*names have been changed to protect the identity of the temporarily heart-broken

Louise* and Lance* were best friends.

Just friends, never so much as smooched. They were roomies; they got drunk at concerts together; they slept in the same tent, exchanged great Christmas presents. Lance dated other people. Louise was in love with Lance. Plain as day, we all could see it. Well, maybe someday, Lance will get it.

Twelve years went by. New partners and holidays came and went. It was good n’ truly time for Louise to lay down the torch. She decided make a pitch.

This is the crescendo of all romantic comedies where the protagonist decides to go for it:

It’s 4:00 a.m., and we’d all been dancing at a fabulous wedding. Louise and Lance are slow dancing as the DJ starts packing up. There is a small audience of us in the corner table balancing Stella bottles and wearing neckties around our heads. “Oh…my…I think she’s going for it,” one of the cast says. We lean in to gawk, trying to read their lips.

Sure enough, with heart in hand and Cabernet courage, Louise made her overture: “Do you think we could make a go of it?” Lance listened. He’s a great guy. He listened softly. And softly he said, “If it were going to happen, it would have happened by now.” Truth bomb. Gently dropped.

Even destiny has an expiry date. This is such primal wisdom. I’m all for relentless dreaming and fierce faith. But if you’re spending an overly long time trying to wish, hammer, hope, push, and ploy things into form, maybe it’s time to point your dream in another direction. If a crop isn’t growing, the farmer doesn’t keep wasting water and fertilizer on it. He yanks it out, tills the soil, and plants a whole new kind of seed.

Let ‘em go. Kill the project. Shut down a division. And take that same longing for love or creative fulfillment or phat cash and face forward!


Hold onto the core desire of the dream—that feeling you want to feel when the dream is realized—but shift to a wholly new target. Change directions and a new form of satisfaction could be right around the corner.

…just like it was for Louise. She got on with her life. And fell in love with someone who fell crazy in love with her—easy, breezy, and right away.

Danielle LaPorte is the outspoken creator of The Desire Map, author of The Fire Starter Sessions (Random House/Crown), and co-creator of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan. An inspirational speaker, former think tank exec and business strategist, she writes weekly at DanielleLaPorte.com, where over a million visitors have gone for her straight-up advice — a site that’s been deemed “the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality”, and was named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes.

You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter @daniellelaporte.

*Featured image by Liam Moloney