Wanting, needing, desiring are all part of human nature. From the time we are born, we want and need to be fed and sheltered. “Want” and “Need” intertwine.
As very young toddlers, what we want runs into a resounding “No”.
For most of our developmental years, we’re taught need and want are different.
You need to do your homework. You want a shiny new bicycle. Later…You need a job (to pay your bills), and you want a shiny new car.
There’s a general consensus of what people need, but when you ask people what they want you’re likely to get two different types of answers.
Answer 1: World peace, the end of genocide, the end of disease and hunger, eternal youth, the end of global warming, clean air and education for all.
Answer 2: Car, boat, diamonds, the newest game, the newest of anything, losing weight and looking better.
I propose taking this want down to a personal level, but beyond the material.
What I want should start with the question of who do I want to be?
Yes, Who do you want to be? What do you value most? Are you living in harmony with those values?
Do you know what they are? Have you thought about them lately? Do you know the path you need to take?
If you aren’t already trying to attain them, are you willing to make the five minute commitment towards them? (See post of February 16, 2015 if you aren’t sure how the five minute commitment can propel you to success.)
There are many ways to clarify what is most important to you and many books written by many people on the many paths one can take to realize those goals. If you check your library or book store you will find a barrage of suggestions and ideas.
I have a few suggestions of my own, but first the traditional questions:
If you had a week, a month or just a few months left to live, what would you do?
How do you want to be remembered when you are gone?
For the religious: What accounting of your life do you wish to make to your god or religion? What would you like your divine judgment to be?
My own take on the long list of questions to ask yourself includes the following:
What do you value most? How do you do your part in what you value most? Make a list of the values first. Maybe you wish to live your life with integrity, authenticity, honesty, perseverance, living in accord with your religious beliefs, money, success, fame, or maybe you wish to find eternal life in what you pass on to the next generation.
What moves you? Inspires you?
When does time disappear for you and you enter “the flow”?
The next set of questions from the mundane to the exquisite inquires as to how you reach those goals.
If you want to scale to the top of Machu Picchu, how much exercise and fitness do you need to fit in to your daily life?
Or how much weight do you need to lose to comfortably climb into a raft and face white water, or ride a horse for a day or more without feeling guilty about the load the poor creature is carrying? I, personally, love both these activities, but have over the years have loaded on too much weight to enjoy those adventures. Five minutes a day and then another five. A commitment and a lot of thinking on how to get there, and for me there is a reward well worth the time and work. It’s hard and a large change in habits, but the five minute rule helps me move forward.
If you want to write a book, how much writing time or grammar review, or commitment do you need to make?
If you want to take the challenge of writing a book with the support and company of others dive into National Novel Writing Month http://nanowrimo.org/
Or if you want to learn how to sail, what’s keeping you from achieving those goals? How do you remove those obstacles and follow your dream?
If you want to make a difference in the climate, in the treatment of animals, in the dire plight of millions of needy people around the world, what small steps can you take to add your commitment to the wellspring of a movement of people who share that drive. Sometimes all it takes is a small step forward.
It’s worth five minutes a day to ask yourself if what you are doing on that day takes you closer to your dreams. If your work is not what you love, is the pay or experience worth it or do you need to find another path?
It’s worth it to take an hour a week to review and plan and see where you can take those first few steps to launch a dream.
If your dream is already launched (congratulations), what do you need to do to see it through? And what after the celebration of one dream come true, what is the next one you’ll pursue.
I wish all of you achieve your dreams and desires, large and small. I also wish that once you’ve found your crowning glory, you move on to the next quest.
May you always dream.
For those of you who have graduated past the five minute rule. Try the 30 day Challenge. This Ted Talk by Matt Cutts is eloquent and encouraging. Give it a try!