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And you, are you for 'must' or 'desire'?

And you, are you for 'Must' or 'Desire'?

I believe we are living in a time where the conflict or alignment of 'Must' with 'Desire' is more crucial than ever for our mental health. After going through a pandemic, it made me reflect on these two concepts.

I think that 'DESIRE' somehow leads us to feel free. 'MUST,' on the other hand, grounds us, imprisons us. But at the same time, I consider that both are necessary for the balance of the psyche. I would even say that it is a law of life to learn to get along with both and never function solely and exclusively from pure 'MUST' or pure 'DESIRE.'

The key, therefore, is to have them aligned so that they are coherent and logical, not as I believe happened in Covid-19.

How would you explain everything that happened during the pandemic? I argue that, initially, both 'DESIRE' and 'MUST' were united: "I DESIRE not to get sick, not to infect," therefore, "I MUST take care, I MUST wear a mask, I MUST respect distances." But as time passed, I would say they became misaligned: 'MUST' remains the same (to take care, protect ourselves, wear a mask, and wash our hands), while 'DESIRE' has taken another direction. Now, I 'DESIRE dinner with my friends, I DESIRE my trips, I DESIRE my vacations, I DESIRE to reunite with my people.' That's where we enter into conflict both individually and collectively.

And all of this, how is it during our lives? 'DESIRE' facilitates dreaming, imagining, getting excited, and it is also an indication that one knows what they like. Additionally, we are born and spend the first few months in pure 'DESIRE': I'm hungry, I cry, and I get breastfed; I'm cold, I cry, and I get covered with a blanket; I'm scared or have fear, I cry, and I'm picked up... Moreover, we achieve this in an immediate way, without waiting or having to learn to be patient.

As we grow, it is the context that introduces 'MUST.' Those nervous parents because their baby 'MUST' start crawling or walking within a certain age range, and when they see that the child does not meet the statistics, they place them on the carpet several times a day to see if this time they feel like moving.

Then comes that phase of the most repeated question in a child: why? In a way, it asks to know what 'MUST' or must not be done. They are still in that phase where, when encountering other unknown children in the park, for example, they become infatuated with the other's toy, take it, and keep it for themselves. The philosophy of "I DESIRE it, I seek it." They still do not know that this is something they 'MUST' not do. That's where the adult figure explains what they did wrong, encourages empathy, and asks for forgiveness. It is then that the individual begins to understand what is right or wrong, and therefore, what 'MUST' be done in society to function correctly.

And so on in many things in childhood. That phase where 'MUST' begins to bother 'DESIRE,' where we learn that we do not always achieve what we 'DESIRE' at the moment we want and how we want. Where we begin to practice and develop self-control, empathy, self-regulation, assertiveness, resilience...

Then comes adolescence, ufff... that other vital phase full of 'DESIRES' limited by social 'MUSTS' and those of adults. How eager to turn 18 and be left alone, right?

And as we get older, I have the feeling that we start to function solely from pure 'MUST': "what I MUST do, what I MUST be." But what about the 'DESIRE' with which we are born? Where is the question of what we 'DESIRE' from all that we do? Where do we leave the "I am excited," "I am passionate," "I like it"?

In my work, in the world of high performance, I see it constantly. People who now only function from 'MUST' and do not remember the 'DESIRE' that brought them to their jobs or what the source of enjoyment was. After all, in sports, for example, an athlete's trainer becomes their 'MUST.' They send what the athlete 'MUST' train. The nutritionist does the same. They send what the athlete 'MUST' eat. The coach or trainer presents the tactics to know what the athlete 'MUST' do. Likewise, in the workplace, the boss says what you 'MUST' do, when, and how they want it done. But what about 'DESIRE'? Has anyone ever asked you, do you 'DESIRE' to compete in this event? Do you 'DESIRE' to train this way? How do you 'DESIRE' me to talk to you? In what way do you find it helpful for me to give you feedback? Or simply, what do you 'DESIRE'?

We MUST protect our DESIRE. Let us not forget that it is the one that sets the objectives, gives meaning to what we do, and gives us a purpose in life. However, it is true that the context often causes some DESIRES to be repressed. In sports, for example, the desire to eat a sweet is repressed; the desire to go out with friends is repressed; the desire to party is repressed; at work, the desire to take a Monday off is repressed; the desire to leave work early is repressed... What happens then? Well, even if we renounce, everything is somehow in order because these renunciations are compensated for by the fact that the great DESIRE, so to speak, is always greater than all those small 'Musts.' For example, if you want to be in the Olympic Games of Paris 2024, you will plan what you 'Must' and what you 'Must Not' do to achieve it. But all those "I can't, I Mustn't" are digested by the great DESIRE to be an Olympian.

In summary, never let 'MUST' win over 'DESIRE.' You MUST do what you DESIRE, and not DESIRE what you MUST do. Otherwise, if you function according to 'MUST,' you will spend hours looking for the DESIRE, which, if it is not innate, will have an expiration date, as in the pandemic.