We all have two desires inside of us.

There’s what we want: the desire to get in better shape, make more money, read more books, etc.

Then there’s what we want to do: the desire to eat donuts, spend money on stupid shit, watch more Netflix, etc.

Usually these desires are at odds. You want to get fit, but you also want to eat cake.

How can you simultaneously want both of those things? It’s a contradiction.

What do you actually want?

Anecdotally, it’s obvious to me that the “what I want to do” desire is fueled by impulse and irrationality, whereas “what I want” is determined through careful reflection and consideration.

The “what I want” desire is less about what you want to do, and more about what you want to receive.

Let’s say your top bucket list item is to go skydiving. That’s what you really want. While it may seem like “what you want to do” is to go skydiving, really what you want is to have gone skydiving.

You’ll want to go skydiving until the second you're halfway out of a plane. At that point, likely the last thing you’ll want to do is go skydiving.

What you want to do is not jump out of a plane and risk death, but rather to be a person who has done that.

The “what I want” desire is driven by what you want to receive: an experience, an achievement, a label, etc.

The “what I want to do” desire is driven by whatever impulses your lizard brain is shoving at you in the moment.

It’s best practice, then, to opt out of the sugary “what I want to do” desires in favor of the savory, meaningful, real “what I want” desires.

If you focus solely on the former, you’ll end up a cracked out porn star at best.