I get it, you have exciting dreams and big goals to achieve, but do you have all the energy, desire, and motivation you need to achieve them? This is what happens to most people – they lack a strong and burning desire to achieve whatever they want in life.

One of the main differences between someone successful and someone who is not isn’t their ability or talent or knowledge, but their desire.

Successful people have a strong desire for what they want. And that is why they are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals and to turn their dreams into reality.

They don’t take no as an answer. When things are hard, they push on. When they fail, they don’t give up. And when most people are slacking and partying, they are working hard for their dreams.

Do you have the burning desire for success? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals? Are you willing to sacrifice your leisure and commit to taking massive action until you get the things you want in life?

This is what separates someone successful and someone who is not.

Why Your Desire for Success is Everything

Without a strong desire for the success you want, you will buy into instant gratification rather than working and focusing on your long-term goal.

It is extremely hard to have the discipline and stick to your plans and goals. And there are just so many distractions to take your focus away on your goals.

Without a burning desire, your goals will become your wishes. Guess what, you will never achieve your wishes.

On the other hand, successful people understand that if they want to make their goals come true, they need to develop the desire for them.

They understand they need to turn their goals into something they must-achieve. Not wants, not wishes, and certainly not hopes, but a must-achieve.

When your desire for what you want isn’t strong enough, you will procrastinate. You’ll choose the instant gratification and do what is comfortable now than to delay the gratification and work for your long-term vision.

In other words, you must turn your wants/hopes/wishes into a strong burning desire:

  • Every person wishes they have all the money they want and they want to be financially free as well. But only a small portion of people ever become financially successful.
  • Every person wants to have a slim, fit, and healthy body. But not all guys have 6-pack abs and not all women are slim and fit. Only those who turned this into a burning desire manage to make it a reality.
  • Every person hopes they can make a positive impact in the world and they want to help as many people as possible. But only a small fraction of them manage to create anything significant in their lives and touch others.

Your desire is what separates you from the rest.

It is what transforms your wishes/hopes/wants into a must-achieve.

And when something becomes a must-achieve to you, you will do whatever it takes to get it.

The Real Meaning of a Strong and Burning Desire

A dream or goal without desire is like an engine without fuel. And desire creates the motivation, the will, and the energy you need to take massive and consistent action to reach your goals.

So what is a burning desire?

Desire is not the same as wants, hopes, or wishes. Desire is something comes from within you. A deep, insatiable urge for what you want.

So do you have it? Do you desire for success? Or do you wish for it?

Your answer to the above question will tell whether you will be successful or not.

Imagine you’re walking by the side of a pool. And you don’t know how to swim. Your friend walks to you and he wants to have fun with you, so he pushes you into the pool.

Guess what happens next?

You struggle to get your head above water. You fight for life. You do whatever you can to keep your head out of the water so that you can breathe.

And when someone gets you, you’ll grab him as hard as possible to stay afloat. That’s a burning desire – to survive.

When it comes to life and success, most people lack this desire.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone wants to be successful, but not all of them have a strong desire for it.

  • They wish they can be successful, but they’re not committed.
  • They want to be successful, but if it’s inconvenient or tough, they won’t do it.
  • They hope to be successful, but they procrastinate and they’re not willing to do the work.

By this point, I hope you understand the real meaning of having a burning desire.

When you develop your desire for your goals and dreams, you become unstoppable. You’d do everything you can to get the results you want. And that’s how success is created.

So how do you boost your desire for success? Here are 5 powerful methods you can apply…

1. Burn The Ships

If you want to take the island, you've got to burn the ships.

I bet you have heard about this method. When you leave yourself no options, you’ll do whatever it takes to achieve it.

When Hernan Cortes ordered his men to burn down their own ships so that they could take down the island, he left his men with no means of escape.

Many times in life, you’re not doing your best and going all in because you know you have a “cushion” to fall onto.

You know that it is okay to fail and it is okay even if you don’t achieve your goals.

Your goals and your dreams are not a must-achieve, and so you think that it is alright to not do it with your best. And it is alright to just try.

And this is exactly what happens when you know you can fail.

If you’re truly committed to your goals and dreams, you need to burn the ships. Leave yourself with no other means of escape.

It is either you go big, or you go home.

Many people want to be rich, but most of them are not rich because they’re okay with the amount of money they’re earning now.

They want to achieve great success in life, but even if they don’t, it is alright because they can still survive. The world still goes on and everything will still be fine for them. And that is exactly why they don’t have the desire for what they want.

Burn the ships. Give yourself no other options but to achieve it.

Make a public commitment

One of the most powerful ways to burn the ships is to make a public commitment. What you need to do is to announce it to the world so that you put yourself on the line and you have no way to back out.

For instance, if you want to start an internet business but you’re holding a job, what you can do is to quit your job. It may sound scary, but when you do so, you’re leaving yourself no other options but to do it.

Once, there was a manager made the decision to quit smoking. He did not feel that he had the willpower or enough motivation to do it alone, so he put a big poster in his office saying, “If you catch me smoking, I’ll give you $10,000 cash with no strings attach!”

And guess what, from that moment on, the manager never picks up another cigarette anymore. That’s the power of a public commitment.

Of course, not all public commitment will work. And you need to be extra careful so that it won’t backfire.

One thing you can do is to share your action commitments, your plans, and your goals with someone who are supportive.

Share your progress report with them so that they can keep an eye on your performance.

When you get other people to involve in your plan and progress, you automatically boost your accountability and commitment toward your goals.

So how are you going to make a public commitment? Are you going to share with a supportive friend? And how often are you going to send your progress report to him or her? Let me know in the comment below.

Read: 10 Powerful Steps How to Fully Commit to Goals That Terrify You

2. Feed Your Mind With Your Dreams

If you feed your mind as often as you feed your stomach, then you'll never have to worry about feeding your stomach or a roof over your head or clothes on your back.

Here’s another way to increase your desire for success – feed your mind with the results you want.

Success isn’t going to come to you overnight. And most likely it is not going to happen in weeks, months, and sometimes even years. You have to endure the progress and maintain your momentum.

When most people first started with a goal, they are fired up. They have a lot of energy and motivation in the early stage. However, as time passes by, they slowly lose steam and started to lose their drive for their goals.

They are distracted by their busy daily life, they tend to forget about their goals, and they then slowly lose excitement for what they want.

And this is why you need to constantly feed your mind with empowering thoughts on a daily basis. Zig Ziglar said it wisely:

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.”

You need to keep your desire strong and make sure you maintain your drive each day.

So what can you do to keep your desire strong each day? Here are a couple of suggestions:

1) Read and learn the right materials

Reading inspirational books and listening to motivational audio programs are, in my opinion, the best way to maintain your motivation and drive for success.

It is common sense. If you want to start a business, read books written by successful entrepreneurs. When you read business books and magazines, you are feeding your mind with positive thoughts of how others have done it.

The key is to continuously recharge yourself with positive thoughts and to keep your desire strong. You don’t want the fire to die down within you. You want to keep your fire burning strong.

All you need to do is to read for about 30 minutes a day. You can spend more time devouring inspirational materials over the weekend.

Go here to check out my recommendation for worth-reading books.

And if you have the chance to attend seminars, conferences, and workshops, go for them. You want to “soak” yourself with energy and drive.

2) Keep an eye on the rewards

If you want your desire to continue to burn strong, you must keep your eye on the rewards. Never ever get your eyes off the goals that you want.

The moment you get distracted and lost focus, you will begin to lose the excitement and momentum. And this is where most people started to fall back and eventually quit. Never let this happen to you.

For instance, if your goal is to lose weight and to build a slim and fit body, make your own poster with the goal. Change the wallpaper on your computer that portraits the same thing or to some inspirational imagery.

You can also read fitness magazines, cut out those pictures of people who have the perfect bodies that you desire, and put them around your house.

You can also sign up for a gym membership and get a personal trainer to train you. Find a workout partner so that you will be more accountable to exercise on a regular basis.

Whatever you do, you must keep your eye on the rewards. Make your goals as real and as tangible as possible.

By the way, don’t worry if someone will laugh or make fun at your goals or what you do, they just don’t understand your level of desire and commitment.

Just let people see how serious and how committed you are with your goals. They will eventually believe in you and support you.

3) Visualize and imagine the success you desire

Another great technique to feed your mind with your dreams is through visualization.

Always take time off to imagine the success you want. Plenty of research and studies have proven that visualization actually works.

Alan Richardson, an Australian Psychologist made a study on a group of basketball players. He discovered that basketball players who visualized their practice sessions (without physically touching the ball) had a significant improvement on their free throw skill.

This shows how powerful visualization can be.

What you need to do is obvious – spend a few minutes and imagine yourself reaching all your goals and dreams.

See yourself living the life that you desire. Visualize yourself doing the work and achieving all the great success that you want.

Jack Canfield, the author of The Success Principles suggested we visualize at least twice a day – once in the morning after wake up, and one once in the evening before you go to bed.

3. Surround Yourself With Successful People

Surround yourself only with people who are going to take you higher.

If you were to choose just one method to boost your desire for success, I will tell you this – surround yourself with other extraordinary people.

I bet you have heard this phrase a gazillion times, “You are the average of the five people spend the most time with.”

It is true. You will be affected and influenced by the people you spend the most time with. This is why smokers usually hang around with other smokers and the same thing happens to alcoholics.

Like attracts like. So when you network and mix with other successful people, guess what the topics of conversation will be about? Business, economy, the market, etc.

  • You will talk about business when you surround yourself with other business people.
  • You will talk about blogs and social media when you surround yourself with other bloggers and internet marketers.
  • You will talk about travel and what is the next hot vacation if you surround yourself with travel enthusiasts.

On the contrary, if you surround yourself with negative people who love to blame and complain, guess what are the topics of conversation? Blames and complains.

This is how the people you spend the most time with can influence and change your life.

Therefore, try to make friends with people who will encourage and support you on your journey to success. Find ways to spend more time with people who share similar dreams like yours.

For example, if you want to lose weight and have a fit body, go to the gym often. Start making friends with those who are already in great shape and who believe in exercising.

When you are the only one overweight in your circles of friends, trust me, you will feel the discomfort and do whatever it can to lose the additional pounds.

Like what Les Brown often said:

“If you want to fly with eagles, don’t swim with the ducks.”

If you run around with losers most of the time, you will end up becoming a loser too.

So network and make friends with extraordinary people who shared the desire as you.

Get rid of negative people from your life

Besides spending more time and making friends with the right people, one very important thing you must do is to get rid of the negative people in your life.

Stop spending time with people who love to complain and blame. They will do you nothing good and only drag you down to their level.

Removing the negatives from your life is important. It is like driving with your handbrakes on. If you want to go faster, you don’t have to press the accelerator, you just need to let go of the handbrakes.

Sometimes, you don’t have to do more to achieve more. You just need to do less of the wrong things.

Thus, take a few minutes now to really ponder about your circles of friends and co-workers. Who do you spend the most time with and are they going to be helpful to your success?

If not, you may want to really consider spending less time with them. Sometimes it is difficult to get rid of negative people in your life, like your colleagues or people who are close to you.

But you can consider greatly reduce the time you spend with them.

Instead of spending time with negative people, choose to read books and materials that will inspire you.

4. Improve Your Identity

Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.

Another powerful factor that will determine your success or failure and always affected your desire is none other than your self-identity.

Your self-identity is how you look at yourself. It is the sum of your thoughts and beliefs about yourself.

Let me as you this, do you think you are smart?

Whether you think you are smart or not depends on your beliefs and past experiences. If you fail tests in school, this experience can make you think that you are not smart at all.

Similarly, if you score all A’s in school, it can make you believe that you are smart and clever.

And when you think that you’re smart because you graduate with flying colors, it makes you apply for “better” jobs or work with “higher qualification”.

Well, this just an example of how your self-identity can influence your life.

Hence, you must develop an identity that you’re someone successful. You must see yourself as someone who is destined for big success. You must grow the belief that you have a strong desire for success.

So how do you do that? Here are some suggestions:

1) Dress for success

First, dress for success. How you look can greatly affect your desire. Stand in front of a mirror, how do you feel about yourself? How do you look? Do you look good and portrait as someone who is successful? Or are you not?

Although I prefer jeans and T-shirt because that’s more comfortable, when I see myself in the future, having achieved all my goals and are living a successful life, I see myself dress more nicely and more professionally.

And so I slowly dress more professionally and nicely to fit in the identity that supports my dream.

So dress for success, my friend. Your physical appearance can greatly impact your identity and change your level of desire for what you want.

When you see yourself having achieved all your goals and are living the best life you want, how do you see yourself physically?

And from now on, dress like you are how you want to be in the future.

2) Create the right environment

Besides getting dressed for success, create the right environment that will support your dreams and goals.

What kind of office or place will you be working from once you are successful? How do you want your workstation to look like? Do you want a proper and professional workplace or do you want a casual work-from-home style of office?

Let your environment boost your desire for success. And you can start right now and build the environment you desire.

3) Watch your self-talk

One of the most impactful techniques to cultivate your desire for what you want is to change your self-talk.

There is no way you can achieve great success if you keep telling yourself that you’re a failure or whatever you do amount to nothing.

Your identity is reflected by your thoughts and they are expressed as your self-talk. So watch how you talk to yourself. Your inner conversation says a lot about yourself.

So stop saying “I can’t”, change it to “I must”.

Similarly, you can boost your desire with affirmations too. When you keep telling yourself you can do it, eventually, you will buy into it and believe it.

You can’t litter negativity everywhere and then wonder why you’ve got a trashy life. It all starts with your thoughts.

Each day, keep telling yourself positive affirmations that will elevate your mood and develop your desire.

Read this article to make your affirmations work for you:

How To Make Your Affirmations Work – The 5 Simple Rules To Follow

5. Take Immediate Action

You are what you do, not what you say you'll do.

There’s no point in having the drive without taking any solid action. When you are motivated and your desire is strong, you must maintain it by taking immediate and consistent action.

Don’t just dream about losing weight, do it. Once you have set your goal or make it a target to achieve, like losing weight, take immediate action. For instance, you can go to your kitchen and throw away all the junk foods that are not helping.

You don’t want to give yourself too much time to think. You want to act. Most people spend too much time thinking and planning, eventually, they fall into analysis paralysis and don’t take any real action.

You must fuel your desire with actions because that’s how the success cycle works.

When you take some form of actions, be it big or small, you will build up the momentum. And when you celebrate your small victory, you feel good and you gain more confidence. When you feel good and have more confidence, you will want to take more action.

This is the cycle that you must continue to work on so that you desire for the success you want will never fade.

The key is to consistently add fuel to your desire. You want to keep your desire burning strong, so you must add in the fuel (actions) every day.

When you consistently add actions to your desire, you will reach a point when you have built up the habit and you know that nothing can stop you. By that time, success will be a matter of time.

Start small and stay consistent

Taking immediate action is important, but so with starting small and be consistent.

Remember, you are what you do consistently, not what you do once in a while. Your success is determined on your daily agenda, not what you do once in a blue moon.

Therefore, always start small so that it is easier to do and less resistance. When a task is easy to complete, you are more likely to do it because it takes less willpower and motivation.

Besides that, act consistently. In order to maintain your desire, you must take consistent action. Even if it is something as small as making a phone call, doing just 5 push-ups, or writing just 100 words, do it.

The key is to maintain your consistency so that you will never run out of steam.

This is why being small and consistent is important.

In fact, most of the big successes you have seen out there started small and with consistency.

Apple wasn’t built in a day. A best-selling book wasn’t written in a day too. It took many days of small and consistent actions that lead to the complete product.

You want to make your desire and motivation sustainable. And to do this, you must do it small and with consistency.


Desire is one of the ultimate keys to success.

  • Without desire, you will never be committed to your goals.
  • Without desire, you will do what is easy and skip and what is hard.
  • Without desire, you will give up whenever you face setbacks in your journey.
  • Without desire, your motivation will never last.

And if you have a strong and burning desire, anything is possible. You are motivated when you are driven by a strong desire. You are willing to do whatever it takes when you are motivated by a burning desire.

So no matter what you do, use these 5 methods above to create the desire you need for success.

This article may contain affiliate links. Meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. As always, I only recommend products and services I trust.

I'm a blogger, writer, and also an internet entrepreneur. If you want to learn more about me, kindly go to the About page. By the way, have you downloaded your FREE copy of Reach Your Goals? Don't forget to do so. Cheers. :)


  1. Wow bro ds ? is really super article about desire & success & it has charged me man, thanks. Continue ds ? kind of encouragement man, it’s wonderful, cheers!

    • Shawn Lim Reply

      I’m absolutely thrilled to hear that, Sarah. Cheers and all the best in starting a new journey in a new place. 🙂

  2. Pingback: 10 Powerful Steps How to Fully Commit to Goals That Terrify You

  3. Drastic journey to go through your lines very simple and easy to grasp for desiring persons not entertainers only for materialistic people, thanks for best journey

  4. thanks a lot for the inspiring blog and also for the awesome motivation

    • Shawn Lim Reply

      Cheers, make sure you download the free guidebook. 🙂

  5. Pingback: 7 Success Factors You Have Total Control Over and Can Work On

  6. Thank you so much for this article. I found it to be very informative and it is having a good content as well.

  7. WoW!!! This is the first piece of writing that that has made me wanna go back in time, to almost 10-15 years… yup! I’m that old… and can you believe it that I’ve actually not been aware of all this, or atleast not in this intensity… in these 35 years. I can’t thank you enough… Godbless…. I’m sure you’re looked at like a lighthouse by all the drifting souls, equally lost as myself & just frustrated with not understanding this Life & World & Times too! : )


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