Luke Burgis speaks about how so much of what we want is not what we want. He dove into how we are trained to want what others want on an interview we did with him for an EVRYMAN Global Call. His new book, Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life, helps unpack your conditioning and discover what YOU want.
Luke gave us a taste of how to discover our actual wants. Many people talk about “finding your purpose”. The problem with most approaches is that they are top-down; our heads determine what we want. When our conscious mind is driving the bus, we are more susceptible to unconsciously following what others want.
Over the years, I have seen many clients and group members — through doing their work — discover that regardless of their success, they are not happy. Their hard work was based on doing what others modeled or suggested. Others mean well, but they are not us.
Men will come to this work intent on finding their purpose. Some of these men want a new model to tell them what they should do. I always resist that. I help them slow down, feel, and express what they are jumping over. Often the process of slowing down allows the deep, more intrinsic wants to emerge.
If I ever saw a fast-track to dialing in wants and purpose, it is what Luke laid out on his Global Community Call. His exercise of speaking to a man about the experience of accomplishments that matter to the man began to direct men toward their true wants.
Luke generously shared his process for using the past accomplishments that mattered to an individual as an archeological hunt for what they really want. Here is a link to his Google doc that lays out the process.
I suggest men do this exercise. If you have not already done so, use Luke’s “Template for Personal Reflection” described in his Google doc.
Luke suggests you consider activities that you:
- Enjoyed doing
- Believe you did well
- Found deeply satisfying
Rather than coming up with three examples, share an accomplishment with someone that meant a lot. Speak about:
- What you actually did (focus on the action), and
- What was most satisfying to you.
As kids, we are often reinforced for doing what others believe is “good for us”. Working with men and EVRYMAN members, men discover what they want to do. Speaking those wants to an audience that supports you without any other agendas is freeing. If you don’t have a group or place to do that, I suggest you find one. It may be one of the best investments you could make.
We all need support for what we do. Choosing where that support comes from can make all the difference.