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Burning Desire -- Golden Key or Red Herring?

Acres of Diamonds. you've read the famous story, or at least had it related to you. A farmer hears tales of diamonds and begins dreaming of vast riches. He sells his farm and hikes off over the horizon, never to be heard from again. Rumors say that years later he died destitute, never having found the diamonds he spent his life seeking. Meanwhile, the man who bought that farm found a large and "interesting looking" stone in a stream that ran through the property.

He put the stone on his mantle where a visitor recognized the large stone as a rough diamond. It turned out to be the Hope Diamond, the largest such stone ever found. That stream bed was littered with diamonds, and the new owner became fabulously wealthy. No doubt he also lived happily ever after. But doesn't something in that story set strangely with you? What about the guy with the burning desire and the grand vision? He ended up disappointed and broke, dying far from his family and friends.

Not a happy ending. Meanwhile, the guy who just wanted to do some farming got all the riches. Make no mistake, the new owner already had money, or he could not have bought the land. There's nothing in this story to make us think he was dreaming about riches, vast or otherwise. No burning desire. But he got the goodies. Was this just another little prank, courtesy of a mischievous Universe? Or is it possible to get good things coming your way with only mild desire -- maybe even a calm indifference? Many inspirational writers, including Napoleon Hill, have assured us that a burning desire is one of the prerequisites of acquiring a fortune. I've even said it myself, although I added the qualifier that the powerful desire is not so much for the Universe. It's for you, to help you overcome and battle past your own doubts and resistances. But haven't you seen people who seem to coast into good things, like the farmer who found the Hope Diamond? I've known people like that.

In fact, after I'd been in Japan for a while and had set up a "channel" for business to flow through, I could just think about receiving more money, and I'd get an immediate surge of business within hours. This pattern went on for 16 or 17 years, till I shut down my writing and editing business. So it wasn't an occasional fluke. Now, I must admit I had a burning determination to stay in Japan, and for the first year or two I never knew if things would work out for me or not. Then, things started shifting my way, and they stayed that way. Why? Truthfully, I don't think the deciding factor was the desire. Lots of people come here to Japan, but never quite find out how to stay. Many, many foreigners who come here end up losing their toehold and slinking back home. On the other hand, the ones who do stay are often not especially hard working, dedicated, sensible or qualified. More than one long-time English teacher or copywriter remains here because they enjoy the hard drinking culture, the many women who like foreigners, or the feel of being a round peg in a square hole.

Achieving their dream doesn't appear to have a lot to do with burning desire. Instead, it seems to be more a matter of what they can allow themselves to have. Some people call this a sense of deserving. Others call it a sense of entitlement. No matter what term you use, it's basically the same thing. Either way, it's governed by who you think you are and what circumstances you accept as appropriate for you. In other words, it all starts from who you are in your own mind.


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