REVIEW OF CHAPTER 2 (PART 1), ‘THINK AND GROW RICH’ BY NAPOLEON HILL
DESIRE: THE STARTING POINT OF ALL ACHIEVEMENT
The First Step toward Riches
Desire is not a hope! It is not a wish! It must be a keen, pulsating DESIRE which consumes you and transcends everything else of importance in your life. It must also be DEFINITE.
Desire can start life as a hope or a wish but over time it must snowball into something far bigger than that for it to become a driving force in your life. Desire is something that you feel so deeply and passionately about that it lights you up when you’re thinking or talking about it. It puts a fire in your belly!
Desire may also be known as your ‘life’s dream’. Something you have yearned for since a child or for many years. Something that was ignited in you at some point in your life when you were introduced to a new experience which every cell in your body responded to and you just KNEW that this was something that you NEED and have to HAVE.
Desire could start as a WANT but it will soon become a NEED if it is a true strong and burning desire. A want is more like a wish. We all want to be millionaires but how committed are we to doing everything within our power to attaining that kind of wealth? We all want world peace, but what action do we take towards creating that future for human kind?
Desire is something that you do not give up on. It drives us out of our comfort zones because it is so compelling. It’s not there one day and gone the next. It is always with you. It begins to shape your very being. It may become clearer and more defined as time goes on yet fundamentally and at it’s core it is the same as it has always been.
Desire leaves no ‘opt out’ options. If you are an athlete and your burning desire is to win gold in the Olympics, then you do not settle for 2nd place in any competition. You use failure to make you better. You train harder and smarter. You work with the best coaches money can buy. You don’t give up. You break your own records. You never stop believing in yourself. You focus on nothing else. You consistently give more than the best that you can give.
This level of commitment is phenomenal and rare. Can you imagine a world where the majority of the worlds population operated at this level all the time?! It would be incredible!
The fact is a great majority of us don’t. Many of us wish for more, we want more, we complain about what we’ve got and that it’s not enough. We all want to win the Lottery, we want money and success to come easy and are attracted to get rich quick schemes. We see others making it big and wonder what they’ve got that we haven’t got. We assume they have LUCK and other privileges. We seldom seek out their secrets and when we do we don’t try to apply these secrets – especially if it involves WORK, TIME and PERSISTENCE.
If you’re already reading this and thinking ‘ah crap’ then this book is probably not for you. If you’re thinking ‘yep this makes sense’ then GREAT – read on…
Napoleon Hill’s example of Edwin C. Barnes whose burning desire was to be the business associate of the famous inventor Thomas A. Edison sought a job with Edison’s company by stating his exact intent! Edison liked his bottle. Barne’s worked for 5 years with no sign of hope or an opportunity to be Edison’s business associate but he never stopped desiring it.
He did not say, “I will work there for a few months, and if I get no encouragement, I will quit and get a job somewhere else.” He did say, “I will start anywhere. I will do anything Edison tells me to do, but before I am through, I will be his associate.”
He did not say, “I will keep my eyes open for another opportunity, in case I fail to get what I want in the Edison organization.” He said, “There is but ONE thing in this world that I am determined to have, and that is a business association with Thomas A. Edison. I will burn all bridges behind me, and stake my ENTIRE FUTURE on my ability to get what I want.”
He left himself no possible way of retreat. He had to win or perish!
Do you have a burning desire so strong that you would stake your future on getting it?
If you are stopping at this first hurdle and thinking you don’t have any burning desire that describes that kind of intensity then you might just need to do some more soul searching.
I for one have never felt that I’m really really passionate about anything when I compare myself to other people who just bubble over with excitement when they’re talking about their ‘Thing’. I have to remind myself that people express themselves differently, what the person is FEELING about that ‘thing’ may match my own feeling about my ‘thing’ but is expressed more intensely. Does that make their desire any greater than my own? No.
I’ve also often felt that I have too many ‘things’ and don’t have any one thing that really consumes me enough to be considered a desire. I do acknowledge that I have always ‘wanted’ stuff and then that ‘want’ has been replaced by something else over time. So surely then, it was never really a DESIRE.
When I read back over my blog post Desire I have to admit I’ve only nailed part of it.
My Burning desire is to have a life of abundance in riches and in love.
From this abundance in riches and love I figure the other things that I desire such as a flexible lifestyle, the ability to travel, to make an impact in peoples lives, to run my own business/es, deepen my spirituality etc will also come as part of the package of the abundance of riches and love.
In this statement of Desire I’ve described the type of life that I want, very broadly. It’s not quite everything for me though. It captures a lot of what I have focused my thoughts, energies and actions towards over the last 10 -15 years of my life, my late 20’s and 30’s. This last decade has been about acquiring more material wealth, finding my life partner and having a family than it has been about following my passions or discovering my life’s purpose.
The decades before this I was intent on having a good time, experiencing different people, places and perspectives and growing my own philosophies about why we’re here, how did we come to be, what’s the point of it all and what’s my purpose? At some point along the road I stopped dreaming and experiencing and started doing what everyone else around my age (or younger) were doing as I thought I might be missing out.
My 20’s were not spent chasing a career, I had all manner of weird jobs that paid poorly but took me to interesting places and got me interacting with people I’d otherwise not associated with.
Once I started pursuing money and material possessions I was in my 30’s and while I’ve done ok I can’t say I aggressively sought these things otherwise I would be a millionaire by now right? To be honest, I was happy being comfortable. My upbringing and lifestyle has always been comfortable, I’ve endured no real hardships and for that I consider myself lucky and I’m very grateful.
But something deep inside of me still wasn’t happy and it drove me to leave a long relationship and start doing things that fed my soul sing like singing, hiking up mountains and taking a solo adventure to South America. Now as I’ve hit 40 I feel I’ve come full circle again and that I need to focus on my souls purpose and dedicate my life to following that rather than focusing on the material wealth that I think I want.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have a burning desire for an abundance of money that enables me to travel with my family every year, to live comfortably and to be generating these riches myself through my business. But I have a greater drives and desires as well…
I’m frustrated by people who believe they can’t control things. I’m upset by people who don’t take even simple easy steps to look after our planet. I loathe people with no respect or thought for all it’s creatures and resources. I’m irritated by how unconsciously the western world lives and how our energies are focussed on all the wrong things. I hate that there are children starving and malnourished in the world including in my own country and yet others who have so much give so little to those in need. I take encouragement from the people I meet who believe times are changing and who are ready to be part of those changes. I always think the glass is half full, remain optimistic and ultimately I have faith in humanity and in our destiny. All these things and more shape my thoughts and dreams and trying to summarise them in one statement of desire is difficult.
I’ve done a lot of soul searching on this topic in recent years and in the last few months I’ve been working on honing in on exactly what my desire is.
This is my attempt to put it all in a sentence:
i have a burning desire to teach people about the power of thought and how this impacts our collective consciousness and to discover my Life’s purpose, in turn helping OTHERS TO DISCOVER THEIRs.
Do I stake my future on achieving this desire?
Hell yes! My desire in it’s very essence is life changing. I don’t believe my future could be similar to what my reality is now given what I feel I want to do with it.
I believe I’m only scratching the surface of what I feel my purpose in this lifetime is and it may change or I might be on the right track and it will become even more clear.
You might think I sound like a total hippy right now (which I’m not by the way) and putting this ‘out there’ in a statement like this is making me feel VERY uncomfortable but I believe that this is a good thing and that my desire is a good one to have.
Above all, so far in my privileged western middle class life I don’t believe that riches and love are going to be enough of a burning desire to drive me forwards in my business goals because I have already proven that I am happy with a comfortable lifestyle and I know I already have a lot of love in my life 🙂
But I still have so much to discover, learn, pass on and help others with and I believe our race and planet still need help in finding ‘our way’ to a better way of living that benefits all!
There’s more on this topic of Desire to come. This is only Part 1!
Get to reading Chapter 2 – Desire: The starting point of all achievement – and let me know what you think your burning desire might be!