Be careful what you wish for!

London, 27 November 2020—

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They say desire is the source of suffering for man. Everyone has got desires and wishes, but are we being wise to desire what we desire? Have you ever wanted something really bad, just to realise that once you got it, it was actually not making you happier—or even worse, made your life even more difficult to manage?

It takes some honesty to realise that sometimes we are misled on our pursuit of happiness. Desires may appear like mirages and once we get them, their promise for satisfaction just vanishes. This begs the question: what exactly are we looking for? Do we really take the time to go within and ask yourself: what do I sincerely and truly want in life?

So sometimes we want something, but we do not ask ourselves if that’s something we really need. Wants and needs are different. I want to take this reflection further with 2 examples from movies. Some answers to the questions above lie in these movies. They have the merit to make you wonder about things like:

  • What could I do if I was given God-like powers?
  • Do I really know deep inside what I truly want?
  • Am I being specific enough about what I want or am I just being vague in the way I visualise my desires?

Movie #1: Absolutely Anything (2015)

In this comedy starring Simon Pegg, we follow Neil who gets the power to fulfil all his desires. He just needs to say the words and wave his hand, then it immediately happens. But what he thought would be a blessing at first, turns out to be a more complicated gift to use than what he had anticipated. Watch this short extract to understand how the wish-making process works:

 
Hilarious isn’t it?! But more seriously, do you realise that even in our normal life, we are rarely specific enough about what we want. If we stay vague, we may get something that matched our request but we find out is not what we truly wanted. And who can we blame for that—except ourselves? What if this scene in front of the mirror was just an accelerated version of a manifestation process that takes normally days, months or years to unfold.

Think about it… Are you really being specific enough about what you truly want in life?

Movie #2: Bruce Almighty (2003)

This older movie with Jim Carrey has got an interesting unfolding. Bruce is being given the powers of God himself and in this scene, being overwhelmed with prayers, decides to grant everyone their wishes—regardless of their morality, without even taking a look at them.

 
What happens next? The world is plunged into chaos. Because not all wishes are made with the best intention at heart, because the balance of the world is now compromised. He then realises that being God is not that simple, that many people in their own selfish existence are doing themselves no favour by asking what they ask for. He then chooses to return to a much simpler life, where he is now grateful for what he experiences.

Final thoughts

Let’s take away an interesting morale from these movies. Bruce finds out, just like Neil, that God-like powers are not that easy to manipulate because it requires them to be wise in his judgement. It requires them to think carefully about what they wish for.

These movies are just an entertaining way to explore what is a typical question in many forms of coaching or personal development: "If you could do anything, what would it be?"

If you’ve never done this exercise before, I strongly suggest you take a piece of paper and give yourself time to think about it. Your answers will reveal a lot about you and also about the possible limits you put our yourself.


⚑ DISCLAIMER—The links to the videos contained on this page are provided for your convenience and on a 'fair use' basis. I am not related to the publishers of these videos, the platforms hosting them (e.g. Youtube) and this is not a buying recommendation nor am I getting any revenue for you watching these videos or buying any related content.
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