Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Inexhaustible Aspirations

Regardless of the medium, everyone has long-term aspirations, dreams that they either consciously or subconsciously desire to attain. Aspirations are as varied as the individuals that have them. An artist may dream of having their work in a gallery exhibit, a writer may dream of publication and certainly there are those who dream of a stable home or the 'Epic Love.'

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Every aspiration can be very telling about the individual but these are more than simple aspirations to individual, these demonstrate motivations. When an artist is asked why they want their own gallery exhibit they may recount that it is because it symbolizes that they've 'made it' or any number of superficial reasoning but it is very likely that the individual does not even recognize the subconscious motivations that are driving them towards the aspiration.

A writer may aspire for publication or even acclaim for their work ranging from community praise to the Pulitzer. However, like the artist there are subconscious motivations that are responsible for driving the individual towards these aspirations.

More emotional aspirations like a consistently stable home or finding 'Epic Love' not only are subject to the subconscious motivations to the emotional states associated with these aspirations. Individuals aspiring of a stable home may be under constant duress, anxiety because their current status is the opposite of their aspiration. The 'Epic Love' or fairytale romance is subject to emotional fluctuations raising to the highest elation and dropping to the darkest depressions. The severe anxiety and emotional turmoil make the Epic Love one of the most dangerous psychological traumas.

"Spanning Years, and contenents. Lives ruined and blood shed. Epic!…. No one writes songs about the ones that come easy." -Logan Echolls (Veronica Mars)

Every long-term aspiration has a psychological impact on the individual and their behavior. Subconscious motivations that alter their behavior and the extreme emotional affluences that can alter an individual's emotional state. The desire for a gallery exhibit may actually be a subconscious desire for affection. These hidden motivations can cause undue amounts of stress as the individual obtains their exhibit but the aspiration still remains unfulfilled. As an individual moves closer to their aspiration, the events and obstacles that prolong attaining that aspiration will have a significant psychological impact. Often these will result in larger emotional reactions than they would ordinarily receive. As an aspiration continues to be evasive, anxiety ultimately becomes a tension and leads to psychological and emotional exhaustion.

Life is filled with aspirations, dreams that drive individuals towards an uncertain goal. While the emotional turmoil of pursuing and ultimately attaining a dream may be an 'Epic' process the emotional and psychological turmoil does not end with attaining that dream. Fear of completing a dream is almost as daunting as trying to attain it. As many artists, writers and dreamers realize when they nearing their aspiration… What comes next?

"That's the fun part. You find a new dream."  


Jacqvern said...

Hi Philip,

Ok. Very interesting analysis of aspirations/dreams and their effects, both positive and negative.
The purpose though? I feel like there is something else that you didn't tell. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing, just discussing the issue.)
It sounds like a cycle (not a vicious one :D), but a cycle nonetheless. Do people go round and round in their aspirations' cycle? Or do they have awareness of what exists outside and inside this cycle?

Michele Shaw said...

I believe we all do have aspirations and, yes, more than one reason stands behind them, pushing them forward. Everyone is motivated by different wants and needs, but as a whole, we have to aspire, no matter the motivation. If we don't keep reaching and stretching, we've cheated ourselves of many possibilities and made our life into less than it can or should be. Either we dare to dream, or we cave in to that hollow place which giving up has created.

PW.Creighton said...

Very astute Jacqvern, it is a repetitive cycle that has a very profound psychological impact on behavior and in terms of writing our characters this is yet another psychological aspect to keep in mind. It's also good to question ourselves about these motivations as well. In all honesty we never do break free of this cycle it is the human condition.

Michele, very well said. We are constantly spinning through the cycle and while we may give up we never truly do because our subconscious still motivates us to those aspirations. It's just very important to understand the emotional and psychological effects of these aspirations on us and on our characters.

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