This article will discuss desire, the start of success. You will learn about how desire is the starting point for all achievement. What happens when we don’t channel our desire properly. How can you tell whether you desire something or not? You will also learn about the consequences of going after something which you don’t really desire.
Interested in discovering how cultivating the right desire for you can lead you to levels of success you’ve never experienced?
Then read on.
Why Desire Is The Engine Of Accomplishment
According to the seminal book “Think And Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, any accomplishment in our lives has its start in the seed of desire. Desire is simply the starting point to changing our state of being from one to another.
Think about it.
Why are you reading this article? Because you believed that by reading it you would gain information which could change your state from one state to another, more desirable one. Why do we go to work? Because we desire the results of the work we do, be it money, feeling accomplishment or creative expression. Why do we exercise? Because we desire the results of the exercise.
Every accomplishment starts with desire. If used properly, desire can propel us to the highest realms of human achievement.
Desire is an evolutionary gift. Human beings have lived as hunter-gatherers for most of the time we’ve been human, 95% of the time at the very least. Our current civilization of comfort is actually not the norm. In the wild we had to rely on our skills and on each other in order to survive and reproduce. Survival and reproduction are our biological imperatives. They are our most primal drives and have been with us since before we were even human. Even bacteria go after what they desire.
Anything that we believe (there’s that word again) enhances our ability to survive and reproduce is perceived as desirable.
In hunter-gatherer times the things which ensured we lived long enough to reproduce were:
- Food and water (material)
- Clothing and shelter (material)
- A strong, fit and healthy body (material/spiritual)
- A tight-nit, cooperative tribe (spiritual)
- Healthy, capable mates (spiritual)
When it comes to our desires, we haven’t changed. The things on the list are still those we want the most, albeit with a modern touch. We no longer want only the raw fruits, vegetables and nuts available in nature; we want them to be prepared by the most competent chefs in the most luxurious restaurants. We no longer want clothing which only serves to protect us from the elements, but also looks and feels a certain way. We don’t want single-room hut with a dirt floor, we want a beautiful house, with a sublime view, guest bedrooms, libraries, swimming pools and wine cellars. And we are willing to pay the money it takes to get the things we desire.
While on the subject of money, that’s the one new addition to the things we want. But not really. Money is a recent technological invention; it is simply potential. It has the potential to become any of the material things we want, but it cannot become any of the spiritual. In fact, the spiritual must come first before the monetary rewards manifest (look at article 3, Success Is The Journey – It’s All Now).
So, desire is the starting point for all achievement. As biological beings, we are hard-wired to experience desire. It’s a mechanism which has served us well and will continue to do so, if we know how to use it, rather than allow it to use us.
Sadly, most people don’t know how to tap into their desire.
The consequences are disastrous. As we will see.
What Happens When You Don’t Tap Into Desire
The world we currently inhabit is completely different from the one we evolved to live in. We evolved to live in a world with trees, berries and snakes. The world most of us inhabit these days is one of buildings, sugary sweets and angry drivers. Our brains and bodies inhabit a world which millions of years of evolution hadn’t prepared them for, and we have only been living like this for the past ten thousand years or so, since the invention of agriculture. And with the industrial revolution 250 years ago the world changed even more so.
We are surrounded by cheap pleasure. What once would have taken us hours of hard physical activity, for example, hunting and killing an animal to eat meat, now we can accomplish by going to the store and purchasing a steak from the freezer isle. The same can be said of sugary foods; the highest doses of sugar our ancestors used to consume were berries off of the bush. It took work to find and gather the berries. Now we can get 100 times the dose of sugar by spending a couple of dollars on a soft drink. And what about pornography? In one porn session we can see more naked men and women than our ancestors saw in their entire lives.
All of this cheap pleasure short-circuits our natural desire and reward mechanisms.
This means that we don’t have to work so hard to satisfy our biological drives. We still have them, it’s just that in many of us they have just been dulled into a stupor by all of the cheap pleasure we indulge in. All of the readily available sugary, fatty foods, cheap entertainment, pornography and drugs like alcohol and nicotine serve to scratch our biological desires without much achievement from our part. You can be living from paycheck to paycheck, and be unhappy about it, but if you indulge in cheap pleasure you will never have the desire to change your life circumstances.
Desire makes us act, and without it, we remain static.
And many (if not most) people are currently living with dulled desires. Which prevents any form of meaningful accomplishment.
What Happens When You Tap Into Desire
Almost everyone desires. Except for enlightened Buddhist monks who have let go of all earthly attachments. But odds are you aren’t one of them, so you desire things.
In the photo: not you
Because you are a unique individual your desires are unique to you. No one has lived the same experiences as you, so no one can share the exact same desires as you. While most people may want the same thing, money, each of them would spend that money in their own unique way.
Additionally, because you are a creature of the earth you are endowed with the same capacities as every other animal, plant and fungus to achieve your desires. Observe any animal and you will see that it has everything it needs to thrive in its environment. It comes equipped with the knowledge and skills it needs to go after its desires and satisfy them, whether it’s a woodpecker finding insects beneath the bark of a tree or a cedar growing from the forest floor to reach the light of the sun.
Nature does not make mistakes. Any desires you have were put there by nature because you have the capacities needed to satisfy them. When you believe fully and completely, the world opens up to you. Why?
Because when you discover what your heart most desires and you are aware that you have the capacities to fulfill them you become capable of moving mountains.
Humans are superheroes. Get used to that idea. We are the most fully equipped living entity walking the face of the earth. When we desire something, truly desire something, we can rely on our magnificent brains and bodies to create the circumstances which satisfy our desires.
When you truly desire something, nothing can stand in the way of your accomplishing it. Finding what you truly desire is up to you (I will write about this in the future). But once you find it and lock in on it, you become unstoppable.
I know this, because I have lived it.
Want to know what I desire?
That’s for another article. All I will say now is that a few years ago I was going after what I didn’t truly desire. Because of that I was unfocused, unmotivated and frustrated. I got drunk regularly and got high 5 days a week.
Once I discovered my heartfelt desire and nurtured it through creative action two things happened:
- My desire grew more and more and became clearer and clearer
- I began to see the signs that I was moving in the right direction
I started slow, moving almost imperceptibly towards satisfying my desire. But slowly and surely each of my tiny actions added unto the one before it and the one before that. Until massive results began manifesting themselves.
When you desire something with all of your heart any obstacle that you encounter on your way to achieving it is either circumscribed, jumped over, dug under or broken through. In fact, when going after what you truly desire every obstacle you encounter becomes wood for the fire of your desire. You begin seeing obstacles as opportunities for growth, as signs that you are moving in the right direction and that when you master the obstacle you will be one step closer to achieving your desire.
Humans are goal strivers. When we aren’t actively putting our energies towards achieving a goal we desire we begin to break down. Our excess energy, which evolved to be directed towards satisfying our desires, begins to express itself in hurtful ways. We develop diseases and syndromes which turn life into a prison rather than an adventure. We get angry and frustrated and stay that way. Natural behavior which is not expressed (by going after desires) finds expression in other, pathological ways.
So go after what you truly desire. Even if you take a tiny step. It’s still infinitely better than nothing. As you act you will find that you gain access to power you never knew you had in you. That’s your human power.
Go after your desires. It’ll do you good.