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Temptations vs. Aspirations

How many times did I made a distinction between these two terms for myself? How many times did I encountered a situation where I could clearly have experienced these two desires simultaneously? Well, it was very unclear until I found them crossing my way almost all the time. Every time I was about to follow my heart, I was offered enormous temptation. But yes, things were not like this from the start. In the beginning, I didnt have too many choices, then, I had the temptations only. Some years back, I didnt even know about this follow-your-heart thingie. Reason: perhaps, it was not that mature, or its voices were so humble and weak, or perhaps I didnt even know what the heart is. Maybe, I was pretty messed up between these different entities that I was totally unable to make a clear distinction. It is pretty scary to look back that it took almost 24 years to understand the voice, the real one, of the heart. The good thing is that it somehow occurred, but the bad thing is the question am-I-really-willing-to-choose-one?

There is a very thin line between these two terms. It is a matter of consistent behavior of mind and how well we have allowed it to make contact with the heart. There is one more important thing, but it can be nullified when the situation is about follow-ur-heart stuff. It is about making attempt to live according to other’s perception or gain acceptance. It occurs in general conditions and the conditions when you are confused with your choices and desires and decisiveness. The key factor with the temptation is that it doesn’t look bad until it encounters aspiration. Most of the times, temptations and aspirations look synonymous to each other and you cant tell the difference.

Temptation takes many forms. The temptation of money is prominent here, sure, but so is the appeal of being respected, the ache to be loved, and the desire to fulfill other people’s ideals. All can manifest themselves outwardly as “ambition”. Then there is the temptations that sap our strength; the seduction of convenience, and the sedative of tranquility. Even when you started understanding your aspirations, temptations manifest themselves like the inevitable steps to be followed to reawaken to the aspirations. [Po Bronson]

For example, the money. The money, in most of it forms, works as temptation in our lives. Almost all the time, it makes us feel that its the only thing that can help us getting our aspirations. We seem to believe that we cant proceed with our aspirations without the help of money. Second thing, money can be useful if we, sometimes, consider it mere an element of the mixture of the prerequisite things required to live up by the aspirations. It becomes the most powerful temptation when we start considering that it is the only thing that can help us. Obviously, it is almost impossible to overcome a temptation by the help of the same temptation. And the fact is that having money might make it possible, but doesnt make it easy.

The temptation is powerful because it is highly dynamic and the aspiration is powerful because it is highly static or consistent. We weaken temptation by reducing its range, making it consistent and static, and removing its dynamic behavior by which it changes its forms as per the requirements. We weaken aspiration by making it dynamic where we allow it to change its forms as per our comforts and suitability. Let me find out how I did it. During my first 21 years, my temptations were – power, ache to become intellectual, fame, love, sex, money, respect, love, fame, money, and comfort zone. My aspirations were: love, respect, power, money, knowledge, wisdom, success. The morals of this story (of 21 years) are – Both were highly dynamic, both were closely intertwined, no distinctions between them, the situation was so worse that those two were trading their forms most of the times. During next 3 years, somehow I concentrated on the aspirations and didnt care about temptations whether they are being strengthened or weakened. First thing I did was that I tried to make my aspirations as static as possible. Then, I looked back for the temptations and let all my temptations be satisfied. This enabled the temptations not to manifest themselves as ambition. There were two clearly visible consequences of what I did in those 3 years. First, I worked on both unbiased (means, I didnt have any goal or intention to promote or demote any of them) and understood what these both are. Second, I started learning about the follow-my-heart and experienced/understood the ways to make distinctions between the temptations and the aspirations. It didnt really arrive at any conclusion or manifesto for my life, but it definitely designed a framework for the same and it made me believe that there is something like this. I somehow tried to understand the behavior of all kind of temptations. This helped in a way that I started encountering the differences automatically and it kept increasing the distance between these two. So, did I factually overcame temptations? NO. So what did I get out of all this? I have started re-awakening to my aspirations. And what I am gonna do next? Well, truth be told, I don’t really know what I am gonna do next. But, it will definitely be decisive because someone has to win this game and it has to be progressive because it seems to be going in the right direction.

Do I have something concrete to mention here? Probably yes. I think that I have found some secrets. Let me try to write them. First, let the temptations reach at saturation level; second, make temptations and aspirations encounter each other; third, think about the pro-con of the things you are getting or receiving rather than the things you are not getting, etc, etc. I am yet to find rest of the secrets, but I can tell you about some findings as per my experiences and experiments. The most important point is that it is advisable to concentrate on the aspirations. If you dont understand your aspirations, you will never be able to eradicate the presence of temptations form your life. The day you understand your aspirations completely, you will find that you are no more confused and messed up with the temptations. You will be able to identify them very clearly and that’s how you will overcome them. Second important point is that trust the voice of your heart and follow it rather than believing in fantasies and following the words of “self-help books” like Fountainhead, You Can Win, Monk-Ferrari, etc, etc.

Published in Philosophy



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