Intentions Conquer Cravings
The difference between desire and craving and craving nothing is a virtue.
I am Kenta. I share my learnings on improving the quality of experience through this newsletter.
Desire and craving are different. Don't crave.
“Intentions are a form of desire. Desire per se is not the root of suffering; craving is. The key is to have wholesome intentions without being attached to their results.”
Buddha's Brain - Dr. Rick Hanson
There's a difference between wanting something and needing something.
When you depend on the outcome, you're craving. Craving anything should be avoided. But, especially craving the result. Because the worst thing about the outcome is that you can't control it.
What's worse than doing your best and feeling like you're nothing because the outcome wasn't there. If you gave what you could give, what else would you expect from yourself?
So, your desire should be what you can control.
What's in your control is your commitment. You can desire to write every day. Your goal can be reading one page a day. You can set your intentions to accept whatever the result is and work on improving.
Work is where this craving appears in the mind, but it goes for anything.
I could measure the quality of my personal life based on how many good relationships I have. But I don't have control over it.
In contrast, the act of showing gratitude to people I care about depends only on me. People might not return what you gave to them, but you still gave it.
Focusing on your intentions is still hard for me. I had to realize it's a choice. Like suffering is a choice.
The entire thesis has been that you can't control the result, so don't focus on it. But, what if you want nothing?
We thrive by achieving our goals. But we can also want less.
This extreme example from The Virtues of War shows how one can have more by wanting less.
Alexander the Great was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon. The most powerful ruler faced the Greek philosopher Diogenes in a scene. Diogenes refused to move for Alexander.
One of the king's men shouted, "This man has conquered the world? What have you done?"
He replied, "I have conquered the need to conquer the world."
There are two ways to fulfill yourself: You get everything you want or want everything you have.
In this modern world, it's difficult to want nothing. But you already have enough. Good things that happen to you from now on are extra things that make your life richer.
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