A Little Happier:  I Want Whatever He Wants

My friend told me about an incident that happened when she was a child. Her brother Peter is two years older than she is, and one way or another, when they were young, he always managed to grab the biggest slice of cake and the best seat around the table.

She constantly complained to her parents about this state of affairs. At a certain point, they moved to a new house, and because she was right that her brother usually got first dibs on everything, her parents told her, “This time, you get to go first. You get to choose the bedroom you want.”

She said, “I want Peter’s room.”

This little story perfectly captures a tendency that I fight often in myself—to want something because other people want it. I constantly ask myself, “What do I want? Forget what other people want, what do I want?”

It’s one of my Secrets of Adulthood: It’s easy to want what others want, instead of asking, “What do I want?” But if we don’t really want something, getting it won’t make us happy. Even if someone else really, really wants it.




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