What Do You Want?
This is one of the most important questions we could ever ask ourselves. I think we tip-toe around it as we go about our day, but asking it plainly and directly could yield some incredible awareness. The question is “What do you want?”
It’s harder to answer than it sounds, but that’s because it in of itself is so ambiguous. Getting in the habit of asking this question within the context of what’s going on around you will help you to make decisions that are aligned with… What you want!
First, let’s think existentially. What do you want in life? What are some of the things you’d do, the person you’d be proud to be, 30 years from now? Actually think about it, and identify it, so you can begin pursuing it. Then how about if you’re upset, sad, or angry. What do you want? What would be the best resolution to the problem? You can’t change the past, but what does an ideal future look like? Then you know what to pursue. And how about broadly in your day, what do you want? What are the activities you want to engage in, the people you want to be around, the way you carry yourself? Again, once you know what that thing is then you can work towards it.
This question works because it activates objective neutral thinking. With neutral thinking you can take the emotion out of the context and relate to the situation on the level of your values. This will not only help you generate the outcomes and happiness you want, but it will keep you in check and hold you accountable to being your best self, not your impulsive self.
In just about any situation, as you’re making a decision, ask yourself “What do I want?” That very often will give you the answer you need.