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  • How To Know What You Want: Is It Even Possible?

    “How to know what you want.” It sounds so deceptively simple doesn’t it? Yet, getting in contact with what we really want in many situations can be difficult.

    how to know what you want
    PHOTO: Stock Photo Secrets

    Part of the trouble with “how to know what you want” may be that we don’t just want one thing. Or maybe we just don’t know what it is we want at all. Or we want something, and for all kinds of reasons, we find it hard to admit to ourselves that that is what we really want.

    The importance of knowing what you want has been highlighted by astute observers, practically since the beginning of time. It was critic and author Arthur D. Hlavaty who observed that:

    The secret to getting what you want is knowing what you want [italics mine].

    And it was Steve Jobs who uttered the following words, which many people in our culture have found stirring:

    You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

    Certainly these are inspirational words. Yet an honest response to this exhortation on the soul level might well be: that’s great, I love it—but how do I do that stuff?

    Jobs’ remarks are not really very different from the attitude that C.G. Jung might have to the question of how to know what you want. Yet many people, when confronted in their own real lives with this type of question can find themselves lacking clarity, and swamped with anxiety and indecision. How can we actually, pragmatically, find the way to what it is that we really want—and bring it into our actual lives?

    In my next post, we’ll be exploring in a self-compassionate way how to know what you want. We’ll be looking concretely at where to find the signs and traces that help us to actualize this most important aspect of our individuation process.

    Wishing you every good thing on your personal journey,

    © 2022 Brian Collinson, 2238 Constance Drive Oakville, Ontario (near Mississauga)

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