New Delhi, India

10 Mistakes – Part I: Lust v Desire

By Sameer Kamboj, SKC World

“10 Mistakes” is a series I am sharing with you. Read this with an intent to self-realise. As you do so, your mind may try to distract you or reject what you read. It might even trigger your critical thinking and make you sceptical. On the other hand, it might make you believe in everything you read and make you a follower. Be aware of the games your mind will play!

What Are Mistakes?

Examine these two situations:

  1. We are all born under different circumstances. As we grow, we receive various messages that condition us into who we are, such that, in our current state of life, we consider our personality as the unshakeable truth. Our mind creates this belief for us. Our perception is hence limited by our mind. This is the beginning of the mistake.
  2. We all know we have more potential than we are currently employing. We know that we can be more – happy, peaceful, wise, wealthy, content, healthy – than we currently are.

We know this within us. Our life’s entire journey is about harnessing this potential.

These two situations are quite in conflict with each other. The first one is limiting by nature, while the second one is explorative.

The mistakes we make are rooted in attempting exploration while remaining entangled in the web of our own compulsive personalities.

You cannot experience your full potential with your arms and legs tied behind your back, and your mouth gagged with preprogrammed words and a mind that is full of its own convictions.

What Is Lust?

Lust is often confused with desire. We always live with desire. Lust is primarily our obsession connected with a desire. It usually has its origins in our sense of inadequacy or incompleteness. Due to such feelings, we become convinced that if we do not have or achieve something, we would simply cease to exist!

It is a game of proving our worth not just to others but even to ourselves. Think about this carefully. This is a grave mistake we make with our lives. This one is tough to realise because its hypnotic nature consumes us.

Let’s take some simple steps to get out of this hypnotic trance.

Distinguish Lust from Desire

Desire is “I want to own a house”. But when the inner message sounds like, “I must own a certain kind of house, at a certain address, else I won’t get the right status for myself”, you are now experiencing lust.

Desire can be to own a car because you need it, but it becomes lust when your inner messages sound like, “Unless I don’t drive a luxury/ sports car, I haven’t arrived in life!” Desire can be to build a large enterprise, but it becomes lust when your inner message is, “Unless I don’t have the best and the largest enterprise, I haven’t really proved anything!”

Listening to the inner messages for the why of our desires helps us identify our lust. These inner messages are purely yours to listen to, and no one else can help you tune into these. The more present you are to yourself, the louder these inner messages become. Start by posing some simple questions to yourself. Why should I top my class? Why should my company be #1? Why should my business have the best products? Why should I have safety nets? Why should my company have a certain culture? Why should people recognise me?

No … I am not asking you to resist such desires. That is not my purpose. My aim is to help you realise your potential. This means you shall fulfil more of your desires and not any less. So … let’s carry on.

If desire isn’t bad, then why is lusting for a desire bad? Doesn’t lust sound like passion?

Lusting for something has multiple implications. Let’s become aware of these first.

Side Effects of Pursuing Lust

  1. Our lust makes us compulsive to such an extent that we need to fulfil our desires at any cost.
  2. To do that, we manipulate people and situations around us to our advantage.
  3. While we do try and collaborate with those who can help us get there, they soon recognise our lust towards those goals. This makes us vulnerable. However hard we may try and hide our lust, it leaks out of our well-kept façades of pretences. Even if one can manage the external appearances for a longer time, the masks eventually come off, and people closest to us abandon us.
  4. It obliterates our wholesome and holistic view of ourselves and erodes our self-worth to a point where the foreboding fear of the possible lack of success becomes a living nightmare.
  5. Even after achieving the desired result, we remain lonely and incomplete.
  6. People are sceptical about our intentions; they either fear us, despise us, or in turn use us to fulfil their own lusts.
  7. We end up paying steep costs in our life’s journey to fulfil our lust with a singular outcome – misery, unhappiness, and broken relationships.

The truth is, we all need to head back to a place we can call home. And one who commits the mistake of driving their life through lust ends up with many houses but no home.

How to Avoid This Mistake?

Scaling up your business is not a race. Those who get drawn by advertisements of “growing X times in 3 years” are like hapless moths getting lured into a naked flame. Scaling up requires secure and adequate people who are not afraid of sharing: instead, are happy giving to others. If you truly want to be an entrepreneur, start with the inclusiveness of others’ desires with your own.

Do not make the most common mistake of driving your scaling-up endeavour to fulfil your personal lust for money, power, or fame. You will soon be surrounded by people like that. Before you realise it, your life becomes a struggle while you are actually seeking pleasure.

If you want to beat the curve, you must scale up over a sustained period. Scaling up is a matter of leading people beyond their inadequacies. Scale is achieved by those who can enable and inspire people to keep improving and evolving. This requires an ability to accept all things and people, even if they are not perfect.

Remember, when driven by lust, there is only obsession; true scaling up requires compassion, gratitude, and inclusiveness.

Sameer Kamboj

Sameer Kamboj

GCG member firm
SKC World
Advisory, Auditing & Accounting, Tax
New Delhi, India
T: +91 11 41324 619
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published: GGI Insider, No. 112, March 2021 l Photo: Leonid Andronov -



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