The things humans desperately desire today are timeless and universal. The things we long for and want of life are challenging and elusive to attain and uphold.
The key question is, “In one word, what do you want more of in life?”
What People Desperately Desire
Kathy Caprino, Senior Contributor for Forbes magazine, career growth and personal success coach, and leadership developer dedicated to the advancement of women worldwide, surveyed hundreds of people to find out what they longed for.
Of all the things 771 people indicated they wanted, the following were seven mentioned most frequently:
- Happiness: The No. 1 mentioned missing desire is happiness. Happiness has become so hard to achieve. It’s even harder to maintain. Happiness persistently escapes people because they don’t understand exactly what will make them happy. And, they don’t know themselves well at all. People search outside themselves for happiness. They look to their family, in a job, a beautiful home, a husband, a paycheck, a title. As a result, happiness is constantly out of their control — an unending moving target that never stands still long enough for them to take hold of. These things could bring happiness. But the key point is that you’ll always be scrambling and chasing everything you’re searching for that remains outside of you.
- Money: No matter what we earn, we somehow feel we never have enough. Many people, with literally over a million dollars in their retirement accounts, live in a state of constant fear with regards to money. They never have a moment’s peace of mind. They can’t enjoy spending their money for anything – not even for family vacations that are supposed to be joyful. How much money do you really need to truly fulfill you? And if you want more money, do you understand the key principles and behaviors required to get it? Do you understand your own money narrative, and how you normally manage money?
- Freedom: We all want freedom! But many people resist doing what’s necessary to get it. We want to “feel” free, yet are afraid to gather up the courage to do what’s necessary to “become” free. What is necessary to experience freedom? It requires making yourself right, following your own genuine beliefs and values. It also involves building strong boundaries to protect yourself from what others will tell you is right for you or try to force on you. And it takes creating your own path in life and work, despite the challenges and the people who criticize, object, or oppose what you are doing. It requires courage and boldness to make yourself your own highest authority on life and work. Sadly, most of us aren’t taught or trained how to stand up powerfully for what we want and believe in, and to go after it with undying commitment and passion.
- Peace: People long for peace, desperately. Most people desire peace from pressure, chatter, noise, and responsibilities. We also want peace from the painful pounding inside our own heads — the strain and conflicts we inflict on ourselves every minute to be smarter, prettier, thinner, better, younger, stronger, and much more. Peace doesn’t come from being better at anything, or even figuring anything out. Attaining peace is a practice that we need to cultivate and commit to, regardless of what’s going on around you. In today’s time, peace will never just fall in our laps — it’s too chaotic a world. We have to create a space within ourselves and in our lives to bring about the experience of peace. Then we have to do the work to enlarge peace as an experience and feeling that we will commit to each and every day…regardless of what’s around us. You don’t have to know your purpose in life to be at peace — you just have to commit to being at peace, and build daily habits and practices that will support you in that commitment.
- Joy: The process of rising up to our highest potential and honoring our best ideas for contributing to the world in a meaningful way brings about more joy. We just can’t feel joy in our lives if the work we do troubles and hurts us. We’re not able to effectively separate who we are from what we do. So when you’re stuck with people you don’t respect, in work you hate, or sustaining outcomes that feel wrong to you, then your life as a whole can’t help but be joyless, even if your family or personal life brings you happiness. Joy comes from the process of becoming more of who you already are. Discover and honor who you are, and you will be on your way to a more joyful, fulfilling, and rich life.
- Fulfillment: Fulfillment can be defined as this: “Satisfaction or happiness as a result of fully developing one’s abilities or character.” We simply can’t experience fulfillment if we’re not living up to what we know is our highest and best potential. To live up to our highest potential, we have to leave our comfort zones behind. We might even leave behind the definition we’ve led ourselves to believe who we think we are, as well as the stories we tell ourselves about what we’re capable of, so that we can become the person we dream to be. We may also need to leave some people and relationships behind — the ones that don’t support us to climb higher and grow because it threatens them. Fulfillment is possible when you are honoring your own potential, not forsaking yourself by putting everyone else in front of you. Fulfillment comes when you take bold actions that say “yes” to the future vision of you.
- Confidence: When we’re in situations that are hurtful, demeaning, challenging and worse, we lose confidence. We forget who we are, and what we are capable of, and see only the person in front of us who is yelling or the colleague or family member who’s tearing us down. Sadly, many millions of us around the world have been raised and culturally and societally trained in ways that degrade our sense of self-confidence. We’re often taught that it is not advisable to think for ourselves, and we should not follow our own path if it conflicts with the values of our “tribe.” In essence, we are taught not to believe that we can govern our own lives well if we don’t listen to our authority figures, family members, teachers and others around us. Parental and societal training that keeps us captive living someone else’s life is extremely damaging and severely limits our potential and our happiness. Confidence comes from acknowledging our own radiance, not shying away from it.
Stay True to Yourself
The reality is that it’s a tough world out there, with many challenges we’re not prepared to face. But throughout those challenges, there are countless ways we can stay true to ourselves and further our self-esteem and passion for life and work.
And we can continually build our happiness, fulfillment, and confidence, despite these challenges. For that, we need an abundance of self-love, and support from others who don’t want to tell us what to do.
And, without fail, we need to believe in ourselves — despite the evidence around us.