An intense anticipation itself transforms possibility into reality; our desires being often but precursors of the things which we are capable of performing. - Samuel Smiles
From the smallest yearnings to the largest dreams, our wants and desires matter. Every little want that arises counts. Every big dream that stirs from within deserves attention. Funny enough, we are all born knowing this. If you have ever interacted with a small child, then you know that kids take their desires seriously. When they want something, they don’t try to hide it. In fact, they will often fight vigorously to have every desire met, sometimes to the dismay of their exhausted parents.
By the time we grow up, most of us learn to ignore our wants and desires. Instead of doing what we want, we do what is “right.” We are busy with more “important” things than our desires. We become practical, serious adults, who have no time for such nonsense. And so we neglect one of the most beautiful things in life. We ignore our most fundamental right to follow our hearts, until we are no longer ever aware of what it is that we want.
I am here to remind you that what you want doesn’t just matter… it matters a lot.
And here’s why.
1) what you want reveals who you are
Your desires today are a culmination of all the experiences that you’ve had. They represent who you are, revealing your true self to both you and the others with whom you choose to share those desires. In fact, some of our desires are so intensely personal that we may choose to keep them from everyone. This is because our desires stand at the core of who we are, and sharing them would be sharing a large part of ourselves.
2) wanting is A sign of health
The sheer sensation of wanting something, anything at all, is usually a good thing. A lack of desire is typically a symptom of depression. On the other hand, wishing, dreaming, and wanting are signs of good health. They show that we are connected to our environment and wish to take part in the give and take of life. They give us ideas on how to proceed and make life interesting.
Sometimes, we ignore our desires because we believe they represent a lack of satisfaction with life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In a healthy state, wishes and desires occur naturally, allowing us to be both content with what we have while simultaneously striving for something more. In such a state, wishing is a peaceful process that does not entail desperation or impatience. Instead, wanting can occur in a relaxed, optimistic state.
3) Our desires light the way to happiness
Our desires literally tell us of what would make us happy. Taken seriously, our desires can make us happy almost instantly. Want to take a bath? Want to call a friend? Want to have mashed potatoes for dinner? Listening to ourselves is sure to lift our spirits.
Some of our larger dreams can also bring about a greater sense of satisfaction with life. Being in touch with what we want can lead to a more suitable career choice and healthier relationships. When we cater to our own personal preferences, the world smiles at us.
4) our dreams create a sense of purpose
Taken seriously, our desires create a sense of meaning. They give us purpose, something personally meaningful that is worth working towards. Desires concentrate our efforts and focus our minds, bringing with them a wave of energy that allows us to overcome obstacles and achieve greatness.
5) our desires lead the way to FULFILLMENT
Ultimately, our desires have the potential to lead to fulfillment. They energize our life with a sense of purpose, and as such, both the process and the result can be deeply satisfying. Our desires lead us down our own unique path, which may be nothing like the path we felt obliged to follow by societal pressure. It is precisely the personal nature of our desires that make the path they illuminate so suitable to who we are, and so much more likely to lead to fulfilment.
Pretend, just for moment, that there are no limits. Take the time to ask yourself one of the most important questions in life. Openly and honestly, ask yourself: “What do I want?”
It may take a few minutes, but once you get started, you may find a fountain of wishes pouring out of you. Take the time to write them down. Realize that what you want matters. It is important. It reveals who you are, it is a sign of health, it lights the way to happiness, brings about purpose, and can lead to fulfilment. Go ahead now. Let your dreams light the way.