What you need to do vs what you want to do

Are you doing what it takes?

Res00 | 06-01-2023

Need vs want is often set as a conflict between aspirations and desires versus the reality of those benefits, but let’s ask another question; what to you need to do achieve a goal versus what you actually do? Deep down you probably know the answer, but perhaps you can’t quite bring yourself to perform that task, so you might prevaricate and make excuses and go back to the routine of carrying out the easier and more likeable tasks, safe in your comfort zone. As the German writer Goethe put it; “To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking.” Usually, we can’t make stepwise progress as a step is dependent on some other outcome that we can’t control and sometimes, we make no progress at all, and seem to be stuck in a catch-22, unable to break that impasse even with passage of enough time to make us forget our original goals. There may be a lot of things holding us back and not all of them are rational, often our gut instincts are telling us do something or not, but are our instincts always right? Often our fears are irrational and loosely associative. So why haven’t we achieved something already, something that we are striving for, what is holding us back? It may be fear of ridicule or judgement, or the fear of losing something we already have. The pain of losing something seems to be much greater than the joy of acquiring that same thing. Sometimes we need assistance, and we can’t bring ourselves to admit it. It might be our ego is in the way and there is some anticipated awkwardness, but sometimes you need to go there and mend a broken bridge, especially if it is the only crossing. You might receive unexpected assistance. Is this by chance or are things that we can do that make this more likely? What are the ingredients that will draw others to us and our causes? Here are a few obvious suggestions: 1) Great belief in a vision and its purpose. 2) The purpose is of wider social benefit and common good or beneficial to others who you encounter. 3) The ability to make others feel good about themselves. 4) Being straightforward, honest forthright, genuine, and reliable. 5) Being charitable; nobody forgets the people who went out of their way to help them. 6) To know people better and help solve their problems. 7) Being kind to all that you meet and that means everyone all the time – no spiteful tweets and deletes, no shame. If there is risk in your undertaking, then you want to reduce the risk without reducing the undertaking, and benevolence helps. It’s a small world and we often seem to find the future somewhere in the past, encountering the same people on our journey. The most effective quid pro quo is when it does seem that way and people are falling over each other to help others and it feels better too. Which is more eloquently and dramatically stated by Goethe (again). This quote survived the many attempts by my grammar checker to modify; “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans. That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” Which admittedly sounds a lot more like laws of attraction than how to win friends and influence people, but perhaps the internal world influences the external world, but I think they can be worked on independently. So is your ambition an important part of your identity or is it something that gets in the way. Only you can answer that.