Do you have a long list of wants? Would it be nice to have them or must you have them? Only when your “want” turns into a “must” do you get it. It is then that you’re truly committed to doing everything to get it. So you see, it is you who prevents your wants from being actualized and it is only you can bring them to actualization.
If you were to sit down today and write a list of things that you want which you don’t have, how long would that list be? Do you want better health than you currently have? Do you want to have a better relationship with someone than you currently have? Would you like to have more money? What are the things that you want to have? One of the things that I would love is more time every day to study. And the question we need to ask ourselves is, do we really want these things?
We’ve wanted these things for years so why don’t we have them? Oh, why don’t we have them? I can tell you 100 reasons why we don’t have them. And that is exactly the point. When someone really wants something, then they do everything they can to get it. And when we do everything we can to get something, the likelihood of us getting it is extremely high. So why is it that we have a long list of wants? Because we don’t really want them. We would like to have them, it would be nice if someone served it to me, but I’m not willing to put in the effort to actually go and get it.
If I want to spend more time studying every day, I can’t. I have so many other things to do. I have a family to take care of, I have a job, I have a living to make. Those are all nice reasons. But if I really wanted to, I would find ways to adjust different things and compensate here and there so that I can have what it is that I really want. Or maybe I just don’t really want it.
Do you want to exercise or diet? Many people do. We need to address the issues that are getting in the way of us doing them. It’s nice to get the results of exercise and the results of diet, but you can’t get those results unless you are motivated to actually exercise and diet. And for that, you need to really really want it.
If someone is told to stop having their coffee every morning with sugar. I can’t, I just can’t have coffee without sugar, I mean, how do you even drink that? Is it true that you can’t or is it just that you don’t want to? When we really want to eliminate sugar from our diet, we will learn to drink our coffee without sugar. I mean, is it true that you really can’t drink coffee without sugar? I mean, it’s impossible? Of course it’s possible. We just need to really want it. And we know this because when someone cheats us, by way of example, suddenly certain people, at least, they will fight for justice until the end. Suddenly they are willing to turn over their entire world just to get their money back. If, God forbid, one’s spouse or child needs something, suddenly we find a will within ourselves that is unstoppable.
A doctor tells us, this is it, if you don’t change this in your life, you literally have a year to live. And suddenly the person has the will to do all of those things that he had excuses for for many many years.
Clearly, we could have done those things 10 years ago, 20 years ago and avoided many years of unhealth and our doctor telling us this information. It’s just that 10, 20 years ago we didn’t really want it. So we hold off for years until the conditions around us change and we wait for the conditions around us to motivate us, which is way way too late because someone who really leads their life cannot be waiting for the circumstances to motivate them. We need to bring out this will and desire within us way before the circumstances force us into those situations.
To approach a person about something which we may be terrified to do or make a request from a friend for something, we may be terrified to do that and we may think what are they going to think about me and how is this going to impact our relationship. Those are all great questions. But when we really want something, we don’t ask those questions, we just go and request because what we want is much stronger than impressions we leave on people. That’s so secondary.
When we take on a challenge to do something, the excuses all fall away if we really really want them. And we cannot wait for outside circumstances to compel us to overcome our fears of what others will think about us, about whether others will accept us, about falling out of favor with other people.
We have to ask ourselves, is this important? Is this valuable? And if the answer is yes, we need to say, I will pursue this unconditionally. Nothing is going to stop me. This is how people accomplish big things with their life. Because they are determined and they don’t let small things stop them.
There’s a story I often repeat which my friend shared with me about his grandfather, this goes back to the early 1920s in Chicago where there was a farmhouse that burned down. And all of the neighbors from the surrounding area came to bemoan the fact that this farmer and family now do not have a home or a livelihood. And my friend’s grandfather was standing with all of these people who were mourning this and he said, I really care about the fact that this person, this farmer, lost his house. I care $10. How much do you care?
Now, $10 was a lot of money in the 1920s. But more significantly, the point was that he was saying, I don’t just verbally care, I really care. And this is how much I care, that I am ready to take out a lot of money from my pocket to help this person. That’s someone who wants something.
How much do you want what you want? If you’re not ready to make yourself very uncomfortable, you don’t really want it. If you’re still giving excuses, any excuses ‑‑ because we all have reasons. We all have reasons why we can’t do certain things and they are all fine and they’re all justified. But if you have a reason why you can’t, even a justified reason, that just says you don’t want it that much.
We like the idea of a lot of money. We like the idea of good health. We like the idea of a better marriage or a better relationship with our kids. But we are not ready to put in the work. We don’t want it enough.
No, it’s not easy. If it was easy, everyone would be doing this and everyone would be achieving unbelievable things with their life. If there isn’t a fire within you pushing you towards success, you just don’t want it enough. So here is the thing. And here is what I want to leave you with. There is a fire within you for so much. There is a fire within you to live a productive life, to achieve whatever things, you know, your personality are inclined towards, to live a life which is actualizing who God made you to be. That fire is within you. There is no doubt. There is no doubt as well that it’s covered by an unhealthy mindset. For some of us a very unhealthy mindset; for some of us a minor unhealthy mindset, whatever your circumstances are. But that’s what covers up that fire. The challenges in life cover up that fire. The circumstances which make it difficult to achieve certain things cover up that fire. All of these things cover up that fire. And what we need to do is uncover that fire, that passion within us.
And what I have found has worked for me, and I’m sure will work for you as well, is by simply reminding myself, I really want to do this, I can go through the work it takes to get it, I can overcome my inhibitions and my fears and my unhealthy mindset that tells me if you do this then this is going to happen or they’re going to think that. Just remind yourself that you really want this and that you can push yourself through the discomfort that you will need to push through in order to do the things you need to to achieve this.
And another thing I do is I imagine my life after putting in the effort. I imagine how things are going to look after putting in the effort. Imagine what someone’s life looks like after they lose the weight the doctor says they need to lose, after they lower the cholesterol that the doctor tells them they need to lower, after they make the money that will give them the accessibility to do things which are so important to their mission in life. All of these things, just by imagining them, empower us to say, I’m going to let my fire lead me, I’m not going to let the circumstances or the people around me lead me. And that liberates the fire within us. And that gets us to really want what we want. And when we really want what we want, we do anything to get it.