Thursday, September 16, 2010

What you really want

I want....
I have spend most of my summerholiday with an amazing boy. His name is Christopher, he is 6½ yrs old and has autism. He has got amazingly blue eyes and he knew that I loved those eyes, so when he wanted me to join or keep joining a game he would give me the most fantastic eyecontact. He knew that this eyecontact would motivate me to keep the game going.
Sometimes he wanted things that I did not want to give him, such as a croissant (he is on a glutenfree diet) and then he would say in a very firm voice: "I want a croissant RIGHT NOW". And eventhough we would praise him for using his voice and clearly stating his wants, the croissants wasn't part of would he would get.

I wondered: what would happen if I went to my manager saying: "I want a payraise RIGHT NOW". The idea is kind of funny but I don't think I would be very likely to get it. I believe that the reason is that when someone is making a request, we are looking at:
  • do I find this reasonable?
  • do I get something in return?
  • are there another thing that I would rather want to give?
In the case of the croissant, I make up that he is hungry, and if he is hungry I would rather give him something else. I make up that the croissant will give him a fuzzy brain and that, that is not something I want to give him - regardless of his own preferences.

But what if he just likes the taste and the texture of the croissant? what if he doesn't get fuzzy from having one croissant? then I am actually not helping him by providing different food.

I react to his wanting or to his request based on a set of beliefs I set up about WHY he wants it and about What are the consequences.

After reading Iris's blog Who is to Blame I realized that I also do this for my own wants.

So the new "exercise" for myself is to make a list of things that I want. Included in my personal list is eating healthy, doing another marathon, doing a 315 km bike race, learning to take good pictures, to teaching mindfullness, getting massages, doing my laundry and lots of other stuffs.

Then I want to look at the WHY's: so what do I expect to get from fulfilling my wants? The laundry will give me clean cloth to wear at work which will give higher propensity for the partners to want me to be present at customer meetings (which I find fun), it would give me a clean bed and a better sleep etc...

The 315 km bike race would give me inspiration to do more biking, lots of fresh air, calming my head, enjoying the scenery, better physical shape, more energy - and bigger thigs (big thighs are not on my positvie list - so it might keep me from doing lots of bike riding)

Then I want to look at the Whats - as in What might the concequences be?
For the laundry, it will take time from sleeping, cleaning and doing dialogues - which would be ok, since I could still have time to do SOME of the three things and the "price" seems reasonable.

For the biking, it would take 5-10 hours a week, it would take time from being with my dog and my friends (unless I did it with a friend), it could help me loose weight which I would love to, but I might put more size to my thights which would make me consider another sport. In total: I would only go for it if I found someone whom I would like to spend a lot of time with, and who would love the biking.

Got the idea:
  1. Make a list of wants
  2. Finding out the WHYs - meaning if I got it what do I get from it
  3. Finding out the WHATs - as in what do I get from it
I want.... RIGHT NOW
The little boy was very clear in his statement: "I want a croissant RIGHT NOW". He didn't talk about something he wanted tomorrow or in half an hour - he did not want to go to the supermarked or the bakery to get his croissant, Oh, no, he wanted it NOW, as in Right now - this second.

If I was to have a croissant - and if I wanted the croissant because of the taste and the texture - I would not want to have the "croissant d'hier" (the one from yesterday), oh, no, I would happily take the time to go to the very best baker to get a good fresh croissant. - I could even wait for tomorrow or next week if they didn't have the good one.

But then if I wanted the croissant because I was hungry then: give me the old one, and give it to me FAST.

So what are my wants for what I want RIGHT NOW? I want to be on the computer, drink my tea and get some rest. - what happend to the laundry and the biking?

What are the difference for wants I set up for the future and wants I set up for now, right now - and do I make sure that they are in sync? In the blog If not now... Teflon came up with ideas of why we prospone things. There could be the "figuring out", "the blaming others" and "the why bother (as in it wouldn't work anyway)".

There are another "Why bother" - the one where I have reasons to want it and reasons for not wanting it - as in my example with the biking. Maybe I just SAY I want it - rather than really,
really wanting it.

Maybe we could change the definition of "I want" to be that anything that I really, really want will also be a thing that I want RIGHT NOW - if I want it right now, I'm gonna do it.

So
Anything that I really, really want is something that I'm doing.

Have a great day of wanting and doing, Right now.

Joy

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