Desire, perspective, and paradox

Desire, perspective, and paradox
Photo by Aditya Chinchure / Unsplash

A single desire has two possible outcomes:

One, you achieve it.
Two, you don't.

Knowing both possibilities, we can return to the present moment and analyze how desire today affects outcomes tomorrow. 

When we do this, it becomes clear that desire today is pointless.

Let's say you won't achieve a desire; what is the point of worrying about it now? It's not coming, so let go of it.

But what if you will achieve the desire? Does that justify desiring today? No, because you're wasting energy fixated on something that will come regardless.

Desire cannot be completely pointless

Desire is still the reason things happen; people want them and find the focus to achieve them.

Can we abandon desire and still do great things?

No. Desire creates motivation. And motivation can lead to action, which (in theory) increases your odds of achievement.

So, desire is both pointless and a primary factor for accomplishing anything.

How do we navigate these two extremes?

Because there are infinite desires, I think you can have two desires that lead to the same outcome. 

However, these desires can feel completely different. 

One causes chronic stress, whereas the other creates bliss.

A middle path exists between having no desire and spending your life needlessly absorbed in desire.

Finding this balance is the key to being a "high-performer" without getting trapped in excessive want.

A personal example

When I first started creating music, I (naturally) had dreams of DJing festivals, collaborating with my favorite artists, winning a Grammy, etc.

Those dreams motivated me to start. I'd be lying if I said they didn't.

Eventually, I realized that the hopes of achieving stardom didn't fuel my daily urge to create.

If that were still the motivator, I would have quit by now.

The truth is, making music exhilarating. Every day, you sit down and create whatever you want without judgment. Sometimes, the stars align, and great music effortlessly falls out of you.

But usually, it's shit. You spend years in the trenches, slowly honing your skills, creating art you know can be better.

I still dream of success in music but with a new perspective. 

What was once idolizing a lavish lifestyle has changed to creating great art.

Fame, fortune, and festivals might still happen, but I'll be enjoying the entire journey instead of waiting for the big payoff.

Plus, writing great music is much easier when you're not pursuing external validation.

The less you desire, the more likely you are to achieve.