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Exercise: Getting to the Core of Your Desires

This is an experimental exercise designed to help you get in touch with your primal desires; those desires that are truly core to who you are and that will bring you the most fulfillment if you honor them. This exercise is just an outline, so feel free to follow your own momentum and re-word a step or two if you feel like there’s a better way to get to the heart of what you’re desiring. However, once you’ve got the question to the point where you’re excited to answer it, try to follow your first instinct as much as possible.

1. Identify a strong desire.
Try to use the first thing that comes to mind. Something that you know is possible, you just aren’t yet sure how it’s possible for you.

2. Prove to yourself that the desire is achievable.
Imagine you just learned that everything you’ve lived is not real, this world is just a simulation, your friends and family and life circumstances are all make believe and don’t actually exist. All the physical laws of this current reality are still active, but most of the consequences no longer matter because none of this is real anyway, this world is just a playground that you can do whatever you want with. If nothing else mattered, how could you achieve your desire?

3. Discover your core desires.
Step 2 showed you that if you really want your desire more than anything else in the world, you can have it. However there is usually a reason why we don’t pursue something with reckless abandon. Are there other desires that are even stronger than the desire you wrote down in step 1? These core desires must be honored first and are the key to joyfully aligning with your step 1 desire.

4. Stay true to you.
All of your specific desires are refined representations of your core desires. Sometimes they are refined into something that will truly fulfill you. Other times they’re refined into something that’s diluted by what other people want, or what you think you’re supposed to want. The bottom line is to stop using your refined desires as an excuse to not experience your core desires. You don’t have to wait to go on vacation to start having the time of your life. And the best way to ensure you’re not chasing after something you don’t really want, is to be connected to what you want every step of the way.

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