The primary catalyst in creating any movement,
forward or backward is DESIRE. Earth is designed to host man; imagine
with me for a moment, that we got to a point where man had no desire for the
preservation of life, no desire to influence our environment, no desire to
evolve beyond the current state, whatever that was. Imagine also that aliens
existed. Earth could have been taken over or if not, remained as is or even
destroyed, without man’s desire for more in his heart. If you’ve watched any of
the films in the Planet of the Apes series,
(Kaye, 2014) then the bad ape’s desire
may have been fulfilled.
thankfully, that has not been the case. Our Creator has given us an innate
desire to be more and to do more, which distinguishes us from
the rest of God’s creation. Animals have a desire not to die and so they constantly play a game of ‘hide and seek’ –
seeking their prey for food or hiding from their predators to avoid being food.
Plants also have a desire to survive by growing in such a way as to reach their
necessary nutrients, light and water.
Back to man.
This desire to be and do more is fundamental to the perpetuation of humanity
and is rooted, primarily, in finding fulfilment – fulfillment beyond the norm,
having something greater than you to live for – a constant thought that can
either be stifled or given expression.
If our goal
is just to cover the paper with lines, the walls with crayola, make noise with
any instrument or our voices, or kick
a ball around in our yards, then maybe the animals will eventually take over!
But if we desire to make an impact beyond our walls, are prepared to go those extra
miles that take us out of our comfort zone and are in it for the long haul,
then we can rightfully expect to receive a commensurate extra reward of deep
soul satisfaction and wealth.
Hill’s words, “The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep this
constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of
fire makes a small amount of heat” (Hill, 1937).
The Oxford dictionary
defines desire as a “strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for
something to happen” (Oxford University Press, n.d.). Wanting and wishing
are however not enough to see your desires materializing.
Desire is but
the starting point of every decision we make. As Thomas Hobbes asserted, “human
desire is the fundamental motivation of all human actions” (Lin & Forrest, 2011). Before any
improvement can start, we must first carry out some spirit, soul and body
sanitation. This sanitation involves divorcing old habits and creating new ones,
which must be gradual and manageable, that lead to our desired outcomes.
A student desiring
to create an enviable reading culture needs not begin with Shakespearean
literature more reader-friendly books written in modern and maybe simpler
English, within a realistic and specific timeframe.
desires are just the foundational blocks of being more and doing more, the
seeds planted to form the tree whose fruits you look forward to harvesting and
are a good place to start in your pursuit of something greater. Your desire
fuels your success – if you do not have the desire to achieve your goals, you are
simply not going to achieve them.
have heard these two phrases: “you are what you eat” and “you are what you
think”. The mind and the body are common denominators to all men, although what
we choose to make of them greatly depends on you. Our bodies are our houses on
Earth while our minds help us review the past, process the present and plan the
future; these two when managed properly can contribute to building your desires.
capacity generally supersedes the maximum capacities of our physical and mental
strengths. All creativity starts in the mind – a powerhouse of tremendous imagination
that can stretch beyond any known boundaries. However, your minds can also become
an adversary in times of complacency – “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. Effort
in required to harness the positive powers of our minds. The mind is typically
not in alignment with what the body or brain can achieve. Principally, the mind
governs our default actions and responses; therefore, it takes some attitude of
positive ‘rebelling’ to sail that boat
against the natural current of our minds. Thus desire, which starts in the
mind, can be regularly fueled and fired up to bring to reality a world our
hearts know we can occupy.
Gardner, in the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” saw his desire to succeed to
fruition despite many setbacks (The Pursuit Of Happyness, 2006).
The achievement of your desire is dependent on your
commitment and willingness to make sacrifices.
dominant thoughts shown in your beliefs and attitudes become your greatest
asset or liability in achieving your desires. We are always moving in the
direction of our thinking, which then determines our behavior (Waitley, 1985). As your desires
line up with your thoughts, your life will move in the direction of fulfilling
those desires. I want to briefly share my own experience with you.
to succeed in life despite being raised by a single parent. Life was not fair
to my siblings and I growing up. Each new day merely carried on with yesterday’s
struggle. In desperation, I begged just to put myself through school. Life was truly
very difficult at that time. I hawked food on the dangerous city streets, worked
as a laborer on unsafe construction sites and merchandised, disregarding personal
comfort as these jobs were crucial to my family’s survival. I never considered
the value of these tasks and carried on pretty much a zombie, copying what others
around me did, task and result-wise, until I listened to an eye-opening teaching
on financial freedom.
It had never
occurred to me that saving part of the money from those jobs can bring relief
when needed in the future. I felt embarrassed realizing my relationship with my
immediate environment was so parasitic. This knowledge showed me a way out of this
dark tunnel of poverty, making me work and save simultaneously – a habit that
has made my current company one of the most sought-after real estate firms in
Nigeria today (ref). I see myself as a phoenix that rose out of the ashes.
men and women today owe their wealth to their poor upbringing which in their
cases, was turned out to be a blessing because as I am convinced, poverty
laser-focused their desires to succeed.
The Media and its Influence on Desires
any further, we need to be conscious that desire in the 21st century
is dominantly induced by the intense persuasiveness of marketing and advertising
which often causes confusion or misinterpretation of our core choices and desires
in our minds. As such many tend to focus on its emotional meaning — a longing,
a yearning or an attraction.
evolving creative marketing strategies and the dominating advertising forms that
appeal show how desire has become a perpetual tool deployed to dominate our
conscious and subconscious. Commercials stimulate desires, which in turn usually
stimulate the pursuit of money to acquire what was advertised, and such money
pursuits without a wholesome root in a worthwhile goal can never satisfy. Partial
satisfaction as promised by these adverts lead only to greed.
the tendency to buy a commodity while window shopping after being exposed to an
overload of audio (-visual) commercials. If you successfully resist at the time,
that product becomes of reduced significance especially if you are no longer
exposed to those persuasive commercials. Suppose the craving is insistent even without
the commercials, it might be a true ‘desire’ –only satisfied when met.
ever, true fulfilment is near impossible to have since the media focuses on
making its audience want more, with our mindsets being reinforced to believe fulfillment
comes from using or having what they say. A manufacturer or service provider deploys
the tremendous visual inputs of media to stimulate the receptors in the part of
your brain associated with pleasure and reward, sabotaging that which results
from completing your daily tasks efficiently.
use selective-retention techniques to influence and control the final decisions
of users, with commercials designed with extra-ordinary precision to leave their
target audience with memories of their products or services even at times of
highest resistance, thus masking a person’s true desires.
The Pivotal Role of Desire
wants to have a lot of one thing or the other but wanting and desiring are two very different things.
Want is the less of a functional need, while desire is an endless longing. You
may want to make more money but that differs from desiring to make money! Your want can be irrelevant but your desire
is that psychological need you cannot forego because it manifests itself by creating
a vacuum within you.
I wanted to
legally make money like most people do. Money became my principal desire at
first especially when I realized I was allergic to poverty! But as I grew in
knowledge, not just financially, I realized it had to be not just about the money. I realized money was just one of those
things that could make me feel like an
accomplished person. You can have all the money for all the universe cares but
be devoid of fulfilment which only leads to frustration. When I concluded that
fulfilment was key to my endeavors, I reset my thinking and buried my obsession
for monetary wealth.
Too often I
hear people say that they want to
make more money – but this isn’t their true desire. Their real desire is to
have security, and more time on what they truly enjoy with less work-related
stress in their lives. If you focus on your true desires, you will be more
motivated and compelled to succeed.
Mandela desired freedom of all black South Africans; Bill Gates desired a
computer in every home; Warren Buffet desires to make money by investing; if
you want to improve your life, you should work to transform that want into a
desire is so that you motivate yourself to success.
Working with the Power of Desire
power to achieving goals. Around the world, we regularly hear stories of people
surviving against near impossible odds. People in the ER are more likely to
come out alive if they do not give up their desires to live.
create and fuel the desire to achieve your goal by coming up with a solid why for that goal. Lacking the desire
to accomplish your goal most likely means you have chosen the wrong goal or you
do not clearly understand why you
want to achieve that goal.
married is a noble goal achievable by a stronger reason of having a family
around you. Wanting to improve your health or lose weight just because you feel
you need to, does not equate desiring to improve your health or lose weight. Having
a why of living a longer and
healthier life gives you that real desire to improve your health just because
of that definite why.
Remember the example of the student with the new
reading culture desire? How persistent that student is in achieving that desire
is dependent on the expected output (a strong why) when this new habit is
Hopefully you now see the difference between simply wanting and having a desire
your desires by simply looking at the goals you set and understanding how
achieving those goals would significantly improves your life and/or the lives
of those around you. To get a better job, think about how having a better job
would benefit you and those around you. If you’re not clear on your desires, then this
is a good place to start.
to achieve your goals, to enjoy happiness and a better life, you must
understand your true desire or why you want to achieve your goals.
my true desire is a life-time of commitment to God and to humanity, to meet the
physiological needs of people in as many ways as I can.
Your Desires in Your Words
Ali, Nelson Mandela and Bill Gates always talked about their desires leading to
those desires fulfilled.
space – your beliefs, mindsets, attitudes and dispositions, and the words you
speak need to be in complete agreement with your desires. Having it
otherwise is equivalent to planting a seed and then uprooting it and repeating
that cycle, but wondering why your tree never materialized.
correct mental and vocal space may mean creating a list of positive statements
in line with your goals, repeating them every day to yourself till your regular
conversations and thoughts come into alignment with what your desires are, till
you truly believe that those things you desire cannot but happen. Remember that
sometimes you have to keep saying it
till you believe it, till it is firmly rooted in your mind.
A good tool
I’ve seen used is visualization board with pictures that represent your dreams
and desires which can only help reinforce those desires and spur you on in the
direction of their fulfillment.
To further your
desires, look at the future and picture yourself in it – all desires met and
possibly exceeded. Feed your desires by being consistent in your outlook and
becoming more knowledgeable about what you want to achieve. Instead of baseless
envy, seek to learn from those that have already achieved what you want. Make
sure your environment constantly reminds you of the why behind your desires.
Enemies of Desires
overcoming a more heavily favored and physically superior opponent can sometimes
be traced back to those upcoming athletes having a greater desire to succeed
that their more established competition. People either lose their desire to
succeed, do not have the desire to succeed, or have the wrong reasons attached
to their desires.
lost my desire, I’m not hungry anymore. I’m wealthy, my kids have money, I have
nothing to fight for”, said Mike Tyson after a recent defeat (Mosweu, 2006). His desire to fight
was for financial security. On the other hand, Muhammad Ali continually desired
to be the heavyweight champion of the world. His desire was fame and he carried
on fighting until his body could no longer supported his desire.
often fail to achieve their desires because they have too many aspirations they
juggle to achieve if possible at the same time, and eventually end up with many
half and not-baked loaves instead.
Make a note
to self that it is ideal to focus on one desire, achieve it and then later
spread your wings.
circumstantial limitations, primary desires do not always actualize since simply
desiring is not an exclusive determinant of succeeding. Where an individual’s
control over fulfilling their desires is fractional there will be the need for
deliberately planned actions coupled with progressive output maintenance.
Now that you have read this chapter,
take some time to write down your goals and wants. Find a strong why for each one.
Then go online or to your local library or to people who you think can help
with each one and create a strong reminder by pictures or words that remind you
of your desires and your why’s behind them.