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How Not to Cheat Yourself of What You Want

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Have you ever gone for the blue shoes just because you could have them, when in truth you wanted the red shoes, but thought you couldn’t have those?

A little while back I found myself contemplating doing something. It was a fun thing. On paper it would sound like a really nice adventure too and if there’s one thing I can’t resist it’s a good story. An adventure even better. Make it a challenge and I’m so there.

This was something I’d always wanted to do as well, so it was rather tempting doing it. However, when I imagined this particular adventure of mine in the past, I always thought I’d do it for a certain purpose. Now I had the opportunity of doing it, and no doubt it would be fun, but it wouldn’t be for the purpose I had in mind.

Imagine, for example, you always wanted to walk the Camino de Santiago, but you haven’t got the funds for it. Suddenly someone shows up and says they’ll do it with you, even pay for it, but they want to party along the way. That’s why they’re walking the Camino de Santiago. Now you can go on the adventure of your dreams, but you have to sit in bars at night instead of contemplating your spiritual learnings.

So you now have a dilemma: you get to go on the adventure of a lifetime, just as you always dreamed of, to the place you always dreamed of going, but it’s no longer the same purpose for the journey. In a situation like that you obviously have to decide what you want the most and weigh your pros and cons. Sometimes it’s fine to change your purpose for doing something, because it will still enrich your life. If you’re changing your mind just because you think you aren’t good enough to have the whole experience though, you might want to take a step back and re-evaluate.

Life evolves and our dreams evolve with it. Don’t get stuck in “une idée fix” (a “fixed” idea) just because that’s what you once wanted, but also don’t settle for half-arsed solutions because you think you can’t get better. It’s like saying you’ll settle for great sex or great romance, when in fact you deserve both.

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