What Do You Want?

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By Robert P. Poindexter

Why is such an easy question so often hard to answer? Is it because we fear an obligation to ourselves and others by admitting it out loud?  Or, could it be that we simply don’t feel that we deserve what we want? Even more sinister is the possible negative reaction we may impose upon ourselves by those around us who scoff at the very idea of what we want.

Even Charles Dickens in his classic, A Christmas Carol, warned us to fear “want.” He did, however, warn us to fear “ignorance” even more, but that’s a subject we’ll save for another time.

As children, we were free to want as much as our hearts desired. After all, most of our needs were being met, and we had all the time in the world to focus on our wants. We had no obligation to a thinner waistline, so we were free to want that extra helping of cake. We had no obligation to pay the mortgage, so we were free to want that shiny new toy. We had no obligation to our own education, so we were free to want to be astronauts and presidents and professional athletes.

As adults, our wants tend to get pushed aside in favor of survival.

The problem then becomes one of regret versus fulfillment. Regret for not doing the things we know we should in order to get what we want. Regret for the decisions we’ve made that have forced us to put our wants on the back burner. Regret for wanting (and sometimes getting) things that bring us more misery than joy.

Wanting, in and of itself, is in no way evil. It can be, after all, the catalyst for great success. The problem is “wanting” what is bad for us instead of what is good for us. For example, “wanting” to lie around all morning instead of “wanting” to workout. Certainly, lying around fulfills a desire. However, working out will fulfill a much more worthy desire: the desire to be better then you are now, versus the desire to be lazy. But it’s difficult to want something you know will bring you discomfort in the short run instead of comfort right now.

I’m not telling anyone, including myself, anything new or shocking here. It is simply meant to be a gentle reminder that when we want the best for ourselves, we must be willing to walk through the fire from time to time.

At midnight tonight, the calendar will once again give us the opportunity to reset our lives. We have an opportunity to clarify our wants and work toward them with a renewed spirit and fervor.

Your wants are waiting for you. Will 2013 be your year? Only you have the power to decide that, and it’s all based on what you truly want!

Happy New Year!



2 Responses to “What Do You Want?”

  1. Dorlee says:

    Thank you, Rob, for this inspiring post on resetting our lives so that we ensure that we go after our wants [vs. living a life full of regrets].

    Timing is everything… it so happens that I gained some clarity in my life quite recently and this will enable me to take some steps towards new/different goals. Despite some fears/ anxiety [due to the inherent risks and/or possibilities of rejection involved], I am looking forward to 2014 and all that it may bring!

    Wishing you and Jacqui a happy and healthy new year,

    • Good afternoon Dorlee and thank you so much for spending some time reading my musings. As you may have guessed, this was a blog from last year that Jac decided to recycle. I am tickled to know that you “have gained some clarity”. It is much easier to arrive at your destination when you can see where you’re going. Those who have sailed the vast oceans know that all too well. No matter how skilled a navigator may be, it is the sight of dry land, particularly the dry land that was the intended destination, that gives him the greatest sense of hope and accomplishment. I wish you all the best in the coming year and years. Fear is not always a bad thing. It keeps on our toes and moving. Embrace it as you would fire. Just be aware that it can be as dangerous as it can be helpful. Cheers to you my Friend.

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