Know What You Want

“Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.” — Sylvia Plath.

All or Nothing?

We don’t always know what we want. For all we know, we could be terribly mistaken about our wants, and therefore we might end up making wrong choices. All because we’re unclear of what exactly we want.

When unsure, we tend to experiment. And by experiment, I mean, we try to get a bit of everything. Like taking a bite off every cake so as to pick the perfect one. We may end up tasting all cakes and never find the right one. The result: we’re too full to go any further. And so, we settle for something that’s probably less than the perfect cake.

And it’s just sad; that we have to settle for less than what we deserve. But to get what we deserve, we need to know for sure what it is that we deserve.

Now that’s not too easy. How are we supposed to know the value of ourselves? Do we set boundaries for ourselves? For our wants? For what we deserve? And even if we try to construct boundaries — how are we supposed to know the parameters for the boundaries? What do we base our boundaries on?

The only guide we have is whatever other people tell us. So that would mean, we need to believe — and agree — wholeheartedly that a third person’s feedback about what we deserve is right. That isn’t easy either.

It depends largely on the person whose feedback we ask for. Not only should it be someone whose judgements we value, higher than our own, but that person should also be unbiased and brutally honest.

And then there’s the question of how many people’s feedback we base our boundaries on. Because when we have multiple respondents, we have varying opinions. While a majority will appear, there’s also the matter of the collective minority.

Not unlike our election system. Of A, B and C, 40% would prefer A, whereas a minority of 30% each would prefer B and C. So, who’s the better judge? Those who prefer A — the obvious majority, or those who prefer something other than A — the minority that collectively is the majority?

It’s nearly impossible to figure this out logically.

We’ll have to go with the next best option: the gut. So, if we base our boundaries based on the party that our instinct prefers, then, in a way, we influence our own boundaries. We judge our own worth, and there’s a mild bias. We judge what’s perfect for us, based on our instinct.

So the next time we wonder what we want, we know in a way what we really want — because it’s what we’ve convinced ourselves that we deserve. Therefore, we know exactly what we want — or at least we think we do — and since we’re sure, we won’t find ourselves pondering over everything, and trying to figure out what’s perfect.

But shit just happens. After all, we’re only human.

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