Do I Want the Right Things? 3 Tips for Setting Your Desires

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Do I Want the Right Things? 3 Tips for Setting Your Desires

Adapted from Monica and Michael Berg’s Spiritually Hungry podcast. Listen and subscribe here.
June 6, 2022
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Children are full of want. They scream and throw tantrums when they want something, without any hard feelings about it. As we grow up, the shame of wanting sets in. We start to feel ashamed to ask for what we want, afraid it will make us look impolite or difficult.

We often mistakenly believe that being spiritual means we need to diminish our desires. We’ve all heard that we should be happy with a simple life and want for nothing. While it’s important to be grateful for the blessings we already have, desire actually plays a vital role in our spiritual growth. Desire carries us through life, motivating us towards positive transformation. Without it, we would never fulfill our soul’s purpose. Of course, we often focus our desires on the wrong things. So, how do we know if we are desiring the right ones?

Here are 3 tips for setting your desires in the right direction:

1. Get in touch with what’s truly important to you.

The term desireis often misunderstood. There is a big difference between wanting and desiring something. We may want a good meal or even for a problem to go away, but those are only surface-level desires. True desires are something much deeper. They take self-reflection to find.

When thinking about what they desire, people tend to focus on what they lack rather than what they really need. For instance, many people want to find a partner because they don’t want to be alone, but the desire sometimes comes from a lack of fulfillment in other areas of their life. They think they need to find a partner as a catch-all to fulfill all the things they lack. This often leads to unrealistic expectations for a partner and an unsatisfying relationship.

Take the time to get in touch with your truest desires. Know what you want, but challenge yourself to know whether what you want is really what you need. Ask yourself: Why do you want that? What will you do once you have it? Where is the desire coming from and why?

Discovering your core, fundamental desires will put you on the path towards true fulfillment.

2. Spend more time pursuing the things that really matter.

If you go through the day fulfilling a hundred desires, it’s unlikely that you will find lasting fulfillment. On the other hand, if you focus on a few essential desires, it is much more likely you will be fulfilled, have a growing desire, and that you will accomplish what your soul is meant to do that day.

Create a hierarchy of the things you want. Which desires are most important that require you to take seriously and invest in the most? What are the desires that you have beyond the physical? The desire to have a connection with the Creator is something that lives and is rooted within all of us, whether we realize it or not. It’s good to have other desires as well, but there is nothing that gives you as much fulfillment and peace as the moments of connection to the universe.

3. Grow your desire to share with others.

Desire often wanes as we get older. We tend to have less energy, we stop dreaming big, and the idea of trying something new seems laborious. We assume it’s a natural progression of aging, but actually, our desire wanes because we have been investing our time on things that are limited and not rooted in goodness and sharing. When those things come to an end, so too does our desire.

Focusing our desires on other people in selfless ways helps keep our desire alive. We are meant to have greater desire when we are 70 than when we are 20, but it takes living with this consciousness and consistently making decisions about where we are going to manifest our desire.

Don’t accept that desire diminishes as we age. Stop and question what you desire – is it a good thing for right now, is there growth in it, will it sustain you later? Be invested not just in your desire but also take that energy and see how you can spread it and offer it and help others that have desires. If you are giving, that is limitless desire, and it grows and grows. That is what gives vitality to life.

Sustaining desire is paramount to a fulfilling life. Without the force of desire propelling us forward, we remain stationary. We have a responsibility to understand and direct our desires properly. Take the time to discover your core desires, focus your attention on them, and grow your desire by sharing with others. It can be difficult to ask for what you want but know that there is no shame in wanting. The amount of pleasure we derive from anything is equal to the amount of desire we have for it.

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