Blog Post: Desire

Desire and fear drive every decision we make in life.

Desire is evident from early in life. The decision to climb a tree was easy for me as a child. The desires to conquer new challenges and impress friends were high. There was no fear to make me hesitate.

Skip ahead a few years and I have much less desire to climb a tree. There is no longer a need to push new boundaries and I am pretty sure that friends will not be impressed by the ungraceful sight of a 37 year old man (with a bad back) trying to scramble up a tree. But fear also increases as we get older, perhaps due to experience and additional responsibilities. In fact, I would now fear the ridicule of not reaching very far or the potentially life-changing effect of falling out of a tree. This makes it a very easy decision for me, not to climb trees anymore.

However, there is a significant shift in the scales of desire and fear if someone were to offer £1000 for me to climb a tree. Although the fear of falling is still present, the desirable reward means I can now justify the effort to my friends. My brain will work through a series of scenarios, calculating the risks involved and considering how to mitigate them. How likely is a fall? If I do fall, what are the likely consequences? What would I spend £1000 on? What do the people I trust most think? The decision to climb a tree is now a tough one.

Some fear is not necessarily a bad thing. It can stop us making poor decisions and doing stupid things. However, too much fear can also lead to poor decisions. Decisions are often hardest when desire and fear are both high. Equal levels of fear and desire can inhibit our ability to make a decision at all. It’s not easy being a grown up, is it?

Understanding desire and fear is a great way of helping us to better understand ourselves and others. For example, anyone who decides to hold a spider, despite being terrified of them, has not suddenly gained a love for spiders, but they have perhaps satisfied a desire to overcome their fear. I have a lot of respect for people who overcome their fears. Even if there are tangible and logical reasons for doing so, it is still a really difficult and impressive thing to do.

Balancing fear and desire.

At Spokes Education, we love satisfying our clients and even increase their desire to do something new and exciting with digital learning, by showing them available possibilities and opportunities. We equally enjoy being able to alleviate the fears that are associated with digital learning, such as costs, time, resources and technical knowledge.

Evidence-informed solutions.

We alleviate fears, not just by simply telling our clients that everything will be fine, but reassuring them with clear explanations of what they need to know; providing solutions that are backed up with evidence of success; and including risk mitigations where needed. Additionally, we aren’t afraid to increase the client’s fear if we think they are getting ahead of themselves. “Do you have a ready and captive audience and sales channel?” is just one of the first questions we tend to ask clients who are relying on sales and adoption. If you have the desire to start a digital learning project, regardless of whether you have any fears, we have the experience and expertise to help you get the right balance on this scale that will bring success.