What would you think if I told you that you were almost always doing what you wanted to do? You might think that I was crazy. Well I will try to convince you to come be crazy with me. It’s fun ;)
So this whole idea originated one day as I was talking to my Mom about some conflicting plans she had. She wanted to go to one event, but some minor acquaintances invited her to their wedding. She didn’t want to go to the wedding, she barely knew the people. She wanted to do this other thing! I pointed out to her that sure she didn’t want to go to the wedding, and maybe she did want to do this other thing, but the thing she wanted the most was not to be impolite to these people that invited her to their wedding.
- Umphrey’s Mcgee – Nothing Too Fancy
- Umphrey’s Mcgee – Bright Lights, Big City
- Umphrey’s Mcgee – Mulche’s Odyssey
WOOSH!!! The floodgates of my mind opened! I never thought of this before, but I could probably apply this to any situation to ultimately realize that what I want to be doing the most is usually what I end up doing. “I want to go dance at this Umphrey’s show, but I have to go to my grandmother’s funeral.” That just boils down to “I want to go to this concert, but what I want more is to not disappoint myself and my family by not attending my grandmother’s funeral.”
“I want to start a commune, but I can’t invest because I have to spend all the money on rent and my car payments” = “I want to start a commune, but I would rather not risk my current life situation and assets on that venture.”
And so, I just kept thinking of situations and I realized that what I wanted to do most usually was what happened. This forced me to completely change my attitude towards not getting what I wanted. I had almost no reason to be upset when I wasn’t getting what I wanted, because chances are I was!
I mean, I believe one of the reasons we get upset when we don’t think we’re getting what we want is because we have the ridiculous notion that what we want should come easy. I can blame society and culture for this but it’s still the responsibility of the individual to rise above those presumptions.
On a deeper level, I feel like we get upset when we don’t think we’re doing what we want because on a subconscious level we feel we have less control over the situation. Well, rest assured, you have more control than you think.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know there are exceptions to the rule. I know there are always exceptions to the rules! Say my plane hadn’t arrived at the airport, and I really wanted to be in the air towards my vacation destination. Or I’m being tortured and I REALLY don’t want to be getting tortured at the moment. I’m not trying to explain by some twisted logic that you really do want to be in those situations. They are perfect examples of how we are upset when we don’t get what we want because we are not in control of the situation.
It also gave me a new appreciation for when we do things that we really want to. To really want something is incredible. “I want to start a commune, so I’m going to start doing what I know I have to do to make that happen, whether I am risking anything or not, because I REALLY want that.” It can be an admirable attitude, and a great way to assume responsibility for what’s happening in your life and take more control.
So, next time you’re starting to get upset because you’re not doing what you want, just remember that you probably are. You’re allowed to regret the situation you’re in, but be careful because chances are you had a choice and you’re in your current situation because you do have control, and chose to do what you most wanted. Most of all, take some comfort in that, let it shine some light on the situation!