Achieving without wanting
“The real trick in life is to want nothing, and to succeed in getting it,” I learned yesterday while reading Shantaram. It’s amazing how I missed this magnetic novel by Australian author Gregory David Roberts, published back in 2003. The book is based on events from his life. David had a history of heroin addiction, was found guilty by a court of law of bank robbery, later escaped from prison, then went into hiding in India, where he lived for about 10 years. In short, an intriguing personality who has explored every shade of the bottom.
The initial thought echoes the observation of investor and entrepreneur Naval Ravikant: “Negotiations are won by whoever cares less.” It’s not even a question of your opponent noticing your obsession with something and using it against you. In fact, you are the one producing the moonshine that then makes your alcoholic go on a binge. Obsession makes your position vulnerable. On the contrary, if the message comes from you in a negotiation is, “This is how it’s going to be. Agree or disagree. I don’t care,” then there is no subject for argument or manipulation. You win without even playing the game.
Life is also a negotiation. It seems to be with fate, but in reality with yourself. When movement is dictated by necessity rather than lust, you won’t demand too much, but yours won’t get away from you either. Hard deadlines become unnecessary, because they too are motivated by passion. It turns out that the ideal is to achieve a paradoxical state. To strive without craving. To achieve without undue effort.
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