Skip to content

What You Want as a Direction, Not a Target

Jeremiah Rogers
Jeremiah Rogers
3 min read
What You Want as a Direction, Not a Target

Often, during my work, I ask “What do you want?” and the wonderful person I am coaching responds, perhaps predictably, “I have no idea!”

I have been there too. This happens all the time in my own coaching with my coach Chris.

Why do we lose our ability to call out what we want? What do we do about it?

We are definitely born with this ability.

Children have every idea what they want and rarely hesitate at the question. Children can blurt easy wants like ice cream and watching more TV and more complex and bold wants like being president, an astronaut, or a race car designer.

But most adults lose their ability to know their bold wants somewhere along their way.

I see a few reasons why we stop knowing what we want. I am sure there are more I am missing...

  • We become afraid to admit our desires, maybe because we worry about what other people will think or because we fear the shame of saying it out loud and not knowing how to make it real.
  • We get the thought that our desires are selfish.
  • Then – maybe due to the first two – we learn to silence our wanting thinking before it ever comes to the surface. Shame or fear forces our real desires deep below the surface, and we waste our energy living shadow-lives far from our real potential or wishes.

All of this is unproductive.

The more I coach, the more I become convinced that most human problems result from energy misdirected inward or outward toward detruction instead of outward toward creation.

This energy of an unfulfilled and unsatisfied life can, in its worst-case, lead to destructive thinking and habits and in a very pathetic form of a "default case" toward gripping life tightly in search of a certainty that will never exist.

As a possibility, our wants are something deep inside, telling us that this energy is blocked.

As a possibility, getting our wants out of the deep recesses of our mind and into the world as objects enables us to use our wonderful symbolic minds to analyze our lives abstractly and see those blockages of energy.

What to do?

Periodically I start a new collection of things I want. Often mine take form as voice recordings to myself, lists in my journal, or as folders of images on my computer. The collection form doesn't matter at all, and I rarely review the results. What matters is that it is outside of my head and uncensored.

Often the wants are scary. But sometimes, the wants are so bold that I can't ever imagine giving them up. Often these uncensored wants come from a lower self and not the higher self I desire to be.

Only if I pay attention to all of the wants can the ones that really drive me stream to the surface.

Here are some recent wants that come to the surface for me. Ones I am scared to tell you write in public. Ones I have no idea how I can make real but that I feel a commitment to.

Please don't focus on me. This is not about me. These are just examples of potential unacknowledged wants you may also have within yourself.

  • I want 1,000 people at my funeral saying I changed their life.
  • I want to ignite a revolution in creativity and agency.
  • I want to coach the creation of the next lightbulb.

These surface only by agreeing not to censor or delete any wants until they are freed from my mind and into the world.

They are scary. Who knows how or if I will make them real.

But putting wants into the world sets a direction to sail – and sets a clear threshold at which I will sacrifice other, lessor wants to create an extraordinary life.

I am curious what happens to you if you listen to yourself and don't censor. Let me know.

Much love. Be bold.


P.S. This blog mostly grows by word-of-mouth. If you ever think a post would be useful for someone in your life, please share it.