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Wanting vs. Liking: Unravelling the Key to True Fulfilment

In our pursuit of happiness and fulfilment, we often find ourselves torn between wanting and liking. While these two emotions may seem similar, they have profound differences in motivation and energy. Understanding this distinction can unlock the secret to experiencing genuine joy and contentment in life. In this blog post, we'll delve into the disparities between wanting vs. liking, exploring how the outcomes of achieving our desires, whether in food, career promotion, or relationships, can only be truly savoured when driven by genuine liking.

Image depicting a person consuming food without enjoyment. The lack of pleasure is driven by a want rather than a true liking for the food being consumed. | Hypnotherapy | Franziska Rosenzweig
woman eating junk food without enjoying it, photo by Tim Samuel

The Allure of Wanting: Chasing Empty Desires

Wanting is driven by external influences, societal pressures, or the allure of something novel. It is often accompanied by a sense of urgency or need, creating a void that we believe can only be filled by attaining the desired object or outcome. However, this pursuit is fueled by fleeting motivation, and once the goal is achieved, the gratification is short-lived, leaving us yearning for the next want.

The Authentic Energy of Liking: A Source of True Motivation

On the other hand, liking emerges from genuine passion and interest. When we truly like something, whether it's a particular cuisine, career path, or a person, our motivation is sustained by a deep-rooted connection. The energy behind liking is authentic and enduring, driving us to invest time and effort without feeling drained or compelled. This genuine enthusiasm keeps us engaged in the process, making the journey as rewarding as the destination.

Savouring the Delight of Food: Wanting vs. Liking

Consider the contrast between wanting vs. liking when it comes to food. We might crave a decadent dessert or fast-food meal due to its novelty or external influences. However, once consumed, the pleasure is fleeting, often leaving us with guilt or dissatisfaction. On the other hand, savouring a dish we genuinely like, prepared with care and love, brings lasting contentment and fond memories.

Climbing the Career Ladder: Wanting vs. Liking

In the realm of career growth, wanting a promotion for the sake of a higher salary or status might lead to burnout or dissatisfaction once achieved. In contrast, when we genuinely like our job and are passionate about our work, the pursuit of a promotion becomes an exciting journey. The happiness derived from reaching new milestones is accompanied by a sense of accomplishment and pride in our efforts.

Nurturing Relationships: Wanting vs. Liking

When it comes to relationships, wanting someone due to societal expectations or external pressures can lead to strained connections and unfulfilling bonds. However, building relationships based on genuine liking and shared values fosters deep connections. The joy of spending time with loved ones, driven by affection and understanding, creates lasting memories that withstand the test of time.


In the eternal quest for happiness and contentment, distinguishing between wanting vs. liking is pivotal. While wanting may tempt us with its allure, it often leaves us chasing ephemeral satisfaction. Conversely, genuine liking energises us with authentic enthusiasm, making the journey as delightful as the destination. Whether it's savouring our favourite cuisine, pursuing a fulfilling career, or nurturing meaningful relationships, true fulfilment lies in embracing the joy of liking over the transient allure of wanting.

If you feel driven in your life by wanting things or people without truly enjoying the pursuit or the company, in other words, if you often want what you cannot have, get in touch! Schedule a free phone conversation about how we could work together to bring your way of operating in line with your true inner values.

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