June 2, 2016
Yes, I am encouraging you to WANT stuff. And think about you want... All the time! Somewhere along the line for many of us, we were convinced that wanting anything was selfish and meant you were not a good person and that you did not care about others. I'm here to tell you that that's the biggest load of crap and you need to stop thinking that way if you are interested in improving your quality of life.
If You're Not Living By Wants and Desires, Then You're Living Out of Fear
Seriously though, if you're not making decisions on a daily basis based on your true innate desires, those desires that make you unique and who you are, then you're making decisions for your life based on fears and "but what if's" or "should's". The more you live based around fear, the more you become anxious, stressed, unsure about your life, unhealthy, overweight, depressed, and the list goes on. And guess what, the more you don't focus on what you desire, the more you don't know what it is that you actually want with your life! In my experience, not knowing what you want in your life, is some of the most stressful and unhappiest ways to be. And the more you focus on not knowing what you want, the more fear and anxiety it brings. (Well how do I know how to figure out what I want? Read our blog on that HERE.) I always hear people telling others to stop living out of fear. That's great, but what's the solution? Live by wants and desire!! It's hard to stop doing something when you don't know what to start doing in its place.
I'm Not Talking About Becoming a Selfish Bitch
When I say "doing what you want" I am talking about understanding what you desire in life and using that as fuel. I am not talking about becoming a selfish asshole who has no compassion towards other human beings and thinks the world revolves around him/her. Have you ever noticed that the people who know what they want get what they want? There's nothing wrong with that. (Yes of course there are always going to be selfish assholes out there, but that's not you and we're not talking about them. I appreciate you playing devil's advocate but it's not necessary.)
"But Sometimes You Have to Do Things That You Don't Want"
Yeah I know what you're thinking. And I disagree. Because when we do things that we don't want, we are actually making a conscious decision to do something that we want MORE or something that will really benefit us more in the long run. Do I want to brush my teeth at night before I go to bed? Hell no! I'm exhausted but I understand that I want healthy teeth and gums, so I make the decision to do something that I don't want to do, but really, I'm just deciding that I want healthy teeth more than my short term desire to just screw it and go to bed. Did you really want to go to that poetry reading that your friend was performing in? No, but your desire to maintain a strong friendship was greater than your lack of desire to go sit in an uncomfortable seat for three hours. So yeah, you can say that you have to do things in life that you don't want to do, but I disagree. I believe you just have to make decisions of what you want more and what's more important to you. And I encourage you to see it in my point of view, because if you're looking at it in the point of view of doing something that you don't want, then you're looking at it negatively. And if your mind is in a negative mindset then guess what, you're not going to get what you want in life and you're going to be miserable.
Getting What You Want Doesn't Bring You Happiness
Ok, yeah, I'm gonna be really freakin' happy (momentarily) if I learn that new ninja technique that I've been working on or if I make a big sale I've been working on. But what I'm really saying is that if you depend on the end result to bring you happiness, then you're going to be disappointed. Happiness is a choice we must make every damn day. And your journey in life will be much more meaningful and much happier if it's a journey towards a goal or end result of something that you WANTED. Sometimes that result doesn't turn out the way we hoped and sometimes we never get exactly what we want, but if you're focusing on desires, not fears, and living positively, then you're going to be happy however things turn out because your life will have purpose and you can enjoy the journey.
Yes, Wanting is Never Ending. But Feeling Unworthy is a Lot Worse.
Maybe that's why people say it's selfish to want things; because once you get something you want, you always want more. And perhaps always wanting stuff sounds selfish, but I disagree. You're always going to want something. Duh. "I want a to fall in love... I want to get married... I want to have kids... I want to retire..." If you're not constantly wanting, then guess what- you're feeling undeserving of... Anything happy! The more we believe it's not ok to want, the more we convince ourselves we don't need anything, the more we feel like we don't deserve all of the AMAZING and wonderful things that life has to offer. Yes, you deserve those things.
All the Time!
I'm serious when I told you to want stuff all the time. (They call this "Segment Intending" - do yourself a favor and read The Secret or the Law of Attraction.) Instead of getting in your car on the way to work in the morning, dreading the traffic and hoping someone doesn't rear end you on the highway, think to yourself, "I want to get to work safely". That's a hell of a better thought, isn't it? Instead of thinking about how you don't want others judging you or talking trash on you, (which leads to insecurity) turn that thought into thinking about how you want others to respect you (which leads to confidence). Reversing your fears into desires not only allows you to think positively, but it helps you to take action and make changes for the better.
You Won't Regret It
When you do things you want, or when we thoroughly weigh options and make choices based on what you want more, you will have a much lower chance of regretting a decision that you made. It's great to have family and friends give you advice, as we can learn from their own experiences. But at the end of the day, you are the only one living in your shoes, and doing what you think you should do or what someone else told you to do may not end well. It may cause more confusion and frustration than anything. And you may end up blaming others for being somewhere you didn't want to be. Those who love you will ultimately support your life decisions, even if they didn't agree with it. You've got to do what you want, not what others want.
"Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask Before Assisting Others"
You know, what your flight attendant said. Take care of yourself first; your wants, your needs, your desires. When you do, you will be much happier and fulfilled and you will be able to take better care of the needs of those around you. When you don't take care of yourself first, others become a burden and we blame them for our unhappiness. Which is ironically, really selfish. So do yourself a favor, start to chip away at YOU and finding those innate desires that you once hid. Your goals will become more meaningful, your journey will have a purpose, and you will be happier.
(Use our Happiness Journal as a tool to help you figure all that stuff out. We want you to be happy!)
Published by: Hilary Scholz in Mental Health and Happiness