Is Satisfaction the Death of Desire?

By Allison Johnson
Blog Content Contributor

One of my favorite TV characters, Hank Moody once said, “Is it possible that longing for something is better than having it? I’ve heard it said that satisfaction is the death of desire.” Well it might be. We all have things we desire. It could be food, a certain place, a person or even a job position. Just about anything. The thing is, you can work so hard, or wait so long for a special thing to come along in life, and once you get it, it’s not what it lived up to. Or, it could be exactly what you wanted, but just not the right time.

This could be for many reasons. Maybe you did desire a new position at your job, and you worked hard for it too. You went the extra mile by learning more, helping others, staying late, doing everything your boss wants and just being a great influence on the rest of the employees. It’s great being noticed for your achievements, and there is a possibility that may have been all you wanted. Some might fall short after getting a promotion, or a new job. Maybe you’re satisfied with your new title, and now feel like there is no need to do anything you did to obtain it.

It could also pertain to a relationship as well. One of the best and worst parts of being single or simply just “playing the field” is that there is a chance you might have found a person you can’t get enough of. Sounds lovely, but here is the catch after the chase. After doing everything in your power to make this person yours, you might feel like there is no passion left. Sometimes all a person desires is the chase. It could also be a fear of commitment, but there is a chance there is nothing else other than that.

Another thing I’ve noticed with our generation is that we let the smallest things satisfy us when they really shouldn’t mean a thing. For example, you might yearn for a compliment from someone, or just some type of comfort. So, you go to Snapchat (because everyone knows pictures come out better on there than the actual camera on an iPhone) and take 100 selfies. And out of all of those selfies, you go through them to see which one will make the cut. You found the perfect one, it got all the likes you wanted, and now you’re satisfied. When really, I feel if a person went through all of that for some validation, they desire much more than some Instagram likes, and need to seek something with more meaning instead of being satisfied with that.

Not only do I think we are satisfied with being mediocre, but I think some of the things we are often satisfied by are temporary things. Which is the reason we are often left hanging. We then learn that whatever we are looking for is only going to leave us in a vicious circle of never really being happy. This will make us cynical to want to work hard for the great things we desire, like a real relationship, friendship, a career that gives you a purpose or just a goal. For some biblical insight about satisfaction, check out these verses. Maybe satisfaction is the death of desire because, in my experience, people give up the second they feel content when there is more to explore.

Featured illustration by Melissa Monrroy.

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