Not wanting what I want

by MW Cook

Do you have a pen near you? Grab it. And a piece of paper. We’re going to do an exercise together.

Write a list of the things you want to do. Not just normal stuff like ‘I want to eat KFC (mmmmm….KFC…)’ but serious, deep, heart-felt desires. Don’t just think about it in your head. Seriously write it down. I’ll do it too.

Okay got your list? If not, stop reading until you do.

Go it now? Good. So look at it and ask yourself, are you on your way to accomplishing these things? Any of them? Why not?

Let’s do a case study. I’ll pick a random thing from my list: ‘I want to learn Urdu to such an extent that I speak, read and write like a native.’
My Urdu is rusty. I really realized that yesterday night. I mean really, rusty. But not just because I”m out of practice. Because I stopped progressing. Why? The desire to master the Urdu language is deep on my heart. So why don’t I take the steps to get it? Why don’t I take the steps to fulfill all those other things on my list? Why don’t you?

Frankly, because we don’t feel like it.

I don’t feel like practicing Urdu. I don’t feel like reaching out to my community. I don’t feel like writing. I don’t feel like praying. I just don’t feel like it.

I look at some of the famous people who lived 100 years ago. Doesn’t it look like they were more productive than we are? Why? Was it because they felt like it? I don’t think so. I think that they were more in control of their feelings. Or, if not, they were in control of how they responded to their feelings. Do you think Edwards felt like locking himself in his study for 13 hours a day? I really doubt it. But he believed in his tasks and in his dreams so much that his desire to complete them overcame his desire to sit on his duff and watch TV.

So I sit here and look at my list, not feeling like doing any of them yet desiring them all. What will I do? I think I’ll try to want them more, and tell my feelings off and just do them.

On we go.

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