Tag Archives: questions from life


How to Get What You Want: The Four Ps

Because I am capable of making only small moves toward personal improvement, I find it helpful to break down the process of clarifying desire into steps. I call them the four Ps: Pushback, Possibilities, Preferences, and Pinpointing. Let’s consider them.

Step 1: Pushback

While visiting China, I heard a story of a wise man there who taught his acolytes by holding a little songbird on his finger. When the bird tried to leave, he’d drop his hand so it couldn’t get enough lift to fly away. Lesson: The ability to soar often depends on pushing back against something you don’t want. My feminist friends and I did lots of this; every time we identified things that felt wrong to us in a deeply authentic, visceral way, we were articulating the Pushback.

Since most humans are expert complainers, I’ll bet you’re feeling some level of Pushback right now. Somewhere in your life there’s a sense of resistance, Continue reading

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