Capacity to Desire

Ego Oct 16, 2021

Desire is a difficult beast to handle.

It comes natural, just like evolution. Your goal is to design the environment in a way that influences the animal to do what you want. It's a horse waiting to gallop, a bull waiting to tackle, a cheetah waiting to pounce on its prey.

The animal beckons for our attention to validate what it wants to do.

The Concept

The mental capacity to do anything first involves a bedrock layer of desire: the capacity to desire seems like a large barrier to tackle.

Benefits of growing the capacity to desire.

If we do this, then all of the energy needed to compel us to execute will come naturally.

For example, given enough persuasion, one can have a capacity to desire so great that no external encouragement is needed any more, and they will do the thing they are designed to do, not because they can, but because they will.

How do we expand our capacity to desire?

Firstly, we must understand...

Desires are not atomic enough

Most of the time, surface-level desires or material wants in societal life can be split into smaller, atomic parts. Sort of like asking 'Why?' 5-7x until we come to the deepest answers.

Then again, another alternative is...

Positive affirmations

One way I can think of is positive affirmations. Thing is, I’m not really a fan of rewriting the same thing over and over again on a piece of paper. I'm not sure if it will work. I'm thinking back to the RoamFM episode I had with Bardia on this, and it worked well for him.

Since it worked for him, I take it that my position is currently shaken, and I am subject to convincing otherwise.

Thing is, I already do something similar: I have a mantra I recite before dinnertime. In that mantra, I recite and embody experiences and insights that I want to hold on to for the rest of my life. So…it DOES work, only I've applied it to principles, not desires.

I may be annoyed by the redundant activity of writing the goal 10 times. But maybe...

Repetition is the most efficient form of embodiment as a practice.

Though, you can make the argument that I had the desire to change myself. The death of my grandmother compelled me to change for the better, starting this habit. The desire was hidden: I merely wanted to prove myself away from death. A form of denial that death was so close to me yet I ignored its looming presence.

Life took many tries to remind me of its influence, from this incident to an earlier one when I lost my grandfather in 2008. That compelled me to start all of this. The capacity to desire came from such a close encounter with death that it defined how I lived. Strange, how life works huh?

Parallels to the Sense Audit

First, be aware of one’s influences, perceptions, observations and default behaviors. All of these to some extend define one's desire (feels like it would take the same steps as the [[Sense Audit]]).

The next steps are:

  • Find out its rationale: Why do these attributes exist in your current narrative?
  • Figure out the horizon: What is the idealistic state of satisfying this desire that you have right now?
  • Explain how to get there: Reverse engineering the steps to get to htat point, how hard will it be? what are the prerequisites? What do you need to learn first?

What's important to note is steps 2-3. In the realm of desire, figuring out the horizon would not be enough.

It is weak because just as reading the last page of a book wouldn’t count as reading the whole thing, we need to spend our time getting convinced of the benefit of going there in the first place to bother with struggling for the horizon.

To get there is where the affirmations come in. We can’t measure the distance, so we put in an arbitrary amount thinking that putting a number to said unknown distance would inspire us. “IN 1 YEAR I WILL BE RICH”, etc. and there would be a number of self-arguments there on length of time.

Once again, less on gap and more on the gain, and less on goals and more on systems aka. The habits I’m willing to implement.

Something as small as writing a sentence to reframe myself towards a higher level of agency would help I’m sure. Personally, I just don’t know if writing it down is enough to convince me. I am happy to be proven wrong though.

Alternative: The morning mantra

What would a Morning Mantra look like?

Maybe something like a prayer. For now, I could do the primary mantra and let it evolve over time from there.

It would be the same, and as an addition, as soon as I start in the morning:

Look at how I’ve already affirmed I WILL write in the morning first thing!

And we begin. I may have to start memorizing the above then. Maybe that’s what I need. Execution in the morning, reflection at night. I could name them as Dawn and Dusk Mantras? Sounds nice.

Progression Log

  • [[October 16th, 2021]] Started

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Norm

Norman Chella is the Podcast Rainmaker, Polymath in Progress and a very strange writer. His creative pen name is N.T. Cloever. You can find his words right here.

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