I've noticed an intrinsic human pattern of four fundamental desires in each of us.
The first is our desire to survive. It's quite simple, we don't want to die. In America, we're definitely insulated from what it truly means to survive, so survival for us is being healthy enough to work so we can generate enough income to pay our bills.
Next is our desire for enjoyment. With some breathing room from survival, we want relief and enjoyment. At some point, we'll find our pursuit of pleasure lacking in significance leading us to seek out our next desire.
We want purpose and to make a difference. We're seeking meaning, our third desire. When survival and pleasure is not enough, we want to help others.
Lastly is our desire for achievement. We want to accomplish something difficult or seemingly impossible. We not only want to survive, have fun and embrace meaning, we want to succeed.
Learning to understand where we're filling these desires and where we're starving is critical to our contentment.
A trap we fall into is expecting our spouse, work, child or friend to provide all four of these desires for us. We place an unrealistic burden on something or someone who can never be what we expect.
Another trap we fall into is when we go to the extreme of focusing on only one of these desires while ignoring the others.
Having a source to fill us when we're empty is vital, and we'll find these desires to be a blessing or a curse depending on what source we choose.