The purpose of desire is to inform man what he needs at every particular moment to supply the demands of change and growth in his life; and in promoting that purpose, desire gives expression to its two leading functions. The first of these is to give the forces of the human system something definite to do, and the second is to arouse those forces or faculties that have the natural power to do what is to be done.
In exercising its first function, desire not only promotes concentration of action among the forces in man, but also causes those forces to work for the thing that is wanted. Therefore, it is readily understood why the wish, if strong, positive, determined and continuous, will tend to produce the thing wished for. If you can cause all the elements and powers in your being to work for the one thing that you want you are almost certain to get it. In fact, you will get it unless it is so large that it is beyond you, or beyond the power of your present capacity to produce; though in that case you have exercised poor judgment; you have permitted yourself to desire what lies outside of your sphere; and what you could neither appreciate nor use were you to get it.
What you can appreciate, enjoy and use in your present sphere of existence, you have the power, in your present state of development, to produce; that is, you can produce it if all your power is applied in your effort to produce it; and when you desire any particular thing with the full force and capacity of your desire you cause all your power to be applied in producing that particular thing.
In exercising its second function, desire proceeds directly into that faculty or group of forces that can, if fully applied, produce the very thing that is desired. In its first function it tends to bring all the forces of the system together, and inspires them with the desire to work for what is wanted. It acts upon the system in general and gives everything in the system something definite to do, that something definite in each case being the one thing desired. In its second function it acts upon certain parts of the system in particular; always upon those parts that can do what is wanted done; and it tends to arouse all the life and power that those particular parts may contain. How desire proceeds, and how it secures results in this respect is easily illustrated.
We will take, for example, a man who is not earning as much as he feels that he needs. Naturally, he will begin to desire more money; and we will suppose that this desire becomes stronger and stronger until it actually stirs every atom of his being. Now what happens? He is not only arousing a great deal of latent and unused energy, but all of his active energy is becoming more and more alive. But what becomes of all this energy? It goes directly into his money-making faculties, and tends to increase decidedly the life, the power, the capacity and the efficiency of those faculties.
There is in every mind a certain group of faculties that is made by nature for financial purposes. In some minds these faculties are small and sluggish, while in other minds they are large and active. And that the latter kind should be able to make more money and accumulate things in a greater measure is quite natural. But is it possible to take those faculties that are small and sluggish and make them large and active? If so, those who now have limited means may in the course of time have abundance.
To answer this question, we will ask what it is that can arouse any faculty to become larger and more active, and we find that it is more energy, and energy that is more alive. No matter how sluggish a faculty may be, if it is thoroughly charged, so to speak, with highly active energy, it simply must become more active. And no matter how small it may be, if it continues to receive a steady stream of added life, energy and power, day after day, month after month, year after year, it simply must increase in size and capacity. And whenever any faculty becomes greater in capacity and more alive in action it will do better work; that is, it will gradually gain in ability and power until it has sufficient ability and power to produce what you wished for.
Returning to the man in our illustration, we will see how the principle works. His money-making faculties are too small and too sluggish to produce as much money as he needs. He begins to desire for more. This desire becomes strong enough to arouse every element and force in his money-making faculties; for here be it remembered that the force of any desire goes directly into that faculty that can, by nature, produce the thing desired. This is one of the laws of mind. In addition, the action of his desire tends to arouse all the other forces of his system, and tends to concentrate those forces upon the idea of making more money.
In the beginning, no important change in his financial ability may be noticed, except that he feels more and more confidence in his power to secure the greater amount desired. In a short time, however, possibly within a few months, he begins to get new ideas about the advancement of his work. His mind is beginning to. work more actively upon the idea of increased gain. Accordingly, suggestions as to how he might increase the earning capacity of his business are constantly coming up in his mind, and ways and means and plans are taking shape and form more and more completely.
The actions of his money-making faculties are also beginning to change; that is, they are becoming finer, more penetrating, and more keen so that his insight into financial matters is steadily improving. He is therefore securing the necessary essentials to greater financial gain, and as he applies them all, things will naturally begin to take a turn. To state it briefly, his strong, persistent desire for more money has aroused his money-making faculties. They have become stronger, more active, more wide-awake and more efficient. And as a strong, wide-awake faculty can do many times as good work as one that is only partly alive, we understand how his desire for more money has given him the ability to make more money. As he continues this desire, making it stronger and more persistent, his financial ability will increase accordingly, and his financial gains continue to increase in proportion.
Many may doubt the efficiency of the plan just presented, because as is well known, most people desire more money but do not always get it. But do they always wish hard enough? It is not occasional desire, or half-hearted desire that gets the thing desired. It is persistent desire; and persistent desire, not only desires continually, but with all the power of life and mind and soul. The force of a half alive desire, when acting upon a certain faculty, cannot cause that faculty to become fully alive. Nor can such a desire all the unused forces of the system and concentrate them all upon the attainment of the one thing wanted. And it is true that the desires of most people are neither continuous nor very deep. They are shallow, occasional wishes without enough power to stir to action a single atom.
Then we must also remember that results do not necessarily follow the use of a single force. Sometimes the force of persistent desire alone may do wonders, but usually it is necessary to apply in combined action all the forces of the human system. The force of desire, however, is one of the greatest of these, and when fully expressed in connection with the best talents we may possess, the thing desired will certainly be secured.
We may take several other illustrations. Suppose you have a strong desire for more and better friends. The action of that desire, if deep, whole-hearted and persistent will tend to impress the qualities of friendship upon every element of your character. In consequence, you will in time become the very incarnation of friendship; that is, you will become a better and a better friend, and he who becomes a better friend will constantly receive more and better friends. In other words, you become like the thing you desire, and when the similarity has become complete, you will get what you want through the law of like attracting like.
You may desire to succeed in a certain line of work; we will say, in the literary field. If your desire for success in that field is full and persistent, the power of that desire will constantly increase the life, the activity and the capacity of your literary faculties, and you will naturally do better work in that field. The same is true with regard to any other line of work, because your desire for greater success in your work will arouse to fuller action those faculties that you employ in that work. But, in every case, the desire must be deep, whole-souled, persistent and strong.
It is therefore evident that results in all lines of endeavor depend very largely upon the power of desire, and that no one can afford to let his desires lag for a moment. The law should be: Know what you want, and then want it with all the life and power that is in you. Get your mind and your life fully aroused. Persistent desire will do this. And that it is most important to do this is proven by the fact that in thousands of instances, a partly alive mind is the only reason why the goal in view has not been reached.
It is necessary, however, that your desires continue uninterruptedly along the lines you have chosen. You may desire a score or more of different things, but continue each desire without change, unless you should find that certain changes are necessary to secure the greater results you have in mind. To desire one thing today and another tomorrow means failure. To work for one thing this year and another thing next year is the way to empty handedness at the end of every year.
Before you begin to apply the power of desire, know with a certainty what you want because when you get what you have desired, you may have to take it. If you do not know definitely what you really do want, desire a better judgment, a clearer understanding and a more balanced life. Desire to know what is best for you, and the force of that desire will tend to produce normal action in every part of your system. Then you will feel distinctly what the highest welfare of your nature actually demands.
In deciding upon what you want, however, do not be timid, and do not measure the possible with the yard-stick of general appearances. Let your aspirations be high, only be sure that you are acting within the sphere of your own inherent capacity; though in this connection it is well to remember that your inherent capacity is many times as great as it has been supposed to be; and also that it can be continuously enlarged.
In choosing what you are to desire, act within reason, but go after the best. If the full power of desire is applied upon all the elements of your mind and character, what is latent within you will be aroused, developed and expressed; you will become much more than you are and thereby will not only desire the best, but be able to be of service to the best. And this latter fact is important. When we desire the great and the wonderful we must ask what we have to give the great and the wonderful in return. It is not only necessary to get the best–to realize our ideal, but it is also necessary to be so good and so great that we can give to the best as much as we are receiving from the best. Before we begin to wish for an ideal, we must ask what that ideal. is going to get when it comes.
Coupled with our desire for the ideal, therefore, we must have an equally strong desire for the remaking of ourselves so that we may become equal to that ideal in every respect. If we want an ideal companion, we must not only wish for such a companion, but we must also desire the development of those qualities in ourselves that we know would make us agreeable to that companion. If we want a different environment we should wish for such an environment with all the life and soul we possess, and should at the same time wish for the increase of those powers in our own talents that can earn such an environment. If we want a better position we should desire such a position every minute and also desire that we may become more competent to fill it when it comes.
The power of desire not only tends to arouse added life and power in these faculties upon which it may act, but it also tends to make the mind as a whole more alert and wide-awake along those lines. This is well illustrated by the fact that when we have a strong, continuous desire for information on a certain subject, we always find someone or something that can give us that information. And the reason is that all the faculties of the mind are prompted by the force of this desire to be constantly on the look-out for that information.
That the same law will apply in the desire or search for wisdom, new ideas, better plans, better opportunities, more agreeable environments and more ideal companions, is clearly understood. And when we couple this fact with the fact that the power of desire tends to increase the life, the ability, the working capacity and the efficiency of these faculties or forces that can produce what we desire, we must certainly admit that those who have found the secret of using desire have made a great find indeed. But, as stated before, and it cannot be repeated too often, the desire must be persistent and strong, as strong as all the life and soul we possess.
In other words, we must wish hard enough, and we wish hard enough when our desires are sufficiently full and deep and strong to thoroughly arouse those faculties that have the natural ability to fulfill those desires. Many desires are only strong enough to arouse their corresponding faculties to a slight degree–not enough to increase the activity or working capacity of these faculties, while most desires are too weak to arouse any force or faculty in the least.
The act of wishing hard enough, however, does not imply hard mental work. If you make hard work of your wishing, you will use up your energy instead of turning it into those channels where it can be applied to good account. It is depth of desire and fullness of desire combined in an action that is directed continuously upon the one thing desired that constitutes true desire. To wish hard enough is simply to wish for all that you want with all that is in you. But we cannot wish with all that is in us unless our wish is subconscious as well as conscious because the subconscious is a part of us–the larger part of us.
To make every desire subconscious, the subconscious mind should always be included in the process of desire; that is, whenever we express a desire we should think of the subconscious, and combine the thought of that desire with our thought of the subconscious mind. Every desire should be deeply felt as all deeply felt mental actions become subconscious actions.
It is an excellent practice to let every desire sink into the deeper mental life, so to speak; and also to act in and through that deeper mental life whenever we give expression to desire; or, in other words, when we turn on the full force and power of that desire. To become proficient in these methods requires some practice, though all that is necessary to become proficient is to continue to try. No special rule is required.
Begin by feeling your desires through and through. Make them as strong and as deep as you can, and always combine the living action of your desire with your thought of those faculties through which you know that desire is to work. To illustrate: If you desire greater success in your work, think of those faculties that you are using in your work whenever you give full expression to your desire. If you are a business man, think of your business faculties whenever you desire greater business success. If you are a musician, think of your musical faculties whenever you desire greater proficiency in your music. Though in case your desires should be such that you do not know through what kinds of faculties it will naturally be expressed, never mind. Continue to desire what you want; the power of that desire, if persistent and strong, will find a way to make your wish come true.
When we understand how desire works, and know that it works only when it is persistent, we realize that we have found, not only a great secret, but also a simple explanation for many of the failures in life as well as many of its greatest achievements. And from the facts in the case we conclude that no matter what a man’s condition or position may be today, if he will decide upon that something better that he wants, he may get it, provided his wish for it is as strong as his own life and as large as his own soul.
The optimist lives under a clear sky; the pessimist lives in a fog. The pessimist hesitates, and loses both time and opportunity; the optimist makes the best use of everything now, and builds himself up, steadily and surely, until all adversity is overcome and the object in view realized. The pessimist curbs his energies and concentrates his whole attention upon failure; the optimist gives all his thought and power to the attainment of success, and arouses his faculties and forces to the highest point of efficiency. The pessimist waits for better times, and expects to keep on waiting; the optimist goes to work with the best that is at hand now, and proceeds to create better times. The pessimist pours cold water on the fires of his own ability; the optimist adds fuel to those fires. The pessimist links his mind to everything that is losing ground; the optimist lives, thinks and works with everything that is determined to press on. The pessimist places a damper on everything; the optimist gives life, fire and go to everything. The optimist is a building force; the pessimist is always an obstacle in the way of progress. The pessimist lives in a dark, soggy unproductive world, the optimist lives in that mental sunshine that makes all things grow.