When I was a child, I indulged a lot in wish making. had always wanted to live in a big home replete with all the comforts that modern day can afford along with the entire lot of my family, dozens of cousins, and friends at a shouting distance. I had also made a wish to save the world, thereby establishing world peace. In between several similar wants, I had made a wish to become the Prime Minister of India too, and take crucial decisions that would stun the rest of the world.
Growing up, and with the intention of growing wiser, I dropped my previous childish wants in the pursuit of more attainable and manageable imaginations. Instead of the large house and larger family, I told myself to desire a small house and smaller family. In place of the adventure that would have been saving the world, I choose to write about saving oneself and discovering inner peace. And where I wanted to be the Prime Minister, I decided to opt for being the one who ran the home with an iron fist, a task at which I have failed miserably so far.
But if you have noticed it, my wishes have definitely come true, albeit on a different scale.
My best friend has always wanted to become a designer. As a child, she was constantly experimenting with her looks, her accessories, and her behaviour. She had developed a pattern of designing not only things around her, but her own self as well. These days, she is trying to help others design themselves. She is a life coach who is busy helping people figure themselves out. My friend’s childhood desire to become a designer has indeed come true.
Now, how does stuff like this happen?
Blame the brain for that. It is always leading us towards what we want. But that is its job profile though. The brain is not only the guardian of the body, it is also the guardian of the spirit.
The more intense our want, the more we think about what we want. And the more we think about what we want, the stronger is the brain’s connection with the related neurons. This is also where the brain’s ability to visualize comes into play.
So, if you think a lot about food, you will always be led towards it – through cooking, eating, chopping, washing, reviewing – you get the idea. And that is how the brain is constantly leading us towards fulfilling our deepest desires.
I have my doubts…
Fair enough. Let us take the case of the housekeeper lady who comes to clean my house every day. Obviously, she did not want to become someone who cleans other people’s house for a living. But on account of being someone who was born into a poverty-ridden family, most of her thoughts would have focused around her hunger, food, or the lack of it. Growing up, her deepest want would have probably been to ensure that neither she nor her family goes hungry. And so here she is, an adult who is happily providing her three kids with healthy meals every day, so they can desire something more than food. And that is how a wish comes true.
But our desires do not materialise the way we want them to…
Obviously not. On a personal front, I am very happy not managing a bunch of rebellious cousins at home, being burdened with the tedious job of saving the world, or dealing with the heavy responsibility of running the country. So, according to me, some of us with a higher power of imagination are better off with the fact that our wildest dreams did not materialise in the same way as we imagined them in the first place.
So why and how is it that our expectations from life do not meet reality?
One, the sheer number of people wanting the save the world from possible disaster is also a number that resembles infinity. In other words, there are just way too many of us wanting the same thing out of life. It is simply impossible for everyone who wants to become a doctor, to become a doctor.
Then how do some of those who want to become a doctor become a doctor?
The answer is as simple as they wanted and wanted. They spent a lot of time wanting, and doing only what they wanted to become.
Among the many things that I wanted to become, was a writer. This want was fuelled by my hunger for stories. I spent a lot of time reading, and a lot of time visualising myself writing similar books. My health or lack of it, during my childhood days, gave me many opportunities to spend a lot of time with my imagination. So, while the rest of my friends with similar imagination were involved in other activities, which also meant that they were not thinking enough about becoming a writer, there I was, lost in my own dream world. Besides, the more I read, the more my brain learnt how to write. Which was how my imagination has now stepped out into reality.
And this leads us to…
Take a look at all the kids who are so busy doing so many different things that they don’t have time to spend with themselves. These kids are also kids who lack the deep desire to achieve something because they do not have the time to think about achieving something. They are constantly rushing from one activity to another and trying to be everyone except themselves.
That is why the need to…
Boredom gives us time to have conversations with ourselves. It gives us the time to think about what we want and give a shape to our wants. It is just as important to spend time visualising, as it is to engage in the act of visualisation.
Having said that, the act of hugging boredom should not become a constant. We should also get into the act of trying to get what we want. As a person who was committed to the act of embracing boredom for more time than was necessary, I am ashamed to say that I missed a lot of opportunities to become who I wanted to be, sooner. The finest person is also the one who is understands that it is only our actions that can match alternate reality with reality.
And now, back to the beginning
Even as I thank my brain for helping me get what I want, I also thought of what I could want next. From my understanding of how desires come true, I have come to the realization that I had better stop wanting.
But the mind, oh the mind, it moves in mysterious ways…
I lost my parents many years ago and have been feeling the pang of their absence in my life occasionally. Without even realising it, I have been wanting, and I have been wanting to be once again in their company. The presence of my husband’s parents, my friend’s parents, and cousin’s parents have only added to this subconscious desire.
Every day, as I watch my mother-in-law pay special attention to her son’s needs, there is nothing more that I want than to be with my own mother. While there are miles to go, let me see what happens when I make a wish.
Here’s to wanting right, so when your Amen comes along, you are ready for it!