Why We Don’t Get What We Want

YES! There’s a reason we don’t get what we want.

Want to know why? Sure. I’ll tell you, but first, let me tell you a story.

Back when I was in college, I wasn’t very familiar with the concept of it. I signed up for a degree for something I’m interested in only to be greeted with taking classes I’m barely interested in. I understand they were part of my curriculum, but they would be unnecessary for what interests me. So why on earth would I need to take these unrelated or redundant classes? I knew I wanted to be an engineer, so I should be learning about related topics, right? Something didn’t feel right, and I knew I had to change the way I look at it to understand why I’m doing this.

So I went to my father and asked him how he did it. I wondered how he graduated college and went on to get his masters degree. Well, my father answered and told me he has a love for teaching physical education. It’s what he’s good at. He went to school for it because he wanted to learn more about it and offer his value to others.

He knew that if he didn’t prioritize his classes and make it a point to become competent in his subject of teaching, he would fail, and end up like another college dropout does. He knew he had to, no matter how hard the classes became. Also, he didn’t want to live back at home with his parents for any longer than he needs to. He kept his eyes on the prize. That made all the difference.

So he made it a point to go to class, study hard, do his homework, and make it through his college years, which is exactly what I did. It may sound too simple, and you’ve probably been told that yourself. But it’s seriously that simply when you discover just how it works for you. I took his life’s philosophy, personally adapted it to my lifestyle, and things became much clearer. He became a master physical educator, and I became an engineer.

My father and I succeeded because we answered very essential questions to what separates a successful person from an unsuccessful one. To answer these questions, it takes very introspective and intensely honest thought about what is actually real to one’s heart, mind, and soul. These questions are in order because they build on each other. One can’t answer the last question without first answering the first one.

1. We don’t know WHAT we want

This is by far the hardest to answer. Thinking about it makes us feel limited to what we can and should do, so we try not to say that “one thing” we want or want to do. In most cases, we like to do or would like to have more than one thing. In my years of life, I realized, it doesn’t matter what I do exactly, what matters is how I feel when I have it.

Click here to read about the 5 things to consider when figuring what we want.

Here’s the quick short version. As yourself:

  • What is something you can talk about effortlessly? Do you have more than 1?
  • What do people tell you you’re good at?
  • If money were no object, what would you buy or do?
  • What puts you at the most ease? (Not to be confused with what makes you feel better)
  • If you started doing something today, would it matter 10 years from now?

These questions may take a while to answer, but that’s okay. The beginning is always the hardest part, and this could be your way to finding that beginning.

Moving on.

2. We don’t know WHY we want it

This one is important. Very important. If what you want is your vehicle, then why you want it is your fuel. For some, this question is very easy, and can be answered with as little as three words. For some, this may become hard because what they want isn’t very pressing or urgent, despite it being important. Once answered though, the answer to this should never be forgotten. There’s a reason behind everything. There is always some core of belief or principle that pushes a man to stand for a cause for an ideal worthy enough. This is what your “what” will stand on.

Wanting something for no reason is prone to never being achieved, and wanting nothing for the best reason in the world simply makes no sense. The only exception is if someone seriously wants “nothing”. Any person who wants something wants to attain it for some reason, otherwise, all efforts to attaining it is a waste, and wasn’t and won’t be worth the money, effort, or worse, time.

3. We don’t know HOW to get it

Surprisingly enough, if an individual can honestly answer the previous questions, then this question becomes easy. In the age we live in, if anyone wants to learn a new skill, it’s as simple as “googling it”. However, this part that can potentially be the hardest of them all because this part requires something the others simply don’t have—action. When one has a reason to get what they want, he has to find out how to get it or how to do it, right? That requires action. It can be as simple as speaking up, and as hard as pushing beyond the reach of your own skills and relying on others to accomplish near impossible tasks.

How did Orville and Wilbur Wright build their airplane? How did Henry Sampson come up with the cell phone? How did Nikola Tesla make the AC motor? Because they knew why they were doing it, and never forgot. They even continued on in the face of adversity, giving them every reason to stop. But the one reason that resiliently stood its ground was the very reason they held onto with dear life,  and never let go of.

“When there’s a will, there’s a way.”

…As the old cliche goes, it’s never been any less true than the first day in the first language spoken from the first being that said it. Find the “why” to get your “what”, and your “how” becomes the simple matter of “when”.

Once these questions are answered with intense integrity, everything will be clear, and perhaps easier. It did for me. In fact, it’s how I landed my first job as an engineer and even my multiple internships. It’s how I graduated, and most importantly, gave me the will to keep going in the face of adversity. Master these questions for yourself, and it will become clear your path to achievement and self mastery.

I wish you the best of luck.




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