Are Your Desires Really Your Desires?

Kenyan Book Reviews

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

“Nature has so built man that he has Absolute control over the material which reaches his mind through his five senses.” Whether man chooses to make use of this power or not is totally up to him.

“In the great majority of instances, he does not exercise it, which explains why so many people go through life in poverty.”

I am almost 100% sure that I will get some bashing for this but these words did not come from me. I agree with the statement to some extent but the words came from Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich.

This is one of my favorite books mostly because it was among the first books that I read in this genre and it still resonates with me to date. I began reading it about 8 years ago when I joined high school.

I recently started reading it again and I was amazed by how much I gathered. I have grown so much over the last couple of months and that growth has come with the ability to view things from a whole new perspective.

In the first chapter Napoleon says that thoughts are things and powerful things at that, especially when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a burning desire for their translations into richness or other material objects.


Quote from Think and Grow Rich

“When man desires something so deeply that he is willing to stick his entire future on a single turn of the wheel to get it, he is sure to win.”

But how do you identify what you really want/desire?

Especially when today there are so many things that influence how we live our lives and how we make decisions. People are stuck doing jobs that they do not like because they feel like they have to earn money now, others because society says that that is the right thing to do and so forth.

We pay so much attention to the world that we fail to concentrate on what we want on what our hearts desire and we in turn end up living unhappy and unfulfilling lives.

And the saddest part is that we cannot blame society nor can we blame circumstances. We can only blame ourselves because we chose to live that way.

I suggest ridding yourself of all distractions for at list a day or three. Take some time to yourself and with yourself alone and think. Evaluate where you are at the moment, how does it make you feel? Are you happy? Given a chance would you change, and if so to what/where?

I sit back at times and realize that most of the things I do or prioritize, I do so because of societal influence and because of trends but I have come to realize that you can do what you love and still be relevant.

The world might be evolving but the concepts are still the same. That is why almost all how-to guide books have similar ideas. Most of the leadership books I have read teach almost the same thing. The only difference is the writing style and the language that is used.

Once you have established what you want/desire then you can work towards getting it. Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich provides valuable insight on how you can do that. Here is a few things I gathered from the book.

  1. Identify your goal

What is it that you want from life? What do you want to achieve? Once you have answered those two questions, make your desire your obsession; let it consume your life. Visualize yourself already having achieved whatever it is that you want to achieve. Devote most if not all of your time to working towards fulfilling your desire. Let that be your first goal.

If you have read Think and Grow Rich then you know the story of Edwin C. Barnes. His desire was to become Thomas Edison’s associate, to work side by side with him.

This desire was neither a hope nor a wish! It was a keen pulsating desire that transcended everything else. It was definite.

Goal setting

Set Specific Goals

Let your goal be definite. I know you have heard it said numerous times that when you set goals they ought to be specific.

This is because being specific about what you want creates focus and direction for your efforts. It makes your goals seem more real and easier to personalize which makes them more meaningful to you.

Edwin had had this desire for a long time before he acted on it. I can only assume this was because he needed time to believe in it and make it his life’s mission.

Make achieving your goal your life’s mission, write it down and repeat it to yourself every single day if you have to.

  1. Do not apologize for wanting what you want

I made this my second point because I am guilty of doing this. Whether it is out of fear or just to be polite, I do this a lot. I recently realized that there is nothing wrong in wanting what you want. We were not born to be the same.

You see the difference between successful people and those that are not successful is, successful people are not afraid to dream big and more importantly, they are not afraid to act on those dreams.

I have never heard a successful person apologize for wanting something nor have I heard one give excuses for not going for what they want.

When you apologize for wanting something, you lose confidence in getting whatever it is that you want. You make yourself believe that it is ok not to get it. If you are asking something from someone and you seem apologetic for asking they interpreted that as lack of confidence or that you do not want whatever it is that you are asking for bad enough.

You give them a lee way to say no because you have shown them that you are ok with not getting whatever it is that you want.

If you are thinking of asking your boss for a raise then this point is worth noting.  Your boss as well as you needs to believe that you want the position as much as you think you want it and saying something like “I am sorry to ask but I was wondering if I could get a raise…” and when your boss hesitates to respond you follow up with, “but if it’s not possible, it’s ok.” does not help.

In fact instead of coming off as polite you come off as being timid and you succeed in getting yourself a big fat NO!

  1. Determine what exactly you intend to give in return.

Nothing and I repeat nothing in this world is for free. You must be willing to give something in return, whether it’s your time, your effort or simply money, you must be willing to give something.

Some things require more investment than others and that is why identifying a specific goal is so important and that is why it was my first point.

For you to know exactly what you are going to give then you must have a definite goal in mind. You cannot estimate the magnitude of the investment you are going to make if you do not know exactly what you are working towards.

  1. Be Persistent

“Quitters are never winners” This cliché quote right here just about sums up this point.

While in pursuit of your desires, you are going to fall, in fact you are going to fall more times than you can count but if you want to achieve your goal then you are going to have to pick up yourself every single time.

Five years passed before the chance Edwin C. Barnes had been seeking made its appearance. During those five years not one ray of hope, not one promise of attainment of his desire had been held out to him.

To everyone except himself, he appeared like another cog in Thomas Edison’s business wheel but in his own mind, he was a partner of Edison every minute of the time from the very first day that he went to work there.

There so many stories of people who persisted in spite of failing numerous times and what those people have in common is that they succeeded.

  1. Put it down in writing

When you write your goals down, you have a higher chance of achieving them. Write exactly what you want to achieve, give yourself a time limit and be realistic. You cannot expect to get a million dollars in one month; unless you are planning to rob a bank I do not see how that is possible.

Be realistic when setting the timing limit and write down what you intend to give in return, whether it is your time, money, services, write it down and live up to it.

You have to be willing to work for what you want.


Visualize Winning

Once you have everything written down, read your plan out loud. Napoleon Hill advices that you read it twice daily, once when you wake up in the morning and once when you retire to bed at night.

As you read, visualize having have achieved your goal, see, feel and believe that you are already where you want to be. In other words have faith that you are going to achieve your goal. Faith is a powerful tool; it is the head chemist of the mind.

I came up with this list just after reading a few chapters of the book, I would recommend that you go get the book and read it, not like a novel but like a text book. Analyze every chapter, takes notes if you want, learn from it and try to apply what you learn.


44 thoughts on “Are Your Desires Really Your Desires?

  1. This book has been on my must read list for quite some time. I loved how well you incorporated your point of view with this thoughts. I will be reading this sooner rather than later. Thanks for the push!!!


  2. I often think how stupid we humans are to fall into the same trap over and over again. Over and over again we get blinded by our everyday life and tell ourselves how we won’t make the same mistake again. But in the end, we always do.

    Well, I guess we need to work hard on fixing that. Alone and together. 🙂


  3. This book has been on my list for quite some time and I’ve just moved it up a few spots. I’m contemplating a career change so this is perfect timing.


  4. I was introduced to this book by an employer many years ago, and many others of this ilk by my father. Great suggestion. I may need to give it a re-read.


  5. Having a sometimes fickle mind makes me wonder if my desires are actually what I really desire but when I finally make a decision, I get quite persistent and hardly ever back down. Great tips and this is a nice read.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes writing down makes you feel more accountable. My husband always told me when we first met you need to be selfish, to always be true to yourself. I am just now starting to fully understand what he meant. Persistence is what I am struggling with now. thanks for the advice.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I do not apologise for wanting what l want. I really do not mind criticism. I remember when l started my writing journey people thought it wasnt worth it but guess what things are looking good.


  8. Haven’t read this book.. but i agree with the being persistent.. no matter what your goals are, persistence is key in accomplishing any goals!


  9. I totally agree with Napoleon Hill. If you tie your life to a given goal, and work around this goal with persistence and dedication, then it will be revealed in your life. I would also recommend Napoleon Hill’s The law of success book. Its a very inspirational book.


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