of getting a pay increase by the end of the year, but the reason I want to achieve the pay increase might actually be because I want to feel secure, successful, recognised or affluent, which would make me happy. LaPorte’s Desire Map helps you to identify what your desired feelings are, which then allows you to explore how you could obtain these feelings more often, without having a huge end goal far off in the distance which you may never tick off your list. In the example above, if I didn’t get a pay increase by the end of the year then I might feel defeated and useless because I didn’t achieve the goal I had set myself, but in reality there could be hundreds of other things I could have done during the year to make myself feel secure, successful, etc., which is the important bit.
Earlier this year, Desire Map bookclubs popped up all around the world and I joined the Cardiff group, set up by Andrea Callanan, who kindly invited us into her beautiful home. We held six sessions where we worked through sections of the book together, watched videos, discussed some of the Desire Map concepts at length and explored what our Core Desired Feelings (CDFs) might be. We also ate an obscene amount of snacks, drank rather a lot of tea, wafted incense around (bloody hippies that we are!), relaxed and giggled like crazy.
I won’t tell you too much more about the book itself – if you’re interested, you can find out more here – but I will tell you that going along to the group helped me to clarify what I want to feel on an everyday basis in order to be happy. I’ve learnt that incorporating the Desire Map into every day decision-making makes me a happier person. I am invited to an event. Will it make me feel any of my Core Desired Feelings? No. I decline the invitation. I have an idea about an activity I could get involved in. Will it make me feel any of my Core Desired Feelings? Hell, yes! I’m in.