Sometimes we’re driven by the I-want-it-so-badly virus: I so wanted to get to the top of the company, or to attract that attractive person, or to be rich, or to be recognized as important, or to have the best house, or to have a more exciting life. In fact, we sometimes delude ourselves into thinking that the object of our affection (the job, the car, the partner, the house) must be right for us precisely because we want it so badly.
Sometimes our desires are in fact good indicators of where we need to go or what course we need to take. But sometimes just the opposite is true. What I want so badly may scratch an ego itch but do nothing to further my purpose in life; it might even lead me astray of my purpose. Greed, pride, or a host of other debilitating drives can take a powerful hold on us and are all the more pernicious because we’re not fully aware of how deeply they may have affected our thinking. That’s what Ignatius meant by an attachment to disordered affections that can undermine our judgment.
—Excerpted from Heroic Leadership by Chris Lowney
Those disordered attachments will get you every time. How I wish I were better able to managed the brief distance between working (joyfully) with focus toward a chosen goal and striving (relentlessly) for what I imagine attaining that goal will bring me. So easy to slide from one to the next, which will unfailingly bring not gladness but puzzled disappointment.
Timothy Keller’s work Counterfeit Gods served as a real eye-opener for me on this topic. If only focusing the opened eyes were as easy.