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Desire and its expression

Desire and its expression

I have always been intrigued by this phenomenon called Desire. I have experienced it many times. My Desire to purchase an expensive gadget. My Desire to travel. My Desire to marry. My Desire to have a kid. The problem has not been that I have desires for myself. I had desires from others and for others. And then the list goes on and on. Then I have heard someone say. You must not have a Desire. Desires are the source of all the miseries. Desires are an attachment. They are expectations with ourselves and from others. You must not have expectations. The conclusion – Desire is the source of all the miseries, and one must not have them.



So I decided that I will work on it. I will try not to have any desire. The question was where to start with, and how? Is it really even possible to not have any desire? Also, if for a moment, I decide not to have “Desires” from others, how can I not have “Desire” for me? That’s when I came across an exciting TedX talk on Desire in which the psychologist spoke about Desire at length and then there were few articles which I read. This post is a crux of all that I have discovered.


What is Desire?

Let’s first closely see what Desire is? The literal meaning of the word desire is

 a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.


We may want to have a simple meal. That’s a desire. We may want to drink hot water. That’s a desire. Tomorrow I may want to study from an elite institution. That’s a desire. I want to have a happy family life. That’s a desire. I am fed up of rodents and insects at my home and want to get rid of them. That’s a desire. The point I am trying to make here is almost everything in our life is happening because of Desire. In fact, a desire sets the direction of our life. Hence Desire is an essential tool, and it’s only a fool who will talk of destroying all the desires. Everyone has a desire. If you want to be nobody’s nothing, your “Desire” is to be nothing. 

Another critical point to note here is that Desire is not the source of misery, it’s unfulfilled desires which people suffer. Otherwise, desires fulfilled is a source of joy. Unfulfilled Desire is a source of suffering. 


What to do with the desires?

So, shall we kill all the Desires? If you want to kill all your desires, you will have a great desire to kill all your desires. “I don’t want any desire” this itself is a desire. Playing tricks with desires is not going to help. The energy which you call as Desire is similar to energy which you call as life. The only way to kill Desire is to kill yourself.

So what should be done? We must try to understand the nature of this Desire.


Desire is a continual process

One desire fulfilled, you have another desire. That’s a fact, and that’s what the nature of Desire is. There is something within us, wanting to be little more than what we are right now. Desire’s ultimate goal is unboundedness. The issue arises when we tend to give an unconscious expression for the longing of this unboundedness. We don’t have to destroy our desire, we have to make it a conscious process. We must always be conscious of What are we making out of our Desire.

Our desires are just a reaction to the social situation in which we are living. If someone has a hatchback, he wants to have an SUV. This is so because this longing to expand is finding an unconscious expression. If you make your Desire into a conscious process, then Desire is not a problem. Desire is a beautiful vehicle which will take you places. We just have to bring awareness to our Desire.



We definitely don’t have to shy away from our desires. We just have to become conscious of it. We must understand what we become tomorrow is a desire today. Only thing is are we aware of what we are becoming because of our desires. Once the desires are set, our actions have a direction and choices are more rational. I think the most crucial question that we must ask is – if our Desire is going to enhance our life and which dimension of it? What kind of human being we become entirely depends on our desires.

A life with no compulsion

A life with no compulsions

When I took my new role, there were a lot of challenges; the biggest challenge was to unlearn what I had learned in IBM and learn new stuff in Autodesk. I was compulsively doing things which I had been doing since the last few years. I wasn’t conscious of what I was doing, and my thought process as a result of my previous work culture. Nothing wrong in it, it’s just that new workplace requires you to change and adapt yourself.

The key thing to note is that things were happening compulsively to me. Let’s understand the literal meaning of the word “compulsive“.

Compulsion means an irresistible urge to do certain things, like a compulsive gossip who cannot keep a secret. If you are compulsive, you can’t stop yourself from doing something, like compulsive counting of the sidewalk blocks on your way to school.

I was curious to understand more about compulsions and figured out following  types of compulsions: 

  • Shopping
  • Hoarding
  • Eating
  • Gambling
  • Checking counting washing repeating
  • Talking
  • Daydreaming 
  • Sex and many others

What do these compulsions do? 

Simply put – these compulsions disconnect us from what we do, how we perceive things and make us behave only in a certain way which can be detrimental for us (for others too). Imagine you have a compulsive habit of eating junk food. Will you ever be able to lose weight? You have a compulsion for spending money. Do you think you will ever be able to stick to the budget? You have an urge to keep thinking something when you have an important task in hand. Do you think you will ever be able to focus? 

How to fight with this compulsion? 

The most straightforward answer is “Consciousness“. Consciousness is our ability to conduct ourselves the way we want. Our actions are no longer determined by the people, the situations, our likes, our dislikes, our preferences. Once we are conscious, suddenly we get empowered and conduct ourself in a way that works for us, not against us. So if you want to lose weight, we know we have a strong urge to eat which we shouldn’t eat. We know we are giving up to our compulsive behaviour. However, if we are conscious, we will not give away our power to chose what will work for us rather than what will work against us. 

Compulsiveness truly is darkness – you cannot fight with it. The only way to get rid of darkness is to light a bulb, is to become conscious of our compulsions. There is a portion of our energy which gets wasted in succumbing and fighting with compulsions. It takes time, effort and practice to understand our compulsions and conduct ourselves consciously.

Allow life to flow like river

Don't block the flow of life....

A man was confined to a 10X10 cell for 3 years before he was allowed to roam around in a city. For some time, he was happy that he could actually move out of that cell. Things were fine for a little while before the entire city suddenly started feeling like a cell to him. Soon things changed, and that man was allowed to roam in the entire country. Life was great for some time again when the entire country became a cell for him. He now desperately wanted to go out of the country.

We all are just a piece of life and life hates any kind of limitations. We don’t like any type of confinements. These confinements can be tangible and intangible. These confinements can be self-imposed and imposed by others. These confinements can be factual and purely based on assumptions. All these types of confinements just do one thing for us. They create misery. They take away our freedom.

The question is just this, are we conscious of these confinements, and what are we doing about them? 

7 mindsets of Fanatical prospectors

Mindset of Fanatical Prospectors

Success in sales is all  about mindset. My sales director used to tell this to us. It’s quite intriguing then what are those mindsets and how to have such mindsets. I read a book Fanatical Prospecting in which author Jeb Blount highlights what are those mindsets. While there are several actions which you need to take to ensure you have these mindsets, there is also stable mind which is required to get the mindset.


Triggers – introduction



Famed executive coach Marshall Goldsmith presents a blueprint for achieving the most challenging thing any adult can do – changing your personal behavior. He and co-author Mark Reiter explain why your “environment” makes the change so difficult. They warn of situations, events and people – even sounds – that can set you off, derail your efforts to change and cause reactions you come to regret. Negative behaviors can make you miserable. Few adults succeed in making a significant behavioral change, but this manual describes how to do it by understanding your triggers and taking control of them. Filled with folk wisdom, this heartfelt guide – by the authors’ admission – states and restates the obvious to reinforce its lessons. You may have heard some of this advice before, but following it is what matters.

Why I read this book  

There is always an “ideal me,” and then there is a real me. My life vacillates between these two. I want to finish a novel I have been writing, I want to have a social media following, etc. I want to get away from my anger, and there is plenty of other ideal picture of me. But the gap has never been bridged, and the ideal me always evades from the “real me”. Clearly, I need help with this, and it’s good to talk to someone who has a lot of experience in this field.

So what’s this ideal me. This ideal me is a person who I aspire to become. This ideal person exactly knows precisely what’s good for me and what’s not good for me. How can I be successful, likable, respectable and most importantly how can I be happy? 

And then there is a real me, who lack the discipline and consistency to implement all the plans which will make me an ideal me. I want to lose an extra 5 kgs – that’s ideal me. But I don’t stick to the diet and exercise regime and end up not losing weight. The ideal me knows that anger is not good for anyone, but the real me gets angry often. The ideal me knows that I need to have a lot of mental fortitude to succeed in Sales. This ideal me knows precisely what exactly he should be doing in the workplace, but still, the real me succumbs. 

I know that my behavior is not per my plans and all I need is a coach who can guide me to achieve this. This book was that coach.  

Key Takeaways 

  1. Some of the reasons why people don’t change are Overconfidence, Stubbornness, Magical Thinking, Confusion, Resentment, Procrastination. There is one reason which is higher than all the other reasons – that’s called environment
  2.  Environment plays a significant behavior in triggering the desired behaviors
  3. Our environment is a non-stop triggering mechanism whose impact on our behavior is too significant to be ignored
  4. The connection between our environment and behavior can be understood as a way we give and receive feedback. It teaches us to see our environment as a triggering mechanism
  5. Encouraging triggers push us to maintain or expand what we are doing. Discouraging triggers push us to stop or reduce what we are doing. 
  6. Forecasting is what we must do after acknowledging the environment’s power over us.  It comprises of three interconnected stages: anticipation, avoidance and adjustment
  7. Good things happen when we ask ourselves what we need to create, preserve, eliminate and accept  – a test  few of us self-administer
  8. Daily questions and marking our efforts on the scale of 1-10 act as a commitment device which helps us make accountable by reflecting not just what we have achieved but also the effort we have put in.  We tend to ignore or underestimate the effort which we put to achieve our desirable behavior
  9. We don’t get better without structure. Structure means planning our day in advance and bringing in some predictability in our environment. Structure not only increases our chance of success, it makes us more efficient at it.
  10. Our environment is full of hidden triggers that share everything we say and we do. This can make creating change difficult, but by becoming aware of triggers, we can create new responses to them. Through self feedbac, active queston

Why should you read this book

If you are a kind of person who is highly motivated in everything you do, you are self-disciplined and can seamlessly implement all your plans then you should not read this book.

This book for people who have little motivation and really want to bring a meaningful behavioral change in their life. This book touches upon why we don’t become the kind of person we want to be, why we fail, what role the environment plays in triggering our behavior. And how can we change those behaviors or create a kind of environment around us to trigger the desired behavior?  By environment, the author doesn’t just mean changing external arrangements or going on a spiritual path through meditation, etc.  By environment, it merely means a certain kind of arrangement which we can create around us so that with the least possible efforts we can trigger a type of behavior we want.

This is definitely not a book which you can merely read and forget. Treat this book as a coach who will help you bring you back on the trail of the pursuit of becoming the desired person.

Closing Thoughts 

There is no formula that anyone can suggest you and of course the author is also not trying that. We definitely have to find out our own motivation our own way of doing things. There is a difference between understanding and doing. Just because people understand what to do, doesn’t ensure they actually will do it.

There is no formula that anyone can suggest you develop the desired behavior.  We know all know and very well understand what needs to be done. But there is a difference between understanding and doing. Just because people understand what to do, doesn’t ensure they will actually do it.

5 Love Languages – Part 5

Love Language # 4 - Act of Service

This love language essentially means helping or doing tasks of your spouse proactively to make his/her life easy. If you are a house wife you would expect your spouse to cook meal, help with household activities, make a tea or coffee for her sometimes. Where husband’s expectations will be like wise. 
Life gets quite boring when we do only what’s expected from us. If we are not helping each other, if we are not coming out of our comfort zone, then we will never be able to express our concern for the other. Act of service then means being considerate of what your spouse and alleviating his portion of tasks or sharing responsiblities with him/her.
 Imagine your wife has served you for 20 years. She had done everything possible for you and you have been utterly inconsiderate of all that she has done. You never helped her, you have never been appreciative of all that she has done and you have made her feel as if she was meant to do what she did and there is nothing spectacular about her work. This way you are ignoring her and treating her like a doormat. This happens when you become too self-centered and fail to understand that you wife needs help. 
There are 3 interesting observations which the author has made : 
  • What we do for each other before marriage is no indication of what we will do after marriage
  • Love is a choice and cannot be coerced
  • Criticism is an ineffective way of pleading for love
We all are touched by these 3 observations  and we truly need to consider love as an action not as a feeling. 

Learning the love language of acts of service will require some of us to re-examine our stereo types of the roles of husbands and wives. These have changed over the last several decades, but models from our past can linger, and different cultures have different expectations of the right way of things are done in marriage.

Personal Experience

Every person has different strengths and weaknesses. They choose tasks based on what they are good at first and then think of what’s required from them. The expectations of your spouse might be such that you need to work on tasks in which you are not that good first. Don’t shy away from doing the task, because your act is an expression of your concern and your love for her.
The spouse also need to understand that we all have our unique strengths and weaknesses.  Your spouse might not be good in doing what you do best. You need to lead in such situations. This is where first love language Words of affirmation also come in to play. For example if your husband is not good in cooking but out of concern he has cooked world’s worst dish, don’t make him insignificant or disparage his efforts. On the same note, the husband should understand that doing things for his wife will only make her feel good about you. Don’t shy away with your weaknesses, take feedback and improve in future. 
Your husband might not be as good as you are in household activities or vice versa but a he needs your encouragement to improve himself. You got to help him to help you. If you demean his act of service, you will discourage him and he will never think of helping. Remember you are what you are first because of your parents and then because of your spouse.
Having said that it’s very important to also understand that there should be only one leader who should lead from the front, and other should follow with full support and open mindedness. For example, I believe my wife is much better than me in handling relatives, at home and with my son, so there she is the lead and I follow and in may other cases, I lead and she follow. There shouldn’t be two leaders at the same time. This will create conflicts. 


This is 5th  in the 7 part series of 5 Love Languages book summary.

5 Love Languages – Part 6

Love Language # 5 - Physical Touch

Physical touch is a way of communicating emotional love.  For children this is particularly relevant. It is also a powerful vehicle for communicating marital love as well.  Holding hands, kissing, embracing and sexual intercourse are all ways of communicating love. for some individuals, physical touch is their primary love language. Without it they feel unloved and with their emotional tank is filled. They feel secure in the love of their spouse. 

Almost instinctively in the time of crisis, we hug one another. Because physical touch is a powerful communicator of love. In a time of crisis more than anything, we need to feel love. We cannot always change events but we can survive if we feel loved. 

A simple hug mean more than a thousand words at the time of crisis because physical touch is a powerful communicator of love. In a time of crisis, more than anything else, we need to feel loved. We cannot change events, but we can survive if we feel love.

Personal Experience

Sometimes a simple hug speaks more than 1000 words. Just  a pat on the back is the most precious experience. This is the only language which breaks your boundary and requires the other person to be involved for its expression.
Before marriage when the infatuation is high, you tend to enjoy the sense of touch. But that gets eclipsed with you do not come to terms with your spouse because of so many reasons.  Forget about a hug, a simple handshake becomes a big thing. We unconsciously erect a wall between us due to various factors like. 

Just do one thing, the next time when you fight with your spouse, give him a hug to placate his emotions. The next time when he is gets home, welcome him with a hug. The next time when he gets a promotion, give him a sincere pat on the back.

Not that Words of affirmation are not required. Physical touch will add more value and feeling to the words you utter to your spouse

This is 6th in the 7 part series of 5 Love Languages book summary.

5 Love Languages – The conclusion

The final part

When I finished reading this book, I was a changed husband from the inside. It’s a different thing if my wife will notice that change and will appreciate the improvement I have made.
I could easily relate all that the author has explained in this book to a hindi movie called Baghban. 

Baghban  is a story of parents whose lives revolve around their children. Like a typical middle class Indian family, they did everything possible for their children right from their education, to fulfilling their demands even when when the children started working. But when the father gets retired the children were unwilling to take care of their parents.

The plot sounds quite similar. But what really make this movie worth remembering and what really made this movie so special was the love of husband and wife. Even in the age of 60 both husband and wife were so dedicated to each other.  Both husband and wife love each other so much that even in their old age, they can’t bear the separation from each other. Their love conquered the misbehavior of their children and  because of this love, they had the courage and zeal to start their life after retirement. 


They are not worried how they will earn the money, or their children from whom they did so much, are unwilling to support them. The couple’s romance is so jubilant that it’s infectious to people of all the age around them. If you pay attention all the 5 love languages have been exhibited through their love story in the movie.

Love is not our only emotional need. Psychologists have observed that among our basic needs are the need for security, self-worth and significance. Love however interfaces with all of those.

How to discover your  love language ?

  • First observe how you most often express love to others. If you are regularly doing Acts of Service for others, this may be your love language.
  • Second, consider what you complain most often.  When you say to your wife, “I don’t think you’d ever touch me if I didn’t initiate it”, you are revealing physical touch is your primary love language.  
  • Think of the requests you make your wife most often. If you are saying “Do you think we could get a weekend away this month ?” you are requesting for quality time.

The Final words

I have found this book as a way to express my thoughts and reflect on the 9 years of  my marriage. No one can remain alone. You need someone to share your joy, to share your grieves, your success, failures and many other things, in short you share your life.
Your parents give birth to you, they do everything for your upbringing and make you capable to earn your living. They are the happiest ones when you get married. They think this as their last responsibility for you. They know that they will not be with your forever.  The reason they are happy for your marriage is because they know you have got someone in your life who will be with you longer than they will be around, who will love you as much as they do, they know you are with someone who will care for you just the way they have done for their entire life. 
I have discussed this book with few of my friends. They say, it’s not one person’s job to embark on this journey of transformation alone. My suggestion to all is just this, if you focus on what you can do, and be consistent on it without being deterred by what your spouse is doing, a day will certainly come when you both will start walking through this journey. So don’t wait for your spouse to start with you. Just start your journey and one day you will definitely see your life is changing, your marital bond is becoming strong and you are experiencing the love again. 

So in my first post, I started with the question “What happens to love after marriage ? ” My answer is it turns out to be what you yourself want it to become. If you want your love to become ecstatic and blossom your life with joy, it will become that. If you want it to become hell, it will become that. Either ways you are responsible for it and it’s always your making.

This is last  in the 7 part series of 5 Love Languages book summary.

5 Love Languages – Part 2

First Language : Words of Affirmation

Words have the power to make or break relationships. The choice of your words and the way you express yourself have a huge impact on your marriage. This has been emphasized many times in my life and I am still learning about my choice of words and how I express myself. Solomon, author of ancient Hebrew wisdom literature has rightly said: “The tongue has the power of life and death.”  I have seen this happening many times with many people.

Gary Chapman lists out these 4 dialects which make a lot of difference in the way we communicate with our spouse.

  •  Compliments: Verbal compliments or words of appreciation are powerful communicators of love. Just a simple “ You are looking smart today”, Oh you cook so well “. Thank you for waiting for me. I want you to know I don’t take it for granted, conveys a lot and shows you care.
  • Encouraging words: The word encourage means to inspire courage. All of us have areas in which we feel insecure.  Your words can instill confidence in your spouse. When he loses many battles in the outside world, he relies on you to reinvigorates his self-worth, self-esteem, and self-confidence.  

Encouragement requires empathy and seeing the world from your spouse’s perspectives. We must first learn what’s important for our spouse and then give encouragement. 
  • Kind words: This is more about the way we speak. The same words can convey different meanings and create different responses depending on how we have spoken them. 

“ Love doesn’t keep a score of wrongs. Love doesn’t bring up past failures. None of us is perfect. In marriage, we do not always do the best or right thing. We have sometimes done and said hurtful things to our spouses. We cannon erase the past, we can always create a pleasant future” 

The best thing we can do with failures of the past is to let them be history. Yes it happened, whatever we had spoken to each other may have given us painful wounds but let’s not make them scars. For wounds heal but scars leave marks behind. We can choose to live today free from the failures of yesterday. Forgiveness is not a feeling, it’s a commitment, a choice to be merciful and expression of love.  

  • Humble words: Love make requests, not demands. When I demand things from the spouse I become a parent and she the child.  She is mature and grown up to be commanded. And it’s insulting for her. If you insult somebody, you can’t expect pleasantness in return.

We are grown up and we have become a partner. We all have our individual desires. If we express those desires as demands, then we will be hurting our spouse. If however, that demand comes in the form of requests, then  we are giving guidance, not ultimatums.“When you make a request of your spouse, you are affirming his or her worth and abilities. You are in essence indicating that she has something or can do something that is meaningful and worthwhile to you.  However, when you make demands, you become tyrant but not a lover. “ 

We cannot get emotional love by way of demand. My spouse may, in fact, comply with my demands, but it’s not an expression of love. It is an act of fear, guilt or some other emotion but not love.  

We lack courage and that lack of courage often hinders us from accomplishing the positive things that we would like to do. The latent potential within your spouse in his or her areas of insecurity may await your encouraging words.

Personal Experience

Being cognizant of the words and the way we speak makes a lot of difference in all the relationships. We human beings are very sensitive to what we hear but not very sensitive to what we speak. It happens most of the times because of how we handle our thoughts, emotions and the way we conduct ourselves.  

I have always been critical and at times rude to my wife. Initially, I thought my anger is being triggered by her actions, but after reading the book I realized that it’s actually my inability to conduct myself well, that I react rather than taking the responsibility of what I am saying. I believe a lot can be simplified only if we take the responsibility and understand if there is one person who should happen 100% the way we want is “we ourselves”.  These days I practice listening. I am not blessed like her with a lot of patience, but I understand that my words mean a lot to her and impact our relationship.  

I have been fortunate here that my wife understands this very well. Irrespective of the situation, she manages to still be soft-spoken and not hurt others by her words.  What she wants to convey may have some really strong words but she effortlessly manages to speak them in a quiet, composed and in a peaceful manner.

This is  2nd in the 7 part series of 5 Love Languages book summary.

5 Love Languages – Part 3

Second Language : Quality Time

Time has literally become the most scarce resource for human beings. People have everything for each other but time. In this situation, the expectations from spouses are bound to be high. We know that friends and relatives don’t have time and there is no one to whom we can talk wholeheartedly. Getting somebody’s attention has become a big deal.

Giving someone time means giving them our undivided attention. If you are sitting in front of the TV watching some movie on Netflix then that movie has our attention, not our partner.  We all have 100s of things going on in our life. And they all need our attention. We all have multiple demands on our time, yet each of us has the exact same hours in a day.  We can make most of those hours by committing some of them to our spouse. 

Here are the aspects of quality time which the author highlights in detail : 

Emotions themselves are neither good nor bad. They are simply psychological responses to the events of our life. Based on our thoguhts and emotions we eventually make decisions.

  1. Focused Attention When we do something together keeping our differences or arguments aside and try to have a pleasant time together. In this era of many distractions giving somebody, our undivided attention is the toughest ask.
  2.  Quality conversation: It means sympathetic dialogue when two individuals are sharing their experiences, thoughts, feelings, and desires in a friendly uninterrupted context 
  3.  Self-Revelation: It means opening up yourself to your spouse so that your spouse know who you are as a person. It’s only when you know how you think, what you feel about the various events, what is the process of your decision making, and how do you form impressions and interpretations of various situations in life, you get to know who you are as a person.  For self-revelation communication between the two persons are absolutely critical. 
  4.  Complimentary personalities: There are basically two kinds of personalities: one who talks a lot about themselves effortlessly and the others who have a hard time explaining their feelings. Remember it’s a different thing to voice our thoughts but explaining how we feel is difficult for many people which depend on their upbringing and conditioning from early  childhood. 
  5. Quality Activities: Spending some time for your daily routine and doing what your partner likes. Keeping all the worries, thoughts and distractions aside for some time and indulging into the activities which you both enjoy or at least one of you enjoy. It could be a simple walk in the near by park.

Personal Experience

When it comes to time, I feel I am a very stingy and vigilant person. I believe there are two aspects of time.

  • How much time do we actually have? 
  • What are we doing with the time we have in hand?

It requires a lot of consciousness, discipline, and honesty when it comes to taking time out for someone or for yourself. Most of the people of my generation think they are doing some great stuff and they are facing this time crunch because of responsibilities, their job, their lifestyle, and many other nonsense reasons. The fact of the matter is just this, they are not disciplined when it comes to time. Somewhere they are putting their indiscipline and laziness under a fancy carpet called time.  

The other aspect of what we are doing with time depends on how valuable time is and you want to make.  For some weekends may mean just sitting in front of the TV, having 10 hours of sleep. For some weekends means meeting relatives, learning new things, doing shopping with your spouse, playing in a park with your children etc. In short, it means more life.  Time is never the problem, the problem is willingness.  Are we willing to make life a lazy business or joyful experience? The choice is completely ours.   

This is 3rd  in the 7 part series of 5 Love Languages book summary.