One my favourite parts about going to an Asian restaurant, besides eating all the food, is the fortune cookie at the end of my meal. While most fortune cookies usually say something along the lines of “You will find riches in the most unlikely of places” or “You will be recharged with a new found zest for life” there was one day when I looked upon the piece of paper in my cookie and found an interesting fortune that read, “We do what we have to do, to do what we want to do.” Is this even really a fortune? I felt rather gypped.
The more I reflected upon the cookie – the more I realized that the message it carried could be more valuable than any fortune I have ever read.
Imagine the fortune from the perspective of a child. It’s a lesson we all must learn – the lesson of want vs. need. When we are young we see things that look foreign and amazing and we want them. It doesn’t matter what it really is or that we will only use it for a few days we want it so bad we start to cry and make a scene right there in the store. We’ve all witnessed this before – we look at the child and talk about their bad manners, comment on how spoiled they must be, and at the end of the day we can’t help but think about how disrespectful their actions are. All these descriptions draw up negative feelings in our imagination as we envision this child wanting so badly.
But, what if we could transform our childhood want for the material into an adult want for the things we have to do? Like the fortune cookie says, “we do what we have to do, to do what we want to do.”
I know what your thinking, “How am I supposed to know what I really want in life?”
And here is the kicker – you are already doing the things you have to do – it’s only a matter of flipping them into what you want to do. What I am trying to say is - what if we were to develop goals around the things we have to do in life in order to turn them into the things we want in life? Your not sure about your ultimate wants in life? Who is!? But, why not be the best at whatever have to dos you currently have to do.
This word “have” sounds so labourious. We would all rather do what we want over what we have to any day. But, if we can turn our have tos into wants then we can beat the system.
Before you know it you’ll be writing your own fortunes. I can see it now, “We do what we want to do, to do what we want to do.”