Matt Perryman

Are you doing everything except getting what you want?

By Matt Perryman

If you want a new job, a badass car, or a European tour of the ruins of the Roman Empire, that means you don’t have it.

Obvious, maybe, but there’s wisdom in the unexamined obvious.

What I want, I do not possess.

What I possess I no longer want.

Wanting means that something is missing.

Arthur Schopenhauer once wrote that there is no state of consciousness that is not a consciousness of lack. All awareness is awareness of what is not present.

I don’t agree with the full strength of that statement, but he’s on to something.

Needy greedy cravings are constant companions.

Something else:

Have you ever met someone that is constantly talking about what they’re going to do?

If so, you’ve likely noticed something strange. That person probably never does the thing they always talk about.

It’s always what they’re going to do. They never turn up talking about how they did it.

Wanting something, and acting to achieve it, are not the same thing.

That’s important.

We’re taught and trained to see busyness as the ultimate virtue. Having a full schedule matters more than what gets done with all the flittering around.

It’s the same bad attitude.

You end up with so much on your plate that you never achieve the thing you say you want.

You might start to wonder if the whole point of the game isn’t to keep you in a constant, perpetual state of unsatisfied thirst.

You’re supposed to want, want, want.

If you get, you don’t want, and not wanting is bad.

I say unto you:

It isn’t so.

Wants come in grades. In matters of desire there’s higher and lower, better and worse.

Animals act for what they want.

Human animals come with a unique power to want what we want.

We used to call this “willing”, as in an act of the will, before the dorks in labcoats decided that everyone must be a depressed atheist hooked on SSRI pills to get through the day.

Willing is a kind of wanting.

It’s the kind of want that asks questions. Do I want to be this kind of person, doing these things, living this kind of life?

The key thing, though, is that willing translates into action.

There’s no sitting around wishing and hoping. None of this going-to-do guff. That’s all distraction. It’s meant to keep you from achieving what you truly want.

What you will is what you do.

That’s the key difference.

If you will it, you will do it.

Matt Perryman

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