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November 7, 2017

Without this, it doesn’t matter what you want

“The discipline of desire is the background of character.”
(John Locke)

 

“We want what we want.” I’ve heard that phrase used as an excuse for adultery, thievery, and even pedophilia.

 

Perhaps that’s why some people believe so strongly that it’s dangerous to concentrate on our desires. These folks stress the need to recalibrate our desires, fixating them on the right things, or not even acknowledging them at all. But this doesn’t fix anything, because well…the phrase is actually true.

 

We do want what we want. That doesn’t mean we’re supposed to get everything we want, though.

 

We have to learn to bring discipline to our desires. We have to discern those things we want MOST from those things we want RIGHT NOW. We also have to judge our wants against our belief systems.

 

The most important task of our lives, I believe, is aligning our lives and our selves. This means, through disciplined focus, integrating together our actions and words in harmony with our beliefs and desires. The most effective people in history are those with this kind of integration. This is, indeed, true integrity.

 

Well, we cannot practice this alignment if we’re not aware of our desires. Getting to know them is essential to getting to know ourselves.

 

Peace begins with pause,

 

 

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