Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What do you desire?

Many, if not most of you have probably come across this, but I heard this for the first time the other day, and it really resonated with me.  It's by Alan Watts, and I think that you might like it.  Let me know in the comments what you think.


What do you desire?
What makes you itch?
What sort of a situation would you like?

Let’s suppose, I do this often in vocational guidance of students, they come to me and say, well, we’re getting out of college and we haven’t the faintest idea what we want to do.

So I always ask the question, what would you like to do if money were no object? How would you really enjoy spending your life?

Well, it’s so amazing, as a result of our kind of educational system crowds of students say, well, we’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets, we’d like to be writers, but as everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way. Or another person says well, I’d like to live an out-of-doors life and ride horses.

I say, you want to teach in a riding school? Let’s go through with it. What do you want to do? When we finally got down to something which the individual says he really wants to do, I will say to him, you do that — and forget the money, because if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time.

You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing, which is stupid. Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.

And after all, if you do really like what you’re doing, it doesn’t matter what it is, you can eventually turn it – you could eventually become a master of it. It’s the only way to become a master of something, to be really with it. And then you’ll be able to get a good fee for whatever it is.

So don’t worry too much that everybody is – somebody is interested in everything, anything you can be interested in, you will find others will.

But it’s absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don’t like in order to go on spending things you don’t like, doing things you don’t like and to teach your children to follow in the same track. See what we are doing is we’re bringing up children and educating to live the same sort of lifes we are living. In order that they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children to bring up their children to do the same thing, so it’s all retch and no vomit — it never gets there.

And so, therefore, it’s so important to consider this question: what do I desire?

-Alan Watts


  1. So true...there is a bit of give and take depending on your financial situation, but for the most part, if you really desire can make it happen. I brought up my children thinking that, they taught their children that...and my creative grandchildren are living life as they want to, and quite well I might add. Freedom is what you make of it!

    1. Hi Anna Maria,

      Sorry for the late reply! You actually commented on my 18th wedding anniversary! Yes, as unfortunate as it is, finances do often play a role. However, I believe that if you want it bad enough, you will find a way to get it... if not now, definitely later.

      I'm glad to see that you have played a major role in making the world a better place. I don't believe that there are enough people out there who realize the power that parents have... for good or for bad.