Following our Desire


 Desire for food, sex, money and power often define our lives and remain the subject of our daily routines. One desire however remains murky to many of us. This is the desire to do something in life which we truly love, which also suits our aptitude and with which we feel a sense of deep emotional attachment. It seems that fulfillment of this desire will give us that missing sense of achievement in our lives.

A vast majority of humanity is lost in fulfilling our instinctive desires. Their careers, jobs and lives only serve this purpose. Yet there may be some, who realize that this life is a test, find the purpose of their existence and work towards emancipating their spiritual being. These are surely the blessed ones. However, this is not the end of the story. Only a very few lead lives which realize their true potential, unleash their hidden energies and give them the impetus to wake up every morning feeling good about what they are doing and finding happiness in those actions. Poets and philosophers call these people self actualized superhumans. These lives come about when desires are followed and dreams do not remain enchanting tales of a faraway wonderland.

Do we all have this desire to achieve something specific in this life? Some people may even be leading lives in which, although, they are able to sense a void, as if something is missing, but are never able to pinpoint the reason for feeling what they feel. Others may know the reason but neither do they possess courage nor are equipped to act. Often people end up achieving what they were never intended to achieve to fill that void.

Nature when left alone creates balance in this world. It follows a normal curve. Survival of our ecological system depends on this rule. It is only when external forces disturb this balance, that we see chaos and disturbance. Water, air, land, species and all resources are brought about based on this principle. God divides humans into males and females, engineers and doctors, philosophers and artists, carpenters and mechanics in just the right ratio. Therefore, this implies that all human beings should endeavor to discover their latent abilities and follow their desires. Pursuit of these desires automatically creates the harmony required to move this world and make it a peaceful place. And negligence in this regard creates imbalance which results in oppression, unhappiness and injustice on an individual and a societal level.

So life moves on and we remain unhappy. We move into shells and our self actualized being never gets born. In other words, we go down different paths to fill the void. Some work hard on their spirituality by improving upon their piety, helping others, becoming better human beings, acquiring knowledge, staying aloof of this dog eat dog world, shunning consumption and joining social organizations. But something still remains amiss. That sense of achievement is still not there. Many philosophers like Nietzsche and Iqbal exert to give birth to the superhuman within us; to become familiar with our ‘Khudi’. They want us to stop thinking about time in a linear way and to enter the world of Desire, Passion and Love. Pursuit of our desired goal in our life is the lost love that we must cultivate to rescue us from the vicious cycle we are in.

This mistake of not committing to the task of realizing and fulfilling ones goals and desires also has multiple reasons. Our nature, nurturing and opportunities, all play a role. We live in a capitalist society where our parents and the society expect us to earn money. Careers become important and only those careers are looked upon as successful which pay well. Hence, nurturing does not truly help us in discovering our potential and aptitude. We are not educated to think freely and out of the box. A curriculum is shoved down our throats and we are expected to perform in one of the preselected faculties, which may not be suited to us to start with. It is also true that lack of opportunities and resources play a vital role in us not being able to embark upon our desirable journey.  But is this always the case. Is this true in your case? Is it too late now? Perhaps our children deserve better. The decision lies in your hands. All you need to do is reflect and you will have your answer.


Salman Hafeez

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