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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Wang

Separating our true profound desires from those deriving from obvious biological and social factors

I have discussed desires many times in both the blog posts and podcast episodes. Here is another nuanced tip for figuring out what it is that you really want.

As human beings, we are social creatures. This means that it could be difficult to separate our true profound desires from those deriving from obvious biological and social factors. If you aren't mindful about this and don’t fully think it through, you might mistaken biological impulses, evolutionary urges, social pressures, FOMO, guilt, and other factors along those lines as your true profound desires.

Sometimes, they could be the same. Sometimes, they could be intimately related. However, often times, they’re separate.

Once you are able to see that clearly, you can make the most suitable decisions for yourself. Do you actually want to do that or do you just have FOMO? Would you really feel like you missed out and would that feeling even matter to you? Everything is decisions and consequences. If you are in tune with your feelings and understand what you get out of these situations, then you can make the decisions that fulfills your desires. Sometimes, you do actually want to do that. Sometimes, you have FOMO, you genuinely would feel like you're missing out, and you know that you hate that feeling. Other times, you have FOMO, but you realize that you wouldn't feel like you're missing out because you have something better to do. Every person is different. Every situation is different. It requires clarity and self-awareness to recognize how a social phenomenon like FOMO affects you and your desires.

To provide another example, which ties in with a previous blog post, you benefit a lot from being mindful on whether you would actually be guilt-tripped or be a people-pleaser. With some thinking and reflecting, you can see the social situation you are in and you can decide how you behave. Do you really feel guilty? Do you really care? Does it actually affect you to a point where you would bend to the will of others? Why do you think you feel that way? How do you feel about the way you feel? These are questions that would aid in your decision making. Additionally, you would find yourself in a more ideal place if you thought through the consequences of each of your potential options prior to making your decision.

Finally, I provide here some quick examples that could be relevant in your everyday life. You feel hungry. You don't have to eat. Perhaps, you want to fast. Maybe, you want to wait until a specific time because you have meals at the same time every day. You feel horny and/or lonely. Maybe, you choose to avoid casual sex because you know that it would feel meaningless and you would feel empty. You feel some level of desire to have children. Perhaps, you decide against acting on that desire because you know you do not have the facilities to support those children the way you really want. Maybe, you choose to wait because you know your partner is not a suitable parent or at least not a suitable parenting partner for you. Maybe, you decide that the toll it would take on your lifestyle, career, relationships, social life, finances, and energy outweighs the degree of desire you have for it. You see an exciting new trend. Maybe, you don't follow it because you don't actually get much out of it or you don't get enough out of it given the energy, money, and changes it requires. Your parents want you to become a doctor or whatever other profession. Perhaps, you don't care about what they want in this aspect of your life. Maybe, you don't care enough about pleasing them to pursue that over your dream.

There are a lot of biological and social factors in both the smaller and greater decisions in our lives. If we don't recognize them, question them, and really think it through, it becomes much more difficult for us to make the most suitable decisions - the ones that give us what we really want.

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