This past weekend, I was asked to write down my top 10 desires in life, and then rank them by importance and urgency of attaining them. Not that I was baffled by the task at hand, but it took a while to think of actual desires I had for my life. The themes around which my every day actions and ideas revolve around. Sure we have goals and wishes to become something great and do amazing things, but to figure out what our actual desires are, it’s not as easy of a task as you would think.
Putting these things down on paper is one thing. But what makes them important is what you’re going to do to actually achieve these desires and make them come into fruition. Some amount of effort has to be put in, hard decisions have to be made, and every now and them the desire comes at a cost. For the longest time, I thought that it was easy to have everything at one time; that I never had to sacrifice one thing for another. Life is perfect that way. However, I quickly realized that that notion was just that, a notion; an idealistic view point on life that is much easier said than done.
I mean, think about it. Every great person that we idolize as role models made sacrifices to get what they wanted. Each Olympic athlete has to put in 10,000 hours of practice just to qualify. CEOs and the head dudes of major companies and organizations put in hours upon end to see that their business is successful. Scientists and mathematicians are continuously working on their analyses. To become Miss America takes missing more friends and family events than you would think (this I know because of one of my very good friends). Achievement doesn’t just come to people who go about their lives as if it’s just any ol’ day.
What are you willing to do make sure you successfully see your desires become real? So, the first step is to write those 10 things down. Then there will come a time when you will be put in a spot to make a really tough decision, and you’ll realize that what you want in the short-term doesn’t trump the long-term. We get so caught in making ourselves happy in the short-term, but we sacrifice long-term happiness. But why not the other way around? I want to be happy 20, 30, 80 years from now, not miserable.
I was told this past weekend that the harder decision is usually the better decision and the right decision, whether we want to believe it or not. Attachment and ego lead us to believe that the easier, more obvious decision is the better decision. But that only leads to chasing for short-term happiness. We are instant gratification seekers. I’m beginning to realize that short term situations just keep up going from one day to the next; there’s nothing that is pushing us to look past one year, two years.
This past weekend I was asked to make a decision that would essentially make me leave my plans and do something that I’m not completely thrilled about. Upon reflection in that moment, I realized my hesitance to say yes to the new idea was because of my attachment to the original idea, and my ego having control over that. Where was the surrendering that I so often seek in my day to day life? At that moment, I thought about the 10 desires that I had written on that list.
- Have faith
- Not be controlled by attachment
- Be content
These were just 3 out of the 10 that I wrote down. If I had said no to the question I was faced with, I would blatantly be going against 3 out of 10 of my desires (plus more). Who wants to be a hypocrite? I’m not trying to talk big game without backing it up in my actions.
This past weekend had to have been one of the toughest decisions I have had to make. I can’t say that I’m still 110% completely excited with the new plans, but it’s about having faith. It’s about my having faith that I am being taken care of by something much bigger than myself. And if I learn to let go and truly surrender, there is a beautiful liberating feeling that awaits me.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.