When Willo interviewed me for Willotoons connect, I noticed how often I repeated the statement, you won’t get what you want unless you know what you want.
It’s so important to me that I’m going to reiterate that again,
You won’t get what you want unless you know what you want.
And the reason I say this is that if you don’t spend the time to figure out what you want, other people will do it for you.
So how do I figure out what I want?
I make lists.
Lots of lists.
I list out:
What I like.
What I want.
Places I’d like to visit,
people I want to meet,
And just as important,
what I don’t like.
What I don’t want.
Places I never want to go,
people I need to avoid,
I look for trends, I look for patterns.
I look to see how I’m prioritizing my time.
I use 750 words, I fill my Moleskine and can’t be separated from my trusty clipboard.
With all of this seemingly unimportant work, I figure out what works for me. I’m able to focus on what I want. Cutting out what I don’t want is just as important.
At the same time, marketers are getting better and better at telling me what I want. And I’ve believed them.
They’re sponsoring aspirational Pinterest boards, they’re sponsoring aspirational trips, they’re giving money to those living the most marketable lives to continue to live those lives.
All that is so that we want those lives.
So we buy those lives.
But by making these lists,
by analyzing what it is I really want, REALLY, want, I’m better able to defend my longings against an onslaught of Covet.
Things I thought I wanted until on second thought I really didn’t at all:
To be in movies. A boat. A certain luxury brand rugged vehicle. A Paris apartment. A pool. Her life. His seemingly well-behaved children.
I don’t want those things.
I’d been convinced I wanted those things, but until I looked at what I really wanted, I realized I didn’t want those things.
By society, by marketing, I’ve been convinced I wanted those things when I really just didn’t have my own longings defined.
What I really wanted:
A walkable community. Access to creative people. Really great ingredients for my meals. Extra time with my family. A friendly community. Great education for my kids. The means and time to be a great host.
The best thing about figuring out what you want, is that it’s fun.
Take 15 minutes today, focus on what you really want. Write it down. Cross it off if you decide you don’t want it, add in more if you want more. Make another list of everything you don’t want.
Guilt has no place in these lists.
This is your wanting.
This is your life defense.
What don’t you want that you thought you wanted?