I would like to say thank you for this article. I am going through a period in my life now, facing up to what I really want in my life.
I found your words powerful and the message clear.
John , Cambridge MA 03/12/07
"What do I want?" is the key question for clients to ask in my mediation process: beginning, middle and end all revolve around that question. How do you know what to accept in an agreement if you don't know what you want? My marital negotiation process (see www.mediate.com/fiske and check the "useful documents" page) begins with each spouse having focussed conversations with himself or herself. When I tell couples you have to figure out what you want and tell the other, some start laughing: "We've been married 23 years and I've never known what (s)he wanted."
It's the hardest question for many people, particularly women who tell me "I've been trained to look out for everyone else. I've never asked myself what I want."
Another way in which mediation can change people's lives: their relationship to self.
Thanks for writing about this elemental question.