Desire and Seduction: 7 Ways to Turn Your Life Around

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Desire, and how you respond to it, determines the substance and quality of your life.

Desire is the juice of life. It courses through you like a river, carving its way through the soil of your psyche. Desire is powerful. It moves and shapes you. But desire can also seduce you.

Some desires motivate you to better yourself. These are the light and bright desires; constructive and positive motivations that lead you to a life of excellence and integrity. Your other desires — the darker ones — are caustic. They consume, corrode, and corrupt, your finer intentions. Knowing how to tell the difference between the two is the key to turning your life around.

Desires that are good for you

Desires that are good for you are constructive. They feel easy and light on your spirit. There are no catches in your psyche as you contemplate them. They expand and improve your life by developing your natural strengths and talents. Following the call of these desires leads you to greater heights of personal, spiritual, and professional fulfillment.

Some examples of good desires are:

The desire to…

  • Take a course to further your career or personal development
  • Indulge your creativity or hobby interest
  • Go on an awesome adventure
  • Spend less time working and more time with your spouse and children
  • Follow your heart and empower your passions. Have some fun
  • Handle money responsibly and enjoy the benefits of that
  • Enjoy the simple and timeless treasures that life offers you each and every day
  • Be grateful for everything you have
  • Live a healthy lifestyle

Desires that seduce you

These are the desires that will destroy you if you act on them. They have nothing to do with your happiness or success. They are quick fixes for damaged emotions. Their “feel better” effect is short-lived. Their destructiveness is long-term.

They seduce you with instant satisfaction, taking the edge off your struggle — and you are hooked. You know that it won’t last but you can’t resist. Because it doesn’t last, you come back for more. You think, “this is only temporary. Tomorrow I will do things differently, but for now I need to feel better.” Then you crash, you get seduced again, and the cycle continues. Your life spirals out of your control.

Some examples of seductive desires are:

The desire to…

  • Escape from your problems by distracting yourself with mindless entertainment
  • Be romantically or sexually involved with others to avoid dealing with your present relationship issues
  • Fill the void within you with food.
  • Raise your spirits with alcohol and drug abuse
  • Repeatedly enter destructive relationships as an affirmation of your self-image
  • Accumulate money and possessions as a measure of success
  • Control others to replace your lack of true empowerment
  • Use debt to purchase a life you can’t afford to maintain

7 ways to stop the seduction

If you know that you are acting on desires that are not in your best interests, here are 7 ways to turn it around and stop the seduction.

  1. Admit that you are being seduced by your desires. You don’t have to announce it to the world. You do have to clearly say it to yourself though. Project ahead in time and understand where your current path will lead you. If it isn’t where you want to be end up, then…
  2. Identify your true and proper path. You know who you really are. You know the best that is within you. Project that person ahead in time to see what can be. How does it feel?
  3. Make a list of changes that will put you on the right track. What do you need to stop doing? What do you need to do more? Keep it honest. Don’t hide from the truth anymore. No one has to see your list. It is for your eyes only.
  4. Take small actions every day to break the seduction. Be aware of your desires, and one by one, replace destructive desire with constructive desire, and then act on it.
  5. Revel in the results of positive action. Learn to equate your sense of satisfaction with the good feeling you get when you do the right thing. The results from your positive actions may not be immediate — but they will be real, and they will be permanent. Take pleasure in this, because they will bring you happiness and contentment.
  6. Reward yourself for successfully changing each item on your list. Your true reward will come automatically, but do treat yourself with a little extra when you know in your heart that you have earned it. Make it your way of acknowledging and affirming your new direction.
  7. Ask for help if it becomes clear that you are not breaking the cycle. If after a few weeks, you find yourself repeating destructive habits, despite your best intentions and efforts, then seek some assistance. It is difficult to say that you need help, but it is far easier than spending the rest of your life on a continuing downward spiral.

Accepting that you have harmful habits and destructive desires is a good first step, but it doesn’t solve the problem. This is personal, and it is important. So, you have to ask yourself…

Am I being seduced by my desires? Where will they lead me? Do I want to go down that road? What would a better road look like? And, what will I do to turn my life around?

Over to you now…

17 thoughts on “Desire and Seduction: 7 Ways to Turn Your Life Around

  1. Lance

    This is a good look at desire, John. I have in the past had a seductive desire with food. It led me down a path that was destructive to my health. The key for me to turning it around was to take small steps everyday toward improvement, and to realize the rewards of doing this. I felt healthier and looked better (that was a big motivator), and this led me to want to continue to take steps in the new direction of desire I was on (desire for good health – the good kind of desire).

    And this has me thinking…do I have any seductive desires in my life now (I probably do) – and what can I do to see them as such, and then look for ways to turn them around. I’ll give this one some thought – there aren’t any big things, but probably some small ones I can work on…

  2. Nathalie Lussier from Billionaire Woman

    I love this one, John! I think we can all associate with some of the good and bad desires. I especially have had issues about filling the void with food, focusing on other goals when a relationship is going badly, and so on.

    I think recognizing that you have these desires is the key, as you said. Thanks for this good reminder that brings more awareness to our lives.

  3. banji

    out of the 7 ways, I find the first one to be the most effective. Once we know that we are being seduced, we will look at the whole thing in a different perspective. Just like when we are told that everything we will hear in a speech is a lie, we will definitely be noticing a lot of lies in the speech. In the end, we will never believe a single thing from the speech.

    The same goes to seduction, once we know this is all just desire triggered, we will have the upper hand in the battle. I’m not saying we will win, just having a slight upper hand ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks John for inspiring dosage of wisdom today

  4. Bamboo Forest

    “They seduce you with the promise of satisfaction; not some time in the future, but right now. They take the edge off your struggle, and so you are hooked”

    Beautifully told. Indeed, this is precise.

    “Revel in the results of positive action. Learn to equate your sense of satisfaction with the good feeling you get when you do the right thing. The results from your positive actions may not be immediate โ€” but they will be real, and they will be permanent. Take pleasure in this, because they will bring you happiness and contentment.”

    Isn’t this amazing? Isn’t this the greatest irony the world has ever known?

    When we discipline ourselves and do what truly makes us proud of ourselves we find true and authentic contentment. It may not be seen in the moment; but it will definitely be realized in time. Probably, just a short amount of time. And permanent as you say.

    When we live in a way that is consistent with who we truly want to be – we find the fulfillment we yearn for.

    Yet, we often do things that are only attractive in the short term – believing they will give us what we seek, and yet they do the exact opposite! There is no greater irony than this. Those who can internalize this will live a good life.

  5. Evelyn Lim

    I enjoyed the distinction about desires very much. Yes, it is true; not all desires are good. Seductive desires are extremely tempting to act on; but their consequences can be pretty much fatal!

  6. Edward

    Desires can be wonderful things if you want them for the right reasons. For example, I do raise my spirits with ‘spirits’. There is a difference in drinking to celebrate your current and long-lasting happiness rather than drinking to coax happiness into being.

    There’s a fine line with desires: You can control them or let them control you.

    When desires seduce–and I agree they have a tendency to do so–the chances are good that you will lose yourself in them; However we all have the power to form our desires into positive goals. “I want to make twice as much money this year” or “I want to find the love of my life”. The trick is not to find happiness in what you want, but to find happiness and THEN find what you want.

    Find yourself emotionally centered and you can make what you want with the world around you!

  7. Jennae @ Green Your Decor

    Every time I read one of your posts, I feel like you are talking directly to me. Several of these apply directly, and I thank you for reminding me how easy it is to become seduced by pointless activities. I needed to hear this today.

  8. Andrea Hess|Empowered Soul

    I like this article a lot! I think understanding what we’re really after goes a long way to break the hold that desire can have over us. If we want a bag of peanut M&M’s, what is it that we REALLY want? If we want to make more money, what is that really about?

    Desire, in the end, is always about a perceived need. The need is perceived because, of course, everything is available to us at all times. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Blessings,
    Andrea

  9. Chris Edgar

    Thanks for this post. One common theme I noticed about the “seductive” desires you talk about is that we pursue them to distract ourselves from how we’re feeling. When we learn to breathe through the sensations we’re experiencing, as opposed to running away from them or denying them, we experience so much more freedom in our lives.

  10. Jodina Carey

    I think “desire” is a word that gets tossed around so much among us, yet is rarely thought about in a contemplative way. Thank you for taking the time to reveal this word’s multiplicity, not limited to a more Buddhist perspective that may cast desire as our road to suffering. To remind us that the key is to embrace desire then use its powerful fuel to take effective action in your life-action that is aligned with positive intention.
    For me the question lays in- What comes after being “aware” of desire? Is that enough?

  11. life

    So very true. It is important to remember the we are in control of our own lives and have the power to shape it. Although, sometimes we do need to ask for help and that is okay to do.

  12. Drew

    i just got off work and it is 5 in the morning. i am a bouncer at a popular nightclub in a college town in michigan and frequently when i get home i am so crowded in my own head that i can’t sleep until sunrise. tonight i shall sleep. who knew that searching google for a moment of zen to quiet my mind would help so much.

    thank you, you can be sure i will return

    Drew

  13. John Rocheleau Post author

    Drew:

    Thank you so much. You have a stressful job that requires you to empower a limited part of your nature. So when you get off work, you have to play catchup. Balance is everything.

    But then, being on a edge has its value as well.

    I’m glad you found some value in my site ๐Ÿ™‚

    Best,
    John

  14. Cserei Zoltรกn

    Reading throuh your best of zen-moments list in the sidebar the words that caught my eye instantly were: turn your life around ๐Ÿ™‚ Change and evolution is something I always look forward to. You pointed things out in a beautiful way.

    You have a new subscriber ๐Ÿ˜‰

  15. John Rocheleau Post author

    Zoltan

    Thank you for taking the time to say that.

    The simple perspective is often the best one to prompt us to change our lives for the better. Sometimes all we need is a simple little reminder. I know that it works for me. I hope it works for you ๐Ÿ™‚

    John

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