The Link Between Desire, Happiness and Despair

The link between desire, happiness and despair

The link between desire, happiness and despair

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss the link between desire, happiness and despair.

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Now, let’s talk about the link between desire, happiness and despair.

It’s the most common phrase and request by every client – “I just want to be happy.”

We all desire to be happy. That’s expected.

What determines our happiness and what defines our happiness, are entirely different for each person.

What is it that makes you happy?

What is it that you desire?

“We are no longer happy so soon as we wish to be happier.” – Walter Savage Landor (1775 – 1864)

Unfortunately, in our society of constant consumerism, where everything we have today, will be outdated tomorrow, it seems that we can never have enough.

It is the constant desire and burning longing for something that we don’t have that actually creates unhappiness.

 “What is evil? Killing is evil, lying is evil, slandering is evil, abuse is evil, gossip is evil: envy is evil, hatred is evil, to cling to false doctrine is evil; all these things are evil. And what is the root of evil? Desire is the root of evil, illusion is the root of evil.” Buddha (Prince Gautama Siddharta, founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)

Here is the paradox – without any desire, we would do nothing and we would achieve nothing. Without any desire, we would not even learn, grow, evolve, progress or contribute to anyone or anything. There must be some desire for us to even exist.

So how can it be argued that desire is evil?

Research reveals that when you have a long-term goal that will provide a sense of satisfaction, your stress is lowered and your immune system is enhanced. It can easily be argued that this benefit occurs because the long-term goal also gives a sense of meaning and purpose to your life.

So again, how can desire be perceived to be evil?

The desire that can never be satisfied is evil because it creates extraordinary unhappiness and misery.

The desire that can never be satisfied transforms from positive expectations and optimism into negative thoughts of hopelessness and despair. In turn, those negative thoughts (including worry, doubt, anxiety, envy and so forth) create chronic stress and lower the immune system, resulting in illness and disease.

Thus the paradox is that we need desire to drive and motivate us to set and achieve meaningful goals, but, a constant insatiable desire destroys us.  The difference is found within the desire – why do you want what you want?

Is it a meaningful goal or is it a desire to have something to fill an inner emptiness and receive the approval and acceptance of others?

Again, the actual goal is critical along with the “why”; the motivation determines whether or not the desire is healthy or unhealthy.

The target
In my audio book, Get What You Want, I state clearly that you can’t hit a target if you don’t have one. What is your target? What is it that you want? You must be clear and precise about what you want. If you say, “I want to be rich” – how will you know when you are rich? How much money or wealth will determine whether or not you are rich? If you say, “I want a new job” – what type of job, doing what? Your subconscious mind can only direct you to notice the opportunities when you can clearly define what they are. The same applies to relationships: “I want the ideal partner.” What is the ideal partner? What are his/her traits, values, personality, etc.?

The swinging watch
When people learn that part of my background and training is in hypnosis and hypnotherapy, they either become excited that I can help them or fearful that I might have the power to control them. They expect me to pull out a pocket watch and swing it back and forth to hypnotize them.

You are being brainwashed and hypnotized on a daily basis. The swinging pocket watch is everything to which you expose yourself – the internet, social media, advertising, magazines, music, videos and so forth. We have about 65,000 thoughts every day, and most of them are subconscious. Those thoughts are affected by what you see, read and hear. You are not immune to your environment!

Consider what you believe to be valuable and worthy in life – from where do those ideals and values come? Is what you say you want your actual desire, or, is it the desire that has been given to you via the power of hypnosis of the people around you?

The motivation
This is the “why.” Why do you want what you say and have defined above? One client wanted to become rich and successful so that he could prove his dad wrong. That was excellent motivation because it drove him to achieve great things. However, it meant nothing to him; it couldn’t satisfy or quell his inner belief that he wasn’t good enough. He became tired, depressed, despondent and almost suicidal. Only when we resolved the subconscious issue was he able to truly enjoy his success and realize he didn’t need to keep chasing the insatiable, immeasurable and unattainable desire for more!

The gratitude list
Every time you look at something and think “I would be happier and feel better if I had that…” you are creating despair, worry and anxiety (notice what you feel in your body.) Set clear goals and take action to make them happen. However, you will experience more joy in the process of achieving those goals when you express gratitude.

It is so easy to get caught up in what is missing and what is not present; express gratitude on a daily basis. At the beginning of the day, upon waking, instead of texting, checking email or posting on social media, say “Thank you.” Simply write or speak a list of everything for which you can be grateful. Notice how much better you feel and how that creates motivation for the new day!

The Word
Find a word that reflects your core essence (love, joy, peace, compassion, beauty, etc.) and calmly repeat it aloud or in your head for a few minutes every day. Researchers at Harvard University discovered that after practicing this for 8 weeks, participants were activating genes that suppress stress neurochemicals.

The action
What would you be doing differently if you were happy?

What things were you doing when you were experiencing happiness?

Smiling more, riding a bike, walking, fishing, reading?

Start doing those things now.

Do small things that make you happy. Stop practicing unhappiness.

There is a vast difference between existing and living!

Finally, the key to happiness is always to be found in the way you perceive life, the way you respond and interact, the way you see things. Find the balance and pursue the dreams that truly and really matter to you. Remember, happiness starts now, not when

“There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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    Elsa says:

    Thank you for your nice article. Just sharing here, what I’v learned recenly: If house is our Happiness, than the foundation of this house is Inner Peace. How we attain a virtue of Inner Peace? By working on our Obligations and it often takes some Sacrifice. What is sacrifice? Ability to choose what we “should” instead what we “like”. It is not easy, but with efforts attainable and in consequence true deserved and lasting “Happiness” is achieved.

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