What gets us out of bed in the morning? What is the psychic energy that pulls us forward? Before going on, just think about it...
Well? Is it a breakfast meeting? A special project? Work that we love? Perhaps we feel that we must get out of bed, and so we do so to appease a belief, a person, or a principle.
No matter what reason we would give for getting out of bed in the morning, it's the emotional energy of desire that drives the action.
In other words, everything we do, we do because we want to do it. Period.
Desire is behind every choice each of us makes, and every action each of us takes — even if that goal is only to appease another or find relief from the tyranny of the superego.
Yes, every day, every moment, every decision we make is driven by desire. Would you like to eliminate desire? Can't do it. You see, the desire to remove desire is still a desire.
In the Desire Engine model, then, "Desire" is meant as both an emotional objective, and the energy driving to that goal.
When considering desire, many confuse inspiration with motivation, and both of those with desire. The Desire Engine model is now updated to include "Inspiration," so that we can see where it fits relative to "Desire": it comes just before it. For the Desire Engine model, we define the "Inspiration" stage as "The process during which desire is born of a perception. The moment between perception, and identifying a preference." Inspiration begets desire; desire motivates.
In other words, before you want something, you are inspired to want it. The perception of a gap between how you feel and how you would like to feel inspires you. Whether you then decide your new “like to have” is getting out of bed, a chocolate bar, or a workshop, it doesn’t matter. Your new want the thing that you believe will improve how you feel when you get it.
Your “like to have” can also include keeping something. In other words, avoidance of creating a gap. An extreme example: fear of losing your life is born of a desire to keep it, which was in turn inspired by a perceived threat.
Perhaps your mental model of inspiration does not include the mundane but is reserved for those moments in life that are only extraordinary enough to move you to tears, kick that habit you’ve wanted to kick for so long or shift your perspective enough to see things anew. In the Desire Engine, we'll ask you to assume that "Inspiration" is anything that sufficiently helps you identify the emotional difference between where you are now, and where you want to go, and then what you believe will get you there.
At this point, it's helpful to know that not all desires are created equal. There are "weak desires" and "strong desires." Weak desires are born of a perceived need for compliance with outside rules or consensus approval. Strong desires are those born of our essential nature, including those based on what's most important to us, and those that are inspired as we relate to who we truly are within our life, work and the world.
So while you'll notice that "Desire" in the Desire Engine is the first motivating step, you'll also see that "Inspiration" comes before it, and before "Inspiration," comes "Experience" and "Evaluation." Inside the model, we collectively hold these last two within the process of "Perception."
And since we are all perceptive beings, we'll start our discussion of the Desire Engine with "Perception" and "Experience."