One of the crazy genres besides Minimal Techno and Jazz I enjoy is Metalcore. However, the other day I listened to “Wanting More” from Memphis May Fire and for once paid closer attention to the lyrics (which I should do more often – I admit). A part of the lyrics goes like this “What if I gave it all away, and shed the layers of the selfishness I hate?” I found myself immediately in that question. Life often feels like a neverending and unsatisfiable pursuit for more. But is that really bad behavior which we need to stop?
For those of you who say, “No, Thomas, I am not wanting more. I am happy with what I got.” – I have to say that I don’t fully believe you. Why are you reading this article right now? My guess is, you want to know more about life in general and found the headline interesting. Curiosity is also a form of “wanting more” in my opinion – just one which we think of as “positive”.
I think this urge for more is a feeling like any other and is not inherently good or bad. It depends on what you use it for – how you channel it. But before talking about leveraging it, I think it’s important to know what you actually craving and whether the “thing” you want more of really makes you happy in the long run.
What Are The Things You Are Really Wanting More Of?
The answer to this question is highly linked to your personal values. If you know them you probably can make a good guess what you are wanting more of. Ask yourself why you are doing the things you do. A coach or books like “Find Your Why” by Simon Sinek can be of great help with identifying your personal values.
The patterns in your day-to-day behavior will serve as an indicator of the “things” you want more of. But be aware to not focus on single actions. Hanging out on Instagram a lot by itself, for example, does not mean you’re seeking for more attention. Social media can be highly addictive. Look for patterns and the reason why you put yourself into certain situations. Look deeper. There a lot of ways to look deeper. You could use the 5-Why method or simply ask a friend of yours “Why do you think do I do this?”
For example, I like to structure the hell out of my life (I got a list and tool for everything) because I enjoy keeping the overview. Why? Because that gives me a feeling of control and safety. So control & safety are two of the “things” I want more of. I feel very comfortable with having these needs and feel like they are serving me well. Since I always want to stay in control I also bought some expensive speakers that I would turn on max when I had to work long hours – because “Hey, at least I can hear whatever I want and how loud I want it”. Instead of controlling what I was working on and when I was leaving the office I looked for a supplement. So here you got to ask yourself:
Is Your Approach Really Getting You More in The Long Run?
Buying these speakers was not giving me more control of my life in the long run. You got to know if what you are doing will actually get you where you want to go. I found a great story to explain what I mean here in the book “The Situation is Hopeless but Not Serious” by Austrian-American therapist, psychologist, communications theorist, and philosopher Paul Watzlawick:
The story is of Nasruddin, the Sufi joker sage, who was crawling around the campfire in front of his desert tent when a friend walked by. ”
What are you looking for?”
“My key” At this his friend got on his knees and joined in the search, soon another friend came by and there were three of them helping, then a fourth.
Soon, a fifth friend came by and asked,
“What are you looking for?”
“Oh, where did you lose it?”
“In my tent.”
“In your tent? Then why are all of you looking for it out here?”
“Because the light is better here.”
To reflect you can use daily, weekly, or monthly journals for example. I, for example, got a reminder every 90 days to remind me to answer the following three questions in a written form:
- Did I reach my goals which I set for the last 90 days?
- If not, do I still want to reach those goals?
- What are my goals for the next 90 days and how can I reach them?
But you do this not only once. Ideally you…
Reflect & Celebrate Regularly!
Whether you want to become more mindful, more successful, or more recognized by others, you got to pause from time to time and see, if
- you are still having the same values like back in the days when you started your journey (Are you still looking for your keys? Do you still need them?)
- you achieved your goals (Did you find the key?)
- you are happy with what you got (Does the key you found actually fit the lock you are trying to open?
If you can answer any of these questions with a “No”, it is time to adjust something. In any case, it is time to take a step back, look at your efforts and celebrate whatever you learned!
Long story short: wanting more can be a good thing if what you want more of is aligned with your values, is really getting you what you are looking for and you are actually enjoying the search as well as the results.