Byte Tank

Pedro Lopes Notes

The Real Question Behind 'What Do You Want?'

It’s easy to want something. If you are fortunate enough to be on income level 4 living in a peaceful nation, the world has so much to offer, within easy reach. Yet, the currencies required to enjoy them are limited: time, energy, health, money. Even though it is easy to make lists of everything one wants (typically occurring on yearly passages, such as new year’s and anniversaries), only a handful of them are achievable.

Smaller lists require sacrifices

Given that lengthy lists are unachievable, they need to be slimmed down to a manageable and realistic size. They need to be prioritized. Prioritization is an euphemism for sacrificing.

It’s easy to want something, it’s hard to choose it against another desirable one.

An example

At the start of each year, I produce a small list of 3 to 4 high priority goals and 1 optional low priority goal of what I want to achieve by end of it, along with a small description on why I want them, and their impact. This takes several hours, sometimes days to put together, because of all the other ones that need to be left out.

Once the list is made though, it’s incredibly powerful due to it’s easy recall. This means that whenever I am faced with conflicting preferences, I can easily remember it and know in a snap what is the right thing to do. That is the real power behind that list. It’s guiding all the tiny small steps and decisions happening throughout the year, bringing me progressivily closer to those goals.

The question

The real question behind defining knowing what we want is actually what we are willing to sacrifice. Once the latter is defined and we are 100% convinced about it, then knowing what we want is bullet proof and easy to follow through.

What are you willing to sacrifice?