You Don’t Know What You Want
This is one of the most important articles I will ever write. If you get what I’m about to say, it will change your life.
I’m going to give you three examples of something you probably had no idea existed.
Many years ago, I once consulted with a consulting company (yes, that’s right, a consulting company hired a consultant; it happens all the time). During a meeting with the two owners of the firm, two crusty, cantankerous old bastards, I laid out three different options they had for an upcoming project we were going to work on.
They quickly got irritated, and said, “Caleb, look. Every time we ask you to do something, you come to us with two or three different options. You lay out the pro’s and con’s of each option and give us your recommendations, but leave the decision up to us.”
I said, “Yes, that’s exactly right. That’s exactly how I do business. I’m here to advise, not to decide. I don’t own your company. You do. I can give you all the options, lay out all of them in detail, and give you my recommendations, but you have to make the final decision. Right?”
“Wrong,” they said, “We don’t want all these options. It just confuses us and wastes time. From now on, when we issue you a project need, we want you to just TELL US what to do. No options. No analysis. Just say, ‘This one thing is what you must do, period, end of story.’ Okay?”
I argued with them for a bit, saying that wasn’t how I did business, unless they wanted to hand me over a significant percentage of stock in their firm, which of course they were not willing to do. Eventually, I let them talk me into it.
A few weeks later they came to me with another project, and during our meeting, I did exactly as they instructed. I gave them one thing to do, and told them they should do that, and nothing else.
They hated my idea and fired me three days later.
During my first “real” full-time job in the corporate world as a very young man, I worked for a large software company (now long gone) called Central Point Software. Our main software product was a DOS utility (remember DOS?) called PC Tools. I was on a (temporary) market research team involved in asking our customers what they liked and didn’t like about our product.
Our customers generally liked the product, but they had one big complaint that came up over and over again; it was too complicated. They overwhelmingly said that there was “too much” to the product, that it had “too many options,” and that the overwhelming number of choices and aspects to the product made it confusing to use.
After processing the results, management had us go back to those same customers who had this complaint. We asked them one simple question. “What parts of the product would you like us to take out, in order to make it less confusing for you?”
Almost all of them responded, “Take something out? What the hell? Don’t take ANYTHING out! Why would you take something out?!?”
Top 40 music radio stations constantly advertise “more variety” in their music, yet they don’t actually give you any variety. They just repeat the same small number of songs over and over again.
You might already know this, but you don’t know why. Top 40 music radio stations have a secret.
The number one complaint from listeners of Top 40 radio stations is that there’s too much repetition in the music. So, many stations will try to include more variety. Every time they do this, they lose listeners. People hate the variety and stop listening, and the radio station loses money in ad revenue.
Whenever the radio stations go back to repeating the same crap over and over again, listenership goes up. And people start complaining again.
So today, Top 40 radio stations constantly advertise “more variety” when in fact, they repeat the same crap over and over again. They’re just reacting to irrational customers who demand something they don’t actually want.
You Don’t Know What You Want
You think you know what you want, but you probably don’t.
What you think you want might actually be a false construct in your irrational mind, placed there by various sources, such as:
- False Societal Programming
- Obsolete Biological Wiring
- Chemical and/or hormonal imbalances in your body you aren’t even aware of
- Trauma from past experiences or relationships
- The need to impress your parents or peers
- Neediness and/or perhaps oneitis for another person or people (especially lovers, family members, or children)
- Your fears
These things are not you. You are not your Societal Programming, your hormones, your fears, your trauma, your parents, or whatever. They are powerful influencers, but they are not you. You are you.
Therefore, if what you think you want is coming from any of these sources, they’re really not coming from you. They’re coming from them.
That’s bad. That won’t make you happy, at least not in the long-term.
I Didn’t Know What I Wanted, Either
In my book I describe the story about how I thought I wanted to be legally, monogamously, traditionally married, have a traditional, picket fence lifestyle, own a “big company” with a building with my name on it with lots of employees, and live in a gigantic house.
For most of my 20’s I thought I wanted this stuff and worked very hard to achieve it, and largely did.
Just one problem. I didn’t want any of that stuff. My influencing factors wanted it, but I didn’t.
I did actually want kids, but Societal Programming incorrectly told me the only way to do this was to get legally monogamously married to a woman and live with her for 20 years or more. But I never wanted to get legally married. I never wanted to get monogamous. I spent most of my late teens and early 20’s making fun of guys I knew who had monogamous girlfriends or wives. Hell, at the time, I didn’t even want to move in with a woman.
Yet, I wasn’t aware of any of this. I instead thought I wanted to get married like everyone else. And I was wrong. False Societal Programming had done a number on me, as it does to everyone.
I thought I wanted a big company with a big building with my corporate logo on it, full of employees. This was because Societal Programming, my own Alpha Male 1.0 father, and my own insecurities all said that was what a “real” “successful” entrepreneur had.
I was consumed with Alpha Male 1.0 programming that said a “successful” man and a true Alpha was a “LEADER OF MEN!” A successful business owner has a shitload of employees who look up to him and follow his command. A successful businessman has a big building he can point to and say, “SEE? THAT IS MINE! I BUILT THAT!” That’s success!!!
I bought into all of this. I thought I wanted it. Except I really didn’t. I just wanted to make a great six-figure income on the least amount of hours worked per week. Employees weren’t the goal. A building wasn’t the goal. The money was the goal, as was the lifestyle.
But, I didn’t know any of that. Instead, I followed the Alpha Male 1.0 business model of being a leader, hiring a bunch of employees, and growing a business to as huge as possible. I did it… and it didn’t make me happy. What I thought I wanted was not what I really wanted.
It wasn’t until my early 30’s when I sat down and consciously cleaned out all of my influencers from my mind.
- I had to remove Societal Programming.
- I had to remove what my parents, friends, and peers wanted for me.
- I had to remove what my outdated caveman biology wanted.
- I had to remove what my fears and past failures wanted.
- I had to remove what Hollywood had brainwashed me to want.
- I had to remove what my political leanings wanted.
I had to clean all of the garbage out of my brain so I could finally get to what I wanted.
It was hard. I remember sitting in front of my laptop on that sunny day at the park, a blank Microsoft Word document on the screen, as I squeezed my eyes shut and tapped my own head, trying to get all of this bullshit out to let my true desires in. Finally, I got there, and I started writing out what I wanted.
When I was done writing it all, I was amazed. What I really wanted looked almost nothing like what I thought I wanted. I didn’t want a traditional wife at all; I wanted to have sex with whomever I wanted, even if I was in love with one special person. I didn’t want a traditional business at all; I just wanted to work from home, whenever I felt like it, with no employees, travel whenever I wanted, and make shitloads of money from wherever I worked, anywhere in the world.
I was stunned. It was like meeting myself for the very first time.
From there, I made plans, set goals, and started formulating my Mission.
That was about 13 years ago. Since then, I have worked on what I wanted, knowing with 100% certainty it was what I wanted and not what I thought I wanted.
My life not only turned around completely, but now I live a life that is so wonderful that I still, honesty, can’t believe how great it is sometimes. Instead of a pathetic beta male life or a tedious Alpha Male 1.0 life, I live an Alpha 2.0 life. I’m nonmonogamous and have sex with whomever I wish, even while able to maintain long-term, serious relationships with women. Working from home whenever I feel like it, I work far less hours and make far more money than I ever did when I had the Alpha 1.0 “big company” with employees and crap. My income and lifestyle is location independent, so I can travel to anywhere in the world literally whenever I want without having to worry about any loss of income.
Because I’ve operated on what I want instead of what I think I want, I am literally the happiest man I know, and I know hundreds of men.
People Don’t Know What They Want
The reason the divorce rate is so high, the reason people keep voting for politicians they hate, the reason half the population is on drugs, and the reason most people are chronically unhappy is because they don’t know what they want.
Oh, they think they know what they want. They’ll vehemently defend what they think they want. They’ll scream to the rooftops that they want to get traditionally married someday, or that they want single payer health care, or that they want to build a wall, or that they want to get rich, or that they want children, or that they want to bang 100 women, or whatever. But, they actually don’t want any of those things. None of those things will make them happy.
It’s because they have not sat down with their own minds and ruthlessly dissected what they want vs. what their influencing forces want. They think they know what they want, but they actually have no idea.
This likely applies to you, especially if you’re under the age of 40 (but even if you’re not). You don’t know what you want. You just know what your influencing factors want. What you want is probably something very different.
Get to work on your own mind. Find out what you want.
When you finally uncover it, you might be very surprised.