In his book Wild at Heart, John Eldridge talks about duty vs desire. He puts forward that one should do things out of a desire to do them and not out of a duty to them. He uses the analogy of buying flowers for his wife, saying that if she knew he was buying the flowers out of a “husband duty” then she wouldn’t feel as special and loved as if he had bought them out of a desire to bless her and appreciate her. This I wholeheartedly agree with.
My spin on desire and duty has led to the creation of a new word, “desirepline”. Let me explain; I like to swim for exercise (so there’s a desire there), however the first couple of swims are not easy and although I like swimming, I don’t love it at that point because it’s hard and takes effort. This is the point where many people fall off the bus so to speak, they like something or someone and maybe they even love it or them but when the going gets tough and the feeling of desire isn’t there anymore or isn’t as strong, they give up mostly because they are relying on and getting guidance from the feeling of desire…
Back to my swimming…If I keep going with my training and I discipline myself to keep a consistent regime going, I am able to push myself further and do more and when I am able to train hard because of my discipline to put in the effort and the training, I feel better and when I feel good when I swim, I want to swim more! So it is with playing an instrument or painting or learning something new and so it is with life and love. There are many things that bring us joy and many things we like and love but if we rely on desire alone, we will find ourselves on a rollercoaster ride throughout our lives. When desire is there, you’re happy and clear but when it fades because maybe it’s not as easy, then we get confused and depressed.
I believe we start with a desire, with something we love doing but it is discipline, in the long run that fuels that desire. It’s discipline that maintains that desire and it is discipline that fulfills that desire.
Desirepline: A potent ingredient for massive success and true fulfillment