By understanding 5 aspects of your desire, you can open up your passions, discover your strengths, and find a new connection to your happiness. Desire is defined as will, yearning, aspiration, devotion or passion. Everyone is born with it. Just watching a baby learn to walk is proof enough -- they fall, they get up, take first tentative steps, plop down, and get up yet again. Does a baby ever say, "I've had it with this walking business -- from now on just crawling for me?" Not likely!
The good news is that as a human being, you come equipped with powerful tools to access your desire, and no person or situation can take those away from you. Here are 5 simple ways to tap into the strength of desire that lives inside. Knowing these can help you draw on them right now.
1. Passion: Have you ever seen a sports team losing badly at half time, only to summon an intensity of desire that helps them not only play better than expected, but win the game? Passion can be as extreme as a Good Samaritan lifting up a car to save a child or as simple as making up your mind to meet a particular person you're interested in getting to know better. Think of a time when you were determined to do something no matter what and draw on that feeling as you move forward.
2. Mastery: To play an instrument, or to play a sport, everyone has to practice. Athletes have practices. Musicians get together to jam. With practice you can't help but develop the knowledge and the skills that eventually lead to mastery. Neuroscientists now know that we can train the brain. "Neurons that fire together wire together." The great part of mastery is that when you see yourself getting better at something you love to do, that brings a happiness that continues on. So tap into your desire and go out and practice knowing that mastery will come.
3. Resilience: How did Michael Jordan continue to play basketball even after he was told he didn't have talent and was cut from his high school basketball team? How did Thomas Edison push on to create electricity after failing with 9,000 experiments? Picture a time when something was so important that you picked yourself up even after being disappointed. What was it like? That quality still lives inside you -- embedded in your cellular memory. You can draw on it to remind yourself that whatever comes up, you'll deal with it -- your desire will lead the way.
4. Courage: Here are some ways you already draw on the quality of courage: when you're feeling low, and muster the courage and desire to "show up" to give a talk, or apologize to someone, or make a hard decision in order to be true to yourself. You also tap into your courage when you choose to follow an inspiration even though logic would tell you otherwise. The upsides can be enormous! Goethe says it well, "Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it."
5. Legacy: Your desire is also reflected in the ways you touch others' lives. What is the emotional footprint your desires are leaving? What are the emotional gifts you are giving right now? When people think of you, how have you inspired them? And how will that inspiration live on even after you've moved apart? Considering the impact of your desires NOW can empower you, directing your major decisions and bringing a new ease and clarity to the way you live your life.
Passion, Mastery, Resilience, Courage, Legacy; these aspects of desire are on call, ready to jump in; and best of all they live inside you. How has listening to your desires made you happier?
Randy Taran is the founder of the non-profit, Project Happiness, and co-author with Maria Lineger of the Project Happiness Handbook. Catch Randy and get updates on her vision for a world happiness (r)evolution via Twitter @randytaran and the Facebook Project Happiness group. Don't forget to sign up for the free nifty Project Happiness Newsletter. B Happy 2.