I see a lot of literature and a lot of history about people making desperate efforts and massively succeeding.
I started thinking, "Why does that kind of desperate effort work sometimes, while other times desperate people just remain... desperate?"
I think I figured it out.
The formula is: Desperation + Purpose
You can make a desperate, full out effort towards a clear goal or cause and you'll likely succeed.
But feeling or being desperate without a purpose just blinds a person and makes them thrash around.
Clear purpose and vision can turn desperation into powerful fuel.
Desperation without purpose = very bad
Desperation + Purpose = Potentially very powerful