It's so important to spend our lives doing things that we actually want to do and having gratitude for that, but understanding and distinguishing what we want and what we like is vital in this. It's so true that we're ingrained to always want more, but so often we can think that we want something when really we just like the idea of it.
We can do it with more superficial things, like the latest product that we like but will rarely use or, in the example given, a big birthday party, when really you want something different, which I know I can completely relate to. It turns out I love hosting and a good big party, but as much as I like the thought, I don't fully enjoy doing both together as I end up just worrying, so now that I've realised that I like that but don't really want it, I'll spend my time doing something I actually want to do, wont be worrying and wont feel disappointed after. (Someone throwing me a big birthday party is a whole different ball game - please be my guest).
But more seriously, we can fail to make this distinction in the big and more meaningful decisions and aspects of our lives like our relationships or our jobs, and just like the sound of something, rather than the reality.
We can like the sound of a particular place to work or a certain work culture, but really when you're in it, it's not something that you actually want. That's why it's so important to understand what's important to you, what kind of atmosphere will motivate you and that you want to work in. The great thing is that if you've found yourself somewhere that maybe you liked the idea of but in reality you don't actually want to be, there's time to change and be somewhere where you'll be happier and want to be.
Why was I upset? Because I somehow forgot to do one of the easiest ‘wellness tricks’ around — to distinguish between wanting and liking. I liked the idea of a big party, but I wanted something much smaller, more intimate, incredibly simple. Obviously the pair aren’t mutually exclusive, but strangely enough, not everything we like we actually want. What happens when we want everything we like? We minimize our gratitude, take ourselves out of the present moment and tend to experience some pretty unnecessary levels of stress.