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Dying without Getting It

Starting a New Year often comes with great anticipation and hope, but also those thoughts that tell us that nothing is really going to be different from the previous year.  Hope starts the year but leaves ever quicker because we live ill-defined lives.

Hope is not simply the substance or focus of the religious or the sales pitch of politicians but it deeply affects our psychological well-being.  When those deep needs and desires which we know we were born to experience are not met, we become depressed, treat others with ill-humor, lose our passion for life, blame others, and blame God.  Hope fades into regret and a life of grey.

Here is an email I wrote a number of years ago that challenges you to a New Year of courage, engagement and hope.  Hope is not simply an undefined state of possibility and positive emotion, it must be based on reality or it will evaporate sooner than later.

Read the email.  Write your answers.  Define your deepest longings and desires.

Dying without Getting It

Have you ever figured out what the bottom line is? What you are not willing to die without having, getting, experiencing, knowing, seeing, feeling?

Today I want to continue the thoughts on awareness I have been looking at the past two days. We are all aware of deep, personal longings that lurk, dimly hidden in the corners of our minds and consciousness. For some those longings will remain there for a lifetime, and those people will never have the courage to discover, uncover, and bring them out into the full light of day: a place where we choose to get, to have, to experience those longings...or send them back to die a slow and dull death.

In terms of awareness, we know these longings exist. They are there! You cannot deny that they exist! For some, they reside in a place of resignation, where we believe we will never experience them.

The reasons could be many: I don't deserve to experience them; I don't have the courage to really stand up and say, “This is what I want and will not settle for anything else!” I don’t believe I have the ability to accomplish or experience__________(name it); I will never have the means to___________; why long for what you cannot have; so many of the things that I have desired and longed for just have never materialized, so why identify the deepest, strongest most passionate longings if the more mundane are left unfulfilled, etc.

Have you ever in the quietness of early morning, the exhilaration of a sunset or sunrise on a mountaintop, the tears at the loss of a friend, spouse, child, or parent, the joy of a wedding or birth of a child, the early days of a new romance, the closing of an incredible deal, the end of a long emotional/spiritual journey, just shouted out inside, “This is what I want! This is what I long for! This is what I am not willing to die without!

Awareness of what those longings are starts with admitting that those longings do exist. I am a person whose soul was designed and built with deep personal desires, needs, and longings.  Awareness begins with the courage to say, “I am willing to identify what those longings are because I am not just going to browse but buy, live, attempt, whatever it is I find.

I am going to leave this here for today. These questions will not easily die except in the fearful and cowardly. For those who are not, I ask for a response. (I intend to put responses in my in Life Design Daily without names or identities being revealed.)  The answers to these questions are not to be feared for any reason...only the refusal to ask should be feared, because when the time comes for regret, with no time to do or to be...I don't want to be there.

Very few persons, comparatively, know how to Desire with sufficient intensity. They do not know what it is to feel and manifest that intense, eager, longing, craving, insistent, demanding, ravenous Desire which is akin to the persistent, insistent, ardent, overwhelming desire of the drowning man for a breath of air; of the shipwrecked or desert-lost man for a drink of water; of the famished man for bread and meat.

—Robert Collier

* * *

After I wrote this email I received replies from many of the recipients that were far more that I could have ever anticipated.

Ellie M, a woman who weighed over 600lbs, chose life. Over the next five years she focused on what she was not willing to die without experiencing and lost almost 400lbs. She started speaking, writing and traveling and changed the lives of hundreds of people who gave up on life because they had been unwilling to answer this question.

Dave B, a Microsoft executive, exercised immense courage to leave a well paying future to do what he knew would be the best use of his talents.  He walked into the unknown and now is a very successful advertising executive that markets one of Microsoft’s most profitable products. 

There are many more examples of lives that are happier, more powerful, filled with passion because they chose to experience what their souls, their psyches were imprinted with.

What about you?

Ben Davis

About Ben Davis

A serial entrepreneur, Ben Davis is founder of The Gents Place and a leading investor in gentlemen's refinement and confidence.

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