To be desired?

I was listening to the ex Renault/Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn talking about his past and he came up with the statement “You are happy when you are desired” (or something very similar) What do you think? is he right?

I remember being ‘desired’ from the career perspective in my twenties and thirties and less so as i hit my fourties and fifties. Maybe I was happiest in my 20s? Maybe there is a correlation between being desired and being happy. Of course this applies to more than career, if you are not liked or desired by others in a social context that makes isolation a higher risk. maybe this is linked to loving kindness mediation and mindfulness too. enough of my speculation…what is your take on this?


I wonder how ‘desired’ he feels at the moment, being an international fugitive because of massive corporate fraud. Or did his ‘desire’ for money corrupt him, much like it corrupts so many neoliberal business ‘elites’? I also wonder if he feels ‘happy’ as he sits in Lebanon (a country on the verge of collapse), thinking about those who will serve jail time, mainly because of Ghosn’s actions.

I think ‘desired’ is the wrong word. In work, it seems that being ‘appreciated’ is more apt. One of the 4 noble truths in Buddhism is’ Suffering arises from attachment to desires’, which, in the context of work would seem to mean that if we seek to be ‘desired’, in a way to be needy for recognition, or to fish for compliments, then we will not be happy. It’s about worrying about the judgment of others, which is one of the surest route to dissatisfaction.

It also makes me think of Tolstoy, who called boredom ‘the desire for desires’, although boredom > isn’t such a bad thing..

A man asked Buddha, ‘I want happiness.’ Buddha replied ‘First remove I, that’s Ego, then remove want, that’s Desire. See now you are left with only Happiness.’


The post was not about our desire. More about others desiring us. The thought was we feel happier, or at least better about ourselves when we are desired or in demand. In the job context this is where you put your cv out there and you get multiple job offers, are spoilt for choice. Its a good feeling …I had this in my 20s/30s but not in me 50’s. Similar if you are popular and friends want to see you, if someone loves you…ie the post was about others desiring you. In the case of Carlos he was talking about a time when he was at his peak and in demand as a CEO of a car company.

I see it in others, there is a big desire in many children & teenagers to be desired, to be wanted in a social group. Maybe this is just a need to be sociable, to not be alone. It may not be essential to life. or even happiness, but having strong social connections is one of the recommendations from positive psychology and being desired is part of that.

Appreciation is a good way to express it, people appreciating you is close to wanting or desiring (It does not have to be romantic desire).


Kevin says “I see it in others, there is a big desire in many children & teenagers to be desired, to be wanted in a social group.” I think this is particularly important to younger people because they may often lack self-confidence.

Self-confidence can be boosted at any age by being needed or “desired” by others. “Desired” can have so many connotations, from romance to friendship to career-related.

A relative of mine went into a nursing home some years ago. As the beginnings of dementia appeared, she became unable to continue living alone, but had “imposter syndrome” - she thought she was a nuisance to others when she moved to the nursing home. The nursing home staff came up with a useful strategy. They introduced my relative to another resident and said, “This is Emily (name changed). Emily needs someone to look after her.” From that moment on, my relative blossomed, knowing that she was needed and “desired”.