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Desire’s 7 Foundational Principles

For some reason, this weekend had me thinking about desire. Maybe because after the one day when we’re supposed to be grateful, we turn into country of a base consumer, desiring more stuff that rarely leads to more happiness. Maybe it’s because my brain is weird. I don’t know. What I do know is Motivation is over-rated, and desire isn’t protected enough. Let me explain.

Desire vs Motivation

Are you ever motivated to workout? Personally, I’m not…like ever.

Yet what I do have is a a burning desire. It’s deep and it’s continuously there. When I’m tired, it’s there. When I’m not motivated, it’s there. When I have energy to burn, it’s there.

Too often people come to me, and say they have, “no motivation.”  I don’t know what to tell them, because neither do I. I think they hope that I’ll motivate them, but I will never pretend to think I can motivate you.

What I can do is to try and spark a deeper desire within you.

Desire is a funny thing. It can be fickle, like motivation, but it can also be something that once you have it, can fuel you for years on end.

So what I can do for people, is to help spark a latent desire towards a better body, or more energy and being healthier. This is what I hope to do. Motivation – Bleh. Desire, now that’s where it’s at.

And I know this sounds like simple semantics, but it’s not.

Motivation is a spark. It can light desire, but desire is a candle that has to be tended for and taken care of. If motivation is a spark, then you are the one holding a candle that you have to carry with you everywhere – that’s desire. And desire, can light other candles, larger candles, torches, and can light the way for years on end.

So sure, motivation can get you started, but it’s job is only to be present a very, very short amount of time.

Desire, when done right, is intended to be there forever.  So the question becomes how do you build up desire?  I thought you’d never ask.  

Desire’s 7 Foundational Principles

1 – Your Desire is Directly Linked to Your Discipline
Ironically, the more disciplined you are, the more likely you are to increase your desire.  Motivation says that you have to be “sparked” before acting. Desire says, you fucking move, even if you don’t want to. In moving first, you increase your desire.

Want to workout more? Plan and actually go workout more, even when you don’t want to.
Want to eat healthier? Buy healthier foods and eat them, even though you don’t “love them.”
Want to stop drinking so much alcohol? Stop drinking so much alcohol when you’re out, even if your friends are peer pressuring you to drink more?
Want to control your portion sizes? Control your portion sizes, even if you want to eat the whole damn plate.

Don’t wait for motivation, because it may never come.

But, and this is key, try to make it more enjoyable for you. Desire increasing discipline should not be drudgery.

Want to kill desire for something you aspire to be? Break your word to yourself time and time again. In trying to protect yourself, your brain will tell you that, “You didn’t really want it anyway.”

2 – Your Desire is Directly Linked to Your Confidence in Knowing What to Do
You ever desire something, but you don’t have a clue as to where to start? You feel overwhelmed and before your desire even has a chance to take root, you’re already saying this isn’t worth it. I do that shit all the time. No matter what hobby you want to learn or aspect of life you want to change, if it feels overwhelming to you, then you are more apt to put it off, because you feel like it’s “too much.”  Really, all that’s saying is that you lack the confidence in knowing what to do.

3 – Your Relationships Can Make or Break Your Desires
You ever want something badly and you tell someone close to you, whose opinions you value, and they give you the “Oh, Really” sad-look face? They may have not exactly said it was the worst idea ever….but, they hinted at it.

Often times, when someone decides to change their lives, you tend to see one of three things: One, is that either the people they care about get on board with those changes, or two, they find new people…OR, three, and all too often, they kill their desire.

Don’t kill YOUR desire to appease other’s uneasiness with your growth.

4 – You Have Higher and Lower Self Desires
This can be considered immature and mature desires, or Ego-based and Enlightened Desires. The bottom line is that there will always a conflict between the two. And here’s the thing, the “Lower-Self” Desires can be highly motivating. They’re typically linked with visceral and carnal pleasures, which means your body is literally motivating you to do things that your brain is like, “Umm…maybe we shouldn’t.” So how do you deal with that? Which brings me to…

5 – You Should Reframe Your Conflicting Desires
The problem with desire, is that we have conflicting desires, all the time. It’s like we have the good person on one shoulder and the bad person on the other with each whispering into our ears.

We want to have fun with our friends, which we associate with drinking, while also cutting back on alcohol.
We want to workout in the morning, and we want to sleep in.
We want to eat healthier, but we also want that piece of cake. You get the point.

How do you deal with those conflicts of desire? You have to learn to reframe your conflicting desires, and that takes time.

For example, you can reframe drinking alcohol to holding you back from feeling amazing.  Alcohol makes you feel like shit the next day and it acts as a crutch, holding you back from being the more authentic version of yourself with your friends. If they were true friends, you wouldn’t need alcohol to be comfortable around them.  Now that can be a paradigm shift.  And I’m not shitting on drinking or your relationships.  You can drink as much as you like with whomever you like, but what I am saying is that you should reframe how you think about the “Lower-Self” Desires.

6 – I can’t give you desire
I can help awaken what is already there, but I can’t give it to you. You have to manifest desire yourself.

Some people really don’t want to change. What they want is the benefit of what they desire, without the discipline. But, as the first aspect discussed, discipline really only comes from and reinforces desire. If you don’t really want something, deep down, you’re discipline is going to be lacking. This sounds so common-sensical that me writing it feels pedantic, but…

7 – We All Desire to “Be Better”
I think we all want to be better. We want to be healthier, have more energy, look and feel better, while having more control over our lives, and discard or minimize the things we know aren’t serving us.

It’s what every Hero’s Journey is about, and we all want to be the heroes in our own lives. Every hero’s story is about one thing – dissolving the ego to reach the core of who we are. This means we have to move past the lies that we’ve been fed and feed ourselves, to uncover those deeper parts of ourselves, to become the person we aspire to be.

A body transformation doesn’t have to be as dramatic as a movie, but sometimes you might need to find people to help you along and help keep that candle aflame when you’re too tired to hold it yourself.

Take Home Lessons about Desire:

1 – Only you can create desire and we all have desires to be better. 

2 – Learn to reframe your more “ego-driven” desires and that will help you have “more discipline.”

3 – Don’t let your relationships stand in the way of your growth, but don’t disregard your relationships. If you can grow with your relationships, then you have the best of both worlds.

4 – Learn the fundamentals of the changes you want to make. Everything beyond the fundamentals is showing off, but mastering the fundamentals is always a good idea (showing off every now and then though is fun).

5 – Your discipline is directly correlated to your desire. Your desire is directly correlated to how much confidence you have in your abilities to achieve your desires. So if your discipline is lacking, what in your life is killing your confidence and what steps can you take to change it?

I’ve talked a lot about desire because people think they have to be “motivated,” (which they don’t), but give no attention to what they truly want.  And sometimes, I think people don’t have discipline, because they’ve had their desire dimmed by failed attempts to get what they desire.

I guess, all of this is to tell you, sometimes it takes courage to go after your desires, and that it’s alright to desire to be better with your health, even during the holidays!  

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