Interesting conversation matieral in the subject of whether there is a difference between shear desire to succeed and just wanting or needing to succeed for want of a better way of putting it (pardon the pun).
Here’s the thing, in some cases the desire to be successful at something because you enjoy it and is fun, is gradually replaced by the need/want to be successful because of the rewards it brings and the lifestyle it allows you. When this happens, I think desire reduces because its no longer as enjoyable because the need to be successful is so important and you automatically take less risks.
It’s something that may be just a natural thing that comes with age, but it’s more complicated than that. Examples of waning desire are things like, as a child there is a great desire for almost everything, as we grow older our focus becomes narrower as the need to get a job and settle down stems the desire to do other things. Newly weds start with thick desire to enjoy the love they share, often the desire drifts into a need to be married. When starting a new job the desire to do well and improve gradually becomes a want to stay employed and stay on the payroll.
It isn’t just a time thing, though time is a factor but its possible for people to maintain their desire and passion for many years, such as Steve Redgrave, Bernard Hopkins, Michael Johnson, Bobby Robson, Richard Branson, Morrissey and I’d like to put myself in that bracket.
For me, desire is intrinsically linked to goals, belief and change. Having the same goal for a long time will inevitably lead to a loss of desire/spirit, and that goes both ways – goals must be attainable yet challenging, setting impressive/ambitious goals will only look good if you acheive them and will probably result in lower performance than usual because of trying to hard. On the other hand setting easy goals and not advancing them once they have been achieved is just as bad as not achieving goals, it gets you stuck in a rutt of routine, changing your goals means changing your approach to acheiving them and thus renewing your desire/enthusiasm.
The other factor I’ve not mentioned is belief, this is different all together yet it is the catalyst that connects it all. It is sort of self-realisation, acknowledging to yourself what you are capable of, what you know is potentially acheivable. This cannot be taught to you or told to you, you have to know. Then belief comes in the means to achieve your potential – how to get there and this is where help and advice comes in, the people who show you the path should believe the same as you otherwise desire can be comprimised.
It’s a common clique that life is tougher at the top, but it’s true. When you get to where you want to be, where do you go? A question I’m often asked, it’s a tough question but my answer is simple – I keep trying to win and improve until I’m satisfied with my performance and don’t think I can do any better. I like to judge true success in life on longevity, not just a one off that no one will know if it was a fluke or not. Some people can’t cope with success like others, it depends whether it was expected or not and deep down goals, money is a factor of course but not as important as is often thought. Who is happy with their slice of the pie or who wants to be a legend?
Its a very fine balance with many more factors than I’ve mentioned, but over complicating situations is another way to shrink desire. A fine line exists between desire and need/want, slipping into a ‘comfort zone’ can be difficult to get out of and you probably will not realise you’re in it.
I’m sure much research has been done in this area and its probably been wrote before, but I just felt like writing my thoughts as I do.