I know I had heard it over and over again, “cultivating burning desire
is the only way to
achieve something.” Okay,
but what exactly is burning
desire? And, how do we cultivate it?
Burning desire is more than a wish or a want or a
dream. Wishes, wants and dreams typically come from us, the human
individual. Burning desire is something that comes from our spirit. It
is as if our
Self is compelling us toward something. Burning desire is what
animates our purpose and our values. Not necessarily what drives us
toward getting a new pair of shoes…unless that pair of shoes stands for
independence, achievement or confidence.
When I first entered college, I was planning on being a philosophy
major. I wanted to become a professor to create a class around
coaching students toward
discovering their beliefs and
passions. That was my Higher
Self calling. However, at the end of my freshman year, my ego’s need for
money and security took over and I came out of college with a double
major in mathematics and economics. Yes, the opposite of philosophy. I
entered a career in corporate finance and created the
financial security and accomplishment I was after. Although I was
successful, my career was not
fueled by burning desire. I was grateful for the experiences I had in
the corporate world, but always felt a longing toward my earlier
Then I felt it -- undeniable, burning desire. My Higher Self was ready
to speak up and was no longer going to tolerate my decisions to stay
safe and secure. The “phone was ringing” and the longer I delayed
picking up the call the more out of sync I felt with my “day job.” At
that time, burning desire felt uncomfortable, scary, frustrating and it
looked a lot like crying. If I kept putting off my desires to
coach and speak and write, I could always be successful at them in
the future. However, the “burning” began and “in the future” was no
longer an option. The time had arrived. With the help of a
coach, I put
together a plan and gathered all of the
courage I could and stepped into the direction I was being pulled.
Gradually, burning desire shifted toward
achieve my purpose instead of discomfort around my current reality.
When your purpose is animated by burning desire, it does not mean that
the path becomes easy; it just means that it becomes certain. Burning
desire ensures that you will
getting up after a
creative and continue your
to see your purpose through. In that there is certainty.
Cultivating Burning Desire
If you have a wish or a want or
a dream and you are wondering if you
Burning desire backing you up, you can cultivate it. Here’s how:
❶ Close your eyes and count backward from 10 to 1. With each count relax
deeper and deeper.
❷ When you feel fully relaxed, picture yourself having achieved your
dream. Give yourself a few moments to get the details in the scene just
❸ Once you are fully immersed in
your achievement, tune into how you
feel and ask yourself this question: “What is even better than this
achievement?” Wait patiently for an answer.
❹ If the answer you get is accompanied by a strong and poignant feeling,
that is your burning desire. That is the thing that will bring
and purpose into
If you do not feel a strong emotion or if you are unsure, that is okay.
visualized achievement may just be a wish or a want that is not yet
ready to become your purpose. Someday it might be, it took me 10 years
to get there. However, if you’d like a slightly quicker path, I really
enjoyed this exercise by Steve Pavlina on
finding your purpose in
20-minutes. After completing the
exercise he suggests, go back through the burning desire exercise above
to test it.
Want to learn more about finding and living your purpose? Visit
Affirmations for tips, techniques and
inspiration to transform
I believe that...
Danea Horn's life has been
about healing. Managing her
graced her with insights around how vitally important
positive thinking is. As a certified life
motivational speaker, Danea
is an expert at helping people design and implement strategies
when facing tough challenges.
"Take up one idea. Make that one idea
your life – think of it,
dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves,
every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every
other idea alone. This is
the way to success." ~
“Burning desire to
be or do something gives us staying power ‒ a reason to get up every
morning or to pick ourselves up and start in again after a
~ Marsha Sinetar