How a Burning Desire Can Leave You Burned

I remember growing up as a kid, I would write down a list of all the things I wanted, whether it's video games, toys, clothes, sneakers, sports jerseys, you name it. I’d have this itemized list of all the things I wanted and the amount each cost.

I was obsessed with math and loved just adding everything up, revealing the total amount. Naturally, the dollar amount was in the thousands, figures I couldn’t even fathom at that age.

As a kid, I would dream and hope that one day I would either make enough money or my parents would buy these things for me for Christmas.

Coming from a lower-income family, there were only a few of those things I actually ended up getting but looking back, it led me to realize how much I desired things and how much I just wanted “things” in my life.

Especially when I was told I couldn’t have it.

The “desire” mentality is a tough one to shake. I'm sure for many of you, there are things that you really desire.

❤️ You desire a quality, longterm romantic relationship with someone who looked that loves you.
🏋️‍♀️ You desire a really healthy and powerful body.
💰 You desire more money, a promotion, a higher role in your career.
🎉 You desire to be popular, have status, have power, and have friends who love and adore you.

There are so many things we desire in our lives. What I've realized is desire is a really tricky energy. When you say you desire something and you carry this burning desire, what you're saying on the other side of that statement is “I don't have that.”

This puts you inside a place where you're not grateful for what you do have and you're resentful for what you don't.

That’s where a lot of your energy goes. And what ends up happening is when you create this separation of things you have and don’t have, it creates a space between you and your ability to have the very things you want in your life.

In other words, you're denying what you want, when the truth is what you want is yours for the taking.

Growing up, there were lots of things I wanted so bad, especially when it came to money and toys. And the more I desired it, the further I was from having those things. Over time, instead of wanting those things, I focused on the fact I didn't have those things.

Once I was in that place, there was a lot of anger, frustration, and resentment. I saw people have things I wanted and would be upset about it. I would see them effortlessly have these things –– an amazing relationship, career, lots of money, awesome cars, video games, and other toys.

Meanwhile, my parents would tell me to just ignore that and if I just work really hard and make sacrifices, then I’ll be able to have whatever I wanted. Today, you see a lot of thought leaders and successful people out there talking about that.

“you have to sacrifice…you have to work really hard”

Elon Musk notoriously talks about how he works 100-120 hours a week and if you're not doing that, you will not be successful –– I’m paraphrasing here, but the idea that’s been branded in your mind is “success requires hard work and sacrifice.” I personally don't sign onto that.

why can't success be simple?

Why can't success require little sacrifice? Think about it: If we do have an opportunity to have the things that we want in a way that's simple –– dare I say easy –– that we should feel guilty or it's too good to be true. This mentality alone distances ourselves from the very things that we’re told it should be hard to get it or if not, we should feel guilty and undeserving.

here’s the possibility…

While it might be seemingly impossible to have these things, especially when we don’t have them in our hands, but they become possible when we let go of the idea of having to have it.

For over 33 years, I didn’t know how to swim and that desire for me to swim was the very reason I couldn't actually do it. I was thinking to myself, “man, all my friends can swim except for me. I really want to swim.” Yet, I was never making any efforts to get into the water to actually learn because the idea of actually swimming was impossible to me.

But it wasn't until I created conditions where I had a swim coach, was taking a class at a facility, and finally allowed myself to get in the water. Within an hour, I was able to swim upwards of half the distance to the pool.

These days, I swim twice each week and recently swam in the Pacific Ocean for the first time.

I see this as a metaphor for life. There are so many things we want and yet we’re so resistant to them because we believe that we need to work really hard for it. We need to sacrifice. And if we don't do that, we won’t have it all, we won't be happy.

The key is you just have to let go of the idea of what you think is possible in order to have whatever you want in your life. How to you let go? Well, this is what I teach my clients all the time. So many of my clients come in and have these preconceived notions, stories about what they need to do in order to get into a relationship, to be successful in their career, have a great body, etc.

Ultimately, it's that very idea that prevents and keeps them far from what they truly want. And when I tell them it can be simple to get what they want, they don't believe it because all their lives, they've been told they had to sacrifice something or work really hard.

Many of you have already sacrificed so much in order to have a successful career, yet are completely unhappy. When you leave work, you don't have a life to enjoy. Your life is just work. So many of you have neglected your relationships with friends, family, even your romantic partner and are single because of this.

Some of you have even sacrificed your bodies to the point where now you have health issues. You may have a successful career, but you won’t be on this planet long enough to enjoy it. Life doesn't have to be this way.

you don't have to live this way and things can be simple.

Maybe you think where you want to be in life is impossible right now. If you would like to know how they can become possible, let's have a conversation and see what can be done step by step for you to get everything you want.

These days, I don't make lists anymore for the things that I want, but if there is something I desire, I express gratitude for what I currently have and will have in the future.

Thomas Edwards