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The Counter-Productivity of Endless Desire

Updated: May 18

With so many opportunities at potential, our lives can become equivalent to that of a Pokémon game:

“Gotta catch ’em all!”

This exact sentence is the cause of misery worldwide. It creates the mindset that we “need” to acquire more and more, even if we don't truly need it. This is because mass industries are there to create more and more for us to consume, and when we accomplish said things by consuming them, these industries create even more. We are constantly in a competition with others to “catch ’em all,” and this can lead to feelings of inadequacy and despair.

Do you know how destructive that sentence is? Not only does it cause destruction in the form of agony, but it also benefits the mass industries of today. Think about it. It turns our existence into a state of a continuous race of missions we ought to complete in order to attain satisfaction.

But do you know what the horror is? There is no such thing as “all.” Why? Because mass industries are there to create more and more for us to acquire, and when we acquire them, these industries create even more things for us to acquire. And thus begins an infinite saga of chasing after desires by acquiring whatever our desires tell us to acquire.

What’s more horrific is the following: simply fulfilling the passion of a desire is not going to end it. Not only are we encouraged to follow our desires, we are viewed as lesser and as less of value when we don’t have desires by the external eyes which constantly watch us through our addiction to media.

You see, this static cycle of unhappiness fulfills a financial and social aim for both us consumers and the creators which produces our source of consumerism. We are thus indirectly encouraged to remain unhappy by following more and more sources of desires, instead of facing against the desire itself and overcoming it by downgrading its value in our eyes. We are deluded that accomplishing our heart’s content will give us satisfaction, while in reality it only creates more desires, like a dog that chases a bone that shall never be his.

In other words, our generation (and not necessarily only the generation of young adults) are unhappy because we learn to reject asceticism. To be ascetic is to be content with what you have, and as already claimed before, it is a socio-economic interest to keep us not content with what we have. When we are content with what is already in our possession, there is less consumerism, and when there is less consumerism, there is less money provided to the industries which extract our world’s resources for the primary sake of generating more financial power at the cost of our misery.

And do you know what? I am pretty confident that the industries know that the accomplishment of desire does not necessarily lead to long-term satisfaction. And so, in order to keep us away from the financial harm of our satisfaction, they produce more and more things to keep us unhappy and addicted. Just imagine how the tobacco, pornography, and sugar industries would suffer financially if we were not addicted to their products. Therefore, it is in their interest to add more tobacco, more porn, and more sugar into our products.

To put it simply: to be happy is to be content with what you already have, and to keep that happiness, is to reject desire for more.

I agree with you that the industries are aware that the accomplishment of desire does not necessarily lead to long-term satisfaction. They know that we will always want more, and they are happy to provide us with more things to desire. This is why they are constantly coming up with new products and services to sell us.

We need to be aware of this and be careful not to fall into their trap. We need to be content with what we have and not let ourselves be driven by desire. If we can do this, we will be much happier in the long run.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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