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BlogElul Day 6: Want

Yesterday I considered how “commit” was a more active form of “choose”, which was the prompt from the day before. Today’s prompt – “want” – strikes me as a word that has both aspects tied up within it.

There’s the “want” we express as a dream, a wish, a hope, a desire – but not something we are willing to work toward. We simply WANT it to happen, to fall into our lap. To come to BE ex-nihilo.

I want to be taller; and a better dancer; and thinner; and more well-liked among my peers. And yet those wants are either impossible; require commitment of time, money, and effort; or for me to come to terms with becoming an essentially different person.

And then there’s the “want” that immediately pulls us up and out of our seat, our complacency, our very selves. It’s the want that makes us look forward to committing that time, money, and effort; the want that drives us to be an essentially different person; the want that encourages us to strive for the impossible.

In my work as an IT Practitioner, I’ve come across both. When someone asked me, “Do you WANT to teach a class in Enable?” (,_Inc.) My answer was emphatic: “No. Not ever again. Not for any amount of money.”

But when I was approach for the job of Head Geek, “Do you want to become an advocate for monitoring professionals?” my answer was equally emphatic: “You mean write all day, go to conventions, speak in front of crowds, and make videos? AND you’ll pay me for it??? Where do I sign up!!!”

There are many phrases which popularize, and at the same time over-simplify, this concept:
“Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.”

This is patently untrue. Even those of us who have the privilege of working in an area that brings us great reward – emotional, financial, and/or professional – still have hard days at the office. Everything comes at a cost.

But when you find something you WANT to do so much that anything you have to give in exchange seems trivial, then – by definition – the hard work, the bad days, the difficult moments are all part of a much bigger journey where the reward looms so large that it eclipses the momentary downsides.

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