Identify Your Core Desire - The Source of All Success
"When you seek Zen as you now seek air - THEN you will find it."
When I was in my mid to late teens I was very aware of two powerful desires and drivers in my life, and at that time they seemed irreconcilable.
On the one hand I wanted to be a businessman and make money and on the other hand I wanted to follow a spiritual path and perhaps become a monk (which will amuse any of my friends who know me well)!
Gradually as the years rolled by I began to see that these two drives were intertwined in ways that I had not anticipated.
For example, the ups and especially the downs of my business life has been the catalyst for a lot of personal development and spiritual growth, and income generated through my business has enabled me to sponsor and support various spiritual initiatives and activities. This website is an example of this.
In more recent times this has enabled me to take a deeper interest in mentoring and providing ongoing support to a number of people.
I was sitting in a bar in Singapore a while ago with a bunch of expat friends enjoying some beers and a chat. The conversation took an interesting turn when one of them suddenly asked the group: "If you knew you were going to die tonight and you were given a few minutes to reflect before that happened, what would you say was the meaning of your life?"
On hearing that question I suddenly had a moment of clarity and I realised that for me the answer was (and remains):"What difference did I make? What impact did I leave in the lives of others?"
As a poignant footnote to that anecdote, over past three years while I have been based in the UK four men from that wider social circle have all died suddenly and unexpected and another has experienced life-changing illness. (These were not old men.)
***********************How To Identify Your Core Desire
If you want to achieve success in any area of your life then there is one very basic and powerful way to do this. It is easy to understand and is fundamental to your nature.
This is the way that people in all walks of life have achieved success from the beginning of time.
It is the building block upon which all success is the built and the rocket fuel that powers it.
To accomplish any success in life, you must identify accurately what it is that you hunger for, thirst for and long for.
Imagine you were lost in a desert and you soon become hot and thirsty. You would do or give just about anything to get a drink of cool, clear water. This overpowering thirst is what we refer to as a "Core Desire".The Zen Master And The Water Trough
Another powerful metaphor for finding your core desire is provided by the story of the Zen master who was repeatedly asked by a very devout and seeking student:"Master, what does it take for me to reach enlightenment?"
The Zen master ignored the student. She asked again and was ignored. Eventually she said:"Master, please tell me, what must I do to reach enlightenment?"
The Zen master grabbed the student by the scruff of the neck and held her head under water in a nearby water trough.
30 seconds later he pulled the student's head up and then immediately plunged her head back under water.
This process repeated a few times until eventually the Zen master relented - whereupon he said to the gasping half drowned student: "When you seek Zen as you now seek air - THEN you will find it." “If You Do Not Get What You Want, It Is A Sure Sign That You Did Not Seriously Want It.” (Rudyard Kipling)
There are 3 key steps:(1) Accurately identify your Core Desires.
Core Desires are those things you want so badly that you will do or become whatever it takes to get them, no matter how hard it is or what the risk or expense is.
These Core Desires are things that your heart is set on — things you want with all your heart.Core Desires are the things that you would be prepared to die trying for.
In my case my core desires haven't changed since I first became aware of them many years ago. The desire to be a successful businessman and the desire to be a spiritual man are still as powerful as they ever were.(2) Unleash a powerful force that lies within you — the Conquering Force.
When your core desire is so strong that you would stake your life on it then it is aligned with one of the most powerful drivers you have - the survival instinct.
This life-force is overwhelming powerful, and when your subconscious mind realises that you will risk anything to achieve your core desire it sees the achievement of that desire as part of your survival.
With this drive, fuelled by passion, commitment and persistence you can and will overcome all obstacles. It won't be easy, it may get bloody, but you will ultimately succeed.
Without this drive, you will likely give in or give up.
I have found that my desire to succeed in business has sustained me through many long and difficult years. No matter what happens, as long as I am still alive I will always be a businessman because its in my DNA it is who I am.
I have found on many occasions that my spiritual drive has sustained my business side.
But I have also found that my desire to follow the spiritual path has on occasions put me in positions and caused me to have to take decisions that at the time seemed as though I was putting my business at risk.
So at this later stage in my life, I have come to realise that the stronger of these two drives is my spiritual drive. But I am still and will always be a businessman.
If this sounds contradictory and convoluted, maybe it is, but it is my reality and I have no regrets.
If were to die tonight I believe there may be a few people for whom I have in some small way helped to make a difference.
I trust I have more years ahead of me to enjoy further business success and to make a difference in more lives.
For myself, I can think of no better way to live or die.(3) Find a teacher, mentor or coach to help you realize your Core Desires and focus your Conquering Force.
Without this assistance, guidance and support, especially in the beginning, you may not gain the knowledge, master the skills, and endure all the hardships and setbacks along the way.
This area is massively important and I will write a separate piece about this subject. I will just conclude for now by saying that one of the most important lessons I learned in life is that over time we become like the company we keep, so choose it wisely and well.
For this reason I have chosen to spend time with and work with people who are more intelligent, more capable and more successful in business than me and with others who are more spiritual and insightful than I will ever be. "What difference will you make? What impact will you leave in the lives of others?"
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