The Downside Of Desire

The downside of desire

Desire is directly linked to success, be it the desire to achieve something or to be able to achieve a certain achievement. Desire can be motivating and therefore positive, but it also has disadvantages. Our desires often blind us to what we already have. Arturo Graf, the Italian poet and writer, said that in order to feel safe and motivated in the course of our lives, we should wish little and expect even less.

Both the desire to meet all of our needs and the unlikely fact that we have granted all of our needs have negative sides. True, it seems that the latter circumstance is not a bad thing; but if we let our desires guide us, we quickly end up in a dead end. It is a vicious circle in which we can never be content.

So should our desires be measured against our reason and be guided by it? It doesn’t have to be, of course, but it can be naive and disproportionate and blind us to the treasures we already have. Hence, it makes sense to only desire what we can reasonably achieve.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up men to gather wood, assign tasks and divide the work, but teach the men to long for the vast, endless sea.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Our need dictates that we want what we don’t have

In ancient Greece there was a saying that whoever planted more lust, the less happiness he could get. But why is it so easy to commit and so difficult to really want it? The answer is that desire can arise out of helplessness, but will requires strength.

Horace, one of the most famous poets of all time , approached desire from a different, no less interesting perspective: he concluded that he who received enough could no longer desire anything. Desire is human and necessary. The key to happiness lies in managing our desires. Maybe we think that we can only be happy if we get everything we want. But sometimes we start to feel emptier as we gradually achieve what we once wanted. Hardly any new dreams can germinate on this soil.

According to George Bernard Shaw, there are two tragedies in life: one does not get what his heart desires and the other gets exactly that.

Man in sunset

Before we wish for anything, we should carefully analyze what satisfaction, what plus in growth and development we hope to achieve in this way. If we then reduce our desires, it is also more likely that we can fulfill them.

To avoid the downside of craving, we should wish for something that we can achieve

Let us reiterate that desire in and of itself is not a bad thing. Our desires can make us a better person. Faith in our values ​​and ideals opens the door to self-realization and self-knowledge, the pinnacle of personal development, because a soul is measured by the depth of its desires, like a cathedral by the height of its towers.

Some people even believe that there is only one driving force in life, and that is desire. This is why it is so important to highlight the positive aspect that comes with fulfilling our desires: without this driving force, we would hardly see any progress. All of our advances are based on an irrational desire that comes from deep within a person and their limitless desire to achieve and improve something.

Woman stretches her arms towards the sky

The desires in our life form a chain, the individual links of this chain being held together by our hope of getting what we want. Perhaps we are most fascinated by our desires, that they help us overcome our fears. The disadvantage of craving is not the act of craving, but the type of needs we want to satisfy, because wanting something unattainable can only make us unhappy in the long run.

It is therefore a great advantage to set realistic goals. As with almost anything else, the key is to find the right balance and be sensible.

“Do not ask or expect events to happen as you wish. Accept events as they actually happen. That is how peace is possible. “

Epictetus of Phrygia

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