Desire leads to Disappointment

So many of us live in a state of disappointment, whether that be personal or professional.  Why do I find myself disappointed with some aspect of my life, simply it comes from  DESIRE.   We desire more, more of everything.

We desire:

  • More Money: With money we want more toys, vacations, clothes, dinner out, better house, newer car…the list seems endless. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to become adjusted to an increase in income, never realizing you adjusted to the extra money by spending it just as quickly?
  • Better Job: We spend most of our waking hours working. We spend more time working than we do with our families and loved ones.  A better job to most mean one that comes with more money and benefits. For others, it’s better working conditions or hours.
  • Better Health: Stress is taking a horrible toll on our health. We are so tired from the demands on our time, we don’t stop to take time for ourselves. We need to move, eat better, relax, laugh. Without these ingredients in our lives in the proper proportions our health will suffer.
  • More Time: We have long to-do lists every day, even our weekends. Time to clean out the garage, catch up on the laundry, all those things we were too tired to do after work.

Everything on this list could be solved by simply changing our views on our desire for X.  Keeping up with the Jones’ no longer is enough. We want everything.

Advertising..the elephant in our lives

Advertising triggers our desires without our even realizing it.  I have always had a love affair with the automobile.  I love the power and speed as  they move me. Yet, in the last couple of years I have tried to figure out how to live without one and finally succeeded.  I’ve been car-free for almost 2 years now and love it.   I had a ten years old car, it was paid off, and in excellent condition both mechanically and in appearance,  and rarely needed a repair.  But it still cost me money to own.

I rarely watch television, what programming I do watch I see free online and that is where I see advertisements.  I see a commercial for a new car, I briefly dream. Wow look at that feature, how sleek it looks…I crave to get behind that wheel and try it too.  How much power can a hybrid have?  Then I realize I would have a new bill, one bigger than any other I currently have. A new car can’t guarantee no repair bills, and I don’t have them now. I peek out the window  and realize I don’t need a new car, and I really don’t even want one.  Yet,  just for a minute fell for creative advertising.

Is the grass always greener at the Jones’

What about the dream of a bigger house? With a larger mortgage, will also come higher utility bills, more rooms needing your attention to keep neat and clean. What could we be doing with the money we will be spending on our shelter costs?  I have seen too many people who faced with wanting to live in the newer neighborhood, new bigger home, ended up having no money left to purchase  comfortable seating, or even a table to eat at. From the outside it looks like the Jones’ we are struggling to keep up with have it all, but step inside, and witness a bare house, one that feels cold and devoid of life. You will see you have so much more.

When did our homes become more than a place to call home? Growing up, we shared one bathroom, before occupying the bathroom we would ask if anyone else needed to use the room. When the answer was no, we took our turn. We learned how to share, how not to be selfish. We had one television, I never had one in my bedroom, and that was okay, I never considered the idea of a TV in my bedroom, it just wasn’t something we did then. We played cards, games, puzzles, read, hiked, and in every way enjoyed what we had.

Eliminating the elephant

By catching ourselves in that moment of desire, we can explore how that new purchase would change our lives. For me, a new car wouldn’t make my life any better, it would actually make it less so.  In those moments, my desire disappears. Contentment becomes the focus once again.

Take a moment, look around at what you do have. Be thankful for those things most important to you. Unfulfilled desire can leave us not only wanting more, but depressed and missing out on the wonderful things we currently have. Worse even is that we stop appreciating those things we have, we denigrate them, believing they aren’t good enough. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to look around and see my surroundings and belongings appearing to be less than I think I should have.

Kill desire by assessing your needs

Taking a look at my life and what I needed, I realized I needed very little. Very little space for shelter and living, very few material things. This has allowed me to downsize, and with that came the need for less money.

  • Needing less money meant less hours needed to work.
  • Needing to work less freed up more time to do all those things my heart longs to do and allows me to find work I love to do.
  • With my time freed up, I have time to take care of myself. To make healthier meals, exercise, read a book.

What do you really need? Can you cut your expenses to free up your time? With more time what would you do to fill that time? If you are like me, it wouldn’t be hours spent at the mall shopping, it would probably be spent with those we love.

40 thoughts on “Desire leads to Disappointment

  1. This is a wonderful blog post! And these views are mine exactly. People really rarely need anything. Like you have written, the media makes you feel like you have to keep up with the Joneses. My life was like yours growing up. One television in the house and you watched what everyone else was watching. Fun meant eating in front of the TV, building a fort in your bedroom out of blankets, dancing to 45 records on the hi-fi :D , playing jump rope, riding bikes, sleigh riding.
    Today, I don’t even use a television. I just have a smart phone and an old laptop and that suits me fine.


    • We were never allowed to eat in front of the TV, but my grandfather, who expected dinner at 5pm sharp, also enjoyed the show Gunsmoke which was on at the same time. Our TV was on a small metal rolling table that he would turn around and position in the doorway facing the kitchen so he could watch it. :-)

      I remember 45s well. Our lives were much more active and I think fun than what children have today. It’s sad.

      We have the same amount of technology! One phone and a laptop.


  2. I so agree with this post. Life is too short and too precious to be spent concerning ourselves with frivolous possessions and outer appearances. This definitely stems from the advertisements and the “you wish you could live like this” lifestyles that are being paraded in front of us on the TV screen daily. I haven’t had TV service at home for the past 2 years and I cannot behind to tell everyone how liberating it has been!


    • Television is such a vampire. I unplugged mine and got rid of it just over three years ago and haven’t missed it once. My youngest grandchild doesn’t visit very often but finally this Christmas she noticed I didn’t have a TV, but it took her hours to realize it. Her parents simply told her I had a computer instead and at two she got that.

      It’s easy to want more, it’s a bit harder to accept what we have is enough.


  3. None of the above applies to me. I don’t look at the grass and don’t have an elephant. My view on TV advertising is that it is a terrible inconvenience and an unwelcome imposition on my life. There is really nothing that I hanker after, except I would love to travel again. I have very few mod cons and don’t desire any more.

    Great article, because I know it applies to so many.



    • AV, the only one that gets to me, although briefly, is the desire to test drive some of the sporty vehicles. But that comes from a part of my life where cars were important and I even raced for a couple of years. I have no desire to actually own one though.


      • Modern cars interest me not one iota. I hate them, I despise the shape, the design, the electronics and computerisation.The last car I was interested in having as a replacement for my ’74 Triumph was a 1983 Rover V8. Like you, I raced a season as a novice, but not cars, speedway; oh the smell of ethanol… I may post about that today on Life.



  4. Lois, loved this post.. and you are so right, we spend all our energy and extra time working away to obtain our desires and yet when the crunch comes what IS really important in our lives?

    The Car sat on our drives, often for many people unpaid for.. which means more working to pay off the monthly bills. That Bigger mortgage or higher rent for a bigger place?
    That TV screen which gets ever bigger when we carry gadgets around in our pockets that can now play games and get us drawn into gambling on line.. Each one advertised to bring out those Desires in us for MORE..
    More means more hard work, longer hours, more stress, and who gets left by the wayside while we are working our long hours?.. Yes Family..

    Family are the ones who gets neglected, and yet often we say its for family we do the long hours, so they can have more of their Desires.. Crazy… Crazy world.. we live..

    And yet if anything happened to a member of our ‘family’ God forbid.. But we would give ALL of our THINGS away to have them in our lives, Well and Happy..

    We so often neglect the very basic of important things… Family time, Love and attention, unity and togetherness are what matters..

    I have done a lot of soul searching recently and those changes which you and I spoke about some time ago now Lois.. are coming ever closer… as I trim and cut my cloth according to my needs… And Its time to put them in perspective once again…

    Thank you dear Lois for this post, for its yet another ‘Sign’ pointing me along my path..
    Love and Blessings
    Sue xoxox


    • Sue, you are so right. I was doing some cleaning up on the blog and came across this post I wrote in the very beginning. It spoke to me and I decided since no one read it I would try re-posting it tonight. I’m glad it resonated with you.

      It is crazy the things we think we need today. It is so different from how you and I grew up, isn’t it? I still remember when the TV stations signed off for the night after the tonight show (by 1am) and only having 3 channels.

      We have talked about my son who had worked in corrections. He was required to work many double shifts in those years, some back to back where he only had 8 hours to drive home, eat and grab a bit of sleep. He paid for it with his health and missing out on his children’s early years.

      Since he’s been out of work he has been reassessing his situation. He sees how he was “conned” into acquiring debt to prove he could pay on a mortgage. Now it’s there, a weight on his shoulders needing to be paid for.

      His wife is working one part-time job, and is employed by me for a few hours a week to help me with things I can’t do on my own. He’s still looking for work and writing, but he’s looking for part-time work. This way he can be with his family more. Already the children are much happier and enjoy the time with daddy they never had before.

      I look forward to hearing about your new direction when you have it all figured out and are ready to share.

      Take care and know the signs will guide you.


        • Justin is doing well with his writing. He writes every day and reaches a minimum of 2,0000 words. If he doesn’t write he itches to do so and can’t sleep. :-) While not much yet, he’s made more money in the past month than the previous 12 months.

          He has another short story nearly completed and formatting is nearly done on his novel Militia, he’s really been working hard.


      • I smiled over this post, especially your comments about your son. I left a decent job at a multinational to be a teacher, which was a scary proposition. Before I left, the “big boss” said he envied me because he’d left teaching for a higher salary “temporarily” but it was, as you said, a trap into a higher-cost lifestyle.

        I find that what works for me is desire with planning. Passing fancies die pretty quickly under scrutiny; e.g. “I want to take a cruise to Cozumel.” :) If I start figuring out its cost and its potential and STILL want it, I know my desire is important.


        • So true. The first time I came across that idea in actual words was when I read Your Money or Your Life. I have never been able to look at things the same since.

          Did teaching live up to your expectations? I think I would have been scared to make the move if I had family counting on my income. I hear so many who left teaching because of all the regulations imposed on them. I’ve known several teachers who reached higher positions, two come to mind, one advanced from math teacher to principal the other is my cousin who moved from History teacher to Superintendent. Both found it wasn’t what made them happy and after putting finances in order (such as funding college savings for children) went back to teaching and are much happier.


          • I love teaching. It IS full of regulations (more all the time), and sometimes I feel a little sick at the disintegration of families that has left students so vulnerable. But I know at the end of the day that I’ve done something well and important, which is more than I could say for my corporate job. :)

            And as an aside, I wanted to respond to your comment about the USPS. It isn’t paid for by taxes; Ben Franklin made sure that it would be paid for by fees – and that people would pay the same rates wherever they lived. He believed it was an essential service for all Americans.

            As for replacing it with a for-profit company: UPS, FedEx and the like let the US Postal Service deliver the last 5-10 miles of shipment where I live. To-the-door delivery is simply not cost-effective for the delivery companies unless the delivery is huge, like furniture. North of me in the farming areas, post office have reduced hours and/or stopped home delivery within so many miles (so people have to get PO boxes and drive a few times a week to pick up their mail). This is especially problematic for people who receive organic food shipments and prescription drugs via USPS.


          • What a great feeling to know at the end of the day you have made a difference. I feel for you on the regulations you must deal with and the loss of freedom to change your curriculum to meet the individual needs of each student.

            As for the post office, you are right, but in a way we are paying for it as it’s our taxes (or if you like the debt) which pays for the service. I do agree with you a good way to cut costs and still provide a valuable service is to have UPS deliver to the local post offices who then deliver to our door.

            We have a few areas around my area that have stopped delivering to the homes, even within sight of the post office, which is hard on the elderly especially in the winter months.


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