|Prayers, Wishes, Wants, Needs, Death And Dying... And Do You Honestly
Deserve What You Wish Fof?
Some of us are born with the gifts that seem to automatically make superstars of
us without a lot of effort (natural athletes, natural actors, natural musicians, artists,
writers, the unnaturally lucky, etc); but alas, most of us are not superstars by virtue of
our birthright. In fact, most of us have to establish whatever stardom we are ever to
attain by the sweat of our brows, and most often in the face of sometimes seemingly
insurmountable obstacles and handicaps that life has endowed us with (in order to test
our steele) .
We did not choose the geographical location of our birth, our parents, their birth
place or their mindsets; or the conditions under which they were raised, or how they
raised us. We are, none-the-less, victims of all of those aspects of our own heredity,
parentage, peer-pressure and early environment. Fortunately though, we have been
given the gift of Free-Will, and the right to override or neutralize any part of our
personal heritage and neural programming that we are willing to look at closely
enough…and take the time necessary to understand it all and work through it, around it
and in spite of it.
This aspect of our personal control over who we are, and can become, has many
names: Self-Directed Destiny; Programmed Life Management; Objective Oriented Self-Discipline;
Structured Determination, Focused Achievement, and so on. But to me it all
boils down to just plain old ‘Personal Goal Setting.'
The most common error (and the most disastrous one) in Goal Setting is that of
mistaking one's Wishes (wants) with what Napoleon Hill referred to as "Burning Desire
(unquenchable dire need)." It is only this burning desire that can lead us through the
life-changes and mental re-programming so necessary for achievement of the
abundance that is our absolute right and which most of us desire—even pray for.
To make a wish, we need do nothing but think it, retain it in our thoughts for a
while, and wait and see what happens. With dire necessity , however, we must move
several steps further, and acknowledge without question that we will actually die in
some way should these elemental components of who we are go unfulfilled. We
humans are simply incapable of allowing any real need to go unrealized. We will strive
to fulfill our needs at any cost: wishes, hopes, dreams and passive prayer take a
Have any of us ever gone without water or food indefinitely? No. That's
because we would die if we did. Do drug addicts, alcoholics and tobacco users go
without their regular daily fixes? No, because a terrible sickness and feeling of immense
loss would overtake them, and a major part of who they have become would have to die
a painful death. The fact is that no true need goes unrealized…ever. One might idly
wish for food and drink and not get it right away: but when it becomes a matter of life
and death it will never fail to appear (even to the extent of one's own body's resorting to
digestion of itself in order to prolong existence as long as possible). Ergo, it would then
seem that if a particular goal were to become a necessity incorporated into this “fear of
death” equation, its attainment would be certain.
In support of this concept, consider the reason we panic when deprived of air for
a brief while. It's because we fear death. When struck with illness, our fear of dying
calls our sympathetic and parasympathetic neural systems to the healing process to the
detriment of life-saving sugar, protein and fat stores. When we have too little income,
why do we worry and fret about bills, creditor retribution, legal action and loss of our
personal possessions? It's because we are overtly afraid of being unable to sustain our
lives if we fail at those activities that are necessary for our survival.
It is the universal fear of dying that forces all of us to strive, to forage, earn,
achieve and build (and re-build). Though we are hardly ever consciously aware of this
ever-present fear it's always there, prodding us ever onward, requiring toil, attainment,
procreation and the building of stores in reserve. In view of all of this, doesn't it then
stand to reason that if we would seek to accomplish something heretofore seemingly
unattainable or impossible, that it would naturally manifest if it were to be directly
associated with our natural fear of death (i.e., becoming a dire necessity).
Let's say you'd like to build a 40-story high-rise, or, say, a 1,200 foot-long
aircraft carrier, you certainly are free to do begin doing so if you choose. Many have in
fact built thousands of these things and were greatly rewarded for having done so. But,
until completion of such work becomes an absolute necessity, you likely will never start;
and if you do start, you will likely never finish. It's only when a major aspect of your life
depends on it and will surely die otherwise, that you will do what all builders of 40-story
high-rise buildings and aircraft carriers have always done…pull it from potential by
imagining it, converting it to substance by drawing it and making it real by building it.
So...before writing out your objectives, choosing a mantra, and heading off to
visit Mahesh Yogi in India on your trek toward bliss, take the time to figure out what
your goals actually are; which of your "wishes" are worthy of being converted to "dire
needs"; and what your resources for accomplishing these aspirations might be. Should
you come up short in the “resources” area, then you have to write-out a plan for either
attaining what you are lacking, or for replacing what your are lacking with something
else of equal value that you have more than enough of (e.g., physical work can replace
the need for cash; eliminating someone else's burden can replace the need for credit;
patience can replace experience; caution, diligence and research can replace formal
education; hard-learned valuable skills. And tenacity trumps a college degree every time.
A good test of what wants can be converted to needs, then to dire necessity is to
ask yourself which of the following you could in-fact live without in reasonable
comfort…if you had to. Strike through those items that are not completely necessary,
and without which some part of you would not surely die. The items that are left over
are beyond wishes: they are your wants. But its crucially important to know that until
each want is elevated to the status of Need (a life-sustaining necessity) it will likely
continue to remain allusive if not wholly unattainable.
- Full-time self-employment
- More social acceptance
- More public popularity
- A better/safer living environment
- A rich person's high-class lifestyle
- A bigger and more prestigious home
- A new, more rewarding career
- A less strenuous, demanding or tedious job
- More vacations and the ability to afford them
- A much higher income
- A new or more suitable spouse
- A new identity
- A more attractive physique
- A private airplane
- A chauffer driven limousine
- A new face
- New teeth
- A trimmer or m ore attractive body
- New friends
- Better friends
- A larger bank account
- A large stock portfolio
- A retirement fund
- True Happiness (Bliss)
- Personal contentment
- Freedom from drudgery
- More self-esteem
- A greater inner feeling of personal value
- Freedom from disease worries
- A newer car
- A more showy car
- An executive job title
- A bigger office
- A well-defined life-purpose
- Great spiritual fulfillment
- Greater spiritual understanding
- Absolute certainty re. the existence or non-existence of God, ghosts, space aliens, angels and
- A TIVO
- The ability to comfortably take risk
Prayers, Wishes, Wants (Desires)…and true Needs:
- Praying - acknowledging your inability to attain on your own,
- Wishing - being dissatisfied with the status quo (the way things are);
- Wanting –preferring one thing over another thing with which you are not wholly dissatisfied
- Needing – requiring a necessity of life (that avoids death to some degree)
Never forget that, according to Epictetus, a 5th Century BC orator: "[A person's]
Wealth is measured only by the expense of one's [that person's] pleasures."
In other words, when life itself is your gift, and when the least expensive
pleasures are your greatest rewards, you are already wealthy beyond calculation: no
matter how much or how little money you have. My own true net-worth quadrupled
when my children were born, and quadrupled again with the arrival of my grandchildren.
Think about it…who is wealthier: the man with a big house and matching mortgage, five
tapped-out credit cards and a 72-month payment plan on a new Mercedes Benz
convertible--or a well-loved and highly respected Eskimo hunter with eight good dogs, a
jolly fat wife, seven healthy children and five years worth of walrus blubber...and plenty
more where that came from?
The answer is, of course, the Eskimo...but only until and unless he would develop
an eye for more than he has and not be able to afford it: an insatiable taste for filet
mignon, Chateau Lafitte Rothschild and Mercedes convertibles. Should that happen, he
instantly tumbles from real true Wealth to abject poverty…UNLESS those things are
what he needed and knew he deserved all along, and he planned well relative to their
affordability and his adaptability.
Converting a Want to a Need, and a Need to a Burning Desire (dire need) are
the first real steps in goal setting, and the process requires much thought and definitive
action. For example, if you're having difficulty in making the life-saving decision to jump
off the 200 foot high cliff into the cold raging river below, in order to protect yourself
from the menacing band of marauders who are hot on your trail, out to kill you, and
drawing nearer every minute…just do this: Tie the end of a long rope around your waist,
then tie the other end around a massive round rock. Then roll the rock to the edge of
the cliff. If you‘re still afraid to jump but know you have to, just push the rock the rest
of the way over…your fate is now sealed. You needn't worry about making the
decisions any longer. Definitive action tied to need is what brings all "potential" into the
physical universe and into our lives.
The Peloponnesian War of 404 BC between the Spartans and the Athenians
serves a good example of how wants are quickly converted to needs.
When the Spartan ships landed and the soldiers were outfitted and lined up for
the siege, all their ships were set on fire, eliminating any possibility of retreat. It was at
that point that the Spartans realized that they must either be the victors or die trying (as
it were)…there was no means for retreat. With this added incentive the Spartans
annihilated 25% of the Athenian Population and took charge of Greece…having fulfilled
a need that might not have worked out so well for them had they retained the ability to
withdraw when the going got rough.
To become honestly wealthy and attain abundance in this life you must first
know what it is that you honestly want, and then you must convert that want to dire
need and give yourself no choice but success.
SO WHAT WILL BE YOUR PLAN OF ACTION (I.E., YOUR "POA")?
One's "POA" is that long rope and that big ol' rock at the edge of the cliff
referred to earlier.
The POA is your design for success. It is the very map of your destiny. It
becomes your guide to all of what you must do to become who and what you ‘need' to
be (not what you ‘want' to be), and to attain all of what you need to own and control
during this roller coaster ride called "Life."
Goals that are held only in the mind of the hopeful are never goals at all. They're
just residual random electronic impulses left over from unfulfilled wishes, nothing more.
It's only when our hopes and dreams begin the physical transformation from potential
( yet to exist) to substance (materiality) through the process of writing them down on
paper (or chiseling them in stone) that they can begin to metamorphose into need
As has been said many times, handwriting your goals is always preferable to
typing them out in your word processor. The more arduous and physical the mind-to-hand
transference exercise is, the more likely the transformation will take place (i.e., the
moving of a conceptualization from the ethereal realm of pure ‘potential' into our world
or physical reality). Although I don't believe viewing your goals daily and repeating
them aloud to the bathroom mirror and moaning a mantra is ever necessary, it is none-the-
less a good idea to keep them in a safe place, and review and modify them every
Forty years ago, I was dissatisfied living on only $326 per-month (before
deductions); but with that income I could fairly comfortably cover a $60.00 per-month
rent payment; a $35.00 per month payments on my brand new Ford Falcon; I could buy
gasoline (39 cents a gallon), J.C. Penny's clothing; and all the groceries I needed, for
about $15.00 per week. And after the bills were paid I still occasionally had enough left
over to take my wife to a drive-in movie once a month or so. Oh, and water was almost
free then (‘didn't know it had to come in a bottle in those days).
Interestingly most of my close friends at the time who made even less than I did
could somehow always afford to buy a case of beer along with their groceries every
week. I often wondered how they managed to do that, when we seldom had anything
left over at all, especially for fun stuff. I once asked my buddy Bob about it and he
jokingly replied…”Hey man, it's because beer's a number one staple in my diet and I
can't live without it.” I didn't get it at the time, but forty years later I now appreciate
the philosophy. This fact is that I only “wanted” a case of beer every week, but didn't
need it, so didn't budget for it. Bob needed it…and it appeared every week. If it's not a
need, then it's only a passing fancy.
In those days we associated with some who couldn't afford even as much as we
could (much less ol' Bob): but I felt somehow looked-down-upon by those with whom I
most wanted to impress and associate: high school friends who were coming out of
college as doctors, lawyers, engineers, dentists; local civic activists; politicians, etc.).
But now, 40 years later, because of converting my wishes to necessities, I find myself
earning more than most all of those old friends, but prone to becoming frantic if my
monthly income drops below $30-40,000.00 (after deductions).
What do you suppose it is that I'm doing any differently today than I was forty
I'm doing absolutely nothing different, except following a plan that converts
wants to needs. And directly because of that plan, I now live in a much larger house in
a much nicer area; I drive nicer cars and because of a far larger bank account, take
more elaborate vacations and eat snootier foods.
And, too, I've thrust various ancillary necessities into my current lifestyle that
weren't there before (vacation cruises, country clubs, first-class and frequent airline
travel, nice hotels, fine dining, fine clothing, housekeepers, gardeners, maintenance
people, big screen TV's, hobnobbing with the rich and phony, etc.): all this is luxury that
was absent and thought to be unattainable a few years back. But now-a-days I never
think of these elements of my life as being luxuries…today they are (in my present
mindset) integral pieces of who I am, whom I have worked and planned to become, and
whom I choose to be (…and I ain't finished yet).
Were I now to be deprived of any one of these previously ancillary and
unnecessary (un-needed) items, a part of who I envision myself to be would cease to
exist (i.e., that is to say that part of my persona would die). My so-called luxuries are
no longer just wants and wishes…but are now a part of my bundle of perceived
necessities to be retained and defended as an important part of the self I have built.
Could I live without these things if I had to? Absolutely! A part of me could, but
another part would die and that scares the other part enough to endeavor to avoid the
loss. Could I be happy without these things? Absolutely (OK, ‘maybe'…after a while).
Am I wealthier because of these things? No! 'Richer perhaps, but by no means
wealthier. But, would I fight to defend and hang on to what I have? You bet! Would I
gladly and freely give away any extra that I have been given? You bet! It's weird…but
the more I give of what I have, the less I need and the more I receive, for some
This "reason," by the way, is fully ‘explicated ( explicable)' in the Bible and
virtually all other religious writings: what it boils down to is that the Universe abhors a
vacuum; therefore, our deigning to create a void by giving something away can only
result in the instantaneous refilling of it…which process invariably returns far more than
was given away:
"Give it away and you shall receive more of it." "Ask "how" and never
"why" and you will be answered and rewarded." "Seek and you will find
abundance...when it is truly needed." That is the uncompromising
Universal Law of abundance, and…if you ever read Napoleon Hill's, ‘Think
and Grow Rich,' that is..."The Secret."
Oh yeah, and long-live the marvelous third-party trustee, co-beneficiary, inter
vivos title-holding land trust transfer (the NARS Equity Holding Trust™ Transfer
Quick Start Success Pack by Bill Gatten
Bill Gatten, www.landtrust.net
is an accomplished Real Estate Investor, Author, Lecturer and
Sales Trainer. With over 40 years experience in banking, equipment
financing and leasing, and real estate investing, Bill is considered among
the top Creative Real Estate trainers in the U.S. today. His book, No Down!
No New Loan! is now in its second printing. A new book for investors is
due out in 2002: 'Making it BIG in Creative Real Estate...for the Cash,
Credit, Income and Experience Challenged.'
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