compromised desires

If you have a desire to something you would like to do or have at a given time, but the realization of such remains impossible by many uncontrollable factors (like the weather/budget/…), you become often detached from this desire, and rest your mind about it. You might compromise to something else and be happy with it.

However, when someone puts your attention to the original unfulfilled desire: “Why don’t you do this now, this is a good opportunity, you should really do it”, the desire will grow stronger and the resistance against the less controllable conditions will become stronger.

This desire will temporarily become acute, and sadness or anger might be the result.

As an example, when I was a 10 y.o. boy, I really wanted to get a Slot Car Racing Set for Christmas. But 40 years ago the price was the same as it is still today, so my parents bought me a compromise car set that was not electro-powered and could take my ordinary matchbox cars.

I was quite happy with it until my neighbour friend came to play and shouted: “Why couldn’t you get the real thing!” This made me sad and unhappy for a couple of days.


7 thoughts on “compromised desires

  1. Very true. This reminds me of scientific studies (forgot the source) on happiness of people as a function of the variation in incomes. In countries with a smaller variance people tend to be happier even if the mean income is lower. So it really seems that comparison with others (and I think this includes the comparison with our lost desires pointed out by others, as you describe) does not do us good – quite against the mantra of many economical theories.

      • Comparison with others is insidious, undermining good feelings. Comment above is so true. Although this is a generalization, it has been my experience that people in poorer countries who have very little are often happier and more generous than those in more affluent countries with a mentality of greed and where comparison with others is rampant– perpetrated by TV and the media. Also really like your comment about repressed/compromised desires being the emotional mother of envy– seems very apt, too.

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