I have struggled with this question for a long time.
It’s a question that perhaps represents my greatest level of resistance.
When I was young I was raised to think you should be grateful for what you have and to seek anything more would be considered greedy and selfish. From purely a material stand point there is a certain level of accuracy in that. However, at my young age I was unable to differentiate between a material WANT and a personal WANT. I now understand them to be two very different things for me.
Material wants are rather low on my priority list, I don’t care if I have the latest smart phone, a new car, or the latest and greatest tech invention. The same was true for my childhood, I was never really focused on newer or different toys, or the brand of shoes I wore. These wants are superficial, and very easily influenced.
My mind always associated a WANT with a material possession, and if asked what do you want, I would say “There’s nothing I want, I have everything I need.” Maybe true, But we all have wants…… material or personal and I never learned how to constructively go after those things. Immediately my brain told me if you want something you’re greedy and selfish. You should just be happy with what you have.
I now see actually how important it is to be able to constructively answer the question: What do you want? To be self-aware enough to know why. To have enough self-care to believe you are worthy enough to have wants and desires.
Upon reflection, the way I associated the question with material items was a huge indication of my internal unbalance. I believed I didn’t deserve to want. I felt unworthy, and if I admitted to myself that I wanted something, I criticized myself. Told myself I shouldn’t want anything, that I didn’t deserve it. I scolded myself saying I was being greedy and selfish.
On the other side of the coin, too many times I notice people abusing others. “Using” people in order to get what they want and that leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. Taking advantage of others weaknesses, bullying, demanding and forcefully taking what they want is spoiled rotten childish and unbalanced to the other end of the scale. These people also never learned how to CONSTRUCTIVELY go after what they want either.
Unfortunately in today’s society a lot of people believe the only way you get what you want is to go out and take it, bulldoze people, use and abuse. Acting like a playground bully taking toys from others.
It’s upsetting, but I can’t control them.
I also refuse to be controlled by them.
By allowing myself to ask my own question: What do you want? Honestly answering and understanding why I want what I do, I developed a better understanding of my personal values. What I stand for. What’s important to me. That builds self-awareness, self-esteem and confidence. It also takes away the power the abusers of the world had over me. Understand what you want points a finger at your core personality and values, it’s part of you and like me once you dig deep enough you’ll find there really aren’t many material things on your want list.
My list for example?
Some of the things I What I want are:
- More fun in my life
- The freedom to choose how I spend my time without being a slave to someone else’s time schedule
- Deeper connection with like minded people
- An effective, efficient means of supporting myself and fellow High Achievers in their own personal journey of self-awareness.
- Ice Cream.
What do you want?