Sunday, April 20, 2014

Insatiable: Case of the dripping tap


On the last day of high school during morning assembly, the Chaplain spoke about our future. He spoke about how we were done with school, but now starting out in life, with new dreams, aspirations, goals and desires. I did not pay too much attention to the bulk of this sermon, as I was only happy that high school was done and all the pain of study had come to an end, but found something in it captivating. The sermon spoke about how God created us as pursuers who discount what we have accomplished already, looking to the next best thing. I have chosen the word insatiable to define the part of human nature which keeps us hungry for more in life. Words used in the definition of insatiable include, incapable of being satisfied or appeased, thirst, appetite, desire, curiosity, hunger, need or even greed. The Oxford Dictionary tilts the word to especially refer to desire for sex, which I will steer clear of given the context of my objective. Reflecting back on that sermon years ago, I see what the Chaplain meant, as I have grown to see how insatiable I am as a human being.

The Paradox

I have goals that I pursue and some of them are on-going but most are attainable and achievable goals, which are short term in nature, soon goals no more. Once I attain some of these goals, I feel an urge to look for something else to pursue. That hunger, curiosity and thirst always comes up and needs to be fed. While I am pursuing something, sometimes, it feels like pain and hard work, and I only wish I was done with it, but once I am done, I am so used to being consumed and cannot just be doing nothing. I am therefore soon busy looking for more pain and hard work to consume me. What is this thirst within me? Why am I like this all the time throughout my life? The paradox of this is that, I enjoy having new goals and targets to follow at any point in my life. And these are not always big hairy audacious goals, but can be small goals I want to tick off my to do list. I recently spoke to a friend who ran the Comrades Marathon (89km race), and is now going for the Kilimanjaro Marathon (42km race). These are not easy races to run, and if I had personally completed the Comrades, I would gladly place that feather on my cap and take a bow, well that is what I think, but I could be wrong as well. She obviously feels that itch to conquer something else that most of us feel.

Bringing the tap

I am reminded of a dripping water tap, which does not stop releasing small drops of water. It is much like this insatiable part of human nature which drips these urges of desire and hunger, continuously pushing us to do more. There is always another race to run, another mountain to climb or a new feat to achieve. The drops seem small, but the source where the water comes from is massive, hence the tap keeps dripping day and night. Even while you sleep, you awake with a new idea for something new. The source keeps feeding your tap and it drips on. Once I reach a goal, it no longer motivates me, and I seek another motivating goal to pursue. I am always aspiring and looking forward to something that I can achieve. I thrive on that pursuit, to achieve, to overcome and to go further. I suppose I speak for many when I say we are insatiable beings (remember the disclaimer for the Oxford definition). Personally, I have never really stopped studying, despite completing a number of courses this far, I find myself starting on something else, though it sometimes gets tough and I may even develop cognitive dissonance in the process. I have written another blog titled "What is important?", and will hasten to refer back to it as a guiding principle when the tap drips. What are your own experiences and stories related to this? Is your tap dripping that continuous desire and how is it driving you further? How does your quest to tick off "100 things to do before I die" conflict or compliment the opportunity cost of time you could be spending in other ways?

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