Maybe some people want to want X, more than they want X.

where X = a Ferrari or a beach vacation or whatever else

thinking about this after seeing an ad for a vacation package at a beach resort somewhere and thinking, geez, that would just be terrible. Now, of course, I like beaches less than the next guy, but I don’t even think I’d want to win a ski vacation package, say.
(eh, maybe. I mean, I’d take it. But I’m not really jonesing for it.)

Thinking about this too after having a couple of free days in between things recently, and thinking “gosh, I’ve actually cleaned up the ol' to-do list. It’s done. I’ve completed everything. Now I get to do… what?” It’s just a day here and there, so I couldn’t make a big plan, but even so, I sort of frittered them away doing a bunch of small things. It would be really nice if I could just say “I’ve won it! Some free days! Now I get to spend them having The Best Time!” Similarly with money. “I got some money - now I can have The Best Time!”

It’s an antiquated notion, maybe, from a time when you never even had enough time or money. If you were in the 30s or 40s, you’d be trying to scrape by or not die in a war; you didn’t have time to think about what you’d do after¬†you made it, and you might just assume “it’ll all be good then, I’ll buy The Best Life.” But it turns out, being a human and figuring out what “feelings-you” actually wants is complicated, even after you’ve made it.

Anyway, I want to want a Ferrari. That’d be nice and simple.


Daniel -

+1 to this post – if I could get an oracular answer to the question “which activities would be most fun for me, in some holistic sense of ‘fun’”, that would be extremely helpful. See also: people don’t seem to spend money in ways that actually make them happy, even with their “spare” money.

Dan -

hahah, yeah! like, Feelings-Dan, tell me what you want (both now and in the future)! I’ll buy it for you! But you only communicate in weird subtle obtuse ways, so I can’t!

related: I just watched Sleepwalk With Me, Mike Birbiglia’s movie, and at the end (spoilers! it’s ok, it’s not a great movie, I’d give it maybe 6/10) at the end he’s like “we almost got married! even though neither of us wanted to! because breaking up might hurt each other’s feelings!” … feels like a classic case of not being able to hear their Feelings-Selves. AKA “communication is hard” - but I think the communication barrier was not between Mike and his girlfriend Abby, it was between Feelings-Mike and Mike, and between Feelings-Abby and Abby.

Communicating with Feelings-Self is hard, in conclusion. I think somewhere in the education system, we should teach kids that.

Adam Jaffe -

I’ve been dealing with this too, I think? I’m not rolling in dough as a piano teacher, but it seems well established at this point that Ferraris and designer handbags don’t make us happier in the slightest. Furthermore, contrary to what they think, people are happiest when they are working and being challenged and not when they are relaxing on a beach. I like the beach for a day but never know what to do after that. I also really hate unstructured days with nothing to do.

All I’ve figured out is that I’m happiest around people, I like games and challenging activities, and I mostly like seeing museums when I travel. You might like the book “Flow” from the 90s, since it delves into lots of these ideas.

Agreed though, communicating with “Feelings-Self” is tough, and it’s only recently that I’ve been getting better at it.

Dan -

I think it might be a bit personally dependent - I know some people who love relaxing on the beach. (or at least, they say they do!) I mean, I’m super into flow, challenge, games, and sometimes museums, but I wonder if some people just aren’t.

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