“Desires create actions.”
It’s so obvious, but true: the only reason you (intentionally) do something is because you have a desire. Desire is the only motive for action. Our conscious actions are purely based on what we (actually) want.
Let’s say you’re trying to gain muscle. That’s a desire. It requires lifting heavy weights; pain. This “collides” with another desire: comfort.
You’ll go to the gym because your “desire for muscle” exceeds your “desire for comfort”. It’s as simple as that. You always choose what you want (most).
Discipline does exist. But at the core of every (conscious) action, there’s desire. Desire is willpower. Desire is the greatest force.
Why Do You Procrastinate?
There are too many desires.
With thousands of contradicting desires,3Not to mention, we’re not even aware of many of them. Most people, having never examined themselves, have no idea what they want.willpower gets scattered.
Unclear desire; scattered willpower; confusion; paralysis. The sign of “not knowing what you want” is (endless) procrastination.
It doesn’t make sense to me when people beat themselves up for “not being disciplined” / “not having willpower”. They simply didn’t want it enough / wanted something else more / were confused. It’s unnecessary punishment.4Talking morality: you didn’t hurt anyone, you don’t deserve any punishment.
If you want, you do. If you don’t want, you don’t. Why suffer over not doing? You just didn’t want it!
(Suffering over “not wanting something enough” is some next-level desire. It’s beyond unnecessary.)
(Excuse is self-deception; it’s telling yourself you want A more than B, when you don’t.)
It’s not about “motivation”.5I mean, look for yourself. Do “motivational videos” really work? No. What % of short-term motivations lead to actual achievements? Pretty darn close to 0.It’s about awareness. It’s about self-examination. It’s delegating all the false-desires.
Having a strong & clear desire seems to be far more effective than trying to be disciplined.6Personally, disciplining myself has never worked long-term.
Anxiety From Inaction
Action relieves anxiety. Why?
Well, first, anxiety is a perceived (negative) consequence. So, action is a distraction from the perceptions.
The anxiety from inaction means there’s something you “should” be doing, but aren’t. (It’s a “should” because it’s (negatively) consequential.7If it’s positively consequential, you wouldn’t be anxious.) But, the reason you aren’t is that you don’t actually want to do it—there are conflicting desires (thus paralysis).8Desire against fear vs. Desire against activity(suffering)
But, almost certainly, that activity is never as bad as it seems. After you exercise/study/read/etc., you rarely think, “wow that was worse than I thought.”
Because your mind was busy imagining the activity.9Which is suffering on its own.The more you spent time thinking about it, the bigger headspace it took, and the more you got overwhelmed by10stronger desire againstthe activity.
The imaginations are hallucinations; they’re exaggerations.
Action exposes that.
Desires use emotions to bring actions.
If something is relevant to a desire, the ‘unconscious’ puts a good/bad label on it. Something that fulfills the desire is “good”, you feel good.
Without desire, no event would hold any significance, ever; you’d be completely emotionless (in terms of delight/suffering).
Also, desires inject emotions into preferences; like/not-like into love/hate.11“Love” as in “strong/emotional liking”When we love/hate something, we don’t hate that “thing” per se; it’s usually12almost always, actuallyrelated to some desire.
Why do you hate someone, who has no impact on your life, whatsoever?
What You Truly Want
There are true-desires and false-desires:
True-desires are the things that you truly want. You don’t actually want the false-desires; chasing false-desires is a waste of time.
You can surely know if you truly wanted something when you get it.14If you truly wanted it, you’re satisfied. If you didn’t actually want it, you still feel empty.
The only other way15how to know before spending all the time, that I know of, is to ask “why”; constantly questioning the desires. When I realize that a desire came from somewhere else, it’s easy to disattach from it. If not, I can’t.
(In other words, prioritizing.)
Humans are capable. We’re very good at getting what we want. It’s my suspicion that, if you truly want something enough, you’ll almost certainly get it. Perhaps even near-impossible things.
You have to concentrate on that one major desire.16Perhaps there can be 2. 2 at the absolute maximum. That means giving up all other desires.17Again, contradicting desires cause paralysis. You can’t focus on multiple things at once. Conflict is two desires colliding with each other.
Exceptional success can only come from having one overwhelming desire. That’s determination.
Seriousness is the only selfish virtue.
Full honesty and complete determination for what truly matters—that’s meaningful, respectable, and fun.
Maximally fun.18Seriousness isn’t the opposite of fun. If anything, unseriousness is.19If comedians were unserious about their crafts, their shows would be boring. If athletes were unserious, sports would be boring. Furthermore, if the audience is unserious (and not paying attention), they’d all be boring!
A serious life is the life worth living; an unserious, mishmash, unimportant, directionless life is not—for it’s meaningless, unrespectable, and boring.
Questions & comments are welcome!