There are apparently 10 common desires we all possess which make us tick.
Whether positively or negatively, you cannot deny that these intuitive desires are rooted deep within our society and our hearts.
These are the fundamentals our hearts long for, no matter who we are, where we may have come from or how we view the world; these are the truths that drive us.
I was first made aware of these only in the last week; a college lecturer doing his best to explain how these desires are not only shared but are important in the process of discovering your passions and purpose; foundational in the journey of self discovery. As my lecturer put it, we could survive without these desires being met but it would be a pretty terrible existence, ever searching, ever unsatisfied. You see, these are fundamental, natural and real feelings we all experience to some extent.
Hugh Mackay explores these things in his book ‘What makes us tick? The ten desires that drive us’ and if you have ever wondered why you did something or why you did it that way, I advise you to take a look at his work.
So let’s take a look and see if we can learn anything from them:
Number One: The Desire To Be Taken Seriously
This doesn’t only mean that we desire to be regarded as serious people. It is about the desire to be acknowledged as the unique individual each of us believes ourselves to be. It is the desire to be noticed, to be appreciated, valued, accepted… perhaps even remembered. We want to feel that what we do and what we say has worth, that our decisions are recognised and our actions are trusted. It is the need for assurance, that we haven’t been ignored or forgotten.
Number Two: The Desire For ‘My Place’
This can be taken two ways…it could be a ‘Physical Space’; a home which you own or the town where you were born and raised; a place that is specially your place. Or this could speak of something more spiritual – where you fit in; whether that be where you fit within the body of Christ or simply in society.
Everyone has a sense of place. We need places in our life that say things about us; places that symbolise our rites of passage or other magical moments or phases of our lives. Take Sydney for example; this is my place, the place – and life attached to it – that I have made for myself. This is the place where I have done the most growing up, the most work and been the most stretched, ever. Because this has been my rite of passage, my journey and my accomplishment.
And my place in society and within the Body of Christ is becoming clearer, day by day, too.
Number Three: The Desire For Something To Believe In
Humans are born believers; it is easier to believe than to remain a sceptic. Ever heard the expression if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything? Well I think it all come down to this natural calling, this intuitive need for a cause. Whether it is hope, happiness, something to feel passionate about or a ‘Higher Being’ we naturally gravitate towards the spiritual in the hopes of filling the hole within our souls; the hole that most don’t understand can only be filled by Jesus.
Number Four: The Desire To Connect
We are all social beings. No matter how introverted of a person you may be your soul still yearns to be connected to another’s. The desire to connect is about being seen, known and accepted. It is about knowing and being known, loving and being loved, seeing and being seen, hearing and being heard, sharing and being trusted.
This is the desire for communication; honest, open and recognised communication.
Number Five: The Desire To Be Useful
Imagine your younger self, small, energetic and ready to try anything. Whether you can physically lift the shopping bag or not you cry for the right to carry it; whether you can reach the kitchen sink or not, you stubbornly insist that you are the one to dry the plates; and even if you can read the cookie recipe or not you love going through the motions with your mum, even if it slows down her process and stresses her out. You see it fills us with pride, to have purpose. It gives our lives purpose to help and assist. We want to be needed, wanted, trusted. We want to feel useful because it gives our actions meaning.
Number Six: The Desire To Belong
The desire to belong goes beyond the needs for connection. Like I said before, we are social creatures and we need those small groups of trustworthy people in our lives to supply us with intimacy. The group we belong to establishes how we identify ourselves and can build up our emotional security. But it goes beyond that; the desire to belong is possibly the strongest influential desire we possess. It is about more than just knowing and being known. It is actually about be recognised and accepted and being appreciated. We want to know that there is somewhere we belong, whether that be a physical place or amongst a group of people, our hearts yearn for acceptance and it’s important that we search for that in safe environments.
Number Seven: The Desire For More
There are some desires that can be darker than others and the desire for more can be one of them if we let it rule. It all comes down to the sad fact that we all, always want, more. The more we get the more we want. And it can leave us ever searching, never satisfied. We see what we don’t have, what others have and we can’t help but let it drive us, let it motivate our actions. That is why we need to be careful and not let it become a negative thing. Let it be a positive attribute; that you are working to obtain more, to achieve more because those in themselves are not bad things. The desire to have more simply speaks about our purpose; to live out the Will of God, however that may be for you.
Number Eight: The Desire For Control
This desire personally speaks to me as those things within our selves and within our lives that we have no choice, no say or control over. The life and death matters, the big things, the chance and risk things that, try as we might, we have no control of. This is the desire to have things the way we want them; to have people do and act and say what we please, for our betterment. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing to be driven by; there is nothing wrong in liking things a certain way and there most definitely nothing wrong with taking control in a leadership position.
Number Nine: The Desire For Something to Happen
This desire is much like the desire for more; it speaks to the want for change, whether for best or worst, no matter how big or small. It’s about the desire to feel, to experience something, anything. To walk in someone elses shoes; find understanding. It’s the want for more than the ordinary, for more than the mundane four walls that draw the perimeter of our humanity.
Number Ten: The Desire For Love
The big one. The finite proof of our humanity and it’s true form, its true function and our limitations. You know, there’s a quote from one of favourite books that says ‘love will kill, both when you have and when you don’t’ and I don’t think there is a truer statement than that. It is our factory setting to love and to be loved. It is our prime function, our main purpose. And can one honestly say they understand it? It’s unfathomable, when it’s unconditional, as it was designed.
If you have ever wondered as to what purpose you serve, think about this, to the world you may be just one person, but to someone you may be the world. Let your care and compassion show, let your kindness and passion infect. Turn on love and live up to the person you were created to be.
What drives you?
Are you letting it control you or are you in control of it?
Are you using everything you have? Are you making a difference or are these desires getting the better of you?