I know I had heard it over and over again, “cultivating burning desire is the only way to achieve something.” Okay, but what exactly is "burning" desire? And, how do we cultivate it?
"Burning" desire is more than a wish or a want or a dream. Wishes, wants and dreams typically come from us, the human individual. This specific type of desire is something that comes from our spirit. It is as if our Higher Self is compelling us toward something. Burning desire is what animates our purpose and our values. Not necessarily what drives us toward getting a new pair of shoes…unless that pair of shoes stands for independence, achievement or confidence.
When I first entered college, I was planning on being a philosophy major. I wanted to become a professor to create a class around coaching students toward discovering their beliefs and passions. That was my Higher Self calling. However, at the end of my freshman year, my ego’s need for money and security took over and I came out of college with a double major in mathematics and economics. Yes, the opposite of philosophy. I entered a career in corporate finance and created the financial security and accomplishment I was after. Although I was successful, my career was not fueled by burning desire. I was grateful for the experiences I had in the corporate world, but always felt a longing toward my earlier philosophy passion.
Then I felt it -- it was undeniable. My Higher Self was ready to speak up and was no longer going to tolerate my decisions to stay safe and secure. The “phone was ringing” and the longer I delayed picking up the call the more out of sync I felt with my “day job.” At that time, burning desire felt uncomfortable, scary, frustrating and it looked a lot like crying. If I kept putting off my desires to coach and speak and write, I could always be successful at them in the future. However, the “burning” began and “in the future” was no longer an option. The time had arrived. With the help of a coach, I put together a plan and gathered all of the courage I could and stepped into the direction I was being pulled. Gradually, my desire shifted toward motivation to achieve my purpose instead of discomfort around my current reality.
When your purpose is animated by desire that truly burns, it does not mean that the path becomes easy; it just means that it becomes certain. Burning desire ensures that you will continue trying, continue getting up after a fall, continue being creative and continue your commitment to see your purpose through. In that there is certainty.
“Burning desire to be or do something gives us staying power - a reason to get up every morning or to pick ourselves up and start in again after a disappointment” -Marsha Sinetar
Making Your Desire Burn
If you have a wish or a want or a dream and you are wondering if you have burning desire backing you up, you can cultivate it. Here’s how:
- Close your eyes and count backward from 10 to 1. With each count relax deeper and deeper.
- When you feel fully relaxed, picture yourself having achieved your dream. Give yourself a few moments to get the details in the scene just right.
- Once you are fully immersed in your achievement, tune into how you feel and ask yourself this question: “What is even better than this achievement?” Wait patiently for an answer.
- If the answer you get is accompanied by a strong and poignant feeling, that is your burning desire. That is the thing that will bring passion and purpose into your dream.
I wrote an article a while back about realizing this for myself regarding my credit card debt.
Click here to see what my desire around being debt-free was and the miraculous result that followed.
If you do not feel a strong emotion or if you are unsure, that is okay. Your visualized achievement may just be a wish or a want that is not yet ready to become your purpose.
Someday it might be, it took me 10 years to get there. However, if you’d like a slightly quicker path, I really enjoyed this exercise by Steve Pavlina on finding your purpose in 20-minutes.
finding your purpose in 20-minutes.
After completing the exercise he suggests, go back through the burning desire exercise above to test it.
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