Desire is Suffering (Very Short Post)

Every human entity has desire. Desire to workout, desire to travel to new places, desire to explore new things, desire to be famous or infamous, desire to find love, desire to have a family and a happy home. Desire to create something that changes the world.

Yes, this is going to be a post about software development. More specifically about Lean Agile Software Development. The desire in business is to get more faster done.

“If we produce more, faster than our competition, we will achieve some desired outcome.”

This is faulty logic on a multitude of levels. The first level, and perhaps depending on how I am feeling while writing this might be the only level, is WIP. The desire to get more done faster leads to more things in progress. The desire to be first to market, or first to lay claim, or first with the hot new story pushes us to have multiple “irons in the fire”. But as history would show us time and again, you should limit your desire to focus on one thing.

A happy person wants 10,000 things, a sick person just wants one thing.”

The desire to have or do more is what is causing you the most pain. Your unlimited desires to have all of the things prevents you from focusing on achieving and getting even one of those things. If you want one thing, and you focus on it, you will get it sooner and better. Every desire you have is an access point where you will suffer.

In software development terms, every different thing you desire to do, taken on at the same time, will cause you the most pain and anxiety of juggling and trying to manage each of those desires. Focus on a single desire at a time. The universe is designed in such a way that if you focus on a single desire at a time, you will get it. You just need to let everything else go… For now.

If you were looking at this from a software teams perspective, which I am, and knowing that each desire or story, is an access point for suffering, why would you choose to take on more than one suffering at a time?

Much of what I am talking about apparently comes from Buddhist teachings. Which is new to me since I have never really studied Buddhism. But taking this tenant of “Desire is Suffering” and looking at it as I am today, I am making a connection. It might be a drastic leap, and I really do not want to offend anyone. But it is helping me to think about things.

To quote a cohort of mine on this topic, “Buddha had a Kanban board” – David Batten

And with that, I have thought about this, wrote something small about it, and am marking it as done and will look for feedback.

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