How to Tell Weak Desire from Strong Desire

Image of a spark jumping a gap between two wires...

Does your desire create enough spark to jump the gap from inspiration to action? Not all desire is created equal. There are weak desires and strong desires. Weak desires are more easily slowed or deflected by conflicting beliefs or short-term challenges. Strong desires will help us seek the alignment and focus we need to make the jump from dream to reality.

A strong desire is something that comes from your essential nature, and that is intimately connected with your individual preferences, abilities, and purpose. We’ll call this kind of strong desire “self-connected.”

Self-connected desires have a “why” that is motivated from the inside out.

A weak desire is something you do in order to comply with something outside you
that you buy into just enough to recognize that it serves you at least SOME of the time. The inspiration for such a desire is also weak, because it is about complying to avoid creating a gap, and not about filling a gap you want to fill. If the inspiration is weak, so is the desire. (Please see the post before this one for an explanation of the relationship of inspiration to desire.)

Weak desires have the quality of weak self-connection, and are more about appeasement and compliance with outside forces.

Good examples of strong desires would include:
  • The desire to realize a long-standing dream that is aligned with your skills, affinities, and beliefs about yourself.
  • The desire to get some gear that would allow you to more fully realize your artistic or technical pursuits.
  • The desire to achieve a promotion because it will give you greater positive influence and opportunity to serve in an organization you believe in.
  • The desire to provide your children with opportunities to learn and grow to healthy independence.
  • The desire to eat right and exercise because you feel great when you do those things, and like to look and feel great in the clothes you like to wear. (Notice that the “why” here is self-connected.)

Good examples of weak desires would include:

  • The desire to comply with a social convention you’re not fond of.
  • The desire to complete a chore you don’t really see the need to do, but are doing for someone else, only because of your desire to avoid conflict.
  • The desire to achieve a promotion to show someone else your worth (you don't have to prove your worth to anyone).
  • The desire to continue to hear someone out when you think you know what they are going to say.
  • The desire to obey traffic signals that are slowing you down.
  • The desire to eat right and exercise because someone else (even an expert) said it is good for you. (Notice that the reason here is not self-connected, but comes more from outside influence.)

Sometimes the process of getting to a something we desire strongly is peppered with these experiences and requirements that we don’t strongly desire to get through, and might even desire to avoid. This means that if we don’t have an approach for getting through boring stuff, we could suck energy right out of our strong desire. Procrastination happens. Derailment happens. In extreme cases, brilliant excuses are offered, and new, limiting beliefs are formed.

In an upcoming post I’ll talk about strategies to mitigate desire drain: essentially, putting desire back in our process when it has gone missing. There are even ways to turn weak desires into stronger ones.

Where do you see strong desire operating in your life? Where do you see weak desire and slow progress?

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