There’s No Deprivation When You Don’t Want the Thing

When there’s no desire, there’s no deprivation

When you no longer want the thing that once dominated your desires, you are free.

A couple of years ago, I declined ice cream cake at a party.

Immediately, the chorus began: “Oh, Irene’s being good!”

Funny thing was, I wasn’t being good. I didn’t want the cake, so I didn’t eat any.

That, dear friends, is freedom.

Deprivation is a cornerstone of many programs. And I’m not just talking diets. Think workout regimens, organization solutions, business coaching—you name it, really. Many programs are grounded in restrictions that aren’t sustainable in real life.

They build in tactics that are focused on denying yourself, calling on willpower, confining consumption, and exerting great discipline. In the guise of habit forming and behavior modification, these programs demand contortions that equate to deprivation—and that results in an eventual ‘boing’ back to status quo—or a point below status quo.

Deprivation is just coping. It’s delaying. It’s addressing a symptom, not curing the cause. From experience, observation, and research, I know that shiz doesn’t work.

Eventually, the suppression of desire backfires. The caged beast of urges breaks free, and, suddenly but not surprisingly, you’re back where you started.

Let me be clear that process of truly deleting desire so it no longer is an issue is not void of discipline. You will need to stop partaking of or participating in the thing that has dominated you.

However, this discipline is not about suppression. It’s about letting the beast roam free yet not allow it to sway your decision. It’s about allowing all the emotions related to the confrontation yet holding your ground.

It’s challenging—but when you face the uncaged beast enough and find it will move on—every time—you start to not even notice it. Then one day you realize that once upon a time there was a beast, but it doesn’t come around anymore.

The desire is gone, and you don’t even feel deprived.


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