The Desire Map Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: The Desire Map gives your goal-setting mechanism a makeover by showing you that desire, not facts, is what fuels our lives and helps you rely on your feelings to navigate life, instead of giving in to the pressure of the outside world to check the boxes on goals that don’t really matter to you.

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The Desire Map Summary

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Danielle LaPorte runs one of the top 100 blogs in the world for women, where she educates people about spirituality, entrepreneurship and personal growth. She’s written three books, has a fourth one on the way, and is not your average self-help guru.

The Desire Map came out in 2012 and helps those frustrated with chasing goals, whether you keep reaching them, but not getting any happier, or failing in the first place. Danielle says that goals with soul come from the inside, not from the outside, and that we should pick our goals to support our emotional well-being, not the other way around.

So if your current process of setting goals and achieving them doesn’t leave you feeling happy and content, this book is for you.

Here are 3 good lessons to start mapping your desires:

  1. Desire boosts your creativity.
  2. Feelings are just as true as facts – even if it’s just for you.
  3. Goals that you dread chasing aren’t worth achieving.

Ready for a goal-setting makeover? Here we go!

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Lesson 1: Desiring something makes you more creative.

Danielle says desire is the driving force behind life. Chances are, when you hear the word desire, the first thing you think about is our animalistic sex drive, but desire goes way beyond that. Apart from getting you out of bed in the morning, because you crave human connection, food, love and achievement, and forcing you to tackle your fears, desire also makes you more creative.

That’s because when you want something it forces you to get creative and work out how you’re going to get that thing that you want.

For example, if you remember your first crush in high school, I bet you’ve obsessed day and night about how you can make them notice you. Sending paper notes, dropping hints, and, in my case, blatant staring are all creative attempts at firing that first spark that might lead you to your first love.

So when you use desire as your foundation for setting goals, you’re preparing yourself well for the creative effort you’re gonna have to make to get there.

Lesson 2: Feelings are just as true as facts – even if it’s just for you.

We usually try to make decisions based on facts, not feelings. We think basing our choices on what’s true for everyone, we end up with better results, but in most cases, that’s not true. Actually, choosing to ignore our feelings is sort of a way of ignoring truth.


Because feelings are just as true as facts – they’re just not true for everybody. When you say that Fred is super annoying, what you’ve really just said is that Fred makes you feel really annoyed – and that’s as true as it gets.

That’s what makes ignoring feelings so hard, and also wrong. However, it’s the reason businesses don’t tell their employees to follow their heart or passion – because strong feelings can easily become distracting and hard to deal with, like the sadness over a relationship ending.

But no matter what your boss tells you, you should never ignore what your “core desired feelings” tell you, as Danielle calls them. These are the major feelings you crave to feel in your life and they’re often the guiding stars that’ll help you make big life decisions.

Lesson 3: Goals that you dread chasing aren’t worth achieving in the first place.

Danielle used to set goals like a lot of driven people do nowadays. “I’m going to make $100,000 this year.” or “I’ll publish my book by October 15th next year.” But those hard numbers only sapped her energy and put her in a constant state of stress and worry about hitting the deadline.

But goals should make you feel excited! If you dread the entire journey of chasing the goal you set, chances are it’s not a goal worth of you achieving it in the first place. This doesn’t mean that the way to your goal will be all sunshine and rainbows, but when you complain every step along the way, it’s time to re-examine it.

Believe it or not, some of the most successful people don’t fixate on numbers and focus on just having fun, and it works! Like Seth Godin, who spends zero time looking at his blogging stats or reading reviews of his books.

So whichever big goal you set next, make sure it feels right. Oh and when you hit it, don’t worry, wanting more is natural. Then you can tap into your desires again and set the next one.

The Desire Map Review

This summary was a bit short to get a really good idea of the book, but it does well at explaining the core concepts behind Danielle’s desire mapping process.

However, the book is really where the juice is at in this case, since it has all kinds of quizzes, worksheets and exercises included, to help you figure out your core desired feelings and successfully flip the switch from facts to feelings.

70% of Danielle’s audience are women, but guys can learn just as much from her. I sure can relate to the ideas in The Desire Map.

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Who would I recommend the Desire Map summary to?

The 17 year old girl in a conservative family, whose life has so far been primarily dictated by what her parents think is what’s best for her, the 48 year old consultant, who keeps chasing and succeeding in reaching very tangible, quantifiable goals, but never feels happy about it, and anyone who obsessively keeps checking their blog’s traffic stats.

Last Updated on July 29, 2022

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Niklas Göke

Niklas Göke is an author and writer whose work has attracted tens of millions of readers to date. He is also the founder and CEO of Four Minute Books, a collection of over 1,000 free book summaries teaching readers 3 valuable lessons in just 4 minutes each. Born and raised in Germany, Nik also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration & Engineering from KIT Karlsruhe and a Master’s Degree in Management & Technology from the Technical University of Munich. He lives in Munich and enjoys a great slice of salami pizza almost as much as reading — or writing — the next book — or book summary, of course!