What do you want to do?

Yes, this IS my second post in a row about New Year’s resolutions. Why am I doing this?

Because I want to.

People ONLY do what they want to do. New Year’s resolutions are hokey. If you really want to change your behavior, you will—the change in the number on a calendar has nothing to do with it. All day, every day, whatever you are doing, you chose to do—whether you realize it or not. You may not have every option available to you, but you are still choosing how you spend every second that you’re awake.

You may think that you don’t want to go to work, but you still go, because you want to make money. You may think that it’s all about the money, but you don’t try to rob banks or print up counterfeit bills in the basement because you don’t want to risk the consequences. You may not be happy with the few options that you have, but you are choosing the option that you like best—always.

What you want doesn’t always make you happy.

What you want can change and your decisions always have consequences. These changes and consequences sometimes make you feel like you’re doing something that you don’t want to do. But, in reality, you’re constantly doing what you want to do among the choices that you have.

Some people revel in their own despair. They feel like they are some kind of martyr to the misunderstood. They still choose to live that way. I know because I was one of those people.

Consequences greatly influence what we want.

You know those days where you think you want to get all your laundry done, but instead you sit and watch TV? That means that you wanted to watch TV more than you wanted to do your laundry. You may regret your choice the next day when you have to wear dirty underwear to work, but you chose to watch TV instead of doing your laundry. You always choose what you want.

As we get older we realize that we want clean underwear more than we want to watch TV and thus choose to do the laundry. We want to do the laundry because we want clean underwear. The reasons behind what we want can be hard to recognize and can trick us into thinking we’re doing a lot of things we don’t want to do, but in reality, we ONLY do what we want to do, we just have to consider all of the consequences of our decisions before deciding what we want.

If you don’t choose, your body will.

The saddest people around are the people who can’t or won’t decide what they want. When you haven’t decided what you want, your body decides for you. It tells you that you want to sit on the couch. It tells you that you want to eat whatever tastes good. It tells you that you want to escape your life for a few hours by watching TV or a movie, or by playing a video game, or even by getting wasted.

Unfortunately, your body sucks at making decisions because it can’t think past what it wants at that immediate moment. It can’t factor in consequences into what it wants.

Make sure you’re behind the wheel. Even if you’re not sure what you really want, choose something that you might want and work backward through all the decisions that will get you there. That way, even if it’s not what you want when you get there, at least you’ll be making your own decisions.

With great power… yada, yada, yada.

When you finally grow to accept that you’re always doing what you want, you’ll be empowered. While it forces you to take responsibility for how you spend your time, it also allows you to forgive yourself for spending an entire Saturday on the couch, because that must have been what you wanted to do at that moment. Still, if you spend every Saturday on the couch, then you must not have wanted much out of life.

We are always doing what we want from among the choices we have. If you don’t like the choices you have, maybe you want to change your circumstances, but do you want that more than playing GTA today? Do you want it more than getting drunk with your buddies this weekend? Do you want it more than watching The Walking Dead? Do you want it more than you want to “fit in?”

The answer is whatever you want.

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About John Dilley

John is an endless source of new ideas. With a background in both sports and music, he offers a unique perspective. He has written for The Daily Utah Chronicle, Filler, and has contributed content to several commercial websites. "Be it the past 10 beers or the past 10 years, may you learn from all of life's mistakes. Cheers!" - John Dilley

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