In taking with a client recently, they mentioned something they were thinking of buying. They spoke about how this had been a dream of theirs for a long time, and they were excited about having reached this goal. As we talked about it further they mentioned how the idea of this thing had brought them much pleasure over the years and now the realization that they might actually have it also made them happy. I thought about that conversation when I read this quote.
Isn’t it amazing how wanting a thing and then having that thing can bring different types of happiness into our lives. Sometimes the wanting, hoping for, saving for, even the planning for it can bring happiness. It is the hoping for and dreaming part that helps us keep ourselves excited, working hard, even motivates us to do what it takes to get that thing. Then when the moment arrives and we actually have that thing we feel a sense of accomplishment and completeness simply by knowing we’ve done the hard work and have it. Somehow the hoping and wanting makes the having and succeeding part that much sweeter.
I think we rob people – our children, our friends, our family, our team – of the power that wanting has in our lives. We do this by giving them everything and more without allowing them to work for that goal. Wanting something – a car, a piece of clothing, a furniture element, even a pet, a vacation, or a promotion- gives people something special to work to earn. Watching it come into their world after having done whatever it took to get it provides hours of happiness in a way that nothing else can explain. People who have it all, every THING they want, well they may have it all and often end up empty. There is nothing left to work for which leaves a hole in their soul.
Going without, working to earn it, even waiting for it to arrive all provide a platform for us to savor and appreciate that special something. Delay does not mean denial, it simply makes the happiness we find in ourselves and our work the more gratifying once we have it. So keep wanting, keep hoping, all of which keeps happiness alive in a different way. What you do not have today makes the things you do have more special and the eventual having more sweet.