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What is desire

Burning Desire. I want, I need, I desire

What is desire

Why do some people behave and react irrationally? It is all due to “desire”. Desire is a strong feeling wherein the person wants to have something which he cherishes. It can be wealth, a position, and recognition in social set up, respect from people around him. The list is endless. Even taking revenge for a perceived wrongdoing can be a desire for many people. Some people cause pain to themselves due to personal attachment to a desire. Desire is not only an individual trait. A group of people (consisting of different, unequal, dissimilar individuals) may also have desire and may decide to cling together if the desire is very strong. Various groups in a society, political parties and even fringe groups are an example of such group desire.

We were born from desire and since then we are never without desire. In less “educated” people it may become a complex form of addiction which results into destruction of rationale thinking and may even result into self destruction in extreme cases. On individual front some people never achieve the status they desired. But such people cannot connect this cause to the effect. When a person is unable or incapable of fulfilling his desire he may get frustrated, angry, abusive and aggressive. Some people may have such a personality (temperament and behavioural profile) that they are prone to feeling frustrated when desires are not fulfilled. Some people always bias their attitude in the negative direction. But personal expectations and reality of life are two different things. The second may not support the first.

What Causes Conflict

The Problem of Desire

Desire gives our life a direction and meaning. The direction and meaning may be ethically right or wrong. There are always competing choices available. Sometimes individual desire comes into conflict with other peoples’ desires. Problem arises when you desire to control other peoples’ desire. Desire, if taken beyond a limit, is destroyer of knowledge and is a stumbling block or self realization.

Healthy desire never steals – it feels, kneels and heals. Now it is up to us as to what do we desire and in which direction we want to take our individual destiny. So we should try to develop insight into nature of our individual desires. It will help us to disengage from unwanted desires which may be consuming our personalities. It may also be sending negative vibes all around.

Desire and Frustration

When a person does not get what he wants intensely then he feels miserable. When a person faces opposition he feels frustrated. Frustration leads to anger and disappointment. Such a person may attribute his frustration to someone else or to some other causes. He does not realize that he is feeling frustrated and miserable due to his own desire. The person has to identify the cause of his misery. For example an alcoholic may think that his misery is due to not getting alcohol. So he will spend his energy trying to get it. But once he realizes that his misery is due to having the desire for alcohol, he will try to break free from that desire.

Frustration may be due to internal causes or external causes. Internal frustration is caused when our needs, personal goals and desires are not fulfilled. Social conflict is also a cause of internal frustration.

External causes of frustration are beyond control of an individual or a group of individuals. A difficult task or an undue desire & expectations are an example of external causes of frustration. Such a person is always under psychological stress and his internal psychological consistency is disturbed. Such people try to justify their stressful behavior by inventing causes and blaming others.

Obey My Personal Rule Book or Else You Had It

Irrational behavior due to personal rule books

Some of us create our own rule book. Some of us tend to surround ourselves with other people who have same kind of rule book. When a small number o such people gather together the belief becomes stronger that only their rule book is correct. Recent example is violent demonstration over the film Padmavat. But conflict arises in such a group when others do not agree with only one kind of rule book. Many of us tend to believe that only our rules are right and that the other people should do it my way. Basis of most of the conflicts can be traced to the fact that we believe that other people should change and should follow my rule book. The majority of anger and frustration that we experience in our society today occurs as a reaction when we find that someone is not playing by my rules. Personal rule books are just your perspective and your preferences. Nothing more!! We live in a multi polar society with great diversity. There is no personal universal rule book which applies to everyone except the Constitution of India.

Each of us should realize that it isn’t personal when someone doesn’t play by your rules. That person or group is simply exercising the right to play by their own rules. If someone else is doing things in a different way it does not invalidate your way of doing things. We should be clear that we control very little about other peoples’ belief and way of living. We cannot control other peoples’ thought, philosophy and actions.


Expectation of Competence Leads to Frustration and Anger

Final Words

The less you respond to negative people the more peaceful your life will become. Here our education and upbringing comes into play. Education is ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self esteem or your self confidence. Education teaches a person to make rational choices in life. Upbringing defines our cognitive behavior. Focus on your goals. Don’t look in any direction but ahead. Never put your time in the hands of people with irrational behavior. Let such people bang their heads wherever they want!! People who are frustrated and constantly angry will not be punished for their anger but they will surely be punished by their anger.

Also Read

Ego and its effect

Article by Col P Chandra (Retd)

One Comment

  1. Nisha Rai Nisha Rai February 6, 2018

    Perfectly positive explanation
    Simple ways to make one understand

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