What Do I Want by Ursula McLoughlin

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Today, somebody actually managed to do the impossible. They rendered me

completely speechless. Zip! Schtum! Jaw droppingly clueless. This is unusual as I

have always happily deluded myself into thinking that I’m somewhat unshockable,

but Bam! one small question, one harmless, innocuous enquiry and I was stunned into

complete and total silence. You see, I was asked by a friend…’What do want? What

do you really want?’


Want? Such a commonly used word. But what does it actually mean? According to

the Oxford Dictionary, it means to ‘have a desire to possess or do (something); wish

for’. So, have I misunderstood the way to apply this verb up until now? Like most

people, I have always thrown this small word with a big meaning into the usual rattled

out phrases, such as ‘I want to change my broadband provider’ or ‘I want get to the

supermarket before it shuts’. But the truth is, if I really thought about what I wanted,

these things wouldn’t factor into the conversation at all.


So, while my slack jaw was still in the recovery position, I took a few minutes to

really ask myself that very question, ‘what do I want?’ Well, where do I begin? There

are so many things I want. Endless amounts of money, a personal stylist on call 24

hours a day, an 18 inch waist, Miss Universe style world peace and perhaps a tiara.

Nah! That just didn’t feel like it hit the spot. So, what was it then? What did I really



Author Dan Millman, in his book ‘Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That

Changes Lives’ says, “If you don’t get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you

don’t want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you still suffer

because you can’t hold on to it forever.”


So perhaps the key ingredient is to want something which does last. Something that is

enduring and non-transient. Something that can be felt and accessed at any time. Like

love, gratitude, a sense of wonder, a sense of self worth and of course, good company

to share all this.


So, in answer to the big question ‘what do I want?’ Really, I want to stay in touch

with all the most genuine things in my life, things I really, truly want.


But if the universe wants to send me endless amounts of cash? Hey! I’m good with

that too.


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