During workshops, seminars, and at public speaking engagements, I often asked my students or the audience, “Do you know what you want? What do you want? If you keep on doing what you are doing, will you get what you want? If you get what you want, will it make you happy?” ~ Jussta Thought
What caught most people’s attention was the question, “If you keep on doing what you are doing, will you get what you want?” So how are you doing?
Of course, most affirmed if they got what they wanted, it would make them happy!
How fleeting happiness is for each of us: We want. We get. We want something else. We get something else. On and on, the cycle goes of wanting and getting. But what if there was an off switch for wanting? What if you realized that you have everything you want? Would you be satisfied? How long would your state of content last?
Recently, I wanted a Loofah, which is a natural sponge to use in the shower. I casually looked for one at several stores as I was shopping for something else. The only ones I saw were man-made foam – not the natural Loofah I wanted. I decided to let it go and thought, “When it is the right time, it will come to me.”
I also wanted one other item, silly as it sounds, now I cannot recall what it was I wanted.
I stepped into my shower and my mouth dropped open. There hanging, was a natural Loofah – not only that, but a natural Loofah back scrubber. How could I have not seen them all this time – I mean, we are talking years since I have used them! All I could do was laugh.
This experience reminded me of many years, I would focus on something I wanted, and it would instantly manifest! For instance, I casually stated, “I would love teapots.” Within weeks, I had so many teapots there was no room for all of them. Then I recalled what I had said. I learned quickly that I needed to ‘cancel that order’ or I would be buried, literally, in teapots! This has been a recurring theme in my life. I truly have to ‘watch my words and wants’.
Wanting and needing are two very different things which each of us often confuse. ‘I want’ is a phrase to use for something you would like to have, but not need. We need very little in our lives. We need food, shelter, clothing and good health.
An excellent exercise is to recall all of your wants and needs you have expressed in the past year on one side of a lined sheet of paper. On the opposite side of the paper, write down next to each item if you ‘got what you wanted or needed’. After you have completed both columns. Review what you have written down. As you review your list, mark each item with either a W for Want, or an N for Need. Now review the list and see if any of the items you have marked with N were actual needs, or were any of the wants, actually needs – or vice-versa.
It has been a repeating theme for me for the past several weeks that I realize that I have all that I want, and all that I need! With that realization, I acknowledged how truly blessed I am, right here, right now.
Back to wanting, which is a form of desire.
“I understand lobha to be the urge to possess something that you think will make you happy — money, fame, power, new shoes.” ~ Barbara O’Brien
The Buddha taught that when we thoroughly perceive how we make ourselves unhappy by pursuing desire, renunciation naturally follows, and this renunciation is liberation. The Buddha said, “If, by forsaking a limited ease, he would see an abundance of ease, the enlightened man would forsake the limited ease for the sake of the abundant.” (Dhammapada, verse 290, Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)
Now, make a list of what you really want on the left side of a page, in the middle of the page, make a list of what you need to do to get what you want, and on the right side of the page write down your actual actions taken to get what you want.
I also have an affirmation that I created many years ago, “Nothing is worth my happiness!” And you know what? Not much is worth my happiness, and if it is, not for long.
In the end, we really all want to be loved. We forget that, instead seeking what we think we love in the material world which is always fleeting and disappointing.
“Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.” ~ William Feather
Image copyright Jussta