…desire or cultivated restraint…

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” — Napoleon Hill

We can fool ourselves with our desire.  Sometimes our desire is hot, fully-charged, and deeply-engaged.  Part of us is simply oozing to make our move and see what happens.  At other times, our desire is more restrained.  More cultivated.  We keep it at arm’s length.  With this style of desire, there is a tendency to play the ‘mighta-woulda-coulda’ game.  We’re just not all that committed — so we don’t really follow through.   We put ourselves in the way by never showing up.  Ironic right?

So, here’s a joke:  A boy asks: “Are you sure that you only love me?” The girl replies: “Ya. I checked that list just yesterday.”

What makes this funny is that the girl couldn’t show up.  Her list got in the way.  While this level of restraint is disingenuous when it comes to romantic love, it’s really quite conventional.   But why can’t we show up in our everyday life?  Who said ‘everyday’ means ‘sloppily’ engaged?

Like all clarification dilemmas, it’s really a question of degree.  The point is: “Are we wasting time or not?” Everyone’s ‘skin in the game’ will take different forms, but we ALL clearly know when it’s become a wet, soggy towel.  People depend on you.  Don’t let them down.  Show up.

So before you make big plans (with an even longer list) ask yourself:

  • Do you really want this?
  • Is this a genuine want?.. or something else?
  • Is there outside pressure?  Is someone screaming ‘mighta-woulda-coulda’ right from the start?

A need is different from a want.  I get that.  An obligation is different from a willing desire.  I get that one too.  But “all-of-that” still requires participation in your life.  So, do you want to be in your life, or not?

Here’s another joke:  Two men go out for a walk.  Suddenly, it begins to rain. “Quick,” said one. “Open your umbrella.” “It won’t help,” said his friend. “My umbrella is full of holes.” “Why did you bring it?” “Well I didn’t think it would rain!”  …. Not showing up is the same as bringing an umbrella that doesn’t work.

I know I sound harsh.  I’ve done it!  “Convenience” made me do it.  And just how short-sighted is that?

The image for this clarification dilemma is a mirror.  Mirrors reflect only what you do.  They are the hardest task masters since they offer you no place to hide.  Learn from your mirror – it will put more life in your years – and more years in your life.


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