Two layers of desire

The basic premise of this post is that every desire has a superficial craving and an underlying motive. Most of the things that you do are a means to and end.

For example, you want to drink water not because of the water itself but because drinking that water will quench your thirst. Your craving is water your underlying motive is eliminate thirst. Simple.

Now the same applies for more higher-level behavior like buying a car. Many people want to buy a sports car to have a nice mode of transportation but in reality the underlying motive is social status (i.e. they want the prestige that comes with owning a sports car so that they can impress someone). The craving is a nice sports car the underlying motive is social status.

Now things are not always as straightforward as I present them here but for the most part if you analyze your behavior you will be able to make this two-tier motivation behind your actions.

I believe that just being aware of this can be super powerful in helping us control impulse behavior. The logic in this case being that the strongest we fill our craving for something is the more critical we should be about our underlying motive. If we really want to buy something or start doing something we should take a step back and ask ourselves → what’s my underlying motive here?

As always I am not trying to be prescriptive here. This is simply what I am trying to do in my own life and hopefully it can be useful to other people.