Wow! Did you know there’s a therapist (in California, obviously) specializing in “wantology”? As with any “—ology” from anthropology to zoology, it means the study of something; a wantologist specializes in the study of wants.
So today’s post, with hats off to Arlie Russell Hochschild, author of the upcoming, The Outsourced Life, who wrote an article in today’s The New York Times is how not to go to a wantologist — you just have to continue reading.
Local Museum (Photo credit: filmmaker in japan)
I’m going to tell you how not to pay a wantologist and move closer to your wants than you think.
“What do you want?”
That was the question the wantologist asked her patient as reported by Hochschild. The patient said, “A bigger house.” She was then asked, “How would you feel if you lived in a bigger house?” “‘Peaceful’,” came the reply.”
Now, I’m going to stop a moment and ask you – and myself – the same question. What do you want?
“I want to have a successful blog,” popped my first answer. So then I have to ask myself, How would it make you feel? And I thought, duh, like a success. But what exactly is it that makes me feel successful? When I thought about that question for a moment, I realized that it is this very moment, my fingers moving across the keyboard like prancing dancers (anorexic, perhaps, but still energetic and worth imitating) in the New York City Ballet. Nothing makes me happier than doing this work, right here, right now.
In other words, instead of waiting to get there I can enjoy the moment right here.
What do you want? Do you want to go to Paris to walk around the Louvre? And how would that make you feel? Well, maybe you can’t hop on the plane this week or even next, but maybe you can do something similar. Is it the hush of a museum? Oui? So, is there a local museum near you? Is it browsing in the museum shop? Is it the colors, the art, or the posters you can bring home and hang up on your walls?
Is it the people watching (which I always feel is the most fun about a museum)?
We don’t have to hold out an impossible, improbable goal that is unattainable when there might be much closer goals we can reach. And can we get the feeling another way? For instance, when I wrote that I want to have a successful blog, I also know that I can get that same rush of success entering a running race and crossing the finish line.
Moreover, I have to be patient and do the necessary footwork. I can figure out what I need to do to reach my want and every day make a point to do something, anything, to move closer to my goal. That goes with my philosophy of starting somewhere, which I talked about right here.
But this way of looking at our wants makes us aware the we don’t have to wait to live our best chapter. We can start doing what we like doing today.
We don’t need to pay a wantologist to figure this out. And do you believe that someone was smarter than us and came up with it first? As my friend, Lily, says, “You can’t make this stuff up!”
You can write to me – it’s free. Send your longest wantalogist’s wish list and I bet we can figure it all out. And maybe what you really want is not what you thought you wanted at all. That’s why they say, “Be careful what you wish for.”
About the photo — when I finish each blog, there’s a little bent woman behind the curtain — in my head she resembles my great Aunt Fanny — who then analyzes what I wrote about and suggests certain photos of subjects that are in the public domain and I don’t have to get sued to use them. So, Aunt Fanny came up with that photo of the local museum. It doesn’t look local in my neck of the woods, but she has a creative sense of humor.
Coming up tomorrow: When is it depression – and when is it self-pity? And my tool for Tuesday…stay tuned!
Instead of waiting to get there I can enjoy the moment right here.