A Case of the “Wants”

In Essays, The Daily Drool on March 3, 2009 at 10:48 am

It happens pretty sudden-like… You’re walking along minding your own business when you see it… bright and sparkling, glowing with an irresistible magnetic pulse.  It might be a thing, an ideal, or another person.   It might cost a fortune, live in Tulsa, or on the other side of possible.  But no matter the obstacles between you and it, YOU WANT IT.  Thus you set out to get it – scheming and plotting away – the object of your desire a beacon on the horizon of a (hopefully soon) tomorrow.

Well, that’s totally normal, isn’t it?  We human beings like to set goals for ourselves.  We like to have aspirations.  It makes is feel productive.  Life is a lot easier to measure if you set markers, inches to check off as you plod the miles.  It makes us feel that we have some control over where we are going, and it gives us something to look forward to.  But when does a case of the “Wants” become it’s own obstacle?

I am a firm believer that if you want something strongly enough, you can have it.  If you believe in it, and endeavor ever onwards towards it, you can reach the bright shiny goodness you have been striving for.  But you will be tested, you will be challenged, and you will be shaken along the way.  For nothing worth having comes as easily as we first would hope.  Much like a parent telling a child that if they really want the inflatable pool they will have to do without candy for a a few weeks while mommy and daddy save up the pennies, life shows us that the bigger the carrot, the sweeter the temptations along the way.  

So how do you know when to pass the daisies and when to stop and smell them?  

A friend of mine recently argued that you can’t change your path once you set a goal.  I disagree.  I think there are many ways to achieve whatever vision of success you are chasing, and that you can never really know if the direction you are headed is steady beyond the few-foot radius of the “Now.”  I would even go so far as to argue that a lot of magic happens between the setting of a goal and the reaching of one that lies not in our hands, but in the good intentions of Life as it tries to help us along the way.  So much so that often times the manner in which we arrive at our destination comes as one of great surprise to us, the supposed captains of our own enterprise.

For if one puts their nose to the grindstone, so to speak, and does not look up along the way, doesn’t he/she run the very great risk of cresting the top of that mountain only to see that the prize is merely a vessel for holding the flowers you picked along the way… and your hands being empty, so too sits your prize?

Perhaps the thing to mind is your tenacity and vision… to keep your eye on the prize but not narrowly so.  To keep working, keep aspiring, but also to keep living.  For the worst thing to do as you chase after your wants is to let your perseverance become it’s own obstacle to your happiness.


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