- Survival then, desire now
- What you want is not taboo
- What stops you from getting what you want – not paying attention
We want things. All of us, all the time. And although sometimes it may be troublesome to admit it even to ourselves, it’s not necessarily because we need X, Y, Z that we want X, Y, Z.
It’s simply because we desire it.
There’s really no going around it – we all may aim at being the proud owners of, the great achievers of, and the ones that get to enjoy the delights of a list of items both of the material and abstract kinds.
Before you get too in your head about wanting the things that you want, and especially about the number of things you want, renounce your individuality for a second and think of it from a species perspective.
Humans would not have gotten as far they have, let alone survive, had they not pursued their (collective) wants. There’s really no reason for you, individual X from the year 2020 to feel any sort of embarrassment about the fact that you want more comfort, more money, more fulfilling relationships, and more of an overall good time.
Taboo wants – is there such a thing?
If consumerism has done anything right, it was freeing up most of our desires from the shadows.
There’s no denying that cultures across the globe hold desires responsible for a less than dignified way of living, and that’s because they have empirically been portrayed as the main drives of acts of violence and hate, as well as of vices and deprivation.
In this sense, would you not agree that over the course of time random collectives of people have become what we call societies by being committed to building a desire-management system most individuals in the group could relate to?
Wanting things comes with being a self-aware creature that can both instinctually and rationally identify better ways of carrying on with their survival. Our chance to prove the humanity of our desires is in the way we choose to go about it.
All we have is desires
It’d be quite challenging to point out what it is exactly us humans do with our lives other than trying to get to what we want. Our actions are nothing more than an expression of desire – from going on a shopping spree, to getting noticeable biceps, to leaving sticky notes on the fridge for our loved ones to find in the morning.
As with anything, the more you practice, the better you get at it, provided you live long enough. But you do have to be selective, so how do you realistically comb through all your desires?
Now that I’ve just reminded you that actually you can want whatever and can go after it, you might be overwhelmed. But you don’t have to. The legal system will filter many of the things you’d like and whatever you’re left with you may sort by:
- how achievable it is
- how much value its achievement brings you
- how does it contribute to your personal growth
See? Even if you run your most tacit desires – money, power, sex – through this simple checklist, it becomes evident they qualify as perfectly within reason and worthy of your pursuit. Shame has no place in the scheme.
Therefore, it’s not really a taboo mindset that keeps you from going for it, whatever your it might be. It’s most likely one of these 3 things:
1. Not knowing what you want
I want everything isn’t going to cut it. To make it real, you have to zero in a few things you can define and then think of a course of action.
After you’re done with said set, you can come up with another. It’s simply the misfortune of having our lives ruled by time; not much we can do about it so we might as well embrace it.
But the point stands – don’t let yourself linger in a nebulous longing state for too long and dreamily wish for everything. Draw out some shapes, even if they barely look like anything you’ve ever seen before. You don’t need perfectly sketched forms, you only need enough information to allow you to take action.
Forget about Internet gurus telling you about SMART goals and meditation, simply ask yourself the very childlike but much illuminating “What if… ?” question.
Not to say that setting SMART goals and practicing meditation don’t have their benefits, but maybe they can be delayed for a later stage in the process. Let’s keep it simple in the beginning.
2. Self-focus… too much of it
It’s highly likely you want things many others have wanted before you. So study what they did to obtain them.
Leverage the Internet era you are a part of to your greatest advantage. Ask questions you’d shy away from asking your close circle for whatever reason and get answers from a bunch of different backgrounds.
This is power that your pre-Internet ancestors could never dream of, and yet you might be innocently overlooking it.
You can get in touch with whoever’s experience resonates most with you. After you’ve completed the research part, it has most likely been made clear to you where it is you stand currently. This is a much-needed and often too easily dismissed piece of info to figure out the how of getting where you need to be.
The best thing you can do at this stage is to quickly think of a straight line that’d get you to your success point.
But success isn’t a straight line, you said.
I know, we’ve all seen the entrepreneur memes. What I am saying is that you need to focus on establishing a quick point of connection with your respective desire without getting too anxious about the nitty-gritty.
Thinking through the details and challenges is a whole other stage of the movement, and if you are to move at all, you’d better keep them separated.
3. Not adapting to current circumstances
Having a plan is nothing more than a way to hold yourself accountable without betting on a great memory.
But if you take a look at the plan and then around you and discrepancies are simply jumping at you, it’s the plan you need to alter.
Assuming you’ve been putting in the work, and thus, learning more as you go, it’d be wise to ask yourself if what you said you were going to do initially still makes sense through the lenses of what you’ve learned in the meantime.
Having to correct course is nothing to be frowned about. Do, however, be mindful of not doing so in order to make the process more comfortable. It’s the first thing your instinct is going to tell you to do, but they don’t say “no pain, no gain” for nothing.
Struggling? See point #2. Start googling.
Of course, it’s all easier said than done, our biases are most likely to have us stick to the familiar and not move an inch beyond the status quo despite how much we might dislike it.
It’s really not that big of a deal, though, if we’ve come to any conclusion going through this piece.