Men who are led by urges and desires are slaves to their biology. Men who can control what they seek and where they give their attention are free. – Chad Howse
In our society we look at desires as being good. We see them as “what we naturally want.” Desires can be good, but more often than not they take us away from where our attention should be focused. They don’t add to our lives, but instead distract us from both our purpose and our sense of happiness.
Desires can be both hormonal and “natural”, or influenced, and it’s often difficult to which is which.
For example, is your desire to have sex something that comes from within or is it influenced by the TV shows you watch or the billboards and ads you’re bombarded with?
Society wants something from you and for you. And it isn’t in your best interests, nor will it make you happier.
Everything around you is telling you to consume more. It’s making you believe that happiness is something you can attain by working hard, saving money, or maybe spending money on whichever product or service they’re selling.
Society wants you to believe that happiness is found in safety, that remaining safe is your greatest goal. But we know that true happiness comes when we’re outside of our zones of comfort or reaching after audacious goals pushing the limits of both our bodies and our intelligence.
When you give into your urges you’re becoming a victim to whatever beacons you. That is, rather than working and improving or perfecting a craft – the act of which leads to an experience called “flow”, one which is often described as the optimal human experience, or happiness – you’re being pulled to fulfill each and every one of your desires whenever they come into your mind. (Read This: Death of Freedom)
You cannot be happy, but you also cannot be successful or create the kind of value in your life if your desires are leading you. Instead, you must lead them.
You must be able to say no to things that bring you off your path. You must be able to resist the urge to see what your lady posted on Facebook or what your adversary is doing with his life, instead, work. Work on something that means something to you. Something that you love, or, and this is important, simply fall in love with the actual act of “work”.
There is so much wisdom in MLK’s quote about being a street sweeper, and sweeping those streets as if you’re Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel.
It’s those who aim to be the best at what they do, no matter what they do, that will experience happiness, flow, and create meaning in life when most others will lead lives devoid of purpose and meaning.