Born of frustration, this question comes from the misconception, “if you want something bad enough you’ll get it.” People burn out from this notion all of the time. You’ve discovered in other posts, desire can seed accomplishment but it can’t make it happen.
The most common issues I’ve found with those asking this question are belief and purpose. Just because you have a burning desire to achieve or obtain something doesn’t mean that you believe you can get there. I’ve come to understand prolonged desire as a minor form of despair for many people.
They see something they want and fixate on the prize. Because of their lack of belief, they delay taking the necessary steps to get there. Combine the obsession with the crippling lack of belief and you get depression.
Pent-up desire without action toward the desire is similar to competing in a car race in neutral. The flag drops, you slam on the gas, and go nowhere. Without putting the car in gear, you make a lot of noise, make zero progress, and burn up. How’s your self-esteem in that scenario?
There is another side to action and desire, which changed my perspective forever. My friend and colleague, Scott, was a hard driving guy. Our shared attitude toward massive amounts of desire, focus, and action made us very compatible. He had set his sights on becoming the youngest person in his company to receive a national-level promotion and I was set to cheer him on.
To watch him from the outside was remarkable. He took after the goal like a man possessed. His desire to achieve burned like a torch and all of his attention turned to the goal. It looked like his single-minded desire was indeed enough to make it happen.
Since I was closer to the situation than most, my vantage point revealed a few more things. Scott stayed at the office continually. His house was for showering and a change of clothes. His health began to slip from improper amounts of sleep and poor nutrition.
Within four months of setting his goal, his fiancé called off the engagement and left. When I asked him about the break-up, he blamed her for not supporting him in his goal. “She just didn’t believe in me and my vision,” he said.
“So what exactly is your vision,” I asked. He started to swell up and get confrontational then he realized, he could not answer the question. Scott had not taken the time to consider what he wanted his life to look like when he set out for the promotion.
His desire for the result was so strong it made him unconscious to the rest of his life. All he knew was the promotion. His sight had narrowed to the point that he couldn’t see any other part of life around the promotion.
Did that mean he had to give up his goal to bring his bigger life back? No. But he did have to decide exactly what he wanted and get conscious about what the position and the promotion would take. With a little guidance and tough love, he found it easy to align the pieces of the life he desired.
As I’ve discussed in several posts about goals, to achieve your big goals you have to get started. It is more productive to make progress toward a smaller goal than to stand paralyzed by a bigger one. When you find your desire for something is white hot, but you aren’t getting there, go through the belief exercise and find the place where your vision and belief meet. Get started toward the smaller goal and let the process take over.
The other side of the desire coin is purpose. Unlike with belief, when we lack purpose toward something we desire we’ll actually get started. Our problems come because we don’t maintain our momentum.
If you’ve ever seen magnesium burn, you’ve seen what I mean. Magnesium is a metal and when lit it produces an amazingly bright light. Just as you think the light could damage your eyes from its brilliance…it’s gone.
When we take off after a goal or objective with huge desire, we look and feel like the magnesium when first lit. Brilliant, powerful, and impressive. Then, poof! Just like the magnesium, we fizzle out and disappear.
Perhaps things got difficult. Because we lacked a strong purpose to sustain our efforts, we fade. This is especially frustrating because we seldom realize why we let down.
With any goal, especially one with a high-level of desire, make sure you understand and establish your purpose. The simplest exercise is to ask yourself, “Why am I pursuing this goal?” Then dig down five layers to find a significant purpose. If your goal isn’t worth the exercise, it isn’t worth your time.
If you have any questions about how this could look in your life, please come over to my Facebook Page and ask. I’ll be around to field as many questions as I can and look forward to serving you.
Be your best,