We are all in negotiation with the constantly shifting inward and outward desires. How do we look to the outside world? How do we feel on the inside? And how do we measure this?
I was talking to a friend about this very thing. I identified three main options when dealing with shifting desires both inward and outward:
Option 1- We can get inspired by our desires and how they constantly change. This lights a fire under us and gets us moving. Onward!
Option 2 - We can get depressed by how our desires seem to perpetually move away from us the closer we get, like a mirage in the desert.
Option 3- We can start to contemplate goals that are not linked to worldly, outward measures and instead cultivate things like contentment, joy and generosity.
Of course we can bounce from option to option and there are various shades between them. The key, as I see it, is to be clear. Which option are we choosing? And is it the one we want? Is it ok to be in option 2 from time to time? And does option 1 ever include a sense of celebration? Because if it doesn't, we are setting ourselves up for burnout. And what about option 3? Does it feel like giving up? Does it feel like a cop-out? If so, we can see how we are setting ourselves up to never really experience satisfaction. That is not a recipe for sustainability. That is a good recipe for big "life events" that seem to come out of nowhere. Probably not the surprises you were hoping for either. So think about your relationship to inward and outward desires. Think about how you measure your progress. You could be happier than you think or setting yourself up for constant disappointment, the choice is yours.