The Law of Desire
Desire is the very seed which sprouts into your success. Without it you can go nowhere, achieve nothing, and you become the result and property of others’ desires.
“You are what your deep driving desire is;
As your deep driving desire is, so is your will;
As your will is so is your deed;
As your deed is so is your destiny.”
When I signed up and qualified to attend the prestigious Navy Seal Kokoro camp, I was informed beforehand by a few close friends that I should know my “why” before I dare step foot on the infamous grinder. Kokoro is an intense 3-4 day Navy Seal training program patterned after the famous “Hell Week” designed in a lot of ways to be tougher than hell week to help prepare aspiring cadets to successfully complete the formal BUDS training and become a Navy Seal. The grinder is the cement deck or large patio space at the training facility where much of the brutality would be inflicted upon us by Navy Seal instructors.
I’ll never forget that first day stepping out onto the deck and standing in formation for what felt like hours as we awaited the Seal instructors to reign down their holy terror on us. I was grateful to have known my “why” before I arrived. I had my desire clearly burned into my heart and soul of why I was there and what I wanted to accomplish. All of us had our our own desires and reasons for being there. For most of us the true intense desire that would carry us through is deeply personal. Approximately 40 of us started Kokoro class of 26, and after about 20 minutes of standing on the grinder in perfect formation, the Seals came in their full glory. First, 1 Navy Seal and former Commander stepped on the deck and gave us a very brief introduction and “welcome” to Kokoro. Then all hell broke loose. The rest of the Seals descended on our class like we were a group of criminals deserving the worst form of punishment and treatments. The intensity of which they bombarded our class is beyond any description I can come up with. Lets just say it was fiercely intense. I will never forget how in the first 10 minutes we had 2-3 fellow classmates quit! I was shocked. The intensity was so severe, and the Seal instructors were so expert at getting us out of our comfort zones that you were instantly and severely pushed to your limits. It rocked our whole class that some classmates would quit in the first 10 minutes. We all knew that there was no way all 40 of us would graduate, but no one ever even thought that some of us would quit in the first 10 minutes.
I have since thought about that experience and many like it I have had the privilege of experiencing. The only thing that made the difference between those that quit Kokoro (whether it was in the first 10 minutes or later throughout the 3 day experience) and the 16 or so of us that graduated (Hooyah Class of 26!) was the intensity of the desire we had to succeed. This intense desire to be there and to succeed fueled and led to other lasting character traits that allowed for success such as determination, commitment, and positivity or optimism, as well as many others. But in every single case, success can certainly be traced to a desire. It always starts with a desire. What is more profound is that the more intense the desire the more likely the success, especially when (not if) you encounter challenges along your way.
In Kokoro we are forced to encounter obstacles and challenges at almost every turn. The instructors acted with extreme intention on making everything difficult. These ranged from physical barriers and physical suffering, to obstacles of a mental and emotional nature. We were intentionally beat down and placed in failing scenarios so we can learn to overcome them. Those of us with a strong desire to succeed found a way around every obstacle placed in our path. We found away to enjoy and find humor in the yelling, berating, and demeaning comments. We found a way to find strength when we were exhausted. We found a way to push on in spite of total sleep depravity and hunger. Had we not a strong desire any one of these obstacles could have easily led to our quitting and not claiming the success we set out to achieve. Those of us who graduated were able to do so because we had an intense desire. We knew our “why” and our “why” was intense.
An old legend arising out of India illustrates the importance of Desire in order for us to obtain success. It goes something like this:
A young student asked his spiritual leader and guru what the secret to quick success was. The guru told the boy to meet him at the Gangas river the following morning at 5:00 am and he would happily teach him the secret to quick success. The next morning the student arrived at the riverbank to find that the guru was already in the water. The guru then beckoned the student to join him in the water. The student was eager to learn and obediently joined him in the water. The guru then firmly placed his hand on the student’s head and held him under water for over a minute. The student fought and struggled the entire time but the teacher continued to hold him under the water. Knowing exactly when to release the student the guru lifted his hand and allowed the student to return to the surface. The student gasping for air and choking on all of the water he swallowed began to angrily demand why the guru had done that to him. The guru calmly asked the young student whether he was thinking about success, wealth, status, etc. while under the water. The student explained that the only thing he could think about was getting air to breathe. The guru then taught the student that until he wanted success as desperately as he wanted air to breathe then he will have it, and as quickly as he wants it.
The lesson in this legend is that our desire is crucial to our success. Obstacles will undoubtedly be present. In fact, the more precious and priceless the thing we want (whether it be a relationship with someone special, a weight loss goal, a financial/career goal, etc.) the more obstacles you can expect. It is the difficult things to obtain that end up providing us the most satisfaction. Success is not an easy path to trespass. You must expect the difficult and in so doing rely on your intense and burning desire to see you through and around the challenges you will face on your path to success.
The birthplace of your success is your desire. Ask yourself, what do I desire? Do I have a powerful and intense desire? If not, you may be quitting in the first 10 minutes like some of my Kokoro classmates. Take some time and ponder your desire. Ponder your “why” behind what you are doing. There is no action without some precedent desire. Even our lazy and unfruitful actions are first born out of some lazy and unfruitful desire. But your successful accomplishments, your hopes and dreams can only be achieved with a burning and intense desire.
-Ben Dodge, CO Founder of Affect Epic.
 This story was paraphrased and adapted from: The Inexplicable Laws of Success, written by Virend Singh and Verusha Singh, 2014.