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