General Question

simplynotpossible's avatar

What do you do if your desires outstrip your capacities?

Asked by simplynotpossible (7points) February 18th, 2011

Let’s assume you can’t achieve everything you want to achieve in life and that your main problem in life is that you simply want too much – the “right” career/job, the “right” friends, the “right” partner, the “right” hobbies.

What is the best way to adapt to the reality that you can’t have everything you want exactly as you want it?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

11 Answers

coffeenut's avatar

I can’t have everything I want in life….But that’s ok, I still have the rest of my ever changing list to work on.

Odysseus's avatar

Learn to ignore greed and forfeit your fallacies. Aim for what you want after that.

You can quite easily get everything you ever want but trust me when I say that it is all worthless if you cant find The person to share it with.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Maximize the opportunities that come your way. If you really want to do something, spend time analyzing how you’re going to get to where you want to go, and be open to change along the way. Sometimes you have to hopscotch your way to an end, work people and situations over and over again, network, put in extra time.

Don’t expect life will fall into your lap. Be aware that there is a cost to everything. And periodically re-examine what you think “right” is, because as you gain experience, that can change.

thorninmud's avatar

That insight—that you want too much, and that the wanting itself is the source of dissatisfaction – is the beginning of the solution. The wanting comes from the mistaken belief that the “right” this and the “right” that will add the missing pieces to the jigsaw puzzle of the ideal life. That’s a very compelling illusion, but it’s not how life works.

Satisfaction isn’t achieved by trying to make our world look like our imagined ideal. It starts with the acceptance that this disparity between reality and ideal will never go away, and that clinging to the ideal often stands in the way of appreciating what’s already right with our lives.

We live in a society that is constantly trying to sell us the idea that we should never be satisfied with what we have. That message is omnipresent; it fuels our consumer culture. We’re led to believe that we should be able to have things just as we want. It’s simply not true.

iphigeneia's avatar

Nobody has limitless potential, but that’s the way life works. The wonderful thing is: the world is full of wonderful things.

Wanting them is very easy. So easy, in fact, you tend to forget about the things you already have. So concentrate on being a little more thankful for every one of life’s gifts, and prioritise your desires. When you organise them like that you’ll realise it’s a waste of energy to worry about the less important ones. Some things will be forever out of your reach, you just have to find another path for your passion.

(plus what @thorninmud said)

john65pennington's avatar

When my daughter graduated from high school, she was a lost puppy. She knew that she could to college, but the desire was not there. She worked several okay jobs, but was never happy or satisfied with herself.

After about two years of going nowhere, I sat my daughter down and explained the facts of life to her, concerning her education. She stated she wanted to be a doctor, in order to help people who are sick. We suggested she begin her dream job, by visiting and enrolling in a nearby college, in order to receive her degree. This she did.

Somewhere along the way, my daughter met a man and they were married. This ended her dreams of becoming a doctor, but not her dream of helping people. She is now an RN in a big city in the United States.

Never give up on your dreams. You may have to make an unexpected turn in the road.

What is important, are the end results.

Remember the little train that said, “I think I can, I think I can”?

mattbrowne's avatar

Write a book. In a novel there are no limits to your desires. For example I have the desire to explore interstellar space and strange new worlds. But this exceeds my capacities.

marinelife's avatar

It sounds like you need to adjust your list and why you want these things.

What makes something the right career/job? It should be because it is something you enjoy doing and find fulfillment in.

What are the “right” friends? They should be people with shared interests that you enjoy being with. The “right partner”? That should be someone you love who loves you.

If you are applying other standards that are superficial: people who dress a certain way, have a certain amount of income, etc., then you are creating a recipe for disappointment and dissatisfaction.

wundayatta's avatar

Is love finite? I don’t think so. But I think it’s really difficult to express the love one has for many people without running afoul of social conventions, and without making some people worry about their place in your life.

I don’t think this is a case of desires outstripping capacities. I think it’s a case of how do you manage this? What do you do if you’re a polyamorous person in a monogamous relationship?

Obviously, you honor your commitments. Still, the love for others remains, and even finding a non-sexual way of honoring that love can be threatening to your monogamous relationship. Does this mean you must “forsake all others?”

I’m an atheist, so when I speak of God, it is as a metaphor for all that is human. Like as if there were a world collective consciousness made up of all humans.

Christians say God’s love is infinite. Perhaps other religions say the same thing. If God’s love is infinite, can an individual human’s love also be infinite? If our individual love is also infinite, how do we handle that? How do we stay within the rules of society yet still honor our feelings?

Or are we finite in love? We have a love box with a certain amount of love in it, and when we’ve given that away, there is no more. What happens when we run out? Do we notice? Do we long for more? Do we find a bigger box?

I’m sorry. I think I’ve run off on a tangent. I guess what I’m saying is that it isn’t just desires outstripping capacities in the sense of wanting to much. There is also desires outstripping capacities in terms of having more than you can handle.

I have a great deal of love in my life, but there are times when I can’t see it, and I feel utterly unloved and unlovable. There are other times when I see how blessed I am. Blessed with more than I can handle. It’s not so easy to say “follow the rules” when you are making it up as you go along; navigating the shoals in the dark of night with only the movement of the surface of the ocean beneath your coracle to tell you where the jagged rocks lie just beneath the surface.

blueiiznh's avatar

There is no way you can possibly have all you desire. You would loose perspective and also gratitude if you did. Simple and humble is ok too.
This is what goal setting is about.
Make a list of all these desires. Prioritize it.
Turn it into a long range plan for yourself for those bigger things that take more time and energy.
Add things that help you get to the big things.
Put a plan in place on working towards the top choices.
Keep adding to it, reprioritize it as you need.
Reflect over where you have come periodically.
This is how you evolve and grow as a person.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Learn to dream bigger. I want all those things too and work to get them. I deserve it.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther