Brain Food #677

What do you want?

Thoughts of the day

One of the questions I ask myself often, as part of my end-of-week retrospective, is ‘what do you want’?

Before you start working on what you think you want, it might be worth pausing to think about what you truly want, and what is driving those wants.

Are the things you want meaningful to you? Are they aligned to your values? Have you wanted something for so long that you are not sure if you want it anymore?

Perhaps ‘want’ on its own is not powerful enough. Perhaps ‘What do you want’ is only the beginning. 

Some other questions to ask, beyond ‘What do you want’:

  • ‘What’ do you want ‘to do’?

  • ‘What’ do you want ‘from someone’?

  • ‘Where’ do you want ‘to be’?

  • ‘Who’ do you want ‘to be’?

  • ‘Who’ do you want?

Some final thoughts. Waiting until you have everything you want should not get in the way of progress, achievements, or pleasures. Resourcefulness and creativity can sometimes be the result of the greatest restrictions.

And, getting everything we want may not be the point (we would adapt to it so fast, anyway), yet working towards the right wants is what gives life the meaning it deserves.

“I don't want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted just like that, and it didn't mean anything? What then?”

― Neil Gaiman

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