Want Vs. Not Want

I have a theory that as human beings we naturally do not desire anything. It sounds like it contradicts everything we know about human beings but hear me out. I believe that not wanting something is a better predictor of human behaviour than wanting. This takes a little bit of discerning. Wanting is pretty mild in itself but when we perceive wanting as intense it is actually not wanting to be without something. In the same way, drug addicts have strong cravings when they're going through withdrawals and many will tell you how horrible their addiction is. In reality, they don't want to be dependant on the drug but they also don't want to go through with the psychological issues that need facing and the pain of having to go through withdrawals and so, the squeakiest wheel gets the grease. In the case of the recovering addict (and this may sound controversial), it is not that they want to recover that is the biggest motivator, it is that they do not want to continue with the pain associated with the dependency that comes with being an addict.

Lets take a detour from this. I want to play a game called "Do Not Want" and I want you to think of an example of something you desperately want in your life (if you can't think of anything, lucky you!) but for some strange reason you can't overcome. I want you to realise that the reason you can't attain it (assuming it's not something ridiculous like trying to turn back time) is because you have contradictory "things you do not want". I'll give you an example first.

I'm not a very confident public speaker and frankly I have no motivation to become one. The closest thing I could call motivation would be not wanting to let my career hit a plateau or not wanting to be perceived as weak. At the same time I would not want to do it just because of what others think of me. Also, I don't want to do it because it makes me uncomfortable. But... I also don't want to doubt my own abilities, I don't want to limit myself although... I don't want to make a big deal out of how much I can achieve because I don't want to suffer needlessly. It can go on and on...

Again, this is only a theory and I would be glad if someone provided a different angle, even provided some criticism. Whether or not anyone can gain something from it, I'm unsure of but I would just like to point out that we are sometimes more complicated than necessary. The more cognitive dissonance someone has, the more likely (it seems) they are to suffer. If the above game has any use it's to list all possible desires and highlight the ones that are the most important while reminding yourself which ones will lead you to suffering. I'd prefer it that it would be just kept as a game as I believe it is more necessary that we allow ourselves time to forget some of the unhealthy behavioural and thought patterns. I believe simplicity is key.

deleted deleted
Feb 6, 2013