I entered the classroom and sat about half-way down the row next to the windows. Without any warning, my heart felt as if it stopped. She walked into the room, long, luscious blond hair tumbling over her shoulders. And she was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. She took my breath away. Desire–white-hot, passionate desire–welled up within me, and that day and for many days to come, I learned absolutely nothing in Spanish class. My mind thought only of her.
Real Desire vs. Just Wanting Something
Most adolescent boys have this kind of experience at some point. Perhaps girls do as well. I use this example to illustrate the power of desire–real, true desire. When it captures our heart and mind, we can think of nothing else. We will put everything at stake, make fools of ourselves if need be, even write poetry, of all things, in order to obtain what our heart desires. We often use the word desirewhen we really mean that we merely want something, as in, “I desire to get a new car.” When Napoleon Hill wrote about desire in his classic book, Think and Grow Rich, he meant the kind of feeling that I had that day in my junior year in high school, not merely wanting something. He spoke of the kind of yearning that knows no bounds.
Through some strange and powerful principle of “mental chemistry” which she has never divulged, Nature wraps up in the impulse of strong desire “that something” which recognizes no such word as impossible, and accepts no such reality as failure.Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich
Now, imagine if we could channel that potent form of desire mentioned above toward other noble objectives. We would never stop until we have obtained the desired outcome. This quality is known as persistence, and Hill identified it as one of the three key ingredients in a person’s quest for riches. “Wishing,” he said, “will not bring” them. He then revealed those three components: “But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches, and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring riches.” There is the formula: Write it down on a card. Read it 4 or 5 times a day until the goal (what you desire) is clearly formed in your mind. Continue to read it day by day until a clear plan for achieving your desire distills upon you. Then, begin, and don’t stop.
But What About the Girl?
Now what about that girl in my Spanish class? Oh, I was bold in telling her how I felt. I left no doubt in her mind that I intended to take her on a date, in spite of the fact she had a boyfriend. I did everything I could to charm not only her, but her best friends as well. Social support is a powerful ally. And I wasn’t kidding earlier. I really did write poetry for her. Finally, the moment came. The Spanish Club was having a social event, and I asked her if she would accompany me. She said she would meet me at the event, but indeed she agreed that she was my date for the evening. Then, at the event, I played the fool. I thought I needed to act “cool,” and I spent almost the entire time talking with “the guys.” I blew it. I lost the opportunity, and it was completely my fault.
Claim the Prize
When the achievement is within reach–when it is standing there before you–don’t get cute. You will reach a point when all that is needed is to walk through an open door and claim your desire. Don’t let fear, or social pressures, or just plain stupidity, stand in your way. Now, of course, nothing serious was lost in that moment for me. In some adolescent, hormone-induced fashion, perhaps I loved her. And after my foolishness, I never could recapture her interest. But I learned a valuable lesson. Years later, when I met my eternal companion, I held the advantage of being older and more mature, but I also knew that my feelings for her were a true desire. I pursued her love by giving her mine, and I hope I’m still doing my best to continue the pursuit today. (And oh, by the way, my wife is a brunette.)