I was doing my morning pages about two weeks ago and I found myself thinking about where I am on my goals for 2018 and the ones I might want to set for the coming year. Something hit me that day –the more emotional you are about something the more likely you are to make it happen. Your commitment is deeper and while the obstacles might not be insignificant, you don’t let anything stop you. When you are passionate about something, you become energized and empowered.
But being emotional about something, just like being emotional about someone, makes us feel vulnerable, and I don’t know about you, but it takes a little work before I’m willing to allow myself to knowingly be vulnerable. At the same time, I miss that feeling. That excitement and pull. It’s heady and motivating and I’ve come to realize that I really want to feel that burning desire when it comes to my dreams. I don’t want to hold back anymore, no matter how uncomfortable thinking and writing about this might make me.
If you do a search for “burning desire” you’ll get several references to the original self-help guru, Napoleon Hill who wrote Think and Grow Rich back in 1937. In this book, which is constantly referenced by successful people, he stated: “Desire is the starting point of all achievement.” The desire he is talking about is not just wishing for something; it’s beyond hoping. It’s even more than a vision board can help you with. A great dream or goal is wonderful, but you must have a burning desire to make it real. You have to attach intense, passionate emotions to that which you want.
So my question to myself (and to you) is – am I willing to do this REALLY?
My own answer is: YES
And do you know how I know that’s my answer? Because my head – and by extension, my actions – have been in a crazy, unsettled state ever since I asked myself the question. If I weren’t ready, I could dismiss the thoughts and let them go. I haven’t been able to do that.
I’ve long heard our dreams lie outside our comfort zone and while I know what that means, I didn’t really know until recently how it felt. I haven’t figured out yet how to open up the floodgates of my emotions and passions and connect them to my dreams and already I can feel the resistance and fear rising. I can hear my brain panicking.
It’s not pretty.
And quite frankly, it doesn’t seem fair to get the fear and anxiety before I even know how to do and go for what I said I want, but that’s how the brain works. It’s always on the lookout for danger – and it will find it even if it has to create it. (insert shaking head – as I said, it’s really not fair).
Best-selling author and coach Jennifer Louden has a terrific blog post on fierce desire. She opens it by writing:
“What if one of the things we must learn as a species is to follow what we honestly fiercely desire? To own it, know it, embrace it?
What if we will free ourselves to thrive as a whole by trusting what we want, moment by moment?
What if selfish will not be the outcome of heeding our fierce wanting(s) but something truly revolutionary, stunningly life-giving for all?
These are the what-ifs I am exploring.”
So am I, and I think the fact that my brain is offering me SO much resistance and concern is a good sign. It’s not a fun sign, but it’s a good one. Truthfully, part of me wants to go back to where I was before all of this occurred to me. I’ve been unsettled, irritably, unfocused and outrageously frustrated with myself and nearly every choice I make about how to spend my time and energy. But that’s exactly what staying in my comfort zone is all about – staying where I am. And I have dreams that I am tired of waiting for.
I hope you’ll stick with me for the next few weeks as I continue to explore this idea and look for ways to connect to that desire that I’ve kept at a distance, because I really believe that what’s on the other side of this is a different journey to the dreams I’ve wanted for such a long time.