Is “I want” getting in the way of your happiness?
As a little kid, life is all about their desires and happiness. “I want” is part of daily life. They see something they like and they think it should be theirs. Life is all about what makes them happy.
Then life changes and we grow-up. Somehow our days are now spent trying to give everyone else what they want so they can have happiness. We try to make our kids happy so if that means a soccer game instead to a facial, that is what we do. If we were planning on a quiet night at home but our friends want to come over to watch the game, we give in because family and friends come first. And how many times have we put off getting new curtains because our spouse or partner wanted some new technology. All of these decisions are to please other people, but what about what you want? What about your happiness?
Maybe you have let it go so far that you don’t even know what you want anymore. Wishes and yearnings for happy things are no longer allowed in our thoughts.
If the words “I want” are no longer in your grown-up vocabulary then things need to change. We need to learn to love ourselves again. Of course we can’t go back to the spoiled brat stage and demand to have everything we like, but we shouldn’t totally suppress our feelings for things that bring us joy either.
My happiness should count too!!
The solution is simple. Start by allowing the very small wants back into your life. For example one night I got home late and decided I wanted a bowl of cereal for dinner. Unfortunately the milk was bad. Oh well, what I wanted didn’t really matter, so I started to look for something else to eat. Then I stopped and thought, no I want cereal.
Am I not worth a five-minute trip to the store to get milk? If a family member had said they felt like ice cream I wouldn’t hesitate to go out and get them some. But if it’s something I want it’s too much trouble? Now that is just plain wrong. I deserve better. So guess what? I went out, got some milk, and enjoyed my bowl of cereal – and boy did it taste good.
The key to so many things in life is balance. Kids want it all but need to learn that sometimes you don’t get everything you want. Grown-ups want nothing but need to learn that sometimes you do need to get what you want. So if you want an ice cream, or a bowl of cereal for dinner, have the dang ice cream or enjoy breakfast for dinner. Learn to let “I want” become a part of your balanced way of life.
My book Grown-ups Don’t Skip Have FUN Be Happy Enjoy Life is full of inspiring and thought-provoking ways to help adults allow more happiness into their lives.