Surrender To Desire And Gain Energy, Enthusiasm, Mental Zip, And Even Better Health
A few years ago, my young son insisted the two of us build a doghouse for Peanut, an intelligent pup of dubious pedigree and my son’s pride and joy. His persistence and enthusiasm won, so we proceeded to build a home Peanut could call her own. Our combined carpentry talent equaled zero, and the end product clearly reflected that fact.
Shortly afterward a good friend stopped by and upon seeing what he had done asked, “What’s that you’ve stuck up there among the trees? That’s not a doghouse, is it?” I replied that it was. Then he pointed out just a few of our mistakes and summed it all up with “Why didn’t you get a plan? Nobody these days builds a doghouse without a blueprint.”
And, please, as you visualize your future, don’t be afraid to be blue sky. People these days are measured by the size of their dreams. No one accomplishes mora than he sets out to accomplish. So visualize a big future.
Below is a word-for-word excerpt from the life plan of one of my former trainees. Read it. Note how well this fellow visualized his “home” future. As he wrote this, it is obvious he really saw himself in the future.
“My home goal is to own a country estate. The house will be of the typical Southern-manor type, two stories, white columns and all. We will have the grounds fenced in, and probably will have a fishpond or two on the place as my wife and I both enjoy fishing. We will keep our Doberman kennels back of the house somewhere. The thing I have always wanted is a long winding driveway with trees lining each side.
“But a house is not necessarily a home. I am going to do everything I can to make our house more than just a place to eat and sleep. Of course, we do not intend to leave God out of our plans and throughout the years we will spend a certain amount of time in church activities.
“Ten years from now I want to be in a position to take a family cruise around the world. I would like very much to do this before the family gets scattered all over the world by marriages, etc. if we can’t find time to make the cruise all at once, we will put into four or five separate vacations and visit a different part of the world each year. Naturally, all these plans in ‘home department’ depend on how well things go in my ‘work department’ so I’ll have to keep on the ball if I’m to accomplish all this.”
This plan was written five years ago. The trainee then owned two small dime stores. Now he owns five. He’s thinking and progressing right along toward his goal.
The three departments of your life are closely interrelated. Each depends on the others to some extent. But the one department that has the most influence over the other departments is your work. Thousands of years ago the caveman who had the happiest home life and was most respected by his cave mates was the fellow who was most successful as a hunter.
As a generalization, the same point holds true today. The standard of living we provide our families and the social and community respect we attain depends largely on our success in the work department.
Not long ago the McKinsey Foundation for Management Research conducted a large-scale study to determine what it takes to become an executive. Leaders in business, government, science, and religion were questioned. Over and over again in different ways these researchers kept getting one answer: the most important qualification for an executive is the sheer desire to get ahead.
Remember this advice of John Wanamaker: “A man is not doing much until the cause he works for possesses all there is of him.”
Desire, when harnessed, is power. Failure to follow desire, to do what you want to do most, paves the way to mediocrity.
I recall a conversation with a very promising young writer on a college newspaper. This fellow had ability. If anyone showed promise for a career in journalism, it was he. Shortly before his graduation I asked him, “Well, Dan, what are you going to do, get into some form of journalism?” Dan looked at me and said, “Heck, no! I like writing and reporting very much, and I’ve had a lot of fun working on the college paper. But journalists are a dime a dozen, and I don’t want to starve.”
I didn’t see or hear from Dan for five years. Then one evening I chanced to meet him in New Orleans. Dan was working as an assistant personnel director for an electronics company. And he was quick to let me know that he was quite dissatisfied with his work. “Oh, I’m reasonably well paid. I’m with a wonderful company, and I’ve got reasonable security, but you know, my heart isn’t in it. I wish now I’d gone with a publisher or newspaper when I finished school.”
Dan’s attitude reflected boredom, uninterest. He was cynical about many things. He will never achieve maximum success until he quits his present job and gets into journalism. Success requires heart-and-soul effort, and you can put your heart and soul only into something you really desire.
Had Dan followed his desire, he could have risen to the very top in some phase of communication. And over the long pull he would have made much more money and achieved far more personal satisfaction than he will find in his present kind of work.
Switching from what you don’t like to do to what you do like to do is putting a five-hundred-horsepower motor in a ten-year-old car.
All of us have desires. All of us dream of what we really want to do. But few of us actually surrender to desire. Instead of surrendering to desire, we murder it. Five weapons are used to commit success suicide. Destroy them. They’re dangerous.
1. Self-depreciation. You have heard dozens of people say, “I would like to be a doctor (or an executive or a commercial artist or in business for myself) but I can’t do it.” “I lack brains.” “I’d fail if I tried.” “I lack the education and/or experience.” Many young folks destroy desire with the old negative self-depreciation.
2. “Security-it is.” Persons who say, “I’ve got security where I am” use the security weapons to murder their dreams.
3. Competition. “The field is already overcrowded,” “People in that field are standing on top of each other” are remarks which kill desire fast.
4. Parental dictation. I’ve heard hundreds of young people explain their career choice with “I’d really like to prepare for something else, but my parents want me to do this so I must.” Most parents, I believe, do not intentionally dictate to their children what they must do. What all intelligent parents want is to see their children live successfully. If the young person will patiently explain why he or she prefers a different career, and if the parent will listen, there will be no friction. The objectives of both the parent and the young person for the young person’s career are identical: success.
5. Family responsibility. The attitude of “It would have been wise for me to change over five years ago, but now I’ve got a family and I can’t change,” illustrates this kind of desire murder weapon.
Throw away those murder weapons! Remember, the only way to get full power, to develop full go force, is to do what you want to do. Surrender to desire and gain energy, enthusiasm, mental zip, and even better health.
And it’s never too late to let desire take over.