Shifting from a Sense of Lack to a Sense of Desire


About the author :

Rishi Khanna currently manages investments in public and private markets for his family office TreeForest Capital. He is also Managing Director of the Trimaster Group. Prior to this Rishi was managing director of C&S Electric Limited, which was acquired by Siemens in February 2021.

Of late, Rishi is spending time on his Foundation activities. Scholarships for higher and specialised education is one theme he is exploring. He is also an active member of the YPO’s Delhi chapter.

He can be reached at

Transitioning from a sense of lack to that of desire represents a shift in mindset and emotional state that can be cultivated!

But Why? And How?

Lack implies a deficiency or absence, often creating feelings of insufficiency and emptiness. This perspective is inherently passive, characterised by a focus on what is missing or unattainable, which can lead to a sense of helplessness or victimhood.

Desire, on the other hand, is an active state. It is driven by aspiration, a powerful inclination towards something that inspires and motivates. 

It’s a pull rather than a push, a draw towards a positive outcome (approach orientation) rather than a focus on avoiding a negative one (avoidance orientation).

This shift requires mindfulness and often a reevaluation of one’s values and beliefs. It involves recognising and appreciating what one already has, fostering gratitude, and nurturing a growth mindset.

Where lack sees limitations, desire sees potential.

For example, rather than dwelling on a lack of resources, one might shift focus to the desire to creatively utilise what is available, to innovate, or to acquire more.

This is not merely positive thinking; it’s a strategic reorientation of one’s approach to life’s challenges and opportunities.

Cultivating desire also means embracing ambition. 

It’s about setting goals that excite and propel you forward. In this dynamic state, obstacles become challenges to overcome, not evidence of what can’t be achieved.

Desire fuels persistence and resilience, providing the momentum to act and the courage to persist. Moving from lack to desire also involves expanding one’s sense of possibility. It’s about dreaming big, setting one’s sights on the horizon rather than the empty cup at one’s feet.

When desire takes root, it transforms one’s outlook, leading to a proactive pursuit of fulfilment and success. 

It’s a journey from scarcity to abundance, from stagnation to growth, and from resignation to empowerment.

This transition is at the heart of personal development and self-actualization, signifying a life led by intention and hope rather than by fear and longing.

We all have the ability, albeit in varying degrees, to make this shift. Sometimes we need a nudge or a helping hand. Sometimes we simply need some time.

Either way, visualising and articulating this shift is not a bad starting point.

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