Three reasons to embrace desires:
1. It just makes more sense. Desires find the heart of our goals – the true motivation behind the goal. Pursuing a desire (with its many options to achieve it) just makes more sense to me.
Let’s look at the approach of two different sales agents. Rigid Rick has the goal to close 5 deals a month. Desire Danny has the desire to connect people in need of his company’s services with his company. They both go to networking meetings, join online user groups in their company’s area of interest, make calls to prospective target markets, and create social media campaigns geared toward their company’s interests, etc.
What happens? Can you feel the difference? Well, so can the prospective clients! The two sales people may participate in the same networking options, but the heart of what they are doing with those tools is very different.
When you get to the heart of your desires, you tend to identify desires that fit more accurately and are more heartfelt. Pursuing a more heartfelt and targeted desire will be felt by those you are interacting with.
Let’s look at it another way, feel the difference between the following goal and desire:
“I want a relationship” and
“I desire to be loving towards another”
“I want a relationship.” Sounds and feels kind of needy doesn’t it?
“I desire to be loving towards another.” Wow! Now that is someone I want to be around.
Following a true desire, not just a rigid goal, will not only bring you to the heart of your goals, but more than likely the heartfelt reason behind your goals too.
2. Desires give us something to focus on while remaining open to play within the unpredictable flow of life.
Your desires help to give you a direction, but life can be unpredictable. You have to be able to zig and zag if needed, or pick a new solution that can still fulfill your true desires if necessary. If you are stuck on one solution (or goal), you could be in big trouble.
Our desires serve us as the military’s “commander’s intent” serves them. In “Made to Stick “ by Chip and Dan Heath, the authors discuss the military’s use of a CI or commander’s intent, which is the desired end state of an operation. The desired end state being more important than the tactical plans. On the battlefield, plans (aka goals) don’t always work the way we want them to. The CI identifies the heart of the mission, like “clear the hill of the enemy,” versus more of a strategic plan, like “bring in 60 troops at 14:00 and sweep the area.” The CI does not get into the details of how that is to be done, as those plans may get thrown out the window at any moment that the enemy does not agree – messing up your plans entirely – but your intent stays the same regardless.
The Heath brothers go on to say, “You can lose the ability to execute the original plan, but you never lose the responsibility of executing the intent… When people know the desired destination, they are free to improvise as needed in arriving there.”
The commander’s intent is like your desire. When you have your desire in mind, you will be able to improvise your strategy to get there, as needed, no matter what curve balls are thrown at you. You may not be able to fulfill the goal/solution of bringing in 60 troops at 14:00 to sweep the area if you suddenly find a bridge out between the troops and the hill, but you can improvise a new solution if you know the intent to “clear the hill of the enemy.” Perhaps it is time to call in an air strike.
Knowing your desires allows you to stay open to solutions. You don’t become stuck on one solution (or goal). You stay open to all solutions, so you can zig, zag, and adapt as needed.
3. Desires lead you to take action NOW.
When you have desires in mind, they can help shape your actions in the present. Even if your strategies change, you’ll have a direction for your actions now.
For example, if you desire to be in a relationship, should you be watching TV tonight or signing yourself up on a dating service website? Which action is more likely to get you to realizing your desires?
What is important is identifying, admitting, and becoming aware of your true desires to yourself. THIS is hard work, and probably one of the reasons more people do not realize their desires.
“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.“
Takeaways: Your desires help you find the heart of your motivations, and create an energy at the heart of your actions.
Knowing your desires keeps you open to other solutions, despite any roadblocks.
Knowing your desires can shape your actions in the present.