Chapter1DesireThe primary catalyst in creating any movement,forward or backward is DESIRE.
Earth is designed to host man; imaginewith me for a moment, that we got to a point where man had no desire for thepreservation of life, no desire to influence our environment, no desire toevolve beyond the current state, whatever that was. Imagine also that aliensexisted. Earth could have been taken over or if not, remained as is or evendestroyed, without man’s desire for more in his heart. If you’ve watched any ofthe films in the Planet of the Apes series,(Kaye, 2014) then the bad ape’s desiremay have been fulfilled. Butthankfully, that has not been the case.
Our Creator has given us an innatedesire to be more and to do more, which distinguishes us fromthe 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 theirnecessary nutrients, light and water.
Back to man.This desire to be and do more is fundamental to the perpetuation of humanityand is rooted, primarily, in finding fulfilment – fulfillment beyond the norm,having something greater than you to live for – a constant thought that caneither be stifled or given expression.If our goalis just to cover the paper with lines, the walls with crayola, make noise withany instrument or our voices, or kicka 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 extramiles 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 deepsoul satisfaction and wealth.Consider NapoleonHill’s words, “The starting point of all achievement is DESIRE. Keep thisconstantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount offire makes a small amount of heat” (Hill, 1937). Defining DesireThe Oxford dictionarydefines desire as a “strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing forsomething to happen” (Oxford University Press, n.d.
). Wanting and wishingare however not enough to see your desires materializing. Desire is butthe starting point of every decision we make. As Thomas Hobbes asserted, “humandesire is the fundamental motivation of all human actions” (Lin & Forrest, 2011). Before anyimprovement can start, we must first carry out some spirit, soul and bodysanitation.
This sanitation involves divorcing old habits and creating new ones,which must be gradual and manageable, that lead to our desired outcomes.A student desiringto create an enviable reading culture needs not begin with Shakespeareanliterature more reader-friendly books written in modern and maybe simplerEnglish, within a realistic and specific timeframe.Thesedesires are just the foundational blocks of being more and doing more, theseeds planted to form the tree whose fruits you look forward to harvesting andare a good place to start in your pursuit of something greater.
Your desirefuels your success – if you do not have the desire to achieve your goals, you aresimply not going to achieve them. Building DesireYou musthave heard these two phrases: “you are what you eat” and “you are what youthink”. The mind and the body are common denominators to all men, although whatwe choose to make of them greatly depends on you. Our bodies are our houses onEarth while our minds help us review the past, process the present and plan thefuture; these two when managed properly can contribute to building your desires.
The MindThe mind’scapacity generally supersedes the maximum capacities of our physical and mentalstrengths. All creativity starts in the mind – a powerhouse of tremendous imaginationthat can stretch beyond any known boundaries. However, your minds can also becomean adversary in times of complacency – “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”. Effortin required to harness the positive powers of our minds. The mind is typicallynot in alignment with what the body or brain can achieve. Principally, the mindgoverns our default actions and responses; therefore, it takes some attitude ofpositive ‘rebelling’ to sail that boatagainst the natural current of our minds. Thus desire, which starts in themind, can be regularly fueled and fired up to bring to reality a world ourhearts know we can occupy.
ChrisGardner, in the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness” saw his desire to succeed tofruition despite many setbacks (The Pursuit Of Happyness, 2006).The achievement of your desire is dependent on yourcommitment and willingness to make sacrifices. Personal ExperienceYour mostdominant thoughts shown in your beliefs and attitudes become your greatestasset or liability in achieving your desires. We are always moving in thedirection of our thinking, which then determines our behavior (Waitley, 1985).
As your desiresline up with your thoughts, your life will move in the direction of fulfillingthose desires. I want to briefly share my own experience with you.I desiredto succeed in life despite being raised by a single parent.
Life was not fairto my siblings and I growing up. Each new day merely carried on with yesterday’sstruggle. In desperation, I begged just to put myself through school. Life was trulyvery difficult at that time. I hawked food on the dangerous city streets, workedas a laborer on unsafe construction sites and merchandised, disregarding personalcomfort as these jobs were crucial to my family’s survival. I never consideredthe value of these tasks and carried on pretty much a zombie, copying what othersaround me did, task and result-wise, until I listened to an eye-opening teachingon financial freedom.
It had neveroccurred to me that saving part of the money from those jobs can bring reliefwhen needed in the future. I felt embarrassed realizing my relationship with myimmediate environment was so parasitic. This knowledge showed me a way out of thisdark tunnel of poverty, making me work and save simultaneously – a habit thathas made my current company one of the most sought-after real estate firms inNigeria today (ref). I see myself as a phoenix that rose out of the ashes.Many richmen and women today owe their wealth to their poor upbringing which in theircases, was turned out to be a blessing because as I am convinced, povertylaser-focused their desires to succeed. The Media and its Influence on DesiresBefore goingany further, we need to be conscious that desire in the 21st centuryis dominantly induced by the intense persuasiveness of marketing and advertisingwhich often causes confusion or misinterpretation of our core choices and desiresin our minds. As such many tend to focus on its emotional meaning — a longing,a yearning or an attraction.
Rapidlyevolving creative marketing strategies and the dominating advertising forms thatappeal show how desire has become a perpetual tool deployed to dominate ourconscious and subconscious. Commercials stimulate desires, which in turn usuallystimulate the pursuit of money to acquire what was advertised, and such moneypursuits without a wholesome root in a worthwhile goal can never satisfy. Partialsatisfaction as promised by these adverts lead only to greed.There isthe tendency to buy a commodity while window shopping after being exposed to anoverload of audio (-visual) commercials.
If you successfully resist at the time,that product becomes of reduced significance especially if you are no longerexposed to those persuasive commercials. Suppose the craving is insistent even withoutthe commercials, it might be a true ‘desire’ –only satisfied when met.More thanever, true fulfilment is near impossible to have since the media focuses onmaking its audience want more, with our mindsets being reinforced to believe fulfillmentcomes from using or having what they say. A manufacturer or service provider deploysthe tremendous visual inputs of media to stimulate the receptors in the part ofyour brain associated with pleasure and reward, sabotaging that which resultsfrom completing your daily tasks efficiently.Today’s mediause selective-retention techniques to influence and control the final decisionsof users, with commercials designed with extra-ordinary precision to leave theirtarget audience with memories of their products or services even at times ofhighest resistance, thus masking a person’s true desires. The Pivotal Role of DesireEveryonewants 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. Youmay want to make more money but that differs from desiring to make money! Your want can be irrelevant but your desireis that psychological need you cannot forego because it manifests itself by creatinga vacuum within you.
I wanted tolegally make money like most people do. Money became my principal desire atfirst especially when I realized I was allergic to poverty! But as I grew inknowledge, not just financially, I realized it had to be not just about the money. I realized money was just one of thosethings that could make me feel like anaccomplished person. You can have all the money for all the universe cares butbe devoid of fulfilment which only leads to frustration. When I concluded thatfulfilment was key to my endeavors, I reset my thinking and buried my obsessionfor monetary wealth.
Too often Ihear people say that they want tomake more money – but this isn’t their true desire. Their real desire is tohave security, and more time on what they truly enjoy with less work-relatedstress in their lives. If you focus on your true desires, you will be moremotivated and compelled to succeed.NelsonMandela desired freedom of all black South Africans; Bill Gates desired acomputer in every home; Warren Buffet desires to make money by investing; ifyou want to improve your life, you should work to transform that want into adesire is so that you motivate yourself to success. Working with the Power of DesireDesire ispower to achieving goals. Around the world, we regularly hear stories of peoplesurviving against near impossible odds. People in the ER are more likely tocome out alive if they do not give up their desires to live.
You cancreate and fuel the desire to achieve your goal by coming up with a solid why for that goal. Lacking the desireto accomplish your goal most likely means you have chosen the wrong goal or youdo not clearly understand why youwant to achieve that goal. Gettingmarried is a noble goal achievable by a stronger reason of having a familyaround you. Wanting to improve your health or lose weight just because you feelyou need to, does not equate desiring to improve your health or lose weight. Havinga why of living a longer andhealthier life gives you that real desire to improve your health just becauseof that definite why.
Remember the example of the student with the newreading culture desire? How persistent that student is in achieving that desireis dependent on the expected output (a strong why) when this new habit iscreated.Hopefully you now see the difference between simply wanting and having a desirefor something. You createyour desires by simply looking at the goals you set and understanding howachieving those goals would significantly improves your life and/or the livesof those around you. To get a better job, think about how having a better jobwould benefit you and those around you. If you’re not clear on your desires, then thisis a good place to start.To succeed,to achieve your goals, to enjoy happiness and a better life, you mustunderstand your true desire or why you want to achieve your goals.Personally,my true desire is a life-time of commitment to God and to humanity, to meet thephysiological needs of people in as many ways as I can.
Your Desires in Your WordsMuhammadAli, Nelson Mandela and Bill Gates always talked about their desires leading tothose desires fulfilled. Your mentalspace – your beliefs, mindsets, attitudes and dispositions, and the words youspeak need to be in complete agreement with your desires. Having itotherwise is equivalent to planting a seed and then uprooting it and repeatingthat cycle, but wondering why your tree never materialized. Having thecorrect mental and vocal space may mean creating a list of positive statementsin line with your goals, repeating them every day to yourself till your regularconversations and thoughts come into alignment with what your desires are, tillyou truly believe that those things you desire cannot but happen. Remember thatsometimes you have to keep saying ittill you believe it, till it is firmly rooted in your mind.A good toolI’ve seen used is visualization board with pictures that represent your dreamsand desires which can only help reinforce those desires and spur you on in thedirection of their fulfillment. To further yourdesires, look at the future and picture yourself in it – all desires met andpossibly exceeded. Feed your desires by being consistent in your outlook andbecoming more knowledgeable about what you want to achieve.
Instead of baselessenvy, seek to learn from those that have already achieved what you want. Makesure your environment constantly reminds you of the why behind your desires. Enemies of DesiresAn underdogovercoming a more heavily favored and physically superior opponent can sometimesbe traced back to those upcoming athletes having a greater desire to succeedthat their more established competition. People either lose their desire tosucceed, do not have the desire to succeed, or have the wrong reasons attachedto their desires.”Ilost my desire, I’m not hungry anymore. I’m wealthy, my kids have money, I havenothing to fight for”, said Mike Tyson after a recent defeat (Mosweu, 2006). His desire to fightwas for financial security.
On the other hand, Muhammad Ali continually desiredto be the heavyweight champion of the world. His desire was fame and he carriedon fighting until his body could no longer supported his desire.People alsooften fail to achieve their desires because they have too many aspirations theyjuggle to achieve if possible at the same time, and eventually end up with manyhalf and not-baked loaves instead. Make a noteto self that it is ideal to focus on one desire, achieve it and then laterspread your wings.
Due tocircumstantial limitations, primary desires do not always actualize since simplydesiring is not an exclusive determinant of succeeding. Where an individual’scontrol over fulfilling their desires is fractional there will be the need fordeliberately planned actions coupled with progressive output maintenance. What Next?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 helpwith each one and create a strong reminder by pictures or words that remind youof your desires and your why’s behind them. Notes: