Satisfaction is the Death of Desire

This is short, but it is as important as anything I’ve written.

You want to be happy, right? This took me almost 30 years to learn.

In my 20s I complained about life, even after major accomplishments, and Christine asked, “Is anything ever going to make you happy? Why can’t you just be happy with what you’ve accomplished?”

I replied, “No. I can’t afford to be happy, because this isn’t good enough. I can do better.”

She shook her head and walked away leaving me indignant and confused. I couldn’t afford to be happy, because happiness is dangerous. Happiness leads to complacency and laziness.

I was sure I was right, but I was wrong.

Like many aggressive goal oriented people, I was confused about the meaning of the word happiness.

I confused satisfaction with happiness. They aren’t the same thing, no matter what your dictionary tells you.

You can be happy and insatiable.

Somehow, when we were kids, we began to believe we needed our desires satiated to be happy, but we don’t, and this mind set cheats us out of many happy moments. This confusion leads to obesity and a swarm of other addictions. We believe we must eat until we are happy, so we eat too much, because we confuse happiness with satisfaction and most of us will never be satisfied. It is natural to be insatiable, because it drives us upward and onward. We are insatiable creatures. Our demand for more fuels the great creation we are experiencing. In our confusion we chase happiness through the satisfaction of our desires, but the moment of satisfaction is fleeting, and thus, so is our happiness.

So the desire to be more, to have more, and to create more is natural and should be insatiable. Since satisfaction is the death of desire, it is also the death of creativity. So be happy and grateful now, but forget about satisfaction, it isn’t even desirable.

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If You Love Liberty and Freedom, You'll Love This

I have some exciting news. I’ve launched a provocative and controversial new blog.

If you have enjoyed some of my more political posts, my new site is for you. The new site is for those of you who love to question the government, who love personal liberty, and love to discuss political topics and political philosophy. I appreciate all intelligent debate from all perspectives.

My new blog – The Free Savage – is about political and social freedom.

The Free Savage is written in the spirit of John the Savage from from Adolus Huxley’s novel Brave New World. (For more information read the snippet at the bottom of this post about John the Savage from huxley.net.)

Then read, This isn’t personal. This is about ideas or the About Page. To get an idea what kind of material I will be posting, read Baseball Bats and the Nanny State which has already had several thousand visitors. I’d love to have you join the conversation.

In the future I will publish my political posts at The Free Savage, so if you hate political discussion, steve-olson.com will be less political than before. However, I will promote The Free Savage here at steve-olson.com from time to time.

At The Free Savage, I will link to the best liberty oriented content on the web, so if you have something worthy let me know via the contact page.

I welcome any help promoting or launching this new website, any reviews, stumbles, or other promotions. And as always, I appreciate any and all links.

Please subscribe to The Free Savage feed.

Thank you for all your support.

******

JOHN THE SAVAGE
The illicit son of the Director and Linda. He was born and reared on the Savage Reservation (”Malpais”) after Linda was unwittingly left behind by her errant lover. John the Savage is an outsider both on the Reservation – where the ignorant natives still practise marriage, natural birth, family life and religion – and the ostensibly civilised Brave New World: a totalitarian welfare-state based on principles of stability and happiness, albeit happiness of a shallow and insipid nature. The Savage has read nothing but The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. He quotes them extensively and, for the most part, aptly, though his allusion to “Brave New World” [Miranda’s words in The Tempest] takes on a darker and bitterly ironic resonance as the novel unfolds. John the Savage is intensely moral. He is also somewhat naïve. In defiance of BNW’s social norms, he falls romantically in love with Lenina, but spurns her premature sexual advances. After his mother Linda’s death, the Savage becomes ever more disillusioned with utopian society. Its technological wonders and soulless consumerism are no substitute for individual freedom, human dignity and personal integrity. He debates passionately and eruditely with World Controller Mustapha Mond on the competing merits of primitivism versus the World State. After his spontaneous bid to stir revolt among the lower castes has failed, the Savage retreats to an old abandoned lighthouse, whips himself in remorse for his sins, and gloomily cultivates his garden. But he is hounded by reporters and hordes of intrusive brave new worlders. Guilt-ridden, the Savage finally hangs himself after – we are given to infer – he has taken the soma he so despises and succumbed to an orgiastic debauch.

Give Me A Dose of What is Real

A guest post by David Windmiller

Role play. Pretend you are Neo. Would you take the red pill, or the blue? Personally, I’m taking whichever one will lead me to fulfillment; a happiness of knowing what is… “real”. The one which leads me to all the sensible, responsible, proper, and aristocratic pleasures in life, such as, for example my favorite, stoning adulterers.

We say we want the truth, but is it what we really want? Well, Sometimes… but why then do we delude ourselves?

My friend Julia is a sensitive, caring, curious young woman. Julia confided in me the other day upon hearing that the love of her life, the one she would have given her hand to, was lying to her. He was lying to her and cheating on her. Julia told me what she knew and had heard. I, being my own direct, bold, but also suave self, confirmed her deepest fears, pitched my two cents that she should dump him in the gutter. Despite the insurmountable amount of flack she had on this man’s guilt, it took a considerable amount of psychological sledge hammering by me to help her get out of her cycle of depression and rationalization from her (now) ex lover’s behavior. She knew she was being played for months, even years but still refused to face the facts.

Why do many of us allow ourselves to fall so immensely into our illusions? How are you living — in which ways are you deluding and depriving yourself and ultimately your happiness?

Discovering truthfully what reality is for me and fighting for what I want it to be is continuing to be the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. But, I wouldn’t change a thing… I would rather die fighting on my feet than live on my knees. Give me the dose of what is… “real.”

David Windmiller is a student at Purdue University, majoring in Chemistry, Psychology, minoring in Biology, Philosophy and preparing to enter medical school in 2009. David enjoys critical thinking, meditating, and writing about why we as people push our lives in certain directions and how our life quality can be enriched.

You can read David’s blog at http://www.davidwindmiller.com/.

Live in a Rich Western Country? Read This Now

Every adult in western society should read this article by Motivational Speaker Craig Harper.

He wrote about his experience listening to Bobby Cappuccio speak. Bobby began his life facing extreme obstacles. Obstacles few of us could comprehend.

Stop Whining

After giving us a summary of Bobby’s amazing story, Craig wrote:

To be honest, I am growing less and less tolerant of negative people who constantly whine, bitch, moan and complain about their tough lives. People who live in some of the wealthiest countries on earth, who have never known the hardship that more than half of the world’s population are subjected to every day of their life. People who constantly rationalise, justify and blame but never actually do anything constructive to change their reality. People who major in minors. I regularly get slammed for my hard-core approach to personal development but in truth, I don’t care if people share my philosophy or not.

I’m not interested in popularity, I’m interested in results, respect and life-long change. I don’t care about what people want to hear, I care about what works. We have become a fat and lazy society in every way, not just physically. We don’t like the truth, we don’t like being challenged and we don’t like being uncomfortable. What too many people don’t realise is that it’s the challenges and the discomfort that cause us to grow if, and when, we step up to the plate. As I’ve said before, pain is our greatest teacher if we choose to learn.

Craig Speaks The Truth

Some would say Craig’s words speak intolerance. I say they speak true compassion.

This is exactly why I find most politicians so offensive. For example, a politician will say he is going to fight obesity. How? A politician can’t end your weight problem, only you can. Accept it. There’s no one to blame. Only you can fix it. These nanny state politicians are nothing but enablers. They tell you what you want to hear. They indirectly tell you that you have no control over yourself. But you do have control over yourself. In fact, you are the only thing you do control.

Lyman Reed posted a Jim Rohn quote which ties in to this theme:

I used to say, “If you will take care of me, I will take care of you.” Now I say, “I will take care of me for you if you will take care of you for me”.

Take Care of Yourself

What does it mean to take care of yourself for others? It means you can’t take care of others, because you can’t control others. I can encourage you to eat healthy food, but if you choose to eat poison, there is nothing I can do for you. See? Your life is your choice. I can give you money, advice, time, love… but it will do you no good unless you willingly accept it and put it to work. There is no shortage of people ready and willing to help others. There is a shortage of people willing to accept help and take responsibility for their actions. No one can change your life, because the choice is yours and yours alone. It doesn’t matter if you want to lose weight, get fit, learn a new trade, change your thinking, manage your anger, fight your addictions, earn more money, or have better relationships. The information and help is available everywhere. It is ubiquitous in our society. But you must decide to take positive action.

It doesn’t matter what you did last year, last month, or yesterday. All that matters is what you do next.

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Do You Know How Good You Have It?

You don’t know how good you have it.

That’s what my mother used to say when I’d whine or complain. I used to hate it when she said that because I didn’t know what it meant. My only perspective on life, was my perspective. That’s the only perspective any of us have. We can try to take another perspective, but it is imaginary. We can only assume we know how other people see the world.

I have no idea what it was like to live in the Jim Crow south. I’ve never had my brothers slaughtered in a foreign war. I’ve never worked for 17 cents an hour. I’ve never known a summer without air conditioning. I’ve never been trapped in an abusive relationship. I’ve never been unable to make money.

I used to resent her words…

But I know she meant well. So I will pass it on to my children…

And I will modify it a bit…

I will tell them…

Be grateful. Your happiness depends upon it.

RIP Gary Gygax

Gary Gygax died today. I don’t know if that means much to this audience.  But when I read it I felt a deep sense of loss and felt the need to honor the man who’s creations meant so much to me for so many years.

Gary,

I wish I could speak at your funeral.

You brought joy to a lot of misfits.

Just wanted to let you know…

My five year old knows what hit points are.

Thanks for all the memories Gary!

We’ll miss you.

🙁