Desire is a contract for unhappiness

Derived from:

Naval Ravikant

“Desire is a contract that you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.” - Naval Ravikant

What's your biggest desire? Our lives are filled with wants. Another word to express wants is desire. The word desire stems from the latin word ‌desiderare which means "to long for". In other words, desire represents a state we want to have as it's favourable based on our world view.

So what happens if you satisfy a desire? You feel good. You get happy. But how long? The moment you satisfy a desire is the moment a new, bigger, more shiny desire comes creeping up around the corner. You end up in an infinite loop with ever increasing desire(s). The consequence? Constant unhappiness.

The problem with desire is that we use it to justify suffering. After all, we're working so hard for that big desire of ours, so the sacrifice and struggle will be worthwhile. But that's a trap. Desire is a contract you make with yourself for unhappiness. Be mindful of what you desire, and what role it plays in your life.

Written by

Louis Morgner

published on

October 1, 2021

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