Forest Whitaker Reminded Me of a Key to Success: A Burning Desire

Written by on February 26, 2007 in your Mind with 8 Comments

istock_000000587470xsmall1We all know many people who “talk the talk” and a few that “walk the walk,” but what is it that the separates these two groups of people.  I have been thinking about this a lot lately.  When I left my job almost a year ago to pursue my dreams as an entrepreneur, trader, financial freedom seeker many of my friends simply didn’t get it.  The ones that had a good idea how much money I was walking away from were the most shocked.

What would possess someone to walk away from a high paying job?  What about the status?  What about the security?  What about? What about? What about? How do the “walkers” suppress the “what abouts” and pursue the trail of “what ifs?”  What if I land this deal? What if this trade takes off?

Napoleon Hill in his classic book “Think and Grow Rich” identified the characteristics of the successful.  The one that stands out the most to me and best captures why I do what I do - is having a burning desire.  A burning desire is an urge, a passion, an inner drive that is so overwhelming that if denied will make you miserable no matter how much money or prestige you may have.  The little known secret is that this desire is so all-encompassing that if embraced success is almost guaranteed.

I was reminded of this listening to Forest Whitaker’s acceptance speech at the Oscars for Best Actor.

When I was a kid, the only way that I saw movies was from the backseat of my family’s car. At the drive-in. And, it wasn’t my reality to think I would be acting in movies, so receiving this honor tonight tells me that it’s possible. It is possible for a kid from east Texas, raised in South Central L.A. in Carson, who believes in his dreams, commits himself to them with his heart, to touch them, and to have them happen.

Because when I first started acting, it was because of my desire to connect to everyone. To that thing inside each of us. That light that I believe exists in all of us. Because acting for me is about believing in that connection and it’s a connection so strong, it’s a connection so deep, that we feel it. And through our combined belief, we can create a new reality.

That thing inside each of us is desire.  We were all born with it, but very few choose to nurture and develop it.  Those who do – can create their new reality!

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  • Moneymonk

    It’s amazing you remeber that speech verbatum.

    Napolean Hill and Benjamin Graham are the best authors for as personal finance and investing goes.

    Having a desire and actually taking charge is success, I agree with your post.

  • miked

    It was a great speech, but I can’t take credit for memorizing it. That credit goes to the Academy Awards website for providing the transcript :)

  • Ross Cornwell

    I enjoyed reading your blog today, especially your comments about Forest Witaker, and I thought that you might be interested to learn that a new edition of Napoleon Hill’s classic book “Think and Grow Rich” has been published.

    Its title is ”Think and Grow Rich!” (subtitled) “The Original Version, Restored and Revised.” I am the editor/annotator of this new 412-page edition, which is really an “homage” to Dr. Hill. (For several years I was the editor-in-chief of “Think & Grow Rich Newsletter.”)

    What I have done is this: to restore Dr. Hill’s book to its original manuscript content (it was first published in 1937, but was abridged in 1960), annotate it with more than 50 pages of endnotes (most of the persons and events he discusses are generally unknown to readers today), index it thoroughly, add an appendix with a wealth of additional information about Dr. Hill and his work, and revise the book in ways to help remove certain “impediments” to reading the book today (language that today would be considered obsolete, sexist or racist). None of these things had previously been done with TGR.

    If you would like to learn a little more about this project, a quick visit to will give you some details. To see the relevant page, go to: .

    The book is available on all the Amazon websites and most other online sellers, can be ordered by any bookstore, and will start appearing in bookstores very shortly.

    Our edition of TGR! is superior in every way to other versions on the market. It is a trade paperback, not a pocket-size mass market paperback. It is 412 pages versus 256 (depending on the edition). It is not an abridged edition, as is virtually every other edition on the market. It looks better, feels better, reads better than any other version. It is fast becoming the “version of choice” among Napoleon Hill devotees and other students of success and high achievement. It should be read by every salesperson and entrepreneur.

    Thank you for your time and interest.

    Ross Cornwell, Editor

  • miked

    Believe it or not – I just ordered that book this morning on Amazon. I just double-checked to make sure that it is the same version you have referenced. I can’t wait to read it.

    Thanks for the Info.

  • http://www.focussociety,com Chuck Bartok

    Friends of Napoleon Hill.
    Join us us on our Live Talk Show, discussing the Boofk Chapter by Chapter.
    Download past episodes here:
    Better yet, Join us Live Tues & Thurs Noon EST
    This is a hard hitting no hold barred discussion of the FACTS of Success.
    No pC here. The full gush of the power of Hill’s words.
    Chuck Bartok

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