Desire, Ambition, Greed, & Many Worlds of Enough
I discovered two extremely engaging publications this week, thanks to a popular tweet thread on, “What is the best article you read online this year?”.
Here are two articles from the above two publications that made me go, “Oh my God, this is amazing. Give me more!”
This time, I am trying a new format to summarize and share the major key takeaways from each article:
- Desire is different from needs.
- Desire is a social process- it is mimetic. More often than we realize, we mimic our desires from other people, culture, and environment.
- This is what usually leads to herd mentality and why different individuals going to a particular university tend to end up in a narrow set of career paths.
- It is okay to desire (as this is what pushes us to do more) but when it becomes a source of constant restlessness, it is critical to question where they come from.
- Knowing the history of our desires help us break free and lead an anti-mimetic life instead of an unintentional pursuit of things without examining why.
- You can know this by examining people who could influence in your internal world (family, friends, co-workers) and the external world (celebrities, fictional characters). Social media can often lie at an intersection of both.
- A mimetic desire can become a non-mimetic desire over time when we put our original thought and exercise our creative freedom. For example, Lamborghini founder started making sports cars as a result of mistreatment by Ferrari founder. Over time, he took the ownership of that desire through his own designs and engineering expertise of his firm.
- The most anti-mimetic attitude of all is an openness to wonder and a desire to let reality surprise you.
Article of the Week-2 The Many Worlds of Enough
- Your identity changes when you make progress towards a particular goal- your idea of what “Enough” is. The original goal often does not make sense to this new identity.
- It is not about shifting the goalpost after you reach a goal. It is how your goal can lose its meaning when you make progress because you are no longer the same person who set the goal.
- That’s why we usually never reach our idea of “Enough”. It is constantly shifting with the evolution of many new identities during the journey.
- Ambition and greed both drive us towards a goal with one difference. Ambition is about self-actualization- becoming more capable. Greed is usually about the end outcomes of the ambition- praise, prestige, power.
- When greed becomes the main driver, nothing would be ever “Enough”. “Enough” remains when you remove elements of greed.
- Through self-awareness of our identities during this play between ambition and greed, one can self-correct the path towards “Enough”. Many times this “Enough” would be just lower than the original goal.
- When left unchecked without self-awareness, external circumstances could lead to the correction causing misery.
- Wisdom is in self-correction, while misery is in coerced correction. You reach the zone of “Enough” by a series of such self-corrections.
- The idea of “Enough” then becomes a matter of identity and what it means for you to feel accepted, not by others, but by yourself.
That was it from my end, this week!
Do let me know your feedback on this new format of summary of articles in this way rather than just giving the links.
Until next time,
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