Knowing What You Want

June 18, 2010

Robert Forto

Knowing What You Want

By Robert Forto, PhD

Lead Dog RevengeAs a practitioner of Neuro-Linguistics (NLP) I am constantly asked, “Dr. Forto, how do I know what I want?”  I tell my clients when you set an outcome you are programing your mind to achieve that goal. Consciously or unconsciously, you that to notice opportunities and possibilities around you that can help you reach your goal. So getting the program absolutely right from the very beginning is an important step. Otherwise you do not achieve your outcome–and you may actually get something you don’t want.

The starting point for any outcome is to make sure that you express it positively–what do you want to have. Consider the difference between these two outcomes

I do not want to feel trapped in my boring job any longer,

I want to face new challenges in my job every day.

Although the first example does not include any overtly negative words such as no or not, the statement expresses what you don’t want. Even more importantly the first statement does not give any indication of what you need to replace the current situation.

The difficulty with focusing on what you don’t want is that in order to think about not having something, you need to think about that very thing. This puts your attention on what you don’t want rather than what you do want.

Some examples of focus on what they don’t want are below:

  1. I want to stop smoking.
  2. I want to stop being short tempered at work
  3. I want to cut out sweet and fatty foods to lose weight.

To change these desires into positive outcomes you must concentrate on what you want rather than what you need to stop doing and give up. To make the shift ask yourself this instead: What do I want instead?

When you honestly answer this question your outcomes shift to things like this:

  1. I want to live a healthy lifestyle.
  2. I want to be more patient at work.
  3. I want to be slim.

Look over your outcomes and look for words like should, must, and try.

If you would like to be the best at what you do or your want to reach your peak in performance, give me a call and we can talk about it.


Dr. Robert Forto is a public speaker, business coach and radio show host. Dr. Forto can be reached through his website at

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About robertforto

Robert Forto is the owner of Dog Works Training Company in Alaska, a canine behaviorist, mushin' down a dream, sports nut and radio show host. Robert writes a lot about his observations in Alaska, pop culture, music, and of course dogs!

View all posts by robertforto

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