The Desire Map Summary and Review

by Danielle LaPorte
Has The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte been sitting on your reading list? Pick up the key ideas in the book with this quick summary. Sometimes, the reality is, our true desires can lead to painful outcomes. After all, if human beings weren’t fueled by desire, there wouldn’t be any heartbreak or bitter wars. But at the same time, desire is essential to human existence. It’s not enough to say that a life without desire would be boring – living without desires is practically impossible — the human race would simply stop reproducing! That is one of many facts you’ll come across in this book summary. What’s more, you’ll be able to learn more about your own desires. Through this book summary, you’ll discover what to watch out for when learning to recognize your desires. You’ll learn how to be guided by your desires toward a more authentic and fulfilling life. In this summary of The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte will explain:
  • why it might benefit you to have a distant crush on someone in your science class — even if you’ll never actually be with them;
  • how feelings can be true, even though they aren’t facts;
  • why it’s better to think twice before you dismiss someone with a big nose.

The Desire Map Key Idea #1: Desire is the fuel for our lives.

Most people associate the word desire with sexuality, but desire does more than simply drive our animalistic instincts. So, what does it do? Let’s look into what desire actually is and what it’s used for. Desire is the power of wanting. It’s a powerful force for creativity, and when we desire something, we’re willing give up a lot of time to plan to make it happen. Since desire is something we can act on, we’re willing to make sacrifices to obtain for them. Desire can be frustrating, trilling, and it can even fill us with despair. No matter what, desire forces us to get creative with howit is we’re going to get what it is we want. Remember your high school crush? Maybe there was someone in your science class who you really wanted to kiss, and perhaps you tried to think of all sorts of creative ways to get them to notice you – dropping hints, writing notes, and so on. Desire also pushes you to evolve as a person. Imagine if, every time you met someone new, they came with a personalized list of desires. This would help you to get to know them really fast! Desire not only shows what it is we might be struggling with in our current moment, but it also shows what we want most in life. Oftentimes, fear gets in the way of us working toward our desires for the future. Through conquering these fears, we can also work through our dissatisfaction with our lives as we work up the courage to achieve what it is we truly desire. This is precisely what helps us grow as individuals. Finally, desire is what pushes us to keep going in life. Could you imagine living without wanting anything ever again? If we didn’t have the desire for food, love, sex, companionship, or achievement, we wouldn’t have any motivation to do anything. In other words, our desire fuels us.

The Desire Map Key Idea #2: Listening to your emotions will help you get through though life decisions.

Oftentimes, people tell us to make decisions based not on feelings, but on facts. Why? Most people prefer facts because facts measure truth, while feelings might be misleading. Feelings aren’t universal, but that doesn’t mean your subjective feelings aren’t “true!” It’s simply that they’re true to you, even if they’re not true to anyone else. Calling someone annoying isn’t you stating a fact, but it is still a type of truth – the person makes you feel annoyed. But what about more powerful emotions, like sadness? Something like a tough breakup might give you very intense emotions, which can make it hard to concentrate on work for a while. These types of emotions can be incredibly distracting, which is the reason why most workplaces don’t push for a “follow your heart” mentality. In this way, being told to focus on work can equate to ignoring our feelings. No matter what people might tell you, make sure remember the importance of your feelings. Everyone has core desired feelings. This doesn’t encompass passing emotions like anger and annoyance. This could mean anything from the constant desire for a community, to the freedom to be creative, to wanting companionship with someone you love. These core desired feelings stick with you for life. You should let these feelings guide you through life . Imagine being stuck in a job that’s incredibly boring, although it pays well. If you dread going to work every day before leaving the house, this might be a sign that you need something new in your life. If you’re being rational and logical, you wouldn’t want to give up your income. But you’ll feel much more fulfilled if you follow your feelings, rather than money.

The Desire Map Key Idea #3: Allow yourself to feel desires without the pressures of other people so that you can welcome the unexpected!

Has all this talk about core desires got you thinking? Well, good! Figuring out what your true desires are can not only enlighten you, but it can liberate you. So many people waste time trying to figure out what they thinkit is they desire. But unfortunately, the reality is, most people often chase things that other people desire for them. If, for example, you want to get married before you hit a certain age, or if you’re pushing yourself to earn a certain amount of money by the end of the year, really think about whether this is a goal youwant, or if it’s because of the pressure of other people. What are your real desires? Once you figure this out, you’ll be able to discern whether you’re simply trying to prove yourself to others, and free yourself from this habit. Once you’re aware of this tendency, you’ll be able to truly start making the best choices for you. Knowing your real desires will help guide you toward the opportunities that would make a difference for you. Say you desire to feel loved, or want to make a contribution to the lives of others. For a goal like this, that six-figure salary might not help you get there, but volunteering at a refugee shelter will. Sometimes though, simply trying to think about your desires isn’t enough to actually get you there. Chance encounters can also come into play when it comes to helping you figure out what you really want out of life – so, if something unexpected comes your way, don’t ignore it! You might, for instance, desire true romantic connection, with a little adventurousness on the side. You might randomly meet someone who makes you feel just that. The only problem is, he’s not in shape, doesn’t have a fancy degree, and has a large nose. Ready to run for the hills? Hold it! It’s important to be open to the many ways our desires might manifest. It’s important to treasure each and every moment when our desires might come into our lives by chance. These moments might allow you to reach a new level of awareness, while gaining plenty of new experiences.

The Desire Map Key Idea #4: If you dread a certain goal, it might not be worth chasing it.

Have you ever worked really hard toward a goal, and still felt empty, even once you achieved it? That simply means that goals like that aren’t in line with your true desires. So, drop them! In the past, the author would set strict, quantifiable goals. This would mean anything from a figure she wanted to earn that year to a date she wanted to publish a book by. The only thing is, these numbers only ended up making things more stressful. Goal-setting can be daunting and nerve-wracking, but each goal should make us feel excited and happy too. If you’re dreading a goal, it probably isn’t work spending your time trying to achieve it. So, create goals that not only feel like you could achieve them, but also that are in line with your values and desires. The author tried setting a different type of goal: to bring attention to her new book among audiences she cared about, and to make her publications as beautiful and insightful as possible. When you’re inspired by your goals, you’ll have a better time achieving them. What happens when you reach one of your goals, though, and still feel hungry for more? This is natural. This means that your creativity has been sparked, and now, your mind is looking for more chances to grow and evolve. It could be the case now that you feel like you’re capable of achieving things you never expected you could do before. Publishing your first poem, for example, might give you the confidence to enter some story writing competitions. Getting runner-up in one of those competitions might, in turn, inspire you to start working toward running your own publication. Our desires grow and grow in this way, so it’s important to keep setting goals to grow with them. It’s also important to make sure your goals feel right to you. While reaching a goal might feel really good, it’s also important that you don’t sacrifice other important things, such as relationships you care about or a lifestyle you love. It’s also important that you don’t push other people away. In fact, it’ll mean even more to you if you help other people fulfil their goals while working toward your own.

The Desire Map Key Idea #5:  In order to rise above your weaknesses, it’s important to make peace with them.

Do you have dreams of becoming an acclaimed writer, a successful designer, or something else, but keep neglecting your plans? It could very well be that a little voice in your head keeps telling you that these aspirations just aren’t realistic. This is exactly the voice that you must ignore. Make peace with the goals you want to achieve. No matter what kind of goal it is, if your goals make you feel good, then you need to make sure you don’t criticize yourself for your desires. This also means that you should show your friends and family equal support for their goals. Everybody should be free to do whatever it is their desire, from opening our own restaurant to rescuing injured animals. What happens if your desires are at odds with each other? This happens quite often. You might love alone time so much you dream of living in a secluded cabin in the woods, but you might also be the mother of three toddlers. Sound conflicting? Well, it is. When this happens, it’s important to make a choice. However, choices can be blessings in disguise. By choosing what it is you want more, you make room for more, future desires to manifest, which could lead you to find happiness in places you’d never expect to. Our own limitations can also be obstacles — nobody is invincible. You might have a family, a limited budget, or health issues to be concerned with. Whatever your limitations are, they aren’t a reason to give up on your dreams. Keeping that in mind, you also shouldn’t chase your goals without acknowledging that these limitations exist. Simply admit them to yourself and learn to work with them. This will allow you to work toward your desires, and do so in a healthy way, which can lead to figuring out new ways to overcome certain problems. In Review: The Desire Map Book Summary The key message in this book: Desire is one of the most important characteristics to human existence. It allows us to be creative, and helps us to grow as people. It’s important to make sure you don’t get tied down by goals that other people have in mind for you, and that you make peace with any weaknesses or obstacles you might have. Keeping your heart and mind open to opportunity will allow you to really benefit from the positive effects of desire. If you want some help creating your desire map, the book itself features useful exercises and diagrams. Actionable advice: Focus on what you already trust. Have you ever felt that nervous rush before an important event? Whether you’re facing a test, a decisive match, or a daunting speech, this rush can be a disadvantage if you don’t learn to work with it. Focusing on what you know for sure is a way to silence your inner pessimist. Making a list of things that are already working out great for you is an amazing way to gain comfort, calm yourself down, and boost your confidence.