“Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.”
Desire… one of the most powerful human emotions – a creator, and destroyer – but, where does it come from?
To understand the origins of desire, we must dig beneath the surface of human behaviour; often this unravels the unnecessary complexity we create in our lives.
Desire is the foundation of achievement (success), but is it the achievement we desire or something else?
All human behaviour is the result of one simple observation: at the heart of every desire, is the desire to feel good.
All desire stems from the belief that when we achieve/attain something we will feel a certain way.
This may be a desire to obtain material objects, a certain physical appearance, or a relationship. The outcome we seek is that sense of joy, happiness, and love.
We all feel it, we all chase it – but sometimes its closer than we think…
So, if all desire comes from the “emotional state” of achieving and not the actual achievement; “success”, then, should be measured of person’s ability to achieve a desired emotional state (joy, happiness, love).
The misconception in society today: “success” is determined by status (how much money we have and how much we own).
We need to re-define our own definition of success: success is not about how much money we have, or how many things we own, it’s about how happy we are in each and every moment.
Success, when viewed from this new perspective, becomes a purely individualised concept.
We have the ultimate power to decide our emotional state in each and every moment.
Success then, lies in our ability to control our emotions.
Detach from the outcome
In light of this new definition of success: if I find happiness in a $9 bottle of wine, and a highly paid business executive finds his in a $200 bottle – which is more successful?
Of course, the answer is neither.
If success is determined by our emotional state (happiness/Joy), if we both reach this state, then we are both successful.
This example brings to light an important realisation when it comes to happiness: our happiness will be limited to the extent that we are able to detach from outcomes.
In the example I just gave the limitation is money. Although my monetary requirement is far less than the business exec, it’s still a limitation.
What if I couldn’t afford my $9 wine? Do I allow it to affect my happiness…?
It’s important to understand, it only becomes a limitation if I associate my emotional state to the outcome.
Can I be happy with or without the wine?
If yes, the wine is simply a bonus – I am detached from the outcome of my desire. The outcome of my desire no longer controls my emotional state.
Contemplate this for a moment…
“Detachment is not that you should own nothing. But that nothing should own you.”
Ali ibn abi Talib
Break-free from consumerism
Realisation of the true meaning of success can separate us from the unconsciousness consumerism culture which dominates society today.
Big companies use advertising to play on these innate desires.
Their primary goal: to convince us that we are incomplete without their product or service. If we are not careful advertising can implant desires through advertising.
When we feel incomplete without a certain product, that’s sign of good advertising.
I felt like that before getting my first mobile phone.
I begged and begged my parents to let me get one – for some reason I just didn’t feel as cool as the other kids if I didn’t have one.
At the time, Motorola had some damn good adverts out for their new phone. I remember watching them as kid and thinking: “I need that phone!”
Based on the principles of desire we identified earlier: it is clear the phone wasn’t what I wanted, it was the emotional state (to feel cool, to feel accepted).
So what happens when we get our desire, but we don’t get the desired emotional state?
This is where the collective consumerism culture comes in – we just move onto the next item, or relationship, that we think will give us what we want.
Wake up and look within
“It’s not the emotion that is good or bad, it’s what you do about it.”
The fact is: desire is an inevitable part of the human experience, when we understand its true origin, we can take a step back and observe the purpose of our behaviour.
When we wake up and realise that love, peace and joy are all emotional states that are cultivated from within – through transcending the mind and connecting with the body.
We can then stop chasing the materialistic items, superficial relationship, and physical appearances that bring only transitory moments of happiness.
Look within; choose to find joy in the eternal – meditation, yoga, nature, and movement are all ways that help us connect with higher emotional states. They don’t require anything external; they simply help us access the space from within, that which raises our level of consciousness)
Instead of wanting the latest mobile phone, car, or gadget, step back and find out what it is we really want.
When we use our desires for good, rather than contributing to consumerism we can make the world a better place.
How can we use desire for good? How do we obtain eternal joy, love, and happiness?
It’s very simple: desire happiness, joy, and love for others.
When we want other people to be happy more than ourselves we have connected with our true nature. We become one with the essence of life.
Our ultimate purpose is to love and serve others – listen to your conscience, let it bring self-less love to all.
Through this we become a part of the collective conscious; the next stage in the evolution of human kind.
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