When you ask people what they want, it's usually a pretty tangible and fixable answer.
I want more time off.
I want a bigger house.
I want a significant other.
I want to sleep more.
The list is theoretically endless, but there is something hidden behind every one of those stereotypical answers. They are all seeking something other than what they are seeking. The person who wants more time off, really wants less stress or to spend time with family. A bigger house might be a status symbol or just some elbow room if you're from a big family. A significant other could be intimacy or someone to not feel lonely with.
Behind every tangible desire is an untouchable need. We are all seeking something physical for a way to cope or handle our emotional or spiritual needs. Philosopher Blaise Pascal said that we have a hole in our heart that nothing physical can ever fill and modern science tends to agree.
In a study done by noted author and therapist, Jay Stringer, he examined the porn habits of participants and found that the sexual fantasy's they had directly correlated to the "scars" they had experienced in life. Those who watched step-family porn typically had issues in the family dynamic. Those who sought out violent escapades usually had some form of trauma relating to violence they were trying to take control over. The sexual fantasy's were an attempt to fill the hole they had in their heart but were taken captive by deviancy.
And I think we all do this.
It might not be a bigger house or a sexual fantasy, but there is this inward desire to look for something physical as a bandaid solution to an emotional or spiritual issue. But I also think that these solutions leave us wanting. There will always be a bigger house or a more deviant fantasy that is begging us to draw from that well again.
There is a story of Vincent Van Gogh that says he struggled with depression. In his downward spiral he saw some yellow paint by a canvas and thought, "Yellow is a bright and vibrant color. It looks happy and makes me feel happy when I use it. Surely, it will make me happy if I ate it." So he ate some and found he was still unhappy.
So I would ask you: what hole do you have that you're trying to fill with yellow paint?