If you could have anything in the entire world, what would it be? When the genie pops out of your bottle, or you find that magic wand, have you got your wish list all prepared?

Human needs can generally be broken down into three distinct sub-sets: health, family and sustenance. We need to be healthy, we need to earn enough to live a decent life, and we need family and friends to support and be supported by.

In addition, most of us have a further series of hopes and aspirations; things we might not strictly need, but want. Less crucial to our existence though they may be, yet these yearnings are the bricks that help build our castle of dreams.

Elul is the month before Rosh Hashana and the High Holydays. We’re coming up to the home stretch, with the decisions we make now casting ever greater a shadow on the year that lies ahead. Now is the time to prepare our New Year’s resolutions and prayers and to work out what we really want.

Twice a day during the month of Elul we recite chapter 27 of Psalms, in which King David lists his hopes and aspirations. I have but one request from G‑d, only this do I ask . . .

Most of us would find it impossible: just one request! Only one chance to get it right? How can I possible cut down my long wish list into such a narrow scope of possibilities? Given the choice, you’d much rather enumerate all your desires rather than distil them into a non-specific aspirational statement.

. . . let me dwell in the House of G‑d all my life , was King David’s plea. The Rebbe explained that King David was including, not excluding. Rather than pare back his ambitions, the request of G‑d to dwell in His house is an all-inclusive package that contains all blessings therein.

When we ask for health, it’s so we can serve Him in health. When we request wealth, it’s so we can afford to live a life of Torah and mitzvos, and our deepest aspiration is that our family join us in the ways of faith.

All our hopes and aspirations are invested in G‑d and all happiness derives from following in His way. When we welcome G‑d into our lives we transform our houses into a home for Hashem. To pray for this recognition to Him is to receive all possible blessings in return.