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Identify Your Wants

So, what is it you want? This page is dedicated to helping you identify...

"You can't have everything. Where would you put it?" - Steven Wright

who you want to BE
what you want to DO
and what you want to HAVE.

TIP: One obstacle I've seen people experience in this identification process is the concept of "should." Shoulds are a condition place on us from the outside, perceived or real. What should I want? What should I do? Who should I be? What should I have? What would impress the Jones'? What would make my parents proud? What is the right thing to want? It's all shoulds.

To get the most out of this exercise you're going to have to temporarily set the shoulds aside. If you find yourself thinking "I don't know what I want" I can almost guarantee the shoulds are stopping you from freely stating your desires. If this is the case, pretend you were just dropped into this world. You have no parents, no friends, no relatives, no responsibilities, no commitments, no obligations, and no one is expecting anything from you. What would you want then?

Who Do You Want To Be?

Get a pen and paper, and for the next few minutes write down every person that you admire and respect. It can be anyone, a friend, family member, co-worker, celebrity, politician, author, scientist, musician, philosopher, teacher, anyone at all. There are no limitations. They don't even have to be real, you can write down fictional characters. I've created a list of famous people that might help spark your memory. For the next 2 minutes, list everyone you like or admire for some reason, it doesn't matter why for now. Then return to this page.

Now, next to each name, write the characteristic(s) or quality you like about that person. After you've done this for each person, got through the list of qualities and compile them into a condensed list. Put the qualities that repeat at the top of your list. Here's an example of the process.

Example

Person Their Qualities List of Qualities
  • Honesty
  • Courage
  • Powerful
  • Humorous
  • Creative
  • Intelligent
  • Wisdom
  • Inspiring
Madonna honesty, courage, powerful
Oprah Windfrey powerful, inspiring, honesty
Albert Einstien intelligent, wisdom, creativity
Robin Williams incredibly funny, creativity
Shirley MacLaine courage, honesty
Mark Twain humorous/witty, intelligent

Look at the list of qualities you're left with. Are those the qualities that you yourself wish you had? Do you not already have some of them? Which do you want to make stronger? Which do you want to develop more? Are there any qualities on your list that you don't think you possess? Do you want to be the person that has all those qualities? Many times simply being aware of the qualities you want to possess brings them out in you.


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What Do You Want To Do?

Lets take the next 15 minutes and identify what it is you enjoy doing. Brainstorming is a very useful technique for identifying your wants by throwing all caution to the wind. Be wild and free. Forget being realistic or practical. Pretend you've just been given a license that for the next 15 minutes, you don't have to take anyone else into consideration, you don't have to worry about time, space or money, and you have total freedom to be self indulgent. This isn't about finding you a career, although it may eventually become one. It's about identifying what you enjoy doing. I've created a list of activities you might enjoy doing that might help you get started. Write down every activity you enjoy doing.

traveling
walks on the beach
playing games
camping
reading
watching tv
being outdoors
dining out
racing cars
cooking
singing
having sex
writing
sports
organizing
seeing a movie
designing
woodworking
gardening
crafts
landscaping
gambling
crafts
debating
volunteering
decorating
shopping
teaching
working on car
attending seminars
learning a new language
receiving a massage
hiking
giving
fishing
painting
running a business
talking
researching
golfing
remodeling
programming
sailing
hobbies
sky diving
knitting
cleaning
keeping a journal
entertaining guests
horseback riding
shopping
making a film
photography
going to spa
voice lessons
driving
learning something new
scuba diving
working out
meditating
dancing

What Do You Want To Have?

Take another 15 minutes and do the same for the things we would like to have in your life. Try to be as specific as you can. What would you like to have? Above is a list of items you might want to have that might help you get started.

car
home
toys
boat
tools
motorcycle
CDs
plants
furniture
flowers
computer
2nd home
rv/camper
garden
storage shed
air conditioner
heat
clothes
books
relationship
collections
pond
snow mobile
artwork
exercise equipment
food
jewelry
chef/maid
sprinkler system
remodeled house
antiques
motorcycle
stereo system
gun
pets/animals
music CDs
software

next: Removing The Obstacles In Your Way

APA Reference
Writer, H. (2008, December 21). Identify Your Wants, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 22 from https://www.healthyplace.com/relationships/creating-relationships/identify-your-wants

Last Updated: August 6, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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