Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Thing About Desire

Desire is a powerful motivator, but it is important that you are aware of how your desires are established.  Desires can  be derived from either that which you dislike or that which you like.  Negative or positive emotions.  Most desires are derived from that which you do not like.  We go to work because we do not want to be poor, we buy a house because we are afraid of being homeless, we buy the newest iPhone because we do not like social rejection, we want taxes to end because we don't like our money taken from us, and we eat food because we are afraid of being hungry.  The list continues and the examples of desire derived from positive emotions are difficult to come by.  While most of these examples can be framed in a positive manner (I eat food because I like to be full) the underlying motivation for the desire and the behavior is a response to that which we do not like.  It is a rare individual who can create a desire from sheer will of that which they want to achieve.  To base your desires on that which you like sets you apart from the masses which base their desires on that which they do not like.  It is the ability to create based on foresight and will that creates nobility.  It is the noble who change the world and find fulfillment in their lives.  It is the noble who have direction and purpose.  It is the noble who master their will and transcend fear  to achieve greatness.

Take this moment to examine where your desires come from, and eliminate the desires that come from negative emotions because by transforming your goals into that which you truly will to happen, allows you to achieve the greatness that sits dormant inside of you.


  1. Maslow calls some of these desires you mention. such as shelter, 'needs'. I think it also bears saying that the majority of people confuse needs and desires. Herein lies a problem. When one confuses a desire with a need, they lose track of that which is actually needed. We need far less than we consume. If we all paid more attention to needs and less attention to desires, we can live more simply and richly.

  2. Thank you for your comment. I agree that shelter falls under the category of a need as Maslow defines it, but it is something that we pursue out of desire nonetheless, even if that desire be that our needs are met. According to him, the hierarchy of needs must be met before we can pursue other things, and I don't necessarily disagree. You could really insert any example as the specifics are arbitrary. I also agree that a simpler life if often richer, but the point I'm trying to extend is that without examining where our desires come from, we do not have control of them. Instead of having merely reactionary desires, by constructing your desires out of will you begin the path of greatness.