Your birthday is coming up in three weeks.
What a spectacular day it will be!
You visualize all the significant events of this once-a-year celebration and it brings you such joy.
You will awaken to see a single red rose on your pillow and a fresh, steaming cup of coffee set on your nightstand. Propped beside it is a baby pink envelope containing a stunning birthday card espousing the most sublime words of love and appreciation.
There is a separate note from your Lover saying,
“I turned off your alarm, no need for you to get up early on your special day. The coffee is for a gentle, aromatic awakening, the rose for you to see a mirror of your own beauty when you first open your eyes and the card to inadequately express how grateful I am for the day you were born. Don’t plan dinner; I have an exquisite evening planned! xxoo”
Throughout the days leading up to your birthday, your imagination continues it’s busy-ness.
Hubby will have planned to take you to dinner to your favorite dinning room overlooking the water where you can watch the sunset. The atmosphere is quiet except for the tinkle of the piano and the sighing strings of the violin being played by a live musical duo near the dance floor.
You are sipping your aperitif when Hubby takes your hand and leads you into a dance as the duo seamlessly switches to playing your favorite love song.
When you return, you gasp in delight, for there, in the centre of your table is a crystal vase holding the most exquisite ivory and red roses along with a small box gift wrapped in white, velvet embossed paper and topped with an intricate, red bow.
You gently unwrap the little box as your mind replays the moment when, a few weeks past, you and hubby paused at the window of a jewelry store and you fell in love with an 18k, wide band, gold ring displaying a radiant emerald nestled amongst tiny diamonds.
Your eyes shimmer with gratitude, love and unshed tears as he slips the ring on your finger and raises your hand to gently kiss it.
Your all-time favourite lobster dinner has been pre-ordered and set before you.
A lightly oaked, dry, Chardonnay white wine is poured into a cut crystal wine glass etched with your name, month and day of your birth.
Just as you feel your heart could not be more filled with joy, the musical duo begins to play ‘Happy Birthday’ as your waiter places a most splendid cake before you.
Hubby knows your favorite place to eat, favorite flowers, colours, dinner, dessert, and you’ve given him a huge hint for the gift you most want.
You are proud of setting such an amazing goal, this will be the best birthday ever!
The day arrives…..
Your alarm shrills.
Rather than a rose on your pillow, there is a drool pool.
From the bathroom Hubby hollers, “I’m running late this morning Honey, can you bring me a cup of coffee while I get dressed?”
You stumble into the kitchen only to discover the coffee can is empty so you scrabble around in the back of a cupboard and come up with a jar of stale instant coffee.
Handing a cup to hubby, you sit on the bed and try not to pout. He takes a slurp from his cup and makes a face only a cartoonist could love as he asks, “Where did you get this, the local landfill?”
Hubby leaves his cup on the dresser and announces, “No time for breakfast, see you after work. Oh, I guess I should take you out to dinner tonight seeing as it’s your birthday. Wanna do that?”
You nod slowly in the affirmative as you watch his back disappear down the stairs.
This day has not begun well.
Dinnertime arrives and Hubby drags through the door. “Sheesh, what a dog of a day, I’m wiped, but I’m not going to spoil your special day, we are going out to eat. C’mon, I know just the place.”
Wearing your classic, little black dress, diamond stud earrings and grey suede pumps, you are assailed by the smell of frying fat as Hubby holds the door open for you at the “Chicken On The Run” café.
“Boy, am I famished”, he announces. “I know how much you like the chicken here and I just gotta have that large order of ribs.“ When placing your order he smacks his forehead and with a chagrined look tells you, “Dang, I forgot this place isn’t licensed and we can’t have a celebratory glass of wine. Oh well, we can pick up a bottle on the way home.” There are also no desserts on the menu.
While drinking cups of coffee after the plates are cleared, Hubby admits that he had every intention of getting you a birthday card today, but there just wasn’t any time. However, a big, proud smile sneaks across his face as he proclaims he has a surprise for you.
At this point, you are ready to forgive all else, if he gives you that ring.
“Honey”, he states, “I know there is a particular kind of slow cooker you have your heart set on and I don’t want to make a mistake and get the wrong one, so on Saturday you and I are going shopping and I’m going to buy that for you. But, right now, let’s go get that bottle of wine and we’ll just make it home in time for the game.”
Your heart has fallen down into the toes of those beautiful, grey suede pumps.
You go home, he flamboyantly serves you that glass of wine and turns on the game. You struggle to get the overly sweet wine past the soccer ball sized lump in your throat and when that’s accomplished you declare, “I have a bit of a headache Honey, so I’m going up to bed early.”
He responds, “Ok Sweetie, you do that. Feel better, and oh, Happy Birthday!
Okay, what just happened here?
Essentially, what you did was write a script, not set (connect with) a goal.
You wrote yours and Hubby’s parts in the play, but didn’t give him a copy of the script. We call this ‘scripting’ not ‘goaling’.
What’s the difference?
You can only choose (set) goals for yourself. You can’t choose (set) goals for others.
Does this mean you could not have the dream birthday? No, but remember one thing: husbands are not mind readers, even when you give very broad hints!
This is what you do:
Give him lots of time prior to your birthday (or any event in which he is included) and say to him. “Honey, for my birthday I would just love it if you would …….” Men who love their women really do want to please them and make them feel loved, but they don’t know how; they need directions.
You can translate this story to relate to any relationship or situation. Just remember:
~ Make it clear what you want in whatever instance is presenting itself
~ Be kind and generous in how you do this. Respect the other person(s) feelings
~ Be willing to compromise
When it comes to what you want out of this (your goal), rather than focusing on the details of what you want another person(s) to do or not do, think of the FEELINGS you want to derive from the result.
Your goal is actually THE FEELING (respect, love, being heard, optimism, significance, appreciation, security, connection, compassion, confidence, acceptance, peace, etc.) not how it comes about.
When I say ‘connect with your goal’ rather than ‘set your goal’, I am referring to you connecting with the feelings you want that make you happy.
Make the feelings your goals! The ‘hows’ will follow.
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