How to Know What You Want and Get It

know what you want and get it

How can you know what you want and get it? First, you want to understand your power of intention.

What is intention? I’ve spent the last 20 years asking that question and making distinctions I’ll share here.

Intention is setting your mind — your will — toward an outcome.  It’s a stretching or bending of the mind toward some object or outcome. In that way, it’s an ability we all have that’s part of being human.

It is not hoping or dreaming or praying — it is intending which means expecting AND believing AND acting.

That is how to know what you want and get it.

Know What You Want

Attention is a key if you are going to expect and believe and act. There’s a close relationship between intention and attention. If we have our intention clearly on something, it’s probably directing our attention toward that outcome. It’s a sense of earnestness and focus toward that outcome.

If we look at synonyms for the word intention, it’s easy to see how much we use it in business and life. We might call our intentions

  • goals,
  • objectives,
  • purposes,
  • strategies,
  • tasks,
  • missions,
  • visions,
  • initiatives,
  • projects, or
  • aims.

They all mean something that we intend to make come true, something we intend to accomplish, experience, or attain.

People are unhappy to the extent that they get experiences they don’t want.

If intention is related to what we want, then it seems that understanding intention and understanding the cause and effect around intention is a source of happiness, performance, success and all those things we offer in terms of freedom, power and choice.

The first and most important practice is to examine your own intention and proclaim your intention to operate from responsibility (see The Responsibility Process™).

Be Willing to Know What You Want

Listen to yourself — your inner self. Pay attention.

One big stopper for most of us is that many people don’t know how to want because our society has told us what we should want and that we shouldn’t trust our own wants.

Do you want to be a winner or on a winning team and have a winning attitude? Of course you do. That’s why we define a win as an intention met (or a met intention).

If a win is an intention met, then it’s no wonder that we get into a place where we don’t feel like winning and we’re always running anxiously to achieve the next thing, because we aren’t really in alignment with our own true intentions — but with what we think we should want.

Intention is a lifelong study and practice of the mind, but in terms of practicing responsibility it starts with a very simple straightforward intention: to get to the position of responsibility around every upset and frustration in your life, because that’s the place where you can release yourself from that frustration or upset.

That’s the place where you can overcome it. But you need to know what your true intention is first.

Are you always trying to figure out how to get more energy out of a team or a group? There are some simple things like claiming wins that can do a great job of getting people to show up and share that energy that comes from acknowledging wins.

Get Started With This 5-Minute Practice Tip

Write a letter or a personal manifesto or bullet statements where you sum up and declare your intention to practice responsibility. You might address these questions.

  • What is your intention for practicing responsibility?
  • What does it mean to your life?
  • How will you fuel your desire and expectation?
  • What might thwart you and how will you deal with it?

Being clear on your intentions is the most important step — otherwise you are achieving wins that won’t mean much to you. Only when you know what you want will you be able to get it.


Christopher Avery, PhD, is a recognized authority on how individual and shared responsibility works in the mind and an advisor to leaders worldwide.

Posted in Responsibility on 04/21/2014 09:34 am
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