Drilling Down to your Core
To get to a deeper level of what you want, to find your true core desires, it’s good to ask yourself probing questions that challenge your assumptions. Here’s an example of how it works: Say you get an idea or image that suggests that you want to leave the city and go live in the country. Ask yourself, “What experience will that give me? What will that give me that I want and don’t have?”

The answer may be “more contact with nature.” Ask yourself again, “What will that give me?” In particular, ask yourself, ”What feeling will that give me?” Maybe the answer is peace, relaxation, or “a deeper connection with myself.” Or maybe you discover a memory of family closeness based on your childhood visits to your grandparents’ farm. With each answer you get, ask “And what will that give me? What feeling will that give me that I want?” until you can go no further.

Going deeper in this way will reveal what it is you truly desire. This is your true core desire, the one underlying all the surface wants. It may not be what you think. Once you identify what you really want, you can brainstorm many different forms or “packages” that essence can take, besides the original form you thought of. There may be many ways to achieve peace, relaxation, or a deeper connection with yourself, or even family harmony, once you recognize that that is your true desire.

Being Trumps Doing
Another way to discover your true desire is to ask yourself not what you want to be doing, but who you want to be. What are the roles in your life that you no longer want? What identity is now calling you?

For clues, you may ask yourself who you have been in the past, what roles and activities you most loved in your life up until now? Have you liked being a helper, an inventor, a communicator, or a leader? If you think about what you’ve done you can find the role that underlies that activity. It’s likely that you’ll discover patterns or unifying threads, ways in which many different activities expressed a similar role. Maybe you’ve found many ways to be helpful to others, or exhibited a capacity to lead time and again.

Now ask yourself: Who do I want to be in the future? Is there a new capacity that is developing in you, one which you have not allowed yourself to fully inhabit before, that now wants your attention? Do you fantasize about certain kinds of experiences? Do you admire others who allow themselves to have, be, and do what you have not until now? Maybe you long to be more of an adventurer, or perhaps the artist in you longs for expression.

You are a human being, not a human doing, so who you are trumps what you do. When you define your desires in this way you will have more freedom in finding a variety of packages in which to express and live that essence of yourself.

Every soul has a unique essence and purpose. And there are many roles to play in the world that can express that essence and purpose. To do this inquiry justice, set aside time to go into a meditative state. Let your soul guide this process.

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