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Quotations for Motivation #13 --- Desire

Updated on October 28, 2015

Quotations on Desire

The greatest reward success brings is self-satisfaction. For success lies not in the accumulation of riches, although, of course, these are important. Success is marked by the satisfaction of knowing you have done a job and done it well--that you have achieved the goal you set for yourself. Einstein, for example, didn't attain great wealth during his lifetime. But would anyone say he was an unsuccessful man? How can you motivate yourself to success? The surest course lies in developing a burning desire for something you do not now have, to complete a goal that you alone can set for yourself. There is a difference between merely wishing for something and deciding definitely that you are going to attain it. All things are possible to the person who believes they are possible. Set yourself a definite goal in life. Write it down. Commit it to memory. Direct every thought and all your energies to making it come true. Instead of letting monetary setbacks throw you off course, search in them for the seed of equivalent benefit which can help you attain your set purpose. When Henry Ford began work on his first "horseless buggy," less far-sighted persons--many of his own relatives and neighbors--laughed at him. Some called him "that crazy inventor." Crazy or not, Ford knew what he wanted--and had a burning desire to achieve it. He refused, too, to recognize any limitations. Lacking formal education or training as a mechanic, he simply educated himself. Nothing stands in the way of a man determined to reach his life's goal. The person who is determined to attain success starts where he stands, making the best of whatever tools he has. Start from wherever you stand--today.

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Aug. 3, 1956.

Practical philosophy consists in not desiring a thing so strongly as to be badly disappointed if you do not get it.

---Orison Swett Marden, Success Magazine, New York, N.Y., January 1906.

One that desires to excel should endeavor to excel in the excellent.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Feb. 1, 1936.

One that desires to succeed should seek success that needs no apologies.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Feb. 1, 1936.

The greatness of any soul is measured by the number, quality and intensity of its desires.

---I.N. Langston, El Paso Herald, El Paso, Texas, March 11, 1916.

In living, we have either to rule our desires, or be singed by their fires.

---John Wesley Holland, Livingston Republican, Geneseo, N.Y., Feb. 27, 1930.

Yearning, with no object in view, is bound to grow monotonous.

---J. Marvin Nichols, The Daily Ardmoreite, Ardmore, Okla., June 24, 1907.

It is not unusual to desire to attain; but it is unusual to pay the price and conquer.

‑‑‑Vernald William Johns, Garland Times, Garland, Utah, June 20, 1929.

Don’t assassinate every noble desire that comes to you.

---Billy Sunday, Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, Pa., Dec. 5, 1913.

Desire is WANT in capital letters.

‑‑‑Marcus J. Bellison, Testifier, Wellington, New Zealand, December 1963.

A spark of ambition may get you off to a quick start--but it takes a burning desire to keep you going.

---Roy Bliss, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco, Calif., May 25, 1975.

If you do not have a continuing desire for progress, you will not get far.

—Philip Mallory Conley, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., Feb. 13, 1948.

Many a man thinks he is working hard when he is only wobbling between duty and desire.

-‑‑Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., March 14, 1909.

Nothing succeeds like a desire and a determination to succeed, with the plan for its consummation carefully worked out in advance. Our destination grows more real to us as we journey toward it, knowing that every foot forward is placed perfectly into the design of our desire!

---George Matthew Adams, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., March 6, 1941.

No person has all the talents but all have some talents. My task is to harmonize my desires with my talents and opportunities, being careful to neither overestimate or underestimate myself.

‑‑‑Charles L. Allen, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., May 20, 1957.

Desire is a real thirst for learning. Desire is the springboard to success in every endeavor. No one succeeds in anything worthwhile without it. One's desires fix his goals, chart his course and control his progress. It is desire which supplies the motive for dedicated work. Without desire, "one has within him no principle of action nor motive to act." (Helvelus) Keep in mind that dedicated application is a must and be assured that it always pays off in the end. Time immutably rewards the energetic worker motivated by desire. It invariably sets him apart from the apathetic drifter.

‑‑‑Marion G. Romney, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year, Provo, Utah, March 13, 1963.

Desire a thing strongly enough and you will get it. Desire‑‑strong enough desire to do, to be, to live‑‑overcomes all obstacles. Desire laughs at limitations. Desire overcomes all. Desire must overcome all because desire is the creative life within us seeing expression‑‑and creative life is all‑powerful, all‑intelligent, eternal. Creative life is power in action, actuated by desire, controlled by wisdom, guided by love, operating in unity according to truth.

‑‑‑Joseph H. Appel, The Making of a Man, New York, N.Y., 1921.

More games are lost through lack of desire and ambition than through lack of opportunity.

‑‑‑John Mooney, Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, July 15, 1956.

There's three things I think it takes to be a great athlete. One is faith; number two, desire; and number three is willingness to do better. Now you can maybe have two of those and be a fair athlete, but to be a great one, I think you have to have all three. I think it's a proven fact.

‑‑‑Ray Renfro, The Beam, Fort Worth, Texas, November 1959.

I once had a football coach who said that a man could have the size, speed, strength, and knowledge required for good football players and still sit on the bench if he lacked the one quality above all others which marked the successful players from the mediocre. Without it we might as well "sit on the bench." That quality is desire. In football, desire is a combination of the will to win, personal ambition to excel, and a certain undefinable quality that gives a man power to drag three men the last five yards to the goal line. It might be said that desire is the expression of all a man's faculties, both physical and mental, in one direction.

‑‑‑Stephen B. Affleck, Harvester, Fort Wayne, Ind., August 1963.

Desire measures capability. Ponder that sentence and your first impulse will be to deny it, but ponder over it again and again, and its truth will come to you. If capability is measured by desire, it is then possible for every one of us to be capable of useful work, capable of remunerative work—capable of success. That line of reasoning would make success impartial and universal and that is exactly the meaning which is intended to be conveyed. Opportunity is impartial and universal, and success has the same resiliency. Nature is at all times generous. The flowers of the field are clothed in beautiful raiment. They partake in a natural way of what nature gives them. The natural way is the easy way. The full life does not come with laborious hours and overwrought nerves. What one desires to do is one’s chief pleasure to perform, and what is pleasant to do, does not wear out and tear down either physical or mental strength. An indolent wish that is not the mother of decisive action is like polluting thought with poison. Wishing is the voice of discontent coupled most often with indolence. Idle wishing is listening to the voice of incapacity, it is a plea guilty to weakness. On the other hand, desire makes adversity the recruiting ground for prosperity. Success lies in using what one already has. Each day may be considered as an empire, and whether man is its emperor or its slave, is a matter of his own choosing. It matters not so much what happens, but it does matter how we allow it to affect us. When the impulse to do something and to be something more is developed, the method of doing it will be unfolded. It is said of genius that is always finds a way, and genius in the last analysis consists only in work. You have a work to do and you can do that work better than anyone else. Nature’s scheme is perfect and if another could have more worthily filled your place or more perfectly done your work, because you have work you have the means by which you can accomplish that work. The performance of that work in its natural way, in its easy way, constitutes success.

---John F. Easley, Daily Ardmoreite, Ardmore, Okla., May 16, 1915.

There is a difference between merely wanting a thing and earnestly desiring it. To Merely want a thing does not stimulate you to make earnest efforts to get it, but you may fret and pout and complain to no avail. However, if you earnestly and sincerely desire a thing you will industriously strive to get it. Of course it must be reasonable or that which is suited to you. Had all of us been thus taught from youth up, even from infancy, more of us would now be living happily and more comfortably than we are or than can reasonably hoped for. We are more or less inclined to trust to luck. One of the chief reasons why wishes and passing desires are not gratified is that they have not been well defined. If well-defined and purposeful they will be reasonable, and this will encourage you to make due effort to achieve your heart’s desire. Had you been taught, as all should be taught from youth up, that you are only entitled to things within the range of reason you would not be disposed to find faults and complain if you don’t get everything you may want. If you know what you want, and have an earnest desire to obtain it, you will get there, provided you have the nerve and patience to labor and wait. The trouble with most people is that they don’t know what they want—that is, don’t know definitely. In a general way they want money and all that it will buy, but fortunately for the world money does not come for the wishing or in answer to begging or personal solicitation.

---Erasmus Wilson, Pittsburgh Gazette Times, Pittsburgh, Pa., Jan. 12, 1918.

Always desire to achieve. Real desire to achieve breeds power to achieve through holding one to the courses that alone make achievement possible. When the desire does not impel, then, depend upon it, it is merely a pale, thin, wishful thinking unworthy of the name of desire. There is nothing energizing, nothing dynamic in such a desire. Soon it is ousted by other desires‑‑pre‑eminent among which is likely to be the desire for play, for ease, for creature comforts, perhaps for some particular luxury. One may work hard up to the moment the realization of these pettier aims is insured‑‑after which one is all too apt to be content to graze lazily through existence. In all such cases, manifestly, the real wanting has not been for achievement but for minor satisfaction. Often, to be sure, one cannot fairly hold the "wishful thinkers" responsible for their inferior ambition. From childhood itself they may have been subjected to environmental influences narrowing the range of their aspirations. But wherever the blame for the inferior ambition may be placed, there can be no questioning the fact that its consequences so far as they bear on achievement are deplorable. With reason, then, should every worker who senses that he is not realizing the maximum of his possibilities, demand of himself: "Is it because I don't really want to advance?" If the fact compels an answer in the affirmative, then, clearly, two courses are open, and only two. One is to continue the way the worker has begun, to cease complaining, and to put aside all hope of advancement. The other is to endeavor to cultivate a sincere desire to achieve. Begin deliberately to pay more attention to one's work and less to the amusements or fineries or luxuries that have been the principal objects of desire.

‑‑‑H. Addington Bruce, Forbes Magazine, New York, N.Y., May 10, 1924.

Some men bank on hopes, others draw on their imaginations, while a goodly number just check their desires.

‑‑‑Benjamin Arstein, San Antonio Express, San Antonio, Texas, March 31, 1911.

Desire is defined as a longing or yearning for something enjoyable. It is created in our imagination by seeing the end results of an enjoyable experience. It is best achieved by picturing to yourself what you would like to be and have; and assuming for the moment that such things might be possible. As you continue such thoughts you will begin to feel your desire grow. It's the same process we use when we worry, except we change our goals from negative to positive. Thinking in terms of possibilities makes the end result appear more and more real to you. This is desire literally created.

‑‑‑Curtis Ray Haley, Testifier, Wellington, New Zealand, May 1967.

The most powerful motor in the world is powerless until it is ignited. The capability is there, but there must be fuel and some type of ignition. It may be electronic, chemical, or some other type of reactor. We have such a motor capable of great potential. We have the fuel; we are ready for the blast off, but we need to become ignited. We need the spark. That spark is DESIRE that will motivate us to ACTION.

‑‑‑R. Don Smith, Australia Mission News, Sydney, Australia, Oct. 21, 1968.

Desire is a total commitment, not just a flash of enthusiasm.

‑‑‑Charles W. Hollish, Taiwan Missionary, Taipei, Taiwan, August 1972.

The only ambition that counts is the desire to work.

‑‑‑Idaho Statesman, Boise, Idaho, Sept. 25, 1925.

A mediocre desire is not even occasionally acceptable as an effort.

-‑‑The Spirit of Rowan, Stuttgart, West Germany, Dec. 9, 1964.

When desire crystallizes into action, our purpose hand throws the shuttle into the loom of life, and we begin to weave.

‑‑‑The White and Blue, Provo, Utah, Nov. 15, 1916.

If "necessity is the mother of invention," then desire is the father of the deed.

-‑‑Zion's Herald, Boston, Mass., Aug. 28, 1901.

Desire is a talent which man creates and strengthens by practice. It is a sign of those who have goals in life, who have confidence in themselves, of those who have convictions of what they believe. It all starts with setting a goal, either large or small, a vision of the future. It is nurtured by living each day with our eyes focused upon that goal. The more we work the closer we come to obtaining that reward. And the closer we come the more it means until it is a part of us and our lives. Soon our lives are centered on accomplishment, centered on that vision which we have now made in our lives. Through our strength, faith and the desire that we have created and nursed we will reach our goal. We will succeed because we will not let anything stand in our way. The difference between success and failure, happiness and depression, love and hate, is this simple word DESIRE. It is the will to go on when your strength is gone. It is the feeling we have that we will reach the goal we have or die striving towards it.

—Ronald J. Perry, Motivator, Portland, Ore., June 1969.

You've got to have desire to motivate yourself. Desire comes from you, not from your coach or anyone else. Desire comes from within you. Commit yourself to do the best you can do. Be in control. Don't lose control of yourself. Have enough character to come back when you are down. Never forget how it feels to lose, but also remember how it feels to win.

—Bobby Keasler, Beauregard Daily News, DeRidder, La., Jan. 25, 1994.

One that desires to excel should endeavor to excel in the excellent. One that desires to succeed should seek success that needs no apologies. One that desires to grow should never avoid expansive responsibilities.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Feb. 5, 1936.

You've got to have a desire to grow. ... You let the desire come and they will drill a tunnel through the mountains. You have to have a desire. Somebody says, "How are you going to get it?" ... I will tell you what to do. Go with people bigger than you are; bigger in mind; bigger in ambition; bigger in morals. ... Read good books. ... Get an introduction of yourself to yourself. ... Don't go with anybody that will assassinate, murder and electrocute every good, high, noble thought that ever struggled for birth to get you to be decent. ... You never remain stationary. You are going up or down; you are advancing or you are retrograding every day that you live in the universe. Therefore, ignorance will be a paralysis to you, worse than infantile. Your size depends on your mind, not on your muscle. ... Ignorance is stagnation. Knowledge is strength. ... Education is knowing what you want, knowing where to get it, knowing what to do with it after you get it.

—Billy Sunday, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 10, 1917.

Difficulty sharpens the edge of desire and makes the thing sought more precious when obtained. It is one measure of the value of that which is sought. It strengthens the arm of endeavor and qualifies the worker to accomplish tasks of ever-increasing magnitude.

—Bryan W. Collier, Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 16, 1919.

Desire is built within one's self by competition with one's past performances. Desire is a result of thoughtful faith.

—Kirk G. Heaton, Thoroughbred, Louisville, Ky., May 1967.

Desire is the most important drive in life. The defeated person is the one who really desires failure. The defeated person is the one whose motivation has been toward inadequate ends and "will-o-the-wisp" ambitions. The victorious person is the one who runs through brambles and through bruises to a glorious goal.

—Eugene M. Frank, The Topeka Daily Capital, Topeka, Kan., June 16, 1951.

Without desire, there can be no motive; without motive, there is no use of knowledge; without knowledge, there are no means of action, and without action, advancement is impossible.

—Carl Henry Gleeser, The Llano Colonist, New Llano, La., July 12, 1930.

Confidence comes through desire. We can withhold ourselves from doing until fear can cause us to even lose our desire of doing. If we can build a sufficient, strong desire, we can overcome some of our inhibitions. This will help us to act and thus build confidence in our ability to act. Desire will also help us to establish success patterns. Of course, desires are of value only when they drive us to action. Will must accompany desire and, moving together in the right direction, we become strong and concrete. As our desires are, so are we.

—Don K. Archer, The Advocate, Berks, England, March 8, 1965.

Desire and determination–a double play that never fails.

—Cal Farley, Boys Ranch Roundup, Amarillo, Texas, December 1951.

Think of what you desire to happen as if it already happened. Indulge in sweet contemplation if you would keep your life from souring. Much of one’s existence is in anticipating. Keep going, ever going, to a land of promise, where your deepest yearnings are to be gratified. On the way to that land of promise, do your duty to the world of reality all about you.

—Frank Francis, Ogden Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah, July 27, 1930.

Desire is the factor which determines what your definite purpose shall be. No one can select our dominating desires for us, but once we select it, it should become our definite, chief aim and if applied right will occupy the spotlight of your mind, until it is satisfied by transformation in reality, unless we permit it to be pushed aside by conflicting desires.

—Lynden K. Cook, Northern States News, Chicago, Ill., December 1966.

When the seed of desire is nourished by the heat of enthusiasm, possibilities for individual development seem to be unlimited. Do not lessen your effort–there is great satisfaction in the running!

—Carlysle H. Holcomb, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, May 23, 1953.

Excellency of experience is found in excellency of desire and effort. Desire without effort is unproductive and vain. Effort without vision, sketched by the hand of desire, is discouraging and unmemorable.

—V. Dallas Merrell, Script and Scroll, Fort Wayne, Ind., September 1958.

If a man hasn't got the desire, if he's of poor temperament, it will overcome his good features. You have the ability. The only thing that can defeat you is yourself.

—Frederick E. "Dixie" Walker, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Aug. 23, 1954.

Desire stimulates man to action, and always as his activity satisfies his original desire, a new one replaces the old one and lures him on to renewed exertion. ... When the desire is satisfied a greater one takes its place that spurs the ambitious one to still further exertion. He grasps the prize he believes to contain complete satisfaction only to discover that while he was pursuing it desire had grown beyond it, and so the goal is always ahead of him. ... The real reward is not in objects, but the new powers we have evolved in getting them--powers which we did not possess and which we should have not evolved but for nature's great propulsive force, desire. Desire awakens, stimulates, propels. ... We are to transmute desire, continually replace the lower with the higher. Desire is a force that may be beneficial or detrimental, according as it is used. As we may eradicate desire, so we may create a desire. How, then, may one who seeks the highest, use desire to help him forward? He should desire spiritual progress most earnestly, for without such desire he cannot succeed.

—L.W. Rogers, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, March 14, 1914.

Desire is the ability to do what we are doing because we want to be doing it and not because we are fulfilling the desires of someone else. This quality will make the absence of talent and natural ability fade into insignificance. Its possessor can have no limitations placed upon his accomplishments because of the strength of this quality. Desire is the motivating power that starts our hearts, hands and minds moving in the direction of accomplishment.

—E. Nordell Weeks, Challenger, Roanoke, Va., September 1961.

No man can improve when he has lost the desire to improve.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., July 5, 1935.

The greater part of progress is the desire to progress.

—Marion L. Coleman, The Pacer, Anaheim, Calif., March 1972.

Desire releases the energy that will motivate you to action.

—Lyle R. Peterson, Golden Gateway, Oakland, Calif., January 1967.

I would rather have one man with great desire and no knowledge than ten men with knowledge but no desire–for I can give a man knowledge.

—David A. Hooker, Advisor, Sutton Coldfield, England, May 1971.

Desire is dead unless we have zeal for the thing we desire.

—John E. Carr, New England Mission, Cambridge, Mass., May 21, 1962.

Desire evaporates! When desire evaporates we are losing one of the best agencies of success. We must keep our tank full so we won't run out.

—ElRay L. Christiansen, Harvester, Winter Park, Fla., May 1968.

Desire is the pilot of the soul.

—Sterling W., Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year, Provo, Utah, Nov. 9, 1965.

The limit upon our capabilities is often caused by the limit we place upon our desires.

Autumn Leaves, Independence, Mo., June 1927.


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