What do you crave? I’m not talking about the late-night munchies, but about real things in our lives that we yearn for and would do almost anything to attain. For me there are a few things that I feel a need to reach or accomplish, but in the end most of those things come down to one thing: knowledge.
When I’m lying in my bed at three in the morning, the things that I’m most likely thinking about are related to my desire to know and to learn. There are so many books I want to read. I want to watch movies and TV shows that make me think and evaluate my life and the world in which I find myself living. I want to study grammar so that I can be a better writer and editor. I want to learn how to produce and edit videos. I want to learn how to create a website out of raw coding, not through the use of a pre-made layout made by someone else. I want to learn how to do graphic designs that go beyond the superiority of windows paint.
I’m pretty sure half of these things sound boring and nerdy, but I’m okay with that. The question, though, is why do I feel such a deep desire to learn new things? I don’t feel a need to be better at these things than everyone else. I certainly know that I will never “know it all” and that there will always be people much smarter and wiser than I am. To be honest I don’t really know what I might use all of these pieces of information for. All I know is that when I begin to learn something new and different, it makes me excited and genuinely happy. It’s when I’m sitting at my desk, soaking up as much information about some new thing that I’ve discovered, that I am most myself. That’s when everything starts to make sense.
I guess part of this need might stem from the fact that I’ve always kind of found my identity in how good or bad of a student I am. As a child I was always the “smart one,” so I have always made it a point to do well academically. It was never good enough for me to only do what was minimally required; if I was capable of going above and beyond what I needed to survive, why not push myself to that level? There’s something about becoming a little bit of an expert on something, big or small, that somehow validates in my own mind that I am surviving in this world. Maybe if I can build up a resume of these things that I seek to know, I might be able to prove to myself and the world around me (but mostly myself) that I am worth something.
As I’ve grown older I’ve started to better understand this craving for knowledge. On the one hand I’ve come to appreciate and recognize its importance in my life. This desire to be a bit of an expert on the things that I love has allowed me to become a stronger student and will hopefully allow me to excel at whichever career path I end up going down. But I have also come to realize that while this part of who I am is very important, it is not the most important.
I can try to learn anything and everything I want, but all of that head knowledge isn’t going to amount to a whole lot if I’m not a very decent human being. Setting goals to be successful and good at what you do is important, but there are other things that matter just as much, if not more. Sometimes I think it’s easy to lose sight of that need for balance, but it is a balancing act worth working toward.
Comment Question: What do you crave? What is something that you feel the need to work towards and accomplish in order to be successful? Is this need/desire something that is healthy for us to have as individuals? I’d like to think that it is healthy to have goals and dreams to reach for, as long as we do not let those things fully define who we are in the end. Let me know by commenting in the comment section below!