One of the yogic paths is called jnana yoga: the yoga of self-inquiry. The yoga whereby we investigate ourselves, as a path leading to enlightenment, although for most of us, it would be a path of learning about oneself. Often utilising the question of "who am I"? The idea being that with this question always being asked, one delves deeper and deeper into the pysche to discover who one actually is, peeling away the layers of maya, illusion.
For most of us, this is very difficult, especially as, without guidance, we tend to go deeper and deeper into fancy. Fancy is considered by sage Patanajali to be 1 of the incorrect sources of knowledge. So, what else can we do, what can we do that is more immediate, & practical? And, which satisfies a very important part of our make-up: the intellectual mind, and also goes past fancy (make-believe) into something more realistic.
If you've ever done a business plan, you may have done a s.w.o.t. analysis. Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. This analysis is done in relation to one's business, and is quite comparative. We are looking at our business in connection with the marketplace. We can do something similar: A S.w.a.n. analysis, to investigate oneself. It can also be used in connection with something you are trying to achieve.
So, how do we do the Swan technique? On paper, work out what your strengths (qualities) are, your weaknesses (liabilities), what your aim is, and what you need. Without a doubt this list will change as you become more honest with yourself. You will see how a weakness can be a strength when applied a certain way. Maybe even how a strength impedes you. Your real aim may turn out to be different from what you start with, and definitely, your needs will change. What you think each element of swan is, in relation to yourself, it will change. Keep doing it.
Swan is a very subtle way of finding out what you need to do with your life. As "What You Are Best At" (Strengths) changes into what you actually are best at, you will discover what you need to do in your life. You will have found an Aim to work with. A realistic aim that you can achieve, which makes sense for your own personal make-up.
You can then apply Swan to what you need to do to achieve this aim. What are your strengths with this aim, what is your weakness? What do you need to do/have to achieve the aim? When an obstacle comes up, apply Swan. You will get good at applying the rational aspect of the intellectual mind.