Need Vs. Desire?

Piyush Kamal🎖
2 min readDec 20, 2021

As an eight-year-old, birthday is perhaps the only occasion when your faith in cosmic ability to hand you your most cherished gift is tested to its limit.

It was my eighth birthday celebration, and I was busy pinning all my hopes on receiving my brand-new cricket bat as a birthday gift. For that small kid with big dreams, not having a new willow was the only thing preventing him from becoming the best batsman in the country.

It took that kid more than a couple of decades to understand that when people strongly desire something, such as a new bat or Bentley, they might feel like they ‘need’ it — but they don’t actually need it. At least not in the way they think.

Invariably, desire (even after acquiring that most cherished bat or Bentley) fails to bring us joy because it is, by definition, emanates from something we feel we lack.

Which means deep down inadequacy in us often gets manifested in form of different desires.

In fact, if you care to look beyond the obvious, you will find that man is the creature who does not know what to desire, and he turns to others in order to make up his mind. This is called mimetic or imitative desires.

Because desire is mimetic, people are naturally drawn to want what others want. As a result, if you perceive some career or lifestyle or twitter account as good, it’s because someone else has managed to project it in such a way that it appears good to you. So good that you find it irresistible to get them out of your head.

Therefore, it becomes your responsibility to Identify the people who are influencing what you want. Not only that you also need to know where your desires came from. Because most of your desires have a history. And history, my friend is a good place to start searching for the roots of your desire.

In the status-dominated world, seeking approval of people you don’t know is a preventable disease. It’s likely that if you can’t be happy right where you’re at, right now, then you probably won’t be happy anywhere. Not even when you manage to have millions in followers and billions in accounts.

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Piyush Kamal🎖

Published Author Who Loves to Play at the Intersection of Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience, & Philosophy — Sharing the Slice of Wisdom Not on Paper but Screen