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RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Do we, Do what we want, or Do what we can?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30874points) September 23rd, 2010

Is doing what you want limited by doing what you can? Or is doing what you can limited by doing what you want?

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9 Answers

whothei0's avatar

i kinda like this question and i would have to say it is almost both at the say time. we see what we want then see the limits and then see if we still want it after we see the limits. for example i want to get into a good college, but i know from my limits that i will not be able to get into MIT. so i limit the places i can go to and pick one that i want to go to of the ones i can go to. so we want a general thing like a good job but immediately see the limits of want we can do giving it a new want of weather we want what we are limited to. (however this is my personal experience of this not guaranteed to be true what so ever)

Seaofclouds's avatar

Definitely both. I can go to school to become a nurse practitioner right now, but I don’t want to. I want to curl up in my husband’s arms right now and fall asleep, but I can’t.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I am limited by what I can do. What I’d like to do is almost a world of difference.

whatthefluther's avatar

One can only do what one can do. In a perfect world, that is also what one wants to do, but limitations in ability or of availability restrict that and remove the desired action or goal from the realm of possibilities.
See ya…....Gary/wtf

Frenchfry's avatar

BOTH yes, I say both .I want to buy 3 dozen cookies but can only afford one.

ratboy's avatar

In the interest of symmetry it would seem that if one may do less than he can do, it ought to be that he may also do more than he can do.

rooeytoo's avatar

For me personally, a little bit of both. Realistically at 5’ tall, I am not likely to be able to play for the Knicks even though I would like to. But I can play for the local womens beach volleyball team and tennis team too. I have done all the right things, finished college and grad school, worked in the real world, grew tired of it and went to the dogs.

It’s a really good question though and something that young folks should think about because it is definitely going to affect the rest of your life. I don’t have any regrets about how I did it, it has been a hell of a ride!

zophu's avatar

Desire is a part of many abilities, but it is itself an ability.

choppersangel's avatar

Interesting that the word ‘need’ has not been used in any responses so far. If what we want conflicts with what we need, then what we can do is altered by our own choice. I believe that anything is possible, therefore nothing is true? – never can recall which philosopher said that which means that ‘can’ is entirely contextual. The paralympians show us that they ‘can’ do some incredible things, partly through use of new technology, but at least as much because of changes in perceptions and prejudices surrounding disability.

What we ‘can’ do is based on intent. The ‘want’ or need may dictate where we focus our intent, but our capabilities are entirely relative (surely?). If wants equate to wishes, this explains how we should ‘beware of what we wish for’. We surprise ourselves by getting what we want, whether or not we actually (consciously) thought that we could. Unconscious actions, the daily paths we make towards our conscious aims and the ways in which we deal with unforeseen circumstance may bring us exactly what we want. Whether we wanted it or not. So to speak.

Taking time to be clear about what we intend may help sort out what we want, the ‘can’ part is mainly down to belief, I think…

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