Do you know What do you want?

By: Patrick Wanis


In the 1997 motion picture, “As Good As It Gets”, Jack Nicholson plays Melvin a cranky, bigoted, obsessive-compulsive writer, whose life is changed with a series of events, starting when he is entrusted to look after the dog of his gay neighbor Simon (Greg Kinnear) who has been brutally beaten.

In one scene in the movie, Melvin (Jack Nicholson) has fallen in love with Carol (Helen Hunt) who now doesn’t want anything to do with Melvin because of his rude and selfish behavior. Simon is trying to get Melvin to admit he is in love with Carol, but Melvin is typically resistant.

“Look, you, I’m very intelligent. If you’re going to give me advice or conversation or consolation or hope, you got to be better than you’re doing. If you can’t be at least momentarily interesting, then shut the hell up. I’m drowning and you’re describing the water.”

Frustrated, Simon comes back with, “Picking on me won’t help.”

“Well, if that’s true, then I’m really in trouble.”

“But you know where you’re lucky?”

“Absolutely not.”

“You know who you want. I’ll take your seat any day. So do something…don’t sleep on it…go over there. I don’t think anybody should ever sleep on anything; it’s not always good to let things calm down.”

Knowing what or who you want might seem as the most obvious first step to getting what you want. And yet, as I will elaborate, very few people realize that you can’t hit a target if you don’t have one. In other words, many people don’t know what they want and often spend their time and energy focusing on what they do not want, even trying to control other people and things that have nothing to do with their goals and desires.

Jilly had been in an abusive marriage for years and even her prior relationships had been the same. She told me she wanted to find someone who would not abuse her. When I asked her to be clear about what she wanted and to define a healthy relationship, she was stumped for an answer; Jilly had no idea what constitutes a healthy relationship. How then could she expect to find such a relationship if she can’t even define or recognize it?

Jilly and I worked together to help her get clear about what she wants in a relationship, how she wants to be treated, how she wants to feel, what she can give to the relationship and what she would expect her partner to give to the relationship. This is part of the process of defining your target - what you want.

Another client of mine asked me to help her get her power back following a painful breakup of a relationship and the loss of a job. To help her get what she wants, in this case “power”, we had to define it clearly. I helped her to see that “getting my power back” means that “Today, I alone will decide how I feel, regardless of what is happening around me.” I teach that most people lose their power when they allow someone else or something else to determine how they will feel about themselves and life.

Too often, we speak in terms of not wanting something about our present situation and we forget to clearly and loudly speak about what we actually want to create. Yes, we have to be able to say, “I don’t want my old car; it’s time for a new car” but we also have to be able to say exactly what type of car we now want, our target. Responding with, “I will recognize it when I see it” is faulty and misleading because now we are operating out of whim. Would you trust the captain of a ship or a surgeon to operate out of a whim or a fantasy? Of course, not; they need a target.

You are the captain of your life, you are the surgeon. You can map the course of your life but only when you know where you want to go and with whom. Accordingly don’t only speak in terms of what you do not want, speak about what you do want, remembering that you get more of what you focus on. And when deciding upon what you want, visualize and emotionalize the result. In other words, imagine yourself being, doing or having your desire and then feel it as if it is happening right now; The Subconscious Mind responds to pictures, symbols and emotions.

Thus, be specific as possible about what you want and how you want to feel. You might also write your answers as a method of sparking inspiration and imagination.

The next step is to answer the question, “Why do you want it?”

I believe it is more important to know why you want something than it is to even know what you want or how you are going to get it. For example, Mary, another success coach came to me for advice; she wanted to become rich. Before we spoke about specifics, I asked her why she wanted it; what it would give her and what emotional benefits would there be. Ultimately, the answer was that Mary believed that the money would give her more attention and respect. And why was this important? She never received it as a child and now she subconsciously felt that she wasn’t good enough; that she didn’t deserve to be noticed. Obviously, no attainment of external things would ever satisfy that emptiness or pain. The process I followed was to help her heal the past pain so that she could pursue her dreams out of passion and not pain. Mary’s motivations for hitting her target were joy and not suffering or a lack of feeling worthy.

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I am a Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert. I provide Quit smoking hypnosis programs and many other Hypnosis programs.

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