Ned’s Atomic Dustbin was one of my favorite bands back in the day that I first randomly saw at a free concert at my campus in the mid-90’s. Grey Cell Green was one of my favorites, with lyrics talking about desire coming from inside.
Desire is a great first domino to success no matter what you are working toward. Desire is self-fulfilling and every intention includes a path to the goal even if you can’t see the path clearly. I was recently reading Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, and this was really the key message, which surprised me. I was expecting a personal finance book, but instead I got one where the key message was putting strength behind your desire, not taking No for an answer, and having the fortitude to give No Fucks to the haters. If you want something (desire) it enough, you can make it happen if you have fortitude and give into the Universe instead of fighting each step of the way. The Think and Grow Rich book was way more like Mike Dooley’s Manifesting Change than I ever would have expected – Dooley being a metaphysical sort of guy who was in The Secret (and who I’ve seen in a seminar). And while it can be the fuel for change, desire alone can not carry you to the promised land.
Desire to get rid of debt. Desire to have more sex with your partner. Desire for a better body. Desire to turn that side-hustle into your full time gig. Everyone wants something, but not everyone truly desires them. Desire has energy behind it. Wants are just mini-dreams, equivalent to wishes with no real substance behind them, just a thought exercise. Energy and intention are what truly makes the manifestation possible.
So here is how we can make that desire for change into something tangible, using it as a fuel for something more. Desire is the hunger that drives the next steps:
- Be clear on your goals. You need to have a clear end point to be able to get there. If you have a GPS but no destination, how will you know you’ve arrived. I am a huge fan of SMART goals. “I want $10,000 in savings by Jan. 1, 2018.” Or “I want to improve our sex life, doubling our frequency by a year from now.” Or “I want my side hustle to generate $2,000 a month of net revenue by 2019.” It doesn’t matter what your goals are, but at least be clear on what you want. Write them down. Look at them.
- Tell others of your goals. Telling your wife, friends, and/or co-workers your goals makes them more real. These people will ask and hold you more accountable than you would by yourself.
- Don’t rule out the improbable as impossible. Believing in yourself can be difficult as we are all our worst critics. A million excuses pop up as to why you can’t do something immediately or if it is that irridescent mountain to climb in the future. If you want a million dollar a year business, don’t automatically shit can the idea. Find ways to say “Yes” and not “No” to the possibility. If you open yourself to the possibility that it can happen, and your mind isn’t making limiting beliefs, you’re much more likely to keep the foot on the gas. This is easier said than done. It takes my 4x longer writing a book (both my existing book, and the one I’m working on now) because the voice in my head always nay says. So I get it when we have self doubt. But nothing is impossible if you have desire and processes to keep making small progress toward that improbable goal.
- Set up processes, motivation waxes and wanes and alone isn’t enough. New Years’ resolutions to get back into shape mostly fail after 14 days. Motivation has a short half-life and if you haven’t created processes (i.e. HABITs, which take 21 days or longer to form) then you’re likely to fail. Instead, set up hard items in your schedule to do those small steps that reach your desired outcomes. Want to write a book? Schedule in from 5-6 a.m. or 9-10 a.m. to write, no matter what. Want to lose weight? Commit to making your shopping list things that make your diet go on its own. Stop buying crackers, cookies, ice cream, and chips and you’ll be more likely to stick with it. Want to play guitar? Make sure you tell your family you’re practicing every day after dinner for 30 minutes, and make it happen. After you get through that first part, even if you don’t want to, keep doing it. That is a habit. One process my wife and I implemented early on was automatic savings. 401k, direct deposit to emergency fund, then to investment accounts. We get to spend what is left over, but that was a process we implemented early on. When I first started working out, there were many days I didn’t want to do it, but I would do it anyway. Today, it is an anomaly if I don’t exercise. But even now, there are days I don’t want to. So ignore motivation and just make it happen as a process. Something you have to do. Think of it like your kids – they can’t have dessert until they eat their veggies. You can’t fuck off and surf the internet until you’ve exercised/played music/wrote your blogpost, whatever – first X, then Y. COMMIT!
- Meditate or take time to focus on that which you desire. Like Item 1, this helps to reinforce what you want. I personally like reflecting on the vision board, and doing positive affirmations. This helps to rewire the brain to your desires and what is really possible. It reinforces what you’re striving for, and helps you to overcome those obstacles and sticking points that inevitably happen on your journey. They help to give you the belief in yourself as an automatic, without thinking, thing and crowds out the self-doubt you may have.
Our biggest obstacles on achieving our desires is ourselves. It is easy to fall off the wagon or to simply “let” life derail your goals and desires. Building habits and the self-discipline to make your desires a reality is not really that hard, but most people don’t know how to go more than a few days in the right direction before the excuses and rationalization hamster derails them. I’ve been there, and it is still a battle in some areas, but I’m making small steps most days.
As they say,