What the Hell Do You Want?


What could you possibly want? Why do you want it? These are things one should explore if one ever hopes to take hold of one's life. The questioning of one's own motives is pivotal, not only for achievement, but for discovering what you need to cut out of your life. Upon examining your own intentions, you just might discover that some of them are stifling. They get in the way. You don't actually need them; you just think you do. Always ask yourself the extra question. Do you really want a Lamborghini or do you want people to be impressed by you? If it's the latter, why do you want to impress people? Have you done anything? If not, why do you want the fruits of achievement? If so, what have you done and why did it work? You may be surprised as to what you find deep within yourself, but it will always be useful. You may just buy that car anyhow, having thoroughly thought it through and having accepted whatever inner motive you discovered. On the other hand, if you do in fact decide that your intentions were somewhat opaque, even to yourself, and that you don't like their wider implications, you can always pull it back a bit and say, what do I want? There are always layers to it...

Just what the hell do you want?

Don't think money. You can't collect money as a hobby. No one is going to come over and look at your money collection. You can't have your friends over and compare monies. Money gets you something else, as it has no inherent value. So what is it you want? Is money the only way to achieve that? I ask this question not for any particular moral reason, or out of money-hatred, but because I would encourage you not to put your understanding of value in a box. Use your imagination. If all you value is what money can buy, your world is very small.

Ask yourself, sincerely what you want. It might start small. You might just want a coffee. Ask yourself why. Do you want energy? Do you want to people watch or enjoy the company of people? Go to a coffee house. Relax, enjoy yourself and put your feet up if that's allowed.

Make a habit of this. Do it often in little ways and then expand this idea. Maybe you want to live in a world where people sit around and drink coffee together more often; maybe you watched a lot of junk sit-coms growing up or you always romanticized some idea of Europe you had where people did that. Think about why you would want that world. Perhaps you discover that you really want community in your life. You want to experience things that you couldn't experience by yourself. Think about what small things you can do to work toward that kind of environment in your personal life. Do your friends only ever go out and drink once a week or do you do things with them that mean something more? Do you ever meet up with them when the sun is still out and talk about philosophy or pressing existential issues? Do you only visit your family for meals or on holidays? Think about creating a rupture in your normal habits.

Again, it's about value, ultimately. If what you want will never get you to where you want, you need to make an adjustment and you will realize that you probably don't want what you thought you wanted.

Take charge of your thoughts. Spend a long time paying attention to them. You might have to do this for a considerable amount of time - perhaps years. But when you get good at just observing, after a time, you start to think less passively. You will learn to think with great intention and deliberation. Most of the thoughts we think seem to be logical and rational, but are really just reinforced anxieties turned into images. Many of our thoughts are just us hypnotizing ourselves into a certain train of thought. What are you allowing to consume your mind? Are you thinking about everything that will go wrong and everything you have to do? Rather, create real and intentional spaces in your mind in which it will become easy to envision your own success, joy, abundance, creativity and love.

Perform all kinds of ecstatic experiments on your mind. For instance, you might remember what it feels like to be in love (or perhaps you are in love already). Think about how that feeling actually manifests in the body and in the mind. Do parts of your body feel more pleasant, lighter or more euphoric when you think about love? Do you see images of an ideal future you would want with your beloved, or how thankful you are to them for something which has already occurred? Project these feelings into the world at large. Go for a walk and take a look at the trees, the sun on the horizon, the way the moon hangs in the sky in the afternoon. Imagine that the feelings of love, as they manifest themselves to you, are not being caused by an image of something which will happen in the future, but in the whole radius of experience around you.

A lot of this will sound corny until you actually spend some time exploring your mind, heart and body.

One of the important things is to keep nothing from yourself. Condition your mind in such a way that it becomes nearly impossible to lie to yourself. This means you will have to get in touch with your feelings. Do not let your own motivations, drives and inclinations become lost on you. Do not spend more time moaning over what you haven't achieved or don't have than what you do have.

There is no failure, heartache, loss, or death. There is only privation. Often, the things in life which cause us the most suffering, the things which keep us ever in need, are fictions - not in the sense that they aren't worth being concerned about, but in the sense that we have granted them an ontological substance that is not inherent to their nature. In most cases, these things we want are merely symbol or a lack; a lack we have not risen to the occasion of canceling through fulfilment and obtainment or by way of a relinquishment of the power we have given it. Like Golems, we turn our fears and needs into whole metaphysical systems which claim to solve certain logical, ethical or ontological problems but which are, in fact, self-castrations and reactions to the trauma of false being. We call things good simply because they, at the bare minimum, do not cause us pain or challenge us.

Rather, accept the challenge presented to you by reality. There is being, and there is the nonbeing in between which defines it. Rather than turn the nonbeing of those things which have not yet occurred into being, turn reality as it is, with the full potency of its actual being, toward that empty space and forge within it a greater abundance, a greater enunciation of the unity inherent to reality. Do not fear failure, but set yourself a goal and remain steadfast. Fear only the spoils left for cowards and accept nothing less than completion. Even if you run up against a limit, you have not failed, but have only discovered where you end. But what is a limit now will not be a limit forever. Humility and patience are more enduring than the exertion of any force, and when exertion and force work in unity with patience and humility, there is no telling how far you will be able to reach. Eventually, the scale on which the binary choice between success and failure is measured will be cancelled in your endless play of possibilities.