As humans, our defining characteristic has been our inherent property of having more needs than we can sustain. But over time, we seem to have evolved to sustain this property by moving on to the pursuit of the next need after enjoying the previous one, and thus to lead a life with multifarious experiences emanating from the enjoyment or suffering due to those needs. The simple path to a happy life. Simple.
This is the start of the next paragraph. It must be obvious that I will provide a contrast here. And so I do. It is not so simple as it seems. You see, needs get converted into desires when there is a positive reward at the end of the pursuit. Desires are self-motivators, i.e., they make us go the ‘extra mile’ to achieve that reward. To an extent, desires are good. They’re great in fact. Unless we truly desire something, we won’t work hard to get it and it usually things don’t come easy to most people.
As long as you get what you want in a certain ‘acceptable’ amount of time, you’ll be happy and your desire will be fulfilled. This time period is mostly influenced by peer pressure and other external pressures and an internal expectation of performing at a certain level. But sometimes, people desire things that are beyond their capabilities.
Why would people do that?
Well, one can be a good judge of his/her abilities but one can never truly comprehend the role of uncertainty or randomness, which is as you know, the law of nature. And we often forget that everything we do is partly controlled by nature/luck/the cosmos or whatever you choose to call it. There is a 50-50 chance of things going the right way or the wrong way. If it’s the former, then happiness ensues, but if it is the latter then the equation changes.
The equation now is influenced by years and years of evolution that has led man to become what he is today. The power to persist when the desire turns into obsession. Now again, you are more a slave to luck than a master of your own faculties. You cannot go away from what you want to achieve until you have achieved it. You just try so hard keeping only the end result in mind. So hard that you just make a mess of everything. Too much of anything is bad but even a little bit of obsession is destructive. Undoubtedly it makes a man go beyond his limitations sometimes but most men or women break down before it.