boat logo

Village Gate

Library Hut


How To Figure Out What You Want
by Brian Higgins

I have a method for figuring out what I want.

However it is so simple and easy and short to describe that I now have the problem of padding this article out a bit so that it is long enough to be properly called an article. Being an Irishman and having kissed the Blarney Stone I know the important thing when embarking on such a diversion is not to waffle on tediously but rather fish from the depths a suitable anecdote.

The Blarney Stone, is of course a large stone that is part of the battlement walls of Blarney Castle in Blarney, Co. Cork, Ireland. Many people believe that kissing the blarney stone gives one "the gift of the gab," i.e., the ability to speak eloquently and with ease. There are a number of stories around about Blarney; not necessarily historically accurate stories, depending on your source, but good stories none the less.

One I like is that of Cormac McCarthy and what happened when he was under considerable pressure to swear fealty to Elizabeth I, something he didn't want to do.

He was being pressured to do this with the thinly veiled threat he would lose his lands, including Blarney Castle, and maybe his life if he didn't. The story I heard is that, after much written and verbal prevarication on Cormacs part, Elizabeth I eventually came in person with an armed force to hear him swear loyalty to her.

On her arrival he started off by saying the most fabulous and wonderful things about Her Highness, what a beneficient and popular monarch she was. He talked at great length on the subject of fealty and loyalty and honour.

He put on a sumptuous banquet, the best food and drink and entertainment. His guests marvelled at his wonderful hospitality.

Roaring fires warmed his halls and they rang out with the sound of laughter and conversation. Cormac personally captivated his audience with many tales, with music and stories that provoked mirth and merriment, he praised Elizabeth at every turn and thanked her in abundance for her generosity and his own good fortune to be one so entrusted by her and he stated many times his feeling of being deeply honoured by her presence at his humble castle, whose history he related in great detail.

Generally, he managed to say a quite lot without specifically swearing to anything at all. Elizabeth I is said to have remarked that he "talked a lot of Blarney" on her departure on an urgent mission elsewhere.

With words we can be magicians, weaving a bright spell, of warmth, of wonder, of adventure and possibility.

Back to my method for figuring out what you want.

  • Get yourself comfortable.
  • Maybe do a relaxation exercise.
  • Maybe do some kind of breathing technique.
  • Maybe just put your feet up in front of the fire or relax in a hammock.
  • Maybe place your hands behind your head.
  • Maybe think of Cormac and his warm hospitality and his wonderful way with words and ideas.
  • Maybe think of how that particular rapscallion managed to side step the famous monarch, because he had figured out what he wanted.
    The Technique
  • Say these magic words aloud or in your mind: "Wouldn't it be good if..." (you can substitute "Wouldn't it be nice if..." or "Wouldn't it be cool if..." etc.)
  • Allow the thoughts and ideas to rise in a nice relaxed way and be patient. I particularly like to explore any ideas that make me smile, that make me feel good, that warm my heart.
  • In a surprisingly short time you will have figured out what you want.
    The Bonus
  • Sometimes, if the stars are right and the leprechauns are listening and you feel peaceful inside no matter what, when you do this technique you even get what you want.
palm isle
palm isle