Wanting and Happiness

In our human lives, each one of us set out goals to get something that we want. That is what keeps society moving and functioning. We go to school in hopes of wanting a good job, we go to work in hopes of wanting a good salary, and we want a good salary in hopes of buying a house and supporting our family.

Everybody’s want is different. Somebody who wants to travel around the world might seem lame to a computer gamer, while wanting to be a pro at owning newbies all day may not be appealing to somebody wanting to have a girlfriend or boyfriend, and wanting a loving relationship might be insignificant to someone wanting a million dollars. Nevertheless, wherever we are, whether it is in the bus looking out the window or at home looking at the ceiling, we picture the things we want in our minds.

But what about the times where we want something so bad, but we can’t have. How does this make us feel?

There are two ways where I would categories this under and that is things that seem so out of reach at the moment, and things that are permanently impossible to have. When this happens, an individual may turn what they cannot have into an obsession. It’s all they think about and what usually happens is the individual becomes so consumed of what they don’t have that they being paralyzed to take any action at all. This is a trap that we commonly fall into.

For example, have you ever liked somebody so much that all you do is think about them? You don’t know what will happen if you approach them, yet you never do anything about it because of fear. But the thought of being with them makes you feel good as well so you keep thinking about them.

Or have you ever been some place where you wanted to ask somebody out in public just for the sake of it, but as you get near, nothing comes out of your mouth? You keep encouraging yourself inside to say something, but you never take action. After you go home, you beat yourself up internally. What you wanted at the moment is gone forever and can’t have. In turn, you become depressed or unhappy.

The same goes with money. We all have that dream amount of money that we want. Sometimes we have it plastered on our wall. A day goes by and it’s good; a week goes by and it’s okay. A month goes by and you’re still making the same amount. Now you’re worried but still have faith. Two months pass by, three months pass by, five months pass by… and nothing has changed. Your worry starts to become frustration. When about a year passes by and you’re still making the same amount of money, you take the sign down and fall into depression.

Then there are wants that are permanent. Perhaps an example of these are things that have to do with physical features. Someone that is short and wants to be tall probably will never become tall once they have passed their growth spurt. They are stuck in their bone structure frame for the rest of their life. Or having a disease such as cancer and wanting a cure that does not yet exist.

The wants that are temporary, even for a split second don’t feel good, but are tolerable after a while. The wants that permanent, can produce negative feelings for years and years.

In order to solve wants that we cannot have – the permanent wants – we must first accept the situation. If we never accept the situation, then there will always be a discordance in harmony in our feelings. You want something but it’s impossible to have. These are two different feelings that are separated; they don’t match and they don’t exist in sync with each other. Thus, we tend to feel negative feelings such as anger or sadness. Learn to accept it and let go.

In order to solve wants that we cannot have at the moment – this can be anything from expecting yourself to lose a certain amount of weight within this week or make a certain amount of money within this month – what you need to do is get rid of expectations.

You don’t always have to force yourself to expect something that is unrealistic. Yes, I might get some flames for that because it’s good to “think big.” But all I’m saying is that if you constantly expect something that you want, you will turn it into an obsession and you won’t be happy during your current state because you don’t have it yet. This goes the same with permanent wants that we can’t have. Ask yourself, “Is it okay to not have this thing?” You’ll find relief if your truly believe the answer is yes.

If you learn to let go of some expectations in your life, and stay in a neutral state of feelings, then anything that is even close to better than a neutral state will give you happiness.

It’s almost as if going into a movie theater an expecting a movie to be great, then it sucks and you go home shaking your head. Months of hype gone to waste. Or, it can be going into the movie not having expectations of anything, then the movie blowing you away. You walk out in awe. Sometimes the movie will be bad as well, but at least you didn’t expect it to be great.

It’s the same thing with wanting what we can’t have. Perhaps another way to being in a peaceful, calm state while getting to your goal is not expecting what you want an obsessing over it, but rather live life in as it comes to you during the moment and taking advantage of opportunities in a casual manner without expectations of the outcome.

This way, you won’t find yourself unhappy because you constantly are wanting something from your mind’s future, but happy because you learned to accept your conditions right now in the moment, and whatever comes to you in the future is a bonus.

If you find yourself being obsessed and doing nothing but thinking or expecting what you don’t have, take a step back; start at a neutral state. You will be more able to freely live outside of your mind, more conscious of your surroundings and more likely to take action.