“Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.” -Albert Einstein
Our actions have many motivations, but the best motivation we can have is personal desire. When we act from personal desire we act from ourselves.
Here is an example. Let’s say you want to be a doctor. And you want to be a doctor because you want to help people increase their level of well being. You believe that physical health and feeling good are the foundation for a fulfilling life. Within this motivation there is your own desire to do something, and a desire to contribute to others in a very specific way. In this example you are acting from your own self, from your own desire.
Let’s look at this from a different perspective. You want to be a doctor. And you want to be a doctor because your Grandfather was a doctor and your parents think it would be great if you followed in his footsteps. Based on your parents’ wishes, you decide to attend medical school. In this example, there is no personal desire to practice medicine, only the desire to influence how other people think and feel about you. Also notice that there is no particular desire to contribute in a certain way (even though you will help people based on the fact that you practice medicine). In this example, your actions are based on other people.
When your actions are based on others, there is no force behind them. No power. And, you have no control over how people think and feel about you anyway, so the approval you chase is always just out of your reach.
When your actions are based on yourself, your own desire propells you forward in a way that nothing else can. Obstacles and temporary failure don’t upset you that much, because you know that you will find a way around them.
The Strength of Acting From Yourself
Your actions will be:
Persistent: There aren’t any obstacles that will stop you, only those that will temporarily slow you down as you figure out a way around them.
Courageous: When you need to get past the gate of fear, courage is the key that unlocks it. It’s difficult to be courageous consistently, but with your own desire motivating you it becomes easier to access.
Creative: When you are seeking something you desire, your creativity is in full force. That’s because the road is not straight and wide, usually it’s twisty, full of undergrowth and probably with a few dead trees blocking the way. You will have to be creative in getting around obstacles.
Enjoyable: This is very important and, in many ways, makes results easier to achieve. When you love the act of doing something without worry about the results, the results tend to come. When the result is all you want, it seems to get farther away.
Ensure Your Actions Are Your Own
Say “I Want”: All of your actions that arise from you start with the phrase “I Want.” To say this without guilt or shame connects you to your personal desires and makes you want to realize them. Make a list of all the things that you want to do that would contribute to the well being of others. Make sure they are things you would love to do.
Understand You Don’t Control Others’ Approval: Wanting approval from others is not the problem, we all do. But sometimes you have to act in spite of it. Usually, chasing someone’s approval is the very worst way to try and get it. You don’t have any control over another person’s thoughts and feelings about you, so trying to please others (especially at your own expense) is mostly a fruitless activity. Use courage to act on your wants, even when it feels like you may lose the approval of others.
Detach Yourself From the Result: And now, for the most difficult step. Personal desires are not only enjoyable to achieve, but they are also simply enjoyable to pursue, even when they are very challenging. There is something very fulfilling about pursuing a personal desire even if there are no guarantees that it will come true. Discover enjoyment in the process and you can let go of the result.
How do you ensure that your actions are your own? Share your thoughts in the comments. Thanks!