On Wanting More
Can you recall the last item you coveted after for a while?
Once you purchased what you really wanted, how long did it take before you found another shiny item that caught your attention? We are just entering the Christmas season, and with it, we have already begun to get bombarded with targeted ads and promos tailored to match our wish list.
Wanting more is hard-wired into our DNA. It is a value of the capitalist culture we live in. Wanting more has led us to fight against conformity and to grow. Wanting more...
- Motivates us to fix what is broken.
- Motivates parents to create opportunities for our children to thrive in.
- Helps us create goals and milestones at work to help us excel.
- Keeps us on running in the game of life.
Sometimes, though, our demanding nature spills over to our relationships.
If you are married, you expect your spouse to act this way or the other. If you are a parent, you have expectations for how your children should behave. Defining your expectations is a good thing, except when they are entirely unreasonable.
What happens when your wants exceed your capacity or the reality of others around you? Maybe you want a big home but can’t afford the mortgage that comes with it. Or perhaps you want your child to try out for varsity sports when he doesn’t care for sports. Or maybe you want to have dinner parties at your home, and your spouse is an introvert. When we hold on to expectations or desires that are unrealistic and impose these on our loved ones, bitterness and resentment can brew.
When we don’t hold our wants in check, dissatisfaction can take hold of our spirit. We begin to snap at our loved ones for not doing this or that. We nitpick at the smallest infractions. We become restless, creating a laundry list of disappointing to-dos that have been left unchecked.
Since we are bent towards wanting more, we will stack up the expectations on our children and spouses, often in destructive ways to the relationship. It comes in the form of nagging. And such nagging and criticism after a while create inertia.
We stop feeling motivated to do and instead settle back or drag along. When we arrive at the juncture that offers two pathways: the road of wanting leading to growth and the road of wanting leading to inertia, how do we know which road we should choose?
The good news is that we don’t have to choose if we adopt an attitude of generosity.
Generosity is the key that lets us want without drowning us in the process. Generosity is how much we give of each other. It can be the small details of making a loved one a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, taking out the garbage, and giving someone flowers and chocolate.
When we give, we can aspire for more without giving up our souls in the process. A generous and grateful attitude helps us keep our hearts in check.
Giving melts away the ice that can build up when our greed gets the best of us. And giving helps us stay satisfied and happy. A national survey found that couples who scored the highest on a generosity scale were far more likely to report being “very happy” in their marriages.
Would you like to be happy in your marriage and in your most cherished relationships? Be thankful to everyone, always. Adopt a spirit of gratitude 365 days a year. The reality is that you will always want more from your loved ones – what they do for you today is never enough. You will crave for more than what they can ever give you. If you dwell over what you feel you don’t have, resentment and even contempt can move in, making you incredibly unhappy and mean.
Make it a goal to be generous and thankful every day, and you will be content. Send a text to your loved one, write notes, give them kisses and hugs, tell them why you're thankful for them, tell them you appreciate them, value them, lift them up, cheer them on, give them the gift of a break from the kids, give them the gift of time as they carve out some time with friends.
As you give and give and give love to them, your wants and desires will no longer consume you.
Giving, loving, and appreciating will generate in you the desire to give more instead of just wanting more.