Title a notebook page MY WILL. On this page we will try to simply and somewhat generally define some of the areas of your life in which your will – your ego – plays an active and dynamic role. Write five examples for each of the following eight categories. I have used the example of money (as you will see below) only to illustrate each of the various categories in the form of a simple statement or declaration. Don’t make the mistake of picking five things and attempting to squeeze them into each of the eight aspects. If you do you, you’ll find that some of them – the very universal ones – will work, but others won’t, and we won’t get the full benefits of the exercise. Your five things for “a self-pity” may be quite different to the five things for “a fear,” for instance. The money example works in all eight categories, probably for everyone, and for roughly the same reason. It’s an important subject. I have used it here only as an example.
If you concentrate and think about each category separately, without reference to the others, you will find that different things come out. Avoid at all costs just squashing easy and obvious things in and not really thinking about them. The list of your “demands” compared to that of your “wishes,” for instance, may be strikingly different. You may not feel “self-pity” about all the things you “regret,” and you may not “fear” all the things you “resent.” Allow yourself time to consider each proposition, be honest, and permit the contrasts and incongruities to speak for themselves. Here are the eight categories and an example of each:
• An opinion (eg. I deserve more money)
• A need (eg. I need more money)
• A demand (eg. give me more money)
• A resentment (eg. he earns more money than me)
• A wish (eg. I wish I had more money)
• A fear (eg. I don’t earn enough money)
• A regret (eg. I should have earned more money)
• A self-pity (eg. I’m so sad I don’t have more money)
Let us now briefly peruse your lists.