Should we renounce our goals and desires in order to become stress-free? The short answer to this question is no.
Some people think that stress is caused by our constant efforts to reach our goals. So, the only solution they propose is to “let it go”. They encourage people do not strive for anything beyond their basic needs, be as relaxed as possible, and make no plans for the future. They call it “the simple lifestyle”. But to me, it looks like encouraging people to become mindless and lazy.
Desires, when they are rightly applied, develop our mind by stimulating our creativity. When we want something, we find new ways of doing things. We search for solutions and plan well ahead.
Desires, when they are rightly applied, increase our productivity. We create and deliver more value – and we receive the adequate reward. We become willing to pay the full price in order to get what we want, because we know that we can’t have it for free.
It is childish and simplistic to assume that lack of desires and lack of work would make us stress-free.
Do you know any lazy people? I do. According to my observation, they are far from being stress-free and happy. They complain most of the time. Their life is stressful, too – in their own way.
The fact that we should work is not our problem. It is in the nature of life for us to express ourselves through organized activity, that is, through work. But sometimes, we act as poor organizers. We don’t know where to stop and how to balance work and recreation – perhaps, because we don’t love ourselves enough.
Desires and goals provide the structure for decision-making. The state of mental confusion and indecision is more stressful than we realize. But if you are clear about your wants and life purposes, you can make your choices quickly and easily.
Do you experience stress because some of your desires haven’t been fulfilled? Even if it is the case, don’t let them go. Replace them with better desires, the ones that are more realistic and attainable. Turn them to plans and goals, and move on.
© 2011 by Andrei Yashurin