Desire and personality
What gives us pleasure and what gives us pain helps determine our objectives, but what is also a factor in what goals we set for ourselves is our Personality. Where we have a choice of goals, it is the personality that helps decide which will be chosen as goals and which will be rejected.
The essential attributes that make up our ‘personality’ – the character traits that we have – ultimately decide our objectives. Which is why all these self-help books tell you to ‘know yourself’.
We can see these character traits in all people and in animals. It can be perceived as a sort of projected image which is permanently displayed consciously or unconsciously, but generally unconsciously.
If we are self-assured or positive, the goals we set are likely to be far more ambitious than those of the pessimist. If we are proud and pompous we could well set goals that are over ambitious and not matched by our actual ability. The Greeks reserved a particular god - Atë or Aite for actions performed because of the person’s pride which lead to his or her death or downfall.
If we are a whittler, we are likely to be very unambitious in the goals we set. If we are pleasure loving, our goals may well revolve around the attainment of particularly pleasurable experiences. If we have a sense of humour, our goals may reflect that humour – perhaps a party with a silly theme. If we are dour then our goals may totally lacking in any frivolous or humorous content. And so on.
I think you get the idea.
For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.
- Asvaghosha - The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana - The Personality
- Bach, Dr Edward - The Laws of Unity and Inner Guidance
- Hume, David - Decision making and what influences the Will
- Leibniz - The Monadology - 02
- Proust, Marcel - In Search of Lost Time Volume VI - On desire
- Reid, Gall, Mill, Bain and Hack-Tuke – On the nature of the Will
- Vaughan, Henry - The Pursuit