The Power of Knowing What You DO Want?


“Ugh, I don’t want to clean the kitchen.”  “I don’t want people to think I’m stupid or lazy.”  “I know I don’t like red cars.”  “What do I want for dinner?  I know I don’t want Mexican food.”  “I don’t want this to come across wrong but…  I don’t want my boss to think I’m a doormat.”  “I know 100% I don’t want to waste my life.”  “I don’t know what I want to “do” with my life.”  “I don’t want to feel this way (frustrated, resentful, disappointed, angry, etc…)”

How often do you go thru your day proclaiming what you don’t want? 

How many times do you THINK about what you don’t want?

There is a lot of contradictory information about how many thoughts we have a day, but it ranges from 20k to 70k.  Even at the lowest number of 20k thoughts a day how many of those are filled with things you don’t want?  20k is a lot. Find 20k of any one thing; pennies, paper clips, screws – anything –  20k is a lot!

As you are reading, you may have paused and started thinking about the question, “how many times do I think about what I don’t want.”  You may even feel confident about how often you focus on things you don’t want.  But I am even more convinced that what you think you know and what is actually happening isn’t the same.

As you go about your day start noticing how many times you proclaim your “don’t wants”, verbally and mentally.  To do this, you will have to break the well-worn path.  It is possible it has been your approach for so long you may not even recognize when you are doing it.

To begin with, start your noticing on the weekend.  It is easier when your routine is more flexible than during the week.

Pay attention to the times you are doing something that feels tedious or routine.

Listen to yourself carefully as you talk to others.  You will also begin to notice how many people around you talk about their “don’t wants.”  If you are noticing a lot of the people, you are surrounded by talk about what they don’t want rest assured that even if you aren’t catching yourself, you also are spending a lot of time talking about what you don’t want.

Like attracts like and we tend to be able to see others more clearly than we can see ourselves.

I also found it helpful at times to install “don’t want” partners.  Tell your partner you are going to try and notice how many times you verbalize and think about things you don’t want.  Give them permission to point out your verbalized don’t wants.  You may want to make an agreement on a catchphrase they can say – something as simple as “there is a don’t want.”

This is not something to feel bad about.  Don’t give yourself a hard time and start focusing on I don’t want “the don’t wants.” 

This is ONLY about becoming aware.

Make it a game for yourself.

Take it lightly and become curious. 

As you become more aware of how often you verbalize and think about what you don’t want clarity may surface.  Get curious about the underlying feelings that fuel your “don’t wants,” and you may just begin to fill your world with what you DO want.