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The Second Power Tool of Manifestation: Desire

In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill calls this “burning desire” and he’s right when he says it’s absolutely essential.

When you are out to create something, the thing you desire must feel thoroughly good to you, on every level. It has to feel good all through your body. If any part of your body disagrees with you having this thing, it will be harder to create.

If you have ambivalence, your desire will be thwarted. You need to desire it enough right from the start to be certain you will overcome all obstacles, before you even know what they are. Your desire must be strong enough to burn away anything that tries to stop you.

How’s Your Havingness?

“Havingness” is your ability to have. It includes your ability to receive and hold in your life things that you want. Havingness takes on the appearance of external circumstances, but often those are just a symptom of what’s going on inside a person. Someone who drinks away all their money has a low havingness for money and has not learned how to keep money around them. A person who spends profligately when they get a little surplus will not be able to hold onto the money they get. They also don’t currently have the resources to know how to turn some money into more money and ultimately into lots of money. Instead it bleeds through their fingers because they don’t understand leverage.

People have high havingness in some areas and low havingness in others. A person may have a low havingness for money, but a high havingness for books. Where do you have low and high havingness?

Can You Let Yourself Have It?

If you’re having the experience that what you are focused on manifesting is not coming to you, it may be because you are fending it off. Possibly you can’t let yourself have it. (This is why a manifestation practice is so valuable for personal growth—if it was just easy all the time, there would be no growth and one would never exceed oneself.) You may have habits of thought and action that drive away the very things that you are attempting to create. Do you make it unappealing for the thing to come to you? Do you prefer the satisfaction of being right about not getting the thing to the satisfaction of actually getting it? Take a look at the ways this might be true—what you uncover might empower you.

If you think you can’t have a thing, you will be quickly stopped when obstacles come up along the way, which of course they will. You will grasp at obstacles as reasons why you can’t have the thing, and the obstacles will cement your reluctance. More and more obstacles will appear and finally you will give up in disgust, thinking “maybe the thing wasn’t for me after all.” If you are willing to give up instead of being galvanized by obstacles, then yes, perhaps the thing wasn’t for you. Your desire has to outlive all obstacles.


Everyone has self-sabotage in some area—it is an entirely human preoccupation. Don’t get caught up in blaming yourself once you find the area in which you sabotage yourself. To blame yourself is to continue with, and pour energy into, the sabotage. It’s impractical and unnecessary. Just let any self-blame go, realize that you are human like the rest of us, and move on to eliminating the habit.

Ask yourself some questions about the thing you desire to create.
Can you allow yourself to have this thing?
Do you think you don’t deserve it?
Do you think perhaps no one should have it?
Do you think it’s impossible to have it?
Do you think it’s not possible for someone like you to have it?

Perhaps you need to start smaller so your body and being can tolerate having the thing. Really, the universe is happy to throw anything at you that you can imagine. It’s not limited by what you’ll allow yourself to have. So go ahead and daydream—the universe will give you things too big for your arms to hold. Take what you can and let the rest go. You can create it again tomorrow. Let yourself get used to holding onto what you have created. Let your body get used to it.

Your Senses Will Tell You

Your body will let you know if it’s uncomfortable with what you are created. Your senses will let you know.

Have you ever had something so good happen that it caused an adrenaline panic in your gut? It’s very hard not to act on such a sensation by pulling back and retreating from success. Fear elicits animal responses in us: panic, run, freeze. This may be your gut’s way of telling you that something better than you are familiar with is on the way.

Have you ever listened to the litany of reasons why “this can’t happen” that goes on in your head in such a moment? If you listen closely, some of them will amaze you. Some will be very familiar, recorded and played back by your brain in your parents’ voices. Other will utterly surprise you, so that you may wonder where that notion came from. Argue back, or just shut off the sound and tune back in to your desire. Don’t let the inner voices stop you.

Have you ever watched the disaster-movie of negative pictures your mind sometimes creates when you are on the verge of having something you have been creating for a long while? Don’t give these negative images any room. Go back to your desire. It is your touchstone—return to it when you get lost in the obstacles.

Expand Your Havingness Gradually

Try successive approximations to your goal. Create a small, immediate version of the big thing you are really wanting. Every time a small thing comes to you it confirms your belief that such things are possible and it stokes your ability to desire more. Run through the cycle of imagine-manifest-receive over and over again to build up your faith in the process itself. This will make the feeling of desire more comfortable for you.

To have what you want, start by wanting what you have. “Love the one you’re with.” If there is someone/something in your life that you don’t want there, plan to graduate from it, rather than kicking it out forcibly (as people usually do). The more force you use to push something you don’t want away, the more gravity that thing will have for you in the future and the more likely you are to create it again in a new form, as a seemingly new obstacle on the way to getting what you do want.

Hope Helps and Disappointment Denies

Voice of Desire: I want this!
Voice of Disappointment: Getting “this” is impossible. Just give up. It’s not worth hoping for. You’ll only be disappointed. Why not put your attention on something you can actually have instead?
You (caught between the two): Gee, that sounds so reasonable. . .

Fear of disappointment is one of the most insidious energy-stealers there is. And unfortunately, humans pass it to each other like a virus. Do not let fear of disappointment stop you. Do not let the fear of disappointment in others around you stop you either. Keep your plans to yourself if you have to.

Accustom yourself to disappointment. Hope for the impossible on a daily basis and experience small disappointments. Small disappointments are a sign you are playing big in your life. You’ll never get anywhere playing small and never feeling disappointed. Get used to feeling let down and then moving on. There’s no reason to let a feeling like this stop you.

No human being has died of disappointment (at least, not without other factors involved too!). The fear of disappointment will keep you mediocre. When others attempt to remind you that you may experience disappointment on the way to your goal, take a hard look at their lives and ask yourself, “is this person extraordinary enough, powerful enough to offer me advice about creating?” If they are, then listen. If not, smile to the person and ignore the advice.

The most powerful way to learn to create the “impossible” is to learn to ignore what other people say is impossible. “Impossible” is just other people’s word for obstacles they can’t see how to get around. You can be the one to see how, and hope and desire can propel you to that epiphany.

Hope is what leads to desire—cultivate it. Miracles happen everyday. People cure their own certain-death cancer, lives are saved that doctors believed lost, babies born to people diagnosed infertile, lifespans increased, money made that wasn’t there to make, jobs attained that “didn’t exist.” If not for our capacity for the extraordinary, we wouldn’t have longing for excellence in our human souls. But we do. Not only is the “impossible” possible, with burning desire it becomes downright probable. Certainly such miracles do not happen by accident.

Why Affirmations Alone Are Not Enough

Affirmations are not enough by themselves. Affirmations are statements of what you want. You write them out and then read them over to yourself before sleep or when you awake every day. Affirmations can be embedded into a self-hypnosis cd. Affirmations are intended to be delivered in a time when the mind is pliable and receptive, so that core beliefs may be changed. This is good, but there’s no emotion, no passion in the technique of affirmations. Affirmations are all content with no form; they are like packing your car with everything you want on your trip, and then not bothering to put gas in the tank of your car. Without the gas (passion, desire), your affirmations can be the best stuff in the world but they will go nowhere. If you’ve been using affirmations and wondering why they don’t seem to have a lot of power, you’d best go fill up your engine. Fuel your desires and then you and your affirmations can get somewhere.

What is a “burning desire?” It is a desire so strong that it burns in your heart and soul. It tolerates no argument, brooks no obstacle, and carries such force that it refuses to be stopped. A burning desire will always find a way.

Desiring is powerful because it naturally leads you to fantasize about the thing or condition in question and inject positive feelings into it. When you are longing for something deeply, don’t you daydream about it all the time? Don’t you rehearse all its possible scenarios? Don’t you hypnotize yourself into a bliss-state every time you think about it? There is tremendous power in desire’s ability to shut out every evidence of its failure. Harness all these qualities of desire: the bliss, the sheer emotional force, the purposeful ignoring of “hard reality” and you’ve got a real power-tool for manifestation. (Remember, if you hold a powerful desire and pour it into what you are manifesting for only five minutes a day, even that small bit should make a difference.)

Desire is what you come back to when everything else has failed. When people say what you want is impossible, desire is the thing that can overcome that. Desire is inexplicable and unreasonable. It cannot be explained. It responds poorly to logic and brilliantly to passion. Desire is the only motivation left when you shout to the universe: “to hell with the reasons why not! I just want it!”


Jamie has been practicing astrology in the Bay Area since 1992 and teaching since 1997. She is currently certified at NCGR Level 3. She specializes in feminine archetypes and a positive, empowering approach. Jamie enjoys working with individuals, couples, and families to improve the quality of their lives and expand each person’s choices.

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