We don’t learn more about what we want by not wanting anything.
And we don’t learn more about what we desire by holding tightly to what we already do.
We learn by exploring new desires. By creating what we desire and, through the experience of it, deciding what does or does not feel good.
This is how we expand our knowing of ourselves.
Often in our society, we continue to satisfy the same desires over and over again. This leads to what one might call “fulfillment stagnation”. We become stagnant within an endless loop of stale desires, and their fulfillment brings little joy.
The solution is to examine, honestly, those desires that you are continuously pursuing, and occasionally fulfilling. If you look closely, you might see that the particular object or event you are wishing for does not, in the fulfillment of it, give you the joy you were hoping it would.
Just as a habitual smoker rarely pauses to consider whether or not he or she is actually enjoying that cigarette that they just had to have, we consistently fail to evaluate whether or not the fulfillment of our latest desire actually brought the desired effect. Was there joy? Excitement? A permanent improvement in my life? Or did I just move on to the next desire?
With a little bit of honest self-evaluation, it is relatively easy to see when the fulfillment of certain desires has ceased to produce what you want. And once that occurs, the search can begin for a new desire, one that has not been repeated over and over.
The search for a new desire, a new reason for joy, is vital to growth. Imagine the toddler who never gives up his obsession with a particular toy and never moves on to something new or more complex. Growth for such a child would be severely stunted, and new experiences shunned or ignored.
Thus it is the reaching beyond current desires that leads to growth and to the discovery of new desires and new forms of joy that accompany their fulfillment.
So feel free to want, to desire. Desire is not bad or inappropriate. It is supremely necessary. It is the way you came into existence. And it is the only way to get beyond where you are now.