What do I want?
This may be the most important question I ever ask. It may be the question I need to ask the most. Does it seem selfish? It’s not. If I don’t know what I want, I live by default. I give into what others want, whether I really want that or not. I then live with resentment or passive-aggressive behaviors. To not know and to not live by what I really want is selfish.
So what do I want?
Do I want to be happy?
Do I want to be rich?
Do I want a deeper relationship with God?
Do I want healthy and loving relationships?
Do I want to feel good about myself?
Do I want a good reputation?
Do I want peace?
Do I want health?
What do I want?
If I don’t know the answer to this question, I cannot see myself ever being happy, successful, loving, healthy, or peaceful. I need to know my own answer. To find this answer takes work. This is why I write. It is my work. It is my way of learning what I want. Curiously, what I want is to keep writing. When I write, when I am with my Muse, I have no doubts, no fears, no distractions. I’m where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing. So this feeling of being in the right place in the right way is what I want. So what I want is a peaceful and productive present moment – every moment.
But there are things I want for the future as well. I want to be able to provide well for my children. I want them to grow up emotionally healthy and happy. Brian Tracy says that the most successful people are those who have an orientation towards the future. So I want a peaceful and productive future.
These two seemingly conflicting desires create a tension. But it’s a necessary tension. What I do now, while present in this moment, creates my future. Interestingly, this causes me to be more productive. Being in the moment doesn’t mean lying on the beach or meditating, though it can. It also means doing my work, being with my children, spending time with those I love.
Does this diffuse my energy? Should I pick one thing – writing or being with those I love or making money – and plan the rest of my life around that one thing?
Or is one thing impossible? Aren’t they all connected? How can I write if I’m not in healthy relationships? How can I be in healthy relationships if I don’t write? How can I write if I don’t have the money to support a life as a full-time writer? What about my Muse? What about God? What about money? Where does it all fit? How does it all fit? How do I decide?
Perhaps I’ve been asking the wrong question. Perhaps I should ask these questions:
· Am I content with what I’m doing now?
· Is what I’m doing now moving me towards a happy and healthy future?
· Am I being a loving person at this moment?
· Can I adjust if necessary?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then I am doing what I want and I have what I want. Life, like the ocean, is fluid and constantly changing. It is also large, immense, and even a little dangerous. It is also glorious, wondrous, and beautiful and I should enjoy it.
Maybe that’s what I want – to enjoy life. To enjoy God and all the opportunities and blessings He has given me. That’s what I want for my children. That may be what God wants for me. That may be what I want.