“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” –Archilochus
There exists a rather pestilent law of the universe: when you chase after something, it runs. When you place a desire upon a pedestal, you place yourself beneath it. If you want to get what you desire in life, stop chasing it. Instead, focus on making an impact, on either others or yourself, and let your desires come to you.
If you chase a desire that is materialistic, such as a fancy car, you just put your worth as a human being behind a hunk of metal and gas. If you chase after a girl or a guy, you tell them that they are a prize rather than a partner and that they can do far better. If you chase position, such as a dream job, the hiring managers can smell from a mile away that they have more to offer to you than you have to them.
Don’t get me wrong: you have to WORK for what you desire but you cannot CHASE it. The difference between working and chasing is attitude. It is a mindset rather than a specific pattern of actions. When you chase, your intention is always to gain prize or approval. By contrast, when you WORK for a desire: you seek to build and to provide.
When you chase, you place the burden of your desires upon others. When you work, you build your dreams alongside the dreams of others. So what is the mindset of someone who works for his or her desires, rather than chase them? They focus on impact. They focus on not what they can take but what they can give.
For example, if you desire a job, do not focus on telling the interviewers why they want the job, they talk about what they can do for the company and the team.
If you care about a social cause, do not block traffic in protest, they form grass-root campaigns, they volunteer, they discuss, and they form action plans for real change.
If you desire romance, do not seek the “one”, become the “one” by working on yourself everyday regardless of how naturally gifted you are.
If you want to be an entrepreneur, do not lust after the millionaire lifestyle; turn your focus upon a target audience that you are passionate about serving and solving problems for.
The positive attitude of being a giver rather than a taker will attract your desires towards you. Opportunities, ideas, and people come to you when you serve others and better yourself.
However, you have balance what you will do for others and what you will do for yourself. If you too busy looking inward, nobody is going to care about your wants. If you are too busy looking outward, you are neglecting yourself. When you balance serving others and loving yourself, more important than your material goals, you will gain inner peace, mental wellness, and overall happiness.
If you spend your life chasing your desires, you will never be content. There will always be something you don’t have and something you cannot get. Being constantly preoccupied on selfish desires leads to self-destructive behaviors, mental health issues, and burnout.
The last statement holds especially true if you come from trauma, pain, regret, or shame. If you focus on what your peers have in comparison to you, you will drive yourself insane.
By contrast, focusing outwards leaves you satisfied with the journey and work itself. You are not attached to a material acquisition because you feel happiness for your service. In almost any hurtful situation, you can learn to be happy simply by changing your thinking from inward to outward.
For example, if you have been grievously hurt, you can serve as an inspiration for others by defying odds, overcoming obstacles, or sticking to your morals.
If you have regret in your life, forgive yourself for what you did not know and be grateful for what you did do right. Serve your community by improving upon yourself and helping others avoid the same mistake.
If you love someone who loves another, do not lament after what you cannot possess. Feel happy for them, grant them the gift of freedom from your needs, and transfer your loving energy into serving a good cause. The attitude and all actions resulting from the attitude will relieve you from your pain and may even usher forth your true lover.
In my personal life, when I was going through tough times and I changed my thinking from taking to giving, I could physically felt my head clearing up and the anxiety leaving my body. I could stay relaxed and confident in stressful situations. I could almost feel the universe opening up doors for me in every corner. I am convinced that if you focus on impact and love yourself, all your wildest dreams will come true, in one manifestation or another.