How to find out what you want…

I clearly remember a brief conversation from many years ago, with my father.

At the end of a long day, I got a seemingly impossible infrastructure issue for my new office miraculously sorted out. He was there with me through it and helped through the twists and turns.

Then he said with a smile, “One always gets what one wants.” The reason I remember this is that I felt and echoed exactly what he said, and it was a wonderful feeling of two minds agreeing completely!

Over and over again, the pattern kept repeating in my life and all around me.

And whenever we don’t hone in on what it is that we want, we attract circumstances based on our mindset. There are many great quotes to this effect – one is by Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.”

And it doesn’t matter whether you think you need to set goals and work hard, or that you believe or affirm or you visualize etc. You may believe in the power of mind or physics or the reticular activation system or neuro science or positive thinking and so on. You may believe in some mantra or motivational technique or will power or you have a coach or mentor. The mechanics may vary, but the result is the same. You get what you truly want.

Simple as this is, I hear people talk about getting stuck and still struggling with it. Many people (I’m no exception!) feel that they don’t know what they want, at least some of the time. I was texting my niece recently as I sent her a link about the power of imagining and she said the same thing. “But I don’t know what I want. I thought I wanted a particular job, but now I’m not sure. “

Then I said, “but you want clarity, happiness, joy, health, fun, kindness, love etc. Don’t you?” Then she said – “yes, but that’s too abstract”.

“So make it less abstract – yesterday, do you remember feeling good? At any time. The context doesn’t matter. Just bring that feeling back and dwell in it.”

She said she’d try it. Hopefully she can stick to it.

But then, it hit me. There’s an easier way and also an explanation for why we feel we don’t know what we want.

For small choices, like do you want a sandwich or soup? Coffee or some other drink? It’s easy. There’s not much to lose. So we take the leap and decide.

But for bigger things – like which job do I take? Should I start a business? Do I want to get married? Now or later? To this person or another? Should I go to this city or other? The stakes are higher, so we analyse more. We are afraid that once we decide, we will be stuck with it. We may be unhappy and it may be difficult to draw back.

These questions come up because the time is not right to decide these things.

The proof for this is can be found in your own life. In an emergency or when there’s no time to decide, you always decide one way or other. Don’t you?

When the time comes, you will make the decision. No matter where you are in life, you arrived there by taking a series of decisions or steps based on someone else’s decision. Is that not so? So when confusion comes up, acknowledge it as a temporary state. Instead of dwelling on “I don’t what to do. I am so confused …” do the following instead.

List out all the tangible things that you “don’t” want that you are immediately experiencing. Tangible, not abstract.

For instance:

I don’t want to live here.

I don’t want to go to this place for work.

I don’t want to wear these clothes.

I don’t want to eat this food!

NOW, turn these around.

I want to live in a place …

Imagine what’s different about the place compared to what it is now. Don’t place any restrictions as far as possible. Don’t strain yourself either. Keep it light.

You don’t need to decide which city. Just the feeling compared to what it is now.

This will get you closer to not only getting what you truly want, but also out of the confusion.

I want to work at a place where – I have my own office. My boss likes me. I can go to lunch at that nice restaurant ..

and so on.

You already know what you want in some areas of your life. Just bring that knowing and feeling of power into the present moment. Flip what you don’t want and use opposite words! When your mood is lifted, your body and mind start working for you again.

I love this insight because I know from personal experience that most of the thoughts that come up have a built-in negative bias. So it’s actually effortless to have negative thoughts!!! You know this too! We love watching movies with destruction, listening to news where things went wrong, news about hurricanes and destruction and plane crashes and so on. It’s effortless! LOL

And of course there’s all that biology and neuroscience that backs this. You can look it up if you have any doubts. Here’s a really simple practical test – go look at the crockery (glasses, coffee mugs, cups and saucers etc) in your kitchen. You look at these every day and probably don’t even pay attention. Then one day, imagine that someone came and broke a couple of these. Where would your focus go? To the broken ones only! When you extend this to everything in your life – just in your imagination, you’ll see what I mean.

There’s probably hundreds of things, big and small, that you own. You never give many of them a thought. The moment something is taken, broken or missing, all your attention is on it.

You can use that very energy to rise higher and to help you to know what you want. Because once you do, it’s just physics. You’ll get what you want.