Monday, October 5, 2015

Choosing "Want"

It could be argued that years ago, when I was graduating from college, I should have gone to graduate school and become a psychologist. Instead, I followed a dream of working in television and an opportunity that just came along. It could be argued that I should have left One Life to Live long before I did or tried more things than I did. It could be argued that I should have had the salad rather than the pasta more than once.

Life is quite full of "shoulds," isn't it? We should make the "safe" choices, we should go to the "important" events, we should try to please all the people all the time. "Should" can become so powerful that sometimes we can't even remember what it is we want.

Perhaps if I had become a psychologist, life now would be more stable, more defined. Perhaps if I had chosen the salad a few more times, I would be a little thinner right about now. Perhaps if I had changed career directions sooner, my path now would be clearer. But as I look around, still trying to accomplish all the "shoulds," I can't help but wonder--don't some really good things come out of going with "want" instead of "should?" Would I be writing this blog had I not gone to One Life to Live and then stayed there? Would I have met all the interesting people I have, had I been a counselor in an office?

Each day, we have countless opportunities to choose the "should" or the "want." We can't always choose "want"--it probably wouldn't be good for us or for the people around us. But choosing "want" doesn't always mean stepping on other people or doing things that are unwise. Sometimes, it simply means making our own voice heard. If sometimes, we let ourselves take a little break from the "should," we are likely to discover not just new opportunity, but a feeling of control and satisfaction that "should" can't completely accomplish. It's not about abandoning "should." It's simply about, at least once in a while, choosing "want."

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