This question has intrigued many of us – what do we really want? What is it that will make us fulfilled?
Moving onto a different job, a new business, a new relationship, a new home, a new city is just a change. It will fade out in some time. And then you will circle back to the same question – What do I really want?
I asked this question to different people and here were the reactions.
22 year old sophomore – I want to be successful in life. When asked about the definition of success, he said that he wants a fulfilling career and be financially well off. When asked about what a fulfilling career looks like, he said he is yet to figure that out.
56 year old woman – I want my children to be happy and healthy. “But what do you want for yourself?”, she had no clue and murmured the same thing – I want my family to be happy.
35 year old man – I want wealth and freedom to do what I want to do but it seems I cannot have both at the same time. If I choose to be free, I cannot acquire wealth which I need to maintain the needs of my family. I want a situation wherein I have freedom as well as wealth.
65 year old man – I want peace of mind. At this age, I cannot ask for anything more but I still don’t have it. The needs of my family keeps me worried and I suffer from anxiety and depression. I want peace, how do I get it?
28 year old woman – I want to get married and settle down. I have just ended a painful relationship and now want to get married and start a family.
These were some of the responses.
What do we want Vs What do we really want?
If you Really want something, you will figure out a way to get it.
Our brains and genes have evolved through millions of years and it knows how to reach to that thing it “Really” wants. If you want a job, you may not get it. But if you really want a job, you will get it for sure.
Think about something which you had really wanted? And then try to connect the dot on how it became a reality? You will see that the things that you had really wanted to do, to achieve, to own have somehow happened or will happen or are in their course of happening.
However, the things that you wished could happen never materialised. This is deeply rooted in your brain cells, what you really want will ultimately become a reality in time. What you really desire is going to get you, you will meet that thing in some time. The brain propagates your thoughts and it will come to reality if you really want it to happen.
Experiment – Make a List of things you really want
Do it now.
- Make a list of 20 things you really, really want. Like, starting a business, owning an expensive watch, taking a long holiday, losing weight, getting that perfect job, quitting that job and et cetra.
- Once you have written down those 20 things you really want to do or achieve, keep the paper away.
- Repeat this experiment every Sunday. You would be writing a new sheet every Sunday – what you really want. Do not refer to previous sheets, write a fresh sheet every Sunday. You can make it once in two weeks to achieve more focused results.
At the end of 12 weeks, read through each sheet and see what is common – that is the thing you really want to do or have. That thing is somehow rooted in your brain and it has come out every week, which is a signal that it is a strong “Want”.
Our Wants Change with Time
Our wants change because we change with time.
We die and then we are born again. Our lives are not just one life, it is a collection of infinite lives. We don’t notice the changes but we are dying and are being born every day.
- That school boy is dead now but it was alive few years ago.
- That college going adult is dead now but it was alive some years ago.
- That father is yet to be born.
- That grandfather is yet to be born. It will happen in some time.
And as we keep navigating through the different stations of life, the wants will also change.
When I was 10 years old, I wanted a Toy train and cried for days to get it. Now remembering that incident, I laugh sometimes. I tell myself – I cried for that toy train, what a shame.
At 30, I want something else. A better job or maybe more money. At 40, I will look back and laugh – I cried for that one job which I did not get, what a shame!
This goes on.
You keep looking back in regret, thinking – Oh I badly wanted that thing and never got it. Never mind, I don’t want it now, it doesn’t matter anymore.
The things that you didn’t get, will not matter in some time.
So there are things that you are not getting. Maybe you are not getting that perfect job or a perfect relationship or a perfect body or a perfect business.
It won’t matter in some time. A couple of years and your life will move on and have another want, the older want will fade and dissolve somewhere. The things that you didn’t get, you didn’t have, you couldn’t pursue will no longer be “Wants” in some time. It will be buried and replaced with newer “Wants” or “Aspirations”.
It’s because that is something you want, not “really” want.
If you “really” want it, you will get it. Otherwise, never mind! It will be buried and replaced with a newer want, as you die and take birth.
This goes on forever.
To know what you “really” want, you have to keep writing those wants and observe a pattern. A common theme in your wants. Try to comprehend and see where the wants are heading to, what’s common and repeating – you will know what you “really” want.