Goals: I know what I want (sponsored by Dr. Robert Holden, O Magazine)
Contrary to what the advertising copy writers tell us, the goal of your life is not to have it all. Nor is it to have everything. As the comedian Steven Wright said, "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?" Your goal is not just to accumulate. You are not a consumer. You are not here on Earth just "to get." If you think only in terms of "getting," you have clearly forgotten who you really are, and you'll always be haunted by a mistaken sense of inner lack.
Most of the people I meet are not broken, they do not need fixing and there is nothing missing in them. My experience is that they don't need more therapy, but they do need more clarity. In particular, they need to get clear about what they really value. Until we know what our real values are, we will not be able to discern between genuine desires and advertising slogans. The Sufi poet Hafiz put it very well when he said:
"Learn to recognize the counterfeit coins
That may buy you just a moment of pleasure,
But then drag you for days
Like a broken man
Behind a farting camel."
Exercise: Reflect on the statement, "I know what I want." How true is this for you? Sit with this until you are at least a little bit clearer than before about what is the real more you want and why. Your newfound clarity will save you so much time, so much energy and so much unnecessary heartache. Notice also that knowing what you want isn't just about "having" and "doing," it's also about "giving" and "being." When you know what you want, you stop wanting more of everything else.(*)
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