How Powerful is Your Desire?
Do you set goals for each upcoming year? If so, do you set them because you think you should? From wanting, determination or wishful thinking? Or from authentic desire?
I have to say for years I pretty much made wishes and not goals. In fact, talk to most of my goal-driven friends and they’ll tell you I wouldn’t know a goal if it walked up and bit me.
But that’s changing. I used to see goals as some external marker of who I was supposed to be and as soon as I made one, I rebelled against it. Most of the time.
There were a handful of times where I had a goal and was so driven by that goal that there was no way that I couldn’t achieve it, even if I had no idea how I was going to achieve it. Those times were when my goals were infused with authentic desire.
When I was in seventh grade, my former sixth grade teacher organized a spring break trip to Hawaii and invited the kids who were in the sixth grade class the previous year. I wanted to go. Really, really badly—with a burning, authentic desire that I had only felt a few times in my life to that point. My parents said I could go if I could find a way to pay for it, because they weren’t going to. So I disappeared into my room for a few hours with a calculator and emerged with a plan. I had divided the trip cost plus spending money into categories and came up with how many babysitting hours, car washes, and other chores I got paid for, as well as the birthday and Christmas money I knew I would get, and worked out how to pay for the trip. When I presented my plan, my parents nodded a stunned “yes” and I ended up making the money I needed to go, and then some.
The difference between that goal and the ones I wished for or rebelled against was authentic desire.
Why People Label Desire as Bad
It’s not just authentic desire that’s labeled bad, desire in general is misunderstood, misused & gets a bad rap.
Most people correlate desire with lack. They desire something that they don’t have and focus on wanting to change what they don’t want but without a clear sense of what they do want. This unfocused desire can be a catalyst for change, but more often this kind of desire creates chaos because life, the Universe, your subconscious (however you think about this force) brings you a lot of different possibilities to choose from in order to get you to focus on the change you want. It will keep doing that until you shift from unfocused desire for something different to a focused desire on something you want.
Forgive my going back to the 2016 US presidential election, but it is such a juicy example…People were focused on change, and everyone had a different and often unfocused idea of what kind of change they wanted, but without a clear and comprehensive vision of change to choose from, they voted in change for the sake of change. And now we have an interesting chaos to help us focus as individuals and a country on the kind of change we want.
Why People Stay Stuck in Unfocused Desire
There are two main reasons most people stay in unproductive & unfocused when it comes to desire…
Most middle class folks are taught to fit their aspirations into a safe, snug box and to contort their desires into what seems doable, versus thinking beyond the probable to push the limits of what’s possible. Truthfully, few jobs will pay you to fulfill your authentic desire, and so creating a life from authentic desire has often been the domain of those with means or the ability to articulate their desire in a way to inspire others to fund it. But most of us are taught to organize our lives, dreams and education in a way that will secure employment at the expense of fulfilling our authentic desires & dreams.
The other big shadow over living from authentic desire is religious and spiritual beliefs. The core of many religious and spiritual beliefs are that you should be happy with what God, the Universe, Life or whoever graces you with or wills you to have. To reach beyond what is given is a hubris that invites calamity. There is also an idea that focusing on success and/or money detracts from focusing on God or the Divine, and so is wrong to reach for more of either or both beyond what’s required to meet your need.
Authentic Desire is Audacious Living
Authentic desire is the expression of your authentic or divine self through your life, and the ability to experience the fullness of that expression in and through your body. Far from a passive accepting of what comes to you, tapping into and fueling your life from your authentic truth and authentic desire breaks down your internal boundaries, shatters self-imposed limitations, and focuses you on the audacious possibility of who you can become and the contribution you can make—if you allow yourself to.
Authentic desire is the experience of knowing in your body what you are capable of and who you are in the process of becoming, even as you are still process of becoming it. When you let yourself fully experience this knowing, it is just a matter of letting the details unfold and following your inner wisdom & guidance to take the actions you need bring it to life.
Authentic desire unleashes a powerful surge of life force energy that can feel destabilizing because it mimics an adrenaline high, but it’s not. Learning to tell the difference is key to being able to embody your authentic truth effectively.
How to Use Authentic Desire to Set Goals
- Think about a time when you had that deep knowing that you were going to do or get something and that the process of doing or getting it were just details that needed to be worked out.
- Pull that experience into your body so that you get the chemical signature of it flowing through you. This is life force energy and the flow of your authentic truth and knowing; get used to what that feels like—it is a great guide to knowing when you are tapped into authentic truth.
- Consider the potential goals and directions that you could take—and especially who you would need to become in order to embody that goal and see which ones match the authentic desire/life force feeling.
- Focus on the broad goal or direction that best matches your authentic desire
- Practice this feeling along with imagining your goal/direction daily to set up the opportunities and guidance you need to realize that goal