The Wanting Mind
Adapted from Brent Kessel’s book It’s Not About The Money
What is the wanting mind?
"This force [that keeps us always wanting] is known in several Buddhist traditions as the Wanting Mind.
The Wanting Mind is always craving an experience different from the one it currently has."
--Brent Kessel, It's Not About the Money
“Just a little bit more.” --John D. Rockefeller When asked how much is enough?
Kessel uses Rockefeller's quote to illustrate “the Wanting Mind,” that part of us that can never quite be satisfied with how things are. “The Wanting Mind insists that things need to change in order for us to be happy,” he explains, “and money is one of its favorite objects to focus on.” We are wired to want to survive, to be more secure.
“There is nothing wrong with wanting - wanting more time, more money, a wonderful relationship, a family, a successful career, a new car, a bigger house, and so on. It is not actually the wanting that causes us problems.
Problems occur when we ATTACH our happiness, worth, and inner peace to getting what we want.
Brent Kessel makes the very astute observation that the reason people believe getting what they want brings happiness is because they feel so happy when they get what they want - for awhile.
BUT IT IS NOT THE GETTING WHAT YOU WANT THAT IS MAKING YOU HAPPY - IT IS THE CESSATION OF THE FEELING OF WANTING!
When you get what you want and experience the cessation of wanting for the week or two after getting what you want, you are more able to be present in the moment, enjoying the moment and feeling grateful for the moment.
This is what actually creates the feeling of happiness, worth and satisfaction.” -The Wanting Mind Article By Dr. Margaret Paul July 28, 2008
That wonderful sense of contentment is impermanent. That amazing feeling has the tendency to do only one thing: fuel more wanting. If you are like most people, this list is only the beginning. Your financial desires over time could probably fill pages.
What’s the point? It’s not the stuff on your list you want. It’s that feeling you want--that freedom from wanting. Can you see that? Your awareness can calm the wanting mind. However, I do believe that when we create memories or we free up time, our happiness with those purchases last longer than acquiring a new thingamajig.When we align our spending with what we value in life is paramount.
To learn more, along with examples and activities read the complete handout that I use with clients. Keep in mind it is my job to make all this sound easy, but working with me directly and investing in yourself brings better and faster results.