Realizing Your Desires

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

Antoine de-Saint Exupery
French writer and aviator

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We dare not deny the presence or the validity of our desires especially those generated by our soul or core essence. Any attempt to suppress a soul-based wish leaves us frustrated and unfulfilled. In contrast, setting the compass of our hopes to our soul-promptings puts us on the journey to our personal true north.

Granted, some desires are based on ego needs (e.g. wanting recognition as an important person as determined by our rank or financial status). Working towards the fulfillment of these hopes leads to short-lived and mostly empty fulfillment.

Other wishes are based on the dictates of the soul (e.g. wanting to make a contribution to one’s world without the focus being on us). These are the desires that we need to validate and act on because they contribute to a life well lived and the shaping of a better world.

(You may want to read our blog “Moving Towards A Soul-Based Life”)

Our struggle with fondly held hopes is often quite forceful. And as in the martial arts, there are two basic ways to manage this resistance

  1. The first is go “against” the force with a stronger force (strong push back). People try all manner of such strategies to ensure change and compliance. These include demanding that the person “shape up or ship out”, begging, hinting, ignoring, appeasing, denial, bribing, or bargaining. Mostly these tactics are ineffective and can make the problem worse.
  1. The second is to go “with” the flow of the force. In order to go “with” the force of the resistance (e.g. the message: you cannot fulfill this want), we have to acknowledge the validity want.

We resist or deny our desires by telling ourselves,

“I don’t deserve to fulfill my aspirations.”

“If I want something I am being selfish”

“I have failed too many times in the past”

“What will others think if I pursue my goals?”

These “bad mind” messages that are not aligned with our true selves can be challenged and changed.

We embrace and go with the force of our wants when we,

  • Align them with the promptings of the soul
  • Set our intentions to their compass direction
  • Find ways to act on these yearnings


What soul-based wishes of yours are being frustrated?

What steps do you need to take to get on that path?


About cedricj

I am a licensed psychologist and management consultant and have always been intrigued by how leaders can inspire people in their organizations. The bottom line is that people are not always motivated by material rewards, the use of the carrot or the stick, fear and intimidation,and command and control, Five human needs inspire and drive us. Kristine S MacKain, Ph.D and myself describe these inspirational forces in our book "What Inspirational Leaders Do" (Kindle 2008)
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