Can desire alone help you achieve a goal?

Does the Universe actually conspire to help you achieve goals? Or does the recipe need another ingredient?

In a Live Twitter chat, I was asked, “Writing and publishing are two different ball games. Somehow, the uncertainty of the publishing world and the perceived competition gets in the way of my writing and causes mental blocks. Any suggestions to overcome this?” I responded, “The greatest writers have written because they cannot help writing. It is the love of the act of writing and sharing that prompts the best literature. Just give in to your passion and allow it to lead the way. Don’t worry about what comes later. Every story has its own destiny!”

The same holds true for everything else in life. When we focus on the desire obsessively, to the exclusion of everything else — forgetting even to work towards it — it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy for failure. The rest of the world seems to melt away as our dream becomes an obsession and we feel frustrated and dissatisfied with our present lives. Soon, it becomes bigger than us and the rest of our lives. We start feeling inadequate because we are not able to achieve the one thing that we now believe is everything. With such narrow focus, we are surely setting ourselves up for disaster.

There is always that group you desperately wish to belong to, that job you desire, that book you want published, the elite club you wish would accept you as a member, or that man or woman you covet. Ultimately, you will either attain your obsessive desire, or not. But either way, you have defeated yourself. If you get it, suddenly the force of your passion deflates and it’s just another achievement, while you set your sights elsewhere. And if you don’t get it, you go into depression and consider yourself a failure.

And yet Paulo Coelho, Rhonda Byrne and several other self-help gurus have stressed the importance of desiring something and acknowledging the strength of that desire. Coelho said, “And, when you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Rhonda Byrne talks of the Law of Attraction and how when you want something, you must start behaving as if you already own it. So then, where exactly is the disconnect?

The disconnect is in wanting and desiring, and then not acting upon that desire. It is in wanting something so badly that you forget to work towards it in a logical and reasonable manner, without expecting a reward in return. This can only be done if you enjoy the task itself so much that this in itself becomes the reward. And then, before you know it, you will have reached the space you so wanted to occupy without even realizing it. It is your passion and the enjoyment of the task that led you to the ultimate goal; no amount of plain desire can do that.

Let’s see what do Coelho and Byrne have to say about that. Coelho says, “When you want something it is because that desire originated in the soul of the Universe. It is your mission on earth…. To realize one’s destiny is a person’s only real obligation.” And so what Coelho says is that the Universe will help you – but only to achieve those desires which strike a deep chord within you, so deep that they could only have originated from the Universe itself. This is destiny knocking at your door. If you do not work happily and consistently towards it, the door remains closed. You have to want your goal with happiness, not with desperation or obsession.

Rhyne too makes the same clear. “It is impossible to bring more into your life if you are feeling ungrateful about what you have. Why? Because the thoughts and feelings you emit as you feel ungrateful are all negative emotions.” She insists that you celebrate what you desire right now, as if you have it already.

And so once again the same message – the Universe will help you, but first you must feel happy and grateful for what you have. Negativity and frustration will not help you. A happy engagement in the present and gratitude for all you have, will.

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