Pins of Desire

photo of Tim Sanders courtesy of Shashi Bellamkonda, www.shashi.name – Social Media Swami www.huggable.com

When Tim Sander’s speaks to a room of people, he evokes the preachers of the southern Baptist church.  That might in part be due to the slight southern drawl he adopted from his childhood home of Texas and the speaking cadence he may have heard in those churches, but his message is also that often found in Sunday morning homilies.

I first heard Tim speak at a SOBCon event – those wonderful 3-day conferences that I like to call “summer camp for the brain.” Unlike many conferences, in SOBCon events, you work at various “Mastermind” exercises with your tablemates – among whom may be some of the speakers themselves.

Even though I acquired Tim’s book Today We Are Rich at a conference earlier in the year, I only just got to reading it.  I’m not usually a fan of inspirational literature (the book is subtitled “Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence) – it too often smacks of feel-good platitudes – but at the same time, if wisdom is to be found, I’ll stand in line.

And find it, I did. In fact, I felt like I got a gentle smack in the face.  One of Tim’s pieces of advice is to spend your first waking moments thinking about what and to whom you feel grateful from the previous day.  Overall, I’d say I feel a general feeling of gratitude in my life – but it’s not a focus. And Tim, here, is saying it should be a focus. In trying it out, I really do think it has a tremendous power.

It has power, because like a lot of attitudes we hold, we’re often conditioned by what we choose to focus upon.  In a talk I gave at Montreal140, and later wrote about on Successful Blogs I talked about the notion that we can choose to focus on what we don’t like as opposed to what we love. In practicing gratitude, we refocus. I have a sneaking suspicion that people prefer to be around others that feel good about their lives and appreciate the contributions of others.

Italian Villas and Other Desires

Ever since I had the pleasure of spending a few vacations in Italy, I’ve developed an occasional joy in perusing Italian real estate web sites and indulging in a bit of fantasy.  Yesterday, I started a Pinterest board of some of the more fantastic dream homes

I’m reminded of that central tenet of Buddhism, that unhappiness and suffering come from desire.

Will all this pinning of dream kitchens, clothes, and Italian villas lead to suffering? Could it be that we’re doing the opposite of what Tim Sander’s suggests – and that instead of focusing on what we we’re grateful for, we’re indulging in fantasies of distant desires?

I think it can. But I also think that to spend time fantasizing about that dream home, vacation, kitchen, or whatever it is you’re inclined to celebrate, can also be about your aspirations. It can be about figuring out developing your best self. I know, for instance, that I wouldn’t have the wherewithal to even attend to the maintenance of one of those frescoed crumbling villas – but I also know that I like the feeling of a certain type of place.  I’d like to bring that feeling into my everyday life.

There’s a fine line between aspiration, and practicing gratitude for what is already around you.  To that end, I’d like to propose that for every pin you make that is about what you desire, create another for what you feel grateful. I’m going to give it a whirl – and if you do, I’d love to hear from you.

Thrive in the digital marketing revolution.

 

 

 

 

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6 comments on “Pins of Desire

Milaspage

We are surrounded by a world of insanity. As humans I think we journey from the basics of love (as children from our parents) to dedication and working hard (which strays somewhere along the way as the rewards- the desires- the measures of success) and then within all of that – as adults we have to manage all kinds of other add ins – relationships, politics, restrictions – ass this combined can make us as people crazy. I believe that living in gratitude is essential to finding happiness. It doesn’t mean that we can not plan and dream of things we like, luxuries or extras – I think that what it means is that within the journey, we must always make time for gratitude because doing so give you focus – it pushes you to think and know what really matters. When you do this, you can overcome anything – because you know what matters. It’s at your core. 

I really enjoyed your 140 presentation Ric, it says a lot about humanity – your talk about admiring and choosing your focus in everything we do, it was brilliant.

There I real peace in living in gratitude – thank you for sharing this excellent post, sharing this book – which I have not yet read- but also for suggesting the idea of balancing each thing you desire with each thing you are grateful for! A great step to achieving life with gratitude !


Milaspage

We are surrounded by a world of insanity. As humans I think we journey from the basics of love (as children from our parents) to dedication and working hard (which strays somewhere along the way as the rewards- the desires- the measures of success) and then within all of that – as adults we have to manage all kinds of other add ins – relationships, politics, restrictions – all this combined can make us as people crazy. Lost in the daily grind and survival! I believe that living in gratitude is essential to finding happiness. It doesn’t mean that we can not plan and dream of things we like, luxuries or extras – I think that what it means is that within the journey, we must always make time for gratitude because doing so give you focus – it pushes you to think and know what really matters. When you do this, you can overcome anything – because you know what matters. It’s at your core.  I really enjoyed your 140 presentation Ric, it says a lot about humanity – your talk about admiring and choosing your focus in everything we do, it was brilliant. There Is real peace in living in gratitude – thank you for sharing this excellent post, sharing this book – which I have not yet read- but also for suggesting the idea of balancing each thing you desire with each thing you are grateful for! A great step to achieving life with gratitude !


    RicDragon

     @Milaspage I feel like I’m on to something, Mila – but just setting out on the beginning of the trip. Thank you so much for the comment and the email, Mila.  


AnneReuss

Awesome post Ric.  I get where you’re coming from. I think we have to recognize what aspects we want to fantasize about so we push our energies out there to make it happen.  Instead of looking at what others have/want then getting influenced by their have/desires. I think it can be dangerous how the web has made it too easy for people to compare themselves to others, become jealous or build their list of desires (online shopping, roaming on their friend’s Facebooks, looking at the crazy #rkoi stream (rich kids of instagram). For example, I know if I got caught up in how many people my age are getting married right now and showing it on Facebook I would catch get fever even though I personally am not at that stage! I like the idea of ‘pins of gratitude’ to keep us on track. Now that’s some smart thrivin’ in the digital revolution. 


    RicDragon

     @AnneReuss Thanks for teaching me this hashtag: #RKOI – didn’t know that one! And thanks so much for the comment. Can’t wait to catch up again IRL soon!


RyanKBiddulph

It feels good to be grateful for what you have and what you own mentally RIc, what is on the way. As we grow we might be living within our means the whole time…it’s just that the means grow.
 
I like expressing gratitude for where I am. Then I imagine myself doing neat things and owning neat stuff, but always visualize with a light, airy feel about it, detaching quickly. If I acquire the neat stuff, great. If I don’t, great too. No biggie.
 
Thanks for sharing.