WHY do you want what you want?

I’ve been listening to Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map during the past couple of weeks.  I went for a walk this morning thanks to my Jawbone’s new obsession to walk 10,000 steps everyday and she talked about why we want what we want.  Danielle writes/talks about how our core desire is to feel good but that doesn’t mean that we stop having goals.  We all want things.  We want to run marathons, make a million dollars, find out soulmate, buy a house, etc.

She explained a simple exercise that you can do by yourself but ideally this is done with a partner.  It goes something like this:

  1. State something you want.
  2. Your partner asks, “why do you want that?”
  3. Give your answer.
  4. Your partner asks, “why do you want that?”
  5. You answer.
  6. … this continues until you know why you really want what you want.

I thought about how this played out for myself.  I thought back to a goal that I had when I was in college that I recently realized isn’t a goal I want to pursue.  I had been holding onto this dream that I never truly wanted in the first place.  It was a goal that the people around me had achieved and I thought I had to achieve it too.  I grew up outside of New York in an area with a lot of wealth, success, and ambition.  There was a great deal of emphasis on getting into a top college, graduating with honors, getting a high-paying job, and making an insane amount of money.  Those are all nice things but those goals are not for me.

With that in mind, this exercise went like this:

  1. What is something I want? I want to get a job offer from a top financial company in NYC.
  2. Why do I want this?  Because working for an investment bank means that I will make a lot of money.
  3. Why do I want this?  If I have a lot of money I can buy nice things, a big house, and travel.
  4. Why do I want this?  This will show others that I’m successful.
  5. Why do I want this?  If I’m successful it means that I am smart.
  6. Why do I want this?  If I’m smart then I am worthy.
  7. Why do I want this?  If I’m worthy then I’m allowed to be loved.
  8. Why do I want this?  Because I want love.

I didn’t realize this when I was thinking about this answers but I noticed a pattern as I typed my responses.  There are a lot of if-then statements going on.  If I get this, then I get that.  I know that this thinking is all a giant bunch of bull but somehow I still fall into this trap.

This excise also made me think about this Rumi quote:

What you seek is seeking you.

danielle laporte desire map
(source)

Have you tried this exercise?  WHY do you want what you want?

What is the difference between yoga and pilates?

What is the difference between yoga and pilates?

One of the questions I get asked often at work is: “What is the difference between yoga and Pilates?”  This question comes right behind our other frequently asked questions like: “How do I get to the indoor pool?”, “How do I get to the outside pool?”, and my personal favorite, “Is so-and-so here?  I have a complaint comment.”Continue Reading

You Have to Ask for What You Need

You Have to Ask for What You Need

I was irrationally annoyed with a coworker last night.  She was complaining that she has been scheduled to work too much.  I understand that nobody wants to work a million days in a row or work closing one night and then open the following morning (PS closing is at 10pm and opening is 4:15am–yikes!)  I completely understandContinue Reading

What To Pack For a Vipassana Retreat

What To Pack For a Vipassana Retreat

A few weeks ago I completed my first 10 day Vipassana mediation retreat.  I did my retreat at the South East Vipassana Center in Jesup, GA (about 5 hours from Charlotte).  I’m working on putting together a couple of posts about Vipassana, the retreat, and what to expect.  Today I want to start with somethingContinue Reading