Acknowledgement Part 2: Exercise

Here is the first acknowledgement exercise. It probably won’t take you more than 5 minutes and it’s extremely simple.

The goal is to train you to spot both sides of the basic conflict even when presented with only one side of the equation.

For example, lets say you have this reality:
“I can’t afford my rent!”
3 possible wishes are:
1. I wish I could afford my rent
2. I wish I had a free apartment
3. I wish my landlord would be more understanding.

For “I’m so hopeless that I have no wishes” you can do:
1. I wish I wasn’t so hopeless that I didn’t have any wishes
2. I wish I wasn’t depressed
3. I wish I cared about life

Now as you notice the first wish is always the opposite of the reality. So for “my pet died” we have “I wish my pet didn’t die”. For “X”, then the wish is “Not X”

The other wishes are really based on what the person themselves feels. And so it might be “I wish I had time to say goodbye” or that might feel completely irrelevant. It all depends on if that wish is there or not. No one outside the person can know that.

And so with that, here is the exercise.

In the comments section give 3 realities in our life that you don’t like. It can be a Big Deal like ‘My Mom is dead’ or something small like ‘I’m out of beer’. For each of the 3 realities, write 3 wishes that you sense are there. The first wish is always “I wish not X”, as for the other 2, notice what you have inside of you and write that.

So 3 realities, and then 3 wishes per reality. I will be watching the comments and letting you know how you did (and helping out if you get stuck).


3 Replies to “Acknowledgement Part 2: Exercise”

  1. Mine are embarrassing to me but I’m going to do it anyway.

    “I don’t have a job”
    1. I wish I had a job
    2. I wish I had prestige and respect
    3. I wish I enjoyed what I do for a living

    “I live in my parent’s basement”
    1. I wish I didn’t live in my parent’s basement
    2. I wish I didn’t feel the need to lie when I go on dates
    3. I wish I didn’t have others judging me

    “I threw away a lot of money in a bad investment”
    1. I wish I didn’t throw away a lot of money in a bad investment
    2. I wish I still had my money
    3. I wish I wasn’t the type of person who makes dumb investments

    1. I really like your response. It’s perfectly executed.

      Kudos on the guts to post something embarrassing.

      Next post gets to what ya can actually do to help the basic conflict get resolved (and it comes with n exercise).

  2. Hello Joe, I came to this site via one of your colleague Jimmy’s comments – I hope you are still reading these:

    “I have a chronic, complex health condition.”
    1. I wish I didn’t have a health condition.
    2. I wish I could identify and fix the root cause of my health condition – I wish I knew what parts of my health condition were “real” or not.
    3. I wish I wasn’t the sort of person who was so affected by/obsessed with their symptoms.

    “I am fatter than I used to be.”
    1. I wish I wasn’t fatter than I used to be – I wish I was as thin as I used to be.
    2. I wish I didn’t care about my appearance – I wish I didn’t conflate external appearance with happiness – I wish I didn’t care about what others think of me – I wish I didn’t objectify myself in the “eyes” of others – I wish I didn’t imagine what others think of me.
    3. I wish I didn’t even have a body – I wish I had a body that was a tool that worked for me, rather than a bag of problems.

    “I don’t have enough money.”
    1. I wish I had enough money.
    2. I wish I could resolve my physical/mental health issues, so I could work more and earn more.
    3. I wish I could find my calling, so I could be motivated and passionate in my work.

    Like the previous poster, I’m experiencing embarrassment and self-judgment. I’ve sort of tripled-up with a few of these, where I feel like they are forms of the same wish, or thematically grouped. I struggle to narrow it down. I’ve ended up writing more than you asked for but something told me this might prove fruitful.

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