What do you want?

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    If someone asked you, “Where do you want to be in life?” how would you answer?
    I was engaged in a bit of journaling, and asked myself what is it that I want, what does peace, contentment, and satisfaction, look like in your mind. What surprised me is that I thought I was going to give an answer that was more material in nature, but instead what came out was more the why of the what, then the what itself.

    Don’t put too much thought into your answer. This is more an exercise if train of thought and freewriting, so let it flow.

    I want love. I want peace. I want adventure with security….. if that is possible. I want to believe in who I am. I want to be who I think I should be. The world is a rat race nut hole, I want to be able to detach from it, at least for periods of time. I want friendship. I want independence. I want to be appreciated. I want to know that all of this suffering in the world is not for nothing.


    One more.

    I want to understand.


    Dear ketzer:

    I want to learn, I want to know more, to understand more; to always learn. I want to free myself from distorted thinking, from reality-distorting neuropathways (old, automatic learning) and to build strong reality-congruent neuropathways (new, chosen learning).

    I want to heal more and more from my extensive childhood- and ongoing into adulthood- emotional injuries. I want peace of mind. I want to feel good.




    I want to be self-sufficient. I want a life full of adventure. I want to continue making art and being able to make a living from it. I want to meet my kind of people – the weirdoes and the freaks, and organise a rebel army of misfits. Together we will stage worldwide mass protests and demonstrations to rebel against the idea that everybody has to be perfect, shiny, happy and good looking all the time, and that it’s okay to be as weird and freakish as we bloody well please. And a canal boat…I’d really like to live on a canal boat…



    What do I want?
    I cant answer without thinking about this for a bit. I guess I want to reclaim my initiative, I want to be aware of what I’m feeling WHEN I’m feeling it, and not a few weeks down the line. I want to be able to distinguish between my doubts/limiting beliefs and those of others. I want to be able to enjoy a few moments in peace, alone, without feeling guilty. I want to not hurt other people. I want a pet cat, and I want to go to the beach and not feel like I have to be somewhere else. I also really want freshly squeezed apple juice at this moment.
    Thanks for starting this thread, Ketzer!!I like this type of conversation 🙂 (also, I guess I want more genuine conversations!!)

    Nina Sakura

    What I want :

    1) complete financial independence in the next 4 years – imperative need of self-suffiency. Do I have a path and plan chalked out for that – yes and I am making an effort to learn more about how that can be done through routes other than corporate job.

    2) physical fitness and better health for life

    3) better relationships with newer people through more patience, less overthinking and expectations. Deepen current relationships.

    4) to retain a grey outlook on life instead of seeing things, people and situations in black and white.

    5) travel the world during different points, overcome fears of public speaking and many fears for that matter.

    6) To build a social organaziation particularly and start laying the bricks from mid 30s.

    7) and last of all, to accept that what we want from life changes over time depending on circumstances and it’s better to move forward anyway instead of lamenting, brooding.



    Thanks to all for the replies

    Joe: You may be onto something here, but maybe you could organize a navy of misfits… on canal boats?

    Nina: “to accept that what we want from life changes over time depending on circumstances” That bothered me at one time, but one day it dawned on me that the circumstance that was changing was the “me” who was doing the wanting. As we grow taller, we can see a bit farther, as we see a bit farther we often change our direction. It can be a bit frustrating when I think “how can I ever get anywhere if I keep changing my mind about where I want to go”. However, I suppose that is the price of growing, your mind changes along with you, and although you may never get to where you wanted to go, you do get to a lot of interesting places and meet a lot of interesting people along the way anyway. In the end, we all get to the same place, but I suppose it is the “I” that arrives there that makes the difference. As they say “Life is what happens to us when we busy making other plans.”

    It seems to me from reading my post, other’s replies, and just thinking it over, there is a bit of conflict within me (us?). Instinctively, I want to expand and grow, learn and come to understand, to reach out and connect with others, yet I also want some peace of mind. The more I reach out and connect with others, the more what I thought I knew and understood gets challenged. What once seemed like solid ground again becomes shaky and this disturbs my peace of mind. It is sort of a catch 22. To grow entails a certain amount of growing pains. While nobody links pain (well, I suppose there are those) stagnation entails it’s own type of suffering.


    Sometimes I want to be a Monarch, and sometimes I want to be a Monk.



    Fantastic idea! Although I think we’re going to need bigger boats for this kind of operation…Pirate ships perhaps?



    I liked your post: Sometimes I want to be a Monarch, sometimes I want to be a Monk. It is a paradox I have also found on occasions.
    “What does it mean to be fully involved in life and non-attached?”


    @Joe: Never been to Europe, but ever since I seen a show on those canal boats I have wanted to spend a few months cruising around on them.

    “What does it mean to be fully involved in life and non-attached?” I woke up this morning contemplating something very similar.
    I thought to myself while I want growth, adventure, and deeper understanding, what I think I want most at the moment is a bit of contentment. You see the paradox here? “I, want, contentment.” I have also been reviewing the 4 noble truths espoused by Buddhism, the second of which is that the origin of suffering is craving and desire. So then, is it desiring and craving contentment that is leading to my inability to find it?
    On another note, more in line with your question, I have often wondered if it is possible to live the same life without suffering. If we perhaps incarnated to experience “life”, then do we dilute that experience by living it “detached” to avoid the suffering it entails. Is it still a bowl of chili without any chili powder in it, or is it just bean soup?


    This quote sums it up for me. At 63 years of age I’ve spent a lifetime trying to find happiness through external validation and material things. For me, peace of mind would come from accepting my imperfect self and living authentically without fear of being rejected.

    Happiness, true happiness, is an inner quality. It is a state of mind. If your mind is at peace, you are happy. If your mind is at peace, but you have nothing else, you can be happy. If you have everything the world can give – pleasure, possessions, power – but lack peace of mind, you can never be happy.
    Dada Vaswani


    Hey Ketzer: This is in response to what . What I have personally felt is two kinds of pain: (1) real actual pain in response to my circumstances, thoughts, and beliefs (2) the chaotic, unsettled feelings that comes from running from my pain. The first type of pain feels right and “true” and makes me feel whole when I allow myself to feel it, and I can be content and in pain at the same time. The second type wants me to run and react to things; to resist truth when I cant change it. That’s the feeling that I dislike and want to avoid, and that is where I spend most of most days (and I suspect a lot of other people do as well). However I guess it takes time to adjust to new information as it comes in, so the cycle is change–>discontent–>acceptance–>contentment–>change? For me, practicing mindfulness is about shortening the gap between discontent and acceptance and allowing me to spend more time in contentment.


    This reminds me a great deal of the classic 12 steppers serenity prayer.

    Serenity Prayer

    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    (Although known most widely in its abbreviated form above,
    the entire prayer reads as follows…)

    Living one day at a time;
    Enjoying one moment at a time;
    Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    Taking, as He did, this sinful world
    as it is, not as I would have it;
    Trusting that He will make all things right
    if I surrender to His Will;
    That I may be reasonably happy in this life
    and supremely happy with Him
    Forever in the next.

    Whadayaknow! I just looked it up and learned something new. I always thought it ended after the first part.

    Anyway, that “wisdom” to “know the difference” is always the hard part.

    I have heard some discern it by saying that pain is just pain, suffering is created within by the mind as it resists what “is”.

    I have read accounts from those who nearly died of drowning who described an intense panic and struggle full of terror. Then at a certain point, they gave up the struggle and were enveloped by a profound sense of peace. Perhaps a bit too intense, but nevertheless a metaphor for many other kind of suffering in life.


    Hi ketzer!
    Thank you for sharing this!
    “Taking, as He did, this sinful world
    as it is, not as I would have it” rang so true it made me cry a bit, even though I would probably replace sinful with hurting.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 4 months ago by greenshade.
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