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The answer to "What do you want?"

David Sherry
3 min read
The answer to "What do you want?"

Everything beyond our basic needs is a want.

If you have made a non-essential purchase in the last month, it was a want.

If there is a cheaper car, phone, item of clothing, or meal you could have purchased, you chose to buy what you wanted, not needed.

The absolute luck of being alive at a time, and living in a place, where opportunity and resources are abundant, means we're faced with a different challenge; that of determining what we want.

Every day we are facing the question: "What do you want?"

This question is not easy to answer.

Many of us feel completely lost if we are to truly consider that we have agency over this question.


There's a multi-billion dollar industry, advertising, that takes advantage of this question being difficult.

Because we don't always know, advertisers help tell us, and nudge us toward what they want us to want (their products).

People are literally spending millions of dollars this very second to try and fill that void with their suggestions.

Social Media

Social media, too, through mimesis on steroids, and highly sophisticated algorithms, shape our thinking for what we want. This goes so far as to get to the point where we find ourselves on a web page not remembering how we got there.

Like hypnosis, you can be suggestable on a deeper, unconscious level.

We lose track of time scrolling a feed of potential wants.


Because of all of this, we understandably become complacent.

It's easier to not decide... or to go with the easiest option and path.

Ironically, in another light, salespeople, and advertisers, can empower buyers by assisting them to understand their options and teaching them about what might be possible.

In a world where so much is new, we cannot be born with inherent "wants" and must instead grow into wanting them.

Given that we do have choices available to us, it is right and good to help steer people toward what you believe to be better choices?

For example, is it wrong to advertise healthier food alternatives?

The reality we live in, that of choice, makes this question more complicated.

Focus on, and expand what you want

So how then, can we move forward and go with what is true and right for us?

How can we make choices that align with who we are, without getting too caught in the wants of others?

The answer is simple, but not easy: Choose to focus, and expand, on those things that you love.

Keep your attention on that which you love, and ignore almost everything else.

If you think of your focus and attention like a spotlight, choose to focus that spotlight on what you love, and increase the intensity of the energy there.

Instead of "what do you want?" you might consider...

  • What gives me energy? What drains my energy?
  • What am I most curious about?
  • What do I love, without justification?

Triangulate what the answer is for you through all of the choices, and embrace that.

Some of the most fulfilled people I know have found even just one thing that they love, without justification.

If you have an obsession with quilting, for example, you can go deep into that world. Meeting others who share your passion. Trying new methods. Going through iterations. Phases of expression. You have so many choices within this one industry, that it will keep you busy as you keep focused on depth.

Pick only a few things to start.

Ask; "How can I put even more attention on this?" "How can align more with this want?"

Like a relationship with the desire you have, what if you were to marry it, be committed to it?

By keeping your focus on, and expanding the few things you love, you are able to keep stable through the overabundance of choices.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, or lost in the sea of choices, see if you can ground yourself back to those few areas that mean the most to you.

Having a clear and true answer to the overwhelming question of, "what do you want?"

I hope you have an amazing week,

xx David

Committing to Your Work