This sentence irritated me the first time I heard it. I felt like I understood the message that Joseph Campbell wanted to convey. However, I was frustrated because I didn’t want the life that was waiting for me. I wanted the life I had planned/wanted.
Honestly, I think this is some sort of magic spell that, once correctly applied, can turn a person‘s life around. It is a great opportunity for finding happiness.
By reversing Joseph Campbell‘s quote, I will try to analyse what I am saying.
It means I’d rather be under the illusion of control and ownership (and, very likely, disappointment) than let go of all those expectations, living the life waiting for me. The life I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. That life is in flow with what comes from my heart.
Let’s take a short excursion into some sort of manifestation manifesto.To manifest, I think it is very important to be clear about what we want. When I am not clear about what I really want, and maybe even why I want it, how should the results be focused in the end? To me, the wanting seems like a necessary ingredient in the recipe for successful attraction.
I also think that manifestational advice dismissing wanting as some sort of malfunction in terms of what the universe hears when we say “we want” is not quite correct. The words “to want” are often associated with a need for something but keeping the actual thing at a distance. This is correct but does not convey the entire capacity the energy is allocating.

I want “that promotion” means:
My need and longing for “that promotion” will increase
but the actual manifestation will remain absent

Hearing someone frequently use the word “want” tells me the person desires a certain thing. Sometimes I am not even aware of the fact that I want something until I get frustrated because it’s not coming to me.
So, it is golden that there is a word/energy that helps me understand what it really is that I want. To manifest is another story, but at least I am clear about the fact that I want it.
Back to Joseph Campbell’s quote
I wanted certain things and I didn’t want to let go of them. However, the place where I make room for the universe, god, the great unknown, is to be found when I stop wanting and start letting go. Maybe I can move mountains by sheer force of will and earn enough cash so I hack the system in this sense. Maybe I will lose so much of my vitality on the way that it won’t fulfill me. What I want to say is that some people achieve their dreams by keeping their targets in sight all the time, working, working, working, but maybe those dreams and wishes were projections by the ego and therefore not in alignment with our hearts‘ desires.
I still have trouble letting go of the way I imagined things to be, but the best things that have happened to me in life were accidents or improvised in some way. All the intersections where something awesome happened can be seen as assets in terms of how my life turned out. Even if I could go back in time and get what it was I wanted back then, I wouldn’t trade any of those experiences.
I think it is so hard for me because I want certainty. I want the certainty that if I let go of my heart’s fondest hopes and dreams, this little bird or delicate thing that is a part of who I am will not fly away and get lost. But maybe it will bring to me what I so desperately wish for, if I simply let it go and enable it to do its magic.
Maybe, when we think of it that way, it will be easier for me and others to let go of the lives we planned.
Often we lose our focus and aren’t certain about what we want because there is a deeper expression under the surface. My advice to everyone, including myself, is to go deeper. Get to the next level and find the wish behind the wish. What do I feel I need, what does my heart need to heal and grow and become the next version of me?
Once I know it, I can surrender it and let go, letting it come to me.
Here are the steps for attracting the things we wish to manifest:

1) I am acquiring certainty about what it is I’d like to manifest.

2) I know what it is I’m looking at and I ask myself whether a wish or need is behind it, whether what is inside me is sending out this desire (optional).

3) When I gain the knowledge that I really desire a certain thing, it’s time to recognise the truth:
Everything already is; I only need to realise it.

4) Now I must let go of the thoughts and concepts of wanting, because wanting incorporates the concept of not having, keeping everything out of reach.
Basically, it is letting go and trusting that the thing is on it’s way or already here.

5) I accept that it might arrive in a different shape or form.
I am not saying there will always be a different output or manifestation and that we can’t manifest exactly what we want. All I am trying to say is that often, when nothing is happening and we keep asking ourselves what we are doing “wrong”, nothing is wrong. If we hand over control and let the Great Unknown do its magic, we might arrive at a different place, though we will be happy with the way things turned out.

The manifestation process in itself is one of the most interesting things I encountered in my life. It is a form of sorcery. As a young boy I kept asking myself and my friends what they would do if they had three wishes.
The beauty is we have more than three wishes. The hard part is simply that we have to solve the fantastic manifestation riddle first.