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What’s your heart’s desire?

By February 28, 2023October 5th, 2023No Comments

Bourbon St, New Orleans.

What’s your heart’s desire?

I’ve been immersed in the waters of psychology and human dynamics long enough that I’m now fairly fluent in trading in the language of “wants” and “needs.”

But this photo that I took in New Orleans reminded me of an old-fashioned phrase: your heart’s desires.

(I’m pretty sure it’s a different type of desire that’s on display most nights on Bourbon Street, but that’s for another time.)

“Your heart’s desire” has a fairytale ring to it; something that a magical godmother with a wand might ask you.

On the flight to New Orleans, I watched “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.” It’s the final spin-off from the Shrek franchise that started all those years ago. Antonio Banderas voices Puss, Salma Hayek his love, his nemesis, and his counterpoint, Kitty Softpaws.

My niece, Tilly, said it was the worst movie of the year. But I loved it: the quest; the Guy Ritchie-style subplot with Goldilocks and the Three Bears; and the fact that I was on an airplane, so all critical judgment is abandoned.

It’s also about heart’s desires. What do we want more deeply than power, than the trappings of success, than fame and fortune?

I’m hosting a new Summit in March about “success on your terms” – there’s more on this below. In preparation, the team asked me what success was for me now. What a great, tricky question.

I told them, “My mission is to be a force for change. Success is taking my best guess at the best way to do that – in business and in life – and then having the people and structures around me that help me not get distracted or lazy or confused.’

It’s a bit wordy for my “heart’s content.” If I had to boil it down for a fairytale, I’d say “having adventures with people I love.”

How about for you?

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Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier

I'm the author of five books that have collectively sold more than a million copies. I'm the founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that helps organizations move from advice-driven to curiosity-led. I'm the host of the *2 Pages with MBS* podcast.