20. Cultivating Desire

Hello, hello!

What is going on for you, I am in full wedding mode, full finishing the basement mode, and getting ready for school to get out. I’m finding myself more tired lately and keeping my desire up to complete everything has been a little tricky.  This triggered me thinking more about desire and how we can cultivate more of it.

Do you have an ultimate goal that you’re wanting to accomplish, but your desire to do it is, well a little lacking?  What do you desire most right now? Is it to be in a relationship, to lose the last 10 pounds, maybe to be in a different job or to love your current job, or maybe it’s to make more money at your job? Achieving a goal is much easier when we have motivation and a massive amount of desire pushing us towards it.

But what if what you are desiring the most isn’t matching up with what you’re doing to get it?  Or maybe you’re thinking, “I really want xyz, but I’m losing momentum to accomplish it. Or I need more desire to do it.” I don’t think you are lacking desire.  I think it’s a misdirection of desire. You aren’t noticing that your desire to achieve the goal is getting hijacked from a deeper desire that you aren’t hearing.  What I mean by this is if you have a desire to lose weight, but you’re still eating all the things, then what are you desiring more? In the moment you’re desiring to eat all the things, right? And you know this because that’s what you’re doing. And the thoughts that you’re thinking in the moment, is creating a deeper desire to not take the actions you want for your future-self, but to do what you want for your present-self more.

Now desire and motivation are a feeling and if you’ve been listening to my podcast then you’ll know that all of our feelings are caused by the thoughts we are thinking. So, are the things that you’re thinking about, creating the desire you need in order to achieve what you want?

If I’m sitting on the couch thinking I really want to work out but I continue to sit there watching TV or scrolling on my phone, or both, what else am I thinking that’s not getting me up to work out? Am I thinking, I’m really comfortable here and I can work out tomorrow.  Or is it that I don’t want to get all sweaty and have to take a shower, or I’m really tired right now and I’d rather just sit and watch TV. All of the thoughts behind the thought, “I should work out”  is what’s really driving your desire.  And I’m going to be honest, I’ve never felt a whole lot of desire from thinking “I’m really tired right now.  Let’s just work out tomorrow.”

And I don’t want you to notice this to shame yourself or to try and make yourself feel bad. This is just really good to know because now that you know, you can do something about it. Now that you know, you can work on creating true desire and start truly getting what you want for your future-self.

If you’re wanting to love your current job more, are you watching your thoughts around your current job? Is it more of, this job is so hard or if only I could do this in my job then it would be better? Or are you creating thoughts that will help you look for what you can like about this job? And I’m not saying you go from thinking this job is so hard or I hate my job to thinking oh this is the best job in the world or I love this job! Because I’m going to tell you right now your brain is smarter than that. It’ll know that you’re lying to it. And you’ll know that you’re lying to yourself because when you say it, it will not resonate with you. It will not create a feeling of motivation or desire. So what kind of thoughts can you create, that will help you look for what you want about your job?

Sometimes when desire is misdirected, you start playing the wishing game.  I wish I didn’t have to worry about my weight anymore. I wish I could find someone who loves me for me. I wish I could make more money or I wish I didn’t have to worry about money.  I wish I was doing better in my business.

Wishing can act like a window to our dreams , but if you find what you want most is not matching up with the actions that you are taking to get there, then your desire’s been misdirected, not lost.  Like maybe you want to exercise and gain muscle, but when it comes time to get up and do it, your head feels super heavy on your pillow and it’s hard to get up so you sleep instead. Or you are super tired after work so you’d rather sit on the couch and watch your favorite show instead of working out.  Your greatest desire in the moment, will always win.

There’s nothing wrong with wishing, but if you’re not careful, wishing can create a feeling of disempowerment.  If you’re not paying attention to the feelings these wishes are creating, it can create a scarcity mindset of thinking that it can’t be mine. If I’m wishing it, then I don’t currently have it. And if you’re not careful and don’t watch your brain, you might start thinking I don’t have it and I never will, as though it is something completely outside your control of obtaining.

So how can you change your desire, how do you change your motivation, in order to create the desire you need for you to get what you ultimately want in the future?

If you’re wanting to create a desire for something, then you need to know why you’re wanting it in the first place. Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to love your job? Why do you want to start working out or be in a relationship? Why is it that you want whatever it is that you are desiring the most?

When your desire feels lacking, ask yourself questions.  What kind of questions can you ask that will motivate you and create desire instead of throwing you into the wishing game? Only you know the right answers for you, but some questions you could ask are, if I continue on this path, will I like who I’ve become a year from now? In an hour, will I be happy that I made this decision?  Or, what thoughts are currently motivating me? Are they thoughts that motivate my present-self or will sabotage my future-self?

When you have a goal, it is your reason for achieving it that’s going to keep you going in the right direction. It’s ultimately your motivation that will drive you to the results that you are looking for. Empower yourself and make a list of all your reasons why you want it.  Either on a piece of paper or by taking notes in your phone; however it works best for you. Keep it handy so you can refer to it continually and add to it when more reasons come to mind.

Continue to cultivate your desire by remembering all the reasons why you want to accomplish them. Find ways to keep these thoughts, these desires, on the top of your mind?

There are many ways to do this.  Some people meditate on it, others refer back to their list, others memorize their list so they can easily recite their reasons in their mind. For some, their reason’s powerful enough that it just takes deciding once and they’re good.  For others it’s once a day, and for others, it’s a continual practice throughout the day. 

I’ve chosen to focus on deep breathing and meditation.  I’ve taken my list and recorded myself saying all my reasons on my phone.  I give myself time between each reason, so I can repeat it aloud in the moment.  It helps me visualize my future-self and where I’m trying to get.  An added bonus is watching my breathing.  Do me a favor, take a deep breath right now and hold it for a few seconds and then release it.  How did that feel?  A little energizing or renewing?  We all know this, but the body needs oxygen and when we stop to take extra-long, deep breaths we are literally feeding our brains and our bodies with life-giving oxygen. It’s a luxury that we forget to slow down and do, but when we do, it can act as a brain reset.  It helps you achieve more focus on what you’re doing, it reactivates your taste buds when you’ve stopped tasting the food you’re eating, it rejuvenates your cells.

It’s easy to get up caught up in the day and forget to breathe deeply because our brains think there are more important things to get done and we must go-go-go. I’ve rationalized this myself. But even taking one minute to breathe deeply is worth it. Your overall well-being is worth at least one minute a day. I’ve set my watch to remind myself to stop and breathe at 10 o’clock 2 o’clock 5 o’clock and 9 o’clock each day. Sometimes I hear it and take the time and sometimes I don’t, but when I do, I take a moment to try and do five cycles of deep breathing. It makes a difference.

The ultimate practice is to tie in your breathing with reciting your reasons, your desires for this better version of you in the future. It’s a very powerful reminder and  is a motivating arsenal for when your desire feels lacking and you’re tempted to choose your present-self desires over what your future-self wants. 

Why does repetition work? Your brain literally looks a certain way right now.  You have millions of neurotransmitter pathways firing.  Some that are strong and some that are weak.  Each thought we have, is a pathway.  The really strong pathways are considered our beliefs and habits and the weak ones can be easily swayed by the stronger ones.  Continually practicing different thoughts daily will literally change the way your brain functions within 30-60 days.

There are a couple ways you can use this to your advantage.   Remember, your brain knows when you’re lying to it.  It’s because of that strong neuropathway that’s overriding your new thought.  So you can’t say that I love to work out if you’ve practiced saying, I hate working out for so long.  The desire will not be there.  But if you go from I hate working out to I’m learning to like working out, you trick your brain into giving it a little more wiggle room to accept it because it’s true. You are trying to learn to like it, you want to learn to like it, so it will resonate with you. 

If you’re learning to love your job, get to work on finding reasons why you love your job, or at least like it.  If you can find at least three reasons a day of why it’s a good job or reasons why you can like it, your brain will accept that and continue to work on finding other reasons why you like it.  No matter what, you will always find what you’re looking for so be intentional on what you want to find.

Another interesting way to trick your brain is by switching around the pleasure pathways.  Your brain is always looking for pleasure first and wants to avoid pain at all costs.  If you convince your brain that what it’s seeking will ultimately cause you pain, it will change the way it wants things.  

For example,  when you’re seeking a healthier body, your habits will need to change to achieve it.  Your brain says sugar gives me pleasure so the first thing it wants when you’re feeling discomfort in any way is sugar.  However, if you start associating sugar with pain, that knee-jerk habit of seeking it will change.  If when you desire sugar, you intentionally start to think of all the ways that sugar will cause you pain, it’ll start to change how you see sugar.  Will the sugar cause you to gain weight?  Will it cause you joint inflammation?  Will it cause you an energy crash or cause you to feel sluggish later? Will sugar make your pants fit tighter?  Again, you know your reasons for why you want one thing and not another.  However, if your thoughts are hovering around why you think that sugar is something you need or have to have right now, you are strengthening that neuropathway and creating the desire for the ultimate result of eating the sugar.  So focus on the pain of what you’re trying to avoid and the pleasure of what you are gaining from avoiding it.

Whatever your dream is, you are totally worth it!  You have human brain and it’s going to think whatever it wants.  It’ll offer you lots of thoughts, but that doesn’t mean you have to believe them or accept them. Don’t let the misdirection of desire keep you from getting it.  The bigger your dream, the more desire you’ll need to cultivate and it’s completely within your control to do.  

Don’t give up.  You’ve totally got this!

Have a brilliant week!

If you’re looking for a life coach, I’d love to be yours.  If you want to lose weight, better your relationships, or need help with crafting your confidence, I’ve got you!  go to myinnerlove.com and sign up for a free mini-session today.

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