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Quotations for Motivation #47 --- Desire

Updated on March 7, 2011

Quotations on Desire (Set No. 2)

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.

Every life follows its ideal; is colored by it; takes on the character; becomes like it. You can always read a man's character if you know his ideal, for this always dominates his life.

Our ideals are great character molders and have a tremendous shaping influence. Our heart's habitual desire soon shows itself in the face; outpictures itself in the life. We cannot long keep from the face that which habitually lives in our minds.

We develop the quality of the thought, emotion, ideal or ambition which takes the strongest hold upon us. Therefore, you should let everything in you point toward superiority. Let there be an upward trend in your thoughts. Resolve that you will never have anything to do with inferiority in your thoughts or your actions; that whatever you do shall bear the stamp of superiority of excellence.

The intensity, the vigor, the persistency of our desires and longings will have everything to do with our realization of them.

It does not matter how improbable or how far away this realization may seem or how dark the prospects may be, if we visualize them as best we can, as vividly as possible, hold to them tenaciously and vigorously struggle to attain them, they will gradually become actualized, realized in the life. But a desire, longing, a yearning abandoned or held indifferently will vanish without realization. Human life is so constructed that we live largely upon hope; the faith that runs ahead and sees what the physical eye cannot see.

What we believe is coming to us is a tremendous creative motive. The dream of home, of prosperity, the expectancy of being a person of influence, of standing for something, of carrying weight in our community–all these things are powerful motives.

—Orison Swett Marden, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis, Mo., Aug. 1, 1910.

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.

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 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.

Earnest, expressed desire lies behind all progress and attainment, whether of person or group, whether scientific, political, social or religious. They who walk through life without desire are pitiful victims of every passing storm. They are soggy driftwood upon the sea of time. Meanwhile, thousands of men, often of average power, impelled by consuming desire, self-taught and self-made, hewing their way through difficulties, have risen to distinction and leadership. ...

Naturally, common sense must prevail in all our desires. What we all want is happiness, and legitimate means to secure it. To desire a million dollars may be an unworthy desire, but to build a business successfully for our own support and the support of others, would be a worthy one. And the business might even yield a million. ...

However, let it not be forgotten, in this world of negatives and positives, that desire may lead to evil; it may be a curse as well as a blessing. Then desire is converted into lust. Lying, stealing, immorality, murder may be traced back to unholy, poisonous desires. The lust for money, fame or power has defrauded the widow, ruined the reputation of honest men, murdered the innocent, and committed every unspeakable crime. In business, the professions, among legislative bodies, and in halls of justice, the disgusting trail of improper desire or lust is often plainly seen. ...

A man’s desire should be his first concern, for no person can rise above his real desires. Neither can a nation rise above the assembled desires of the people. This is, of course, what Emerson had in mind when he urged every one of us to “hitch his wagon to a star.”

Of course, desires are of value only when they drive us to action. Will must accompany desire. Then high resolve is born. Desire is the design; will the execution of the design. Desire sets up the goal, the will drives us toward it. Desire alone is helpless; the will spurs us to achievement. When desire and will move together, in the right direction, we become strong and conquering. We must seek the culture of desire and will together; otherwise both may become worthless. But, if they are trained together, they may become, to all practical purposes, as one united force in achieving our destiny.

A worthwhile desire initiates action–self-effort. Desire and action must be invariable companions. ... If we wish to hitch our wagon to a star, we must resolutely set out to reach the star, so that the proper connection of the star and the wagon may be made. To achieve great things, one must have a desire so fierce, pounding and fearless, as to drive us to action. ...

It is the unfailing experience of mankind that every person may realize his desires, if they are strong enough to lead him into vigorous pursuit of them. ...

It is a remarkable fact of experience that those who diligently pursue the realization of a worthy desire usually receive much more than they expect. One desires actively a simple truth, and vast dominions of knowledge are opened to the seeker. One discovery leads to others, until they tread upon the heels of one another. The children of active desire are without number. ... A desire may be ever so small, but, if repeated again and again, and each time put into action, it will increase steadily, far beyond its original bounds. It may be made to grow, little by little, into mighty power.

—John A. Widtsoe, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Feb. 19, 1944.

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.

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 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.

—Phil 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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

The only ambition that counts is the desire to work.

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

Desire and aspirations are qualities of character, which, when legitimately possessed and pursued, are the basis of growth and development. When these normally fine qualities are in reverse and they operate illegally toward the possessions of others, then it is sin.

—C.W. Sullivan, St. Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg, Fla., Dec. 10, 1938.

Many a man has his heart set on a desire, but he fails to also set his head on it.

—Carey Williams, Beaumont Enterprise, Beaumont, Texas, Oct. 10, 1957.

Show a burning desire to get ahead, and you are not likely to get fired.

The Christian Science Monitor, Boston, Mass., March 2, 1927.

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.

NOTE: For more quotations on Desire, see the following Hub: Quotations for Motivation #13


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