In a couple of weeks I am lucky enough to be giving a talk at an event here in Bristol about some ideas we work with in the Alexander Technique.
Marianne Williamson claims that “all great truths dovetail into each other” and really, there are no principles in the Alexander Technique that we can’t find elements of in other disciplines.
In my talk I address a fundamental concept for success we work with in the ITM Alexander Technique that lies at the heart of many many other processes:
In order to achieve what you want, you need to align your actions with the outcome you want.
Which brought me to the importance of knowing what you want.
Not always so simple.
In fact, this question has tortured me over the years.
As I was writing my talk I was thinking about why this question has been so painful for me, and why it can be so hard for all of us.
I think the reason it has been so hard for me is that I have made it…. MUCH TOO BIG.
I have been asking myself “what do you want” about huge, big life decisions. What do you want TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE? No pressure there!
What I have NOT been doing constantly and in a disciplined way is practicing knowing what I want in small ways, daily ways, ways that are manageable and doable and will teach me how to apply this question to bigger issues.
And it occurred to me that if I could practice asking what I want when it comes to small tasks and actions, they might add up to a life path that matches what I want. Without ever having to answer that excruciating, difficult question: what do I want…to do with my life!
Years ago, at University I read this in a book called “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott:
“E.L. Doctorow said once said that ‘Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you.”
I think this may be the best advice about life I have ever read!
So for now, I will be asking myself “what do I want” as often as I can to light up my way. I will focus on the two or three feet ahead of me.
What do you think? Do you ever have trouble knowing what you want? How do you find out?