10 Lessons Learned from Not Getting What I Want.

By:Tim Denning
Photo: Image Credit: Pexels

We always talk about what we can learn from success, but what about the good that can come from not getting what we want?

There is a whole lot of good that can come from not getting what you want. I’ve spent the last 12 months chasing a big goal of mine and consistently not getting what I want. The lessons learned from this experience were surprising to me at first, then surprising to a few friends, and now I’d like to share them with you.

I’m hoping by the end of the article you’ll see that not getting what you want is not only part of the process, but where many of the strategies and insights come from that ultimately lead you to get what you want.

Here are the 10 lessons:

1. Wasn’t ready

Okay, so I thought I was ready to get what I want and ride off into the sunset. Turns out I wasn’t (uh oh spaghettio!)

There was a lot more to learn. I thought I was ready, but the truth was I was only just starting the process of understanding what I wanted. At the start, I was convinced I knew what I wanted. Then, after experimenting a bit, I realized I have no freaking idea.

There’s a process to getting what you want and you may be too early. It’s better to be early than be on your deathbed and it’s too late — Pat yourself on the back amigo.

2. Didn’t work hard enough, yet

The biggest one on the list is this one.

You didn’t get what you want (like me) because you didn’t work hard enough for it. You did two laps of the oval and that doesn’t make you ready to achieve your goal of being an Olympic Runner. You wrote 20 blog articles and that doesn’t make you ready to get your goal/want of writing a New York Times Best Seller. You went on 5 dates and that doesn’t make you worthy of your goal to find a life partner, get married, and make babies.

Maybe just maybe you haven’t worked hard enough yet.

When you put in the hours towards that thing you want, and you do it for long enough, you will get what you want. The big question is, how much is enough?

There’s no answer to that question which is why you must keep working your butt off until you’ve done enough and you get what you want. In my experience, it takes a minimum of five years to get an enormous goal on your list ticked off and completed.

3. Didn’t care enough

I didn’t get what I wanted because the care factor was not high enough yet. You have to really care about getting what you want for you to follow through with the appropriate actions to get you there brah!

You say you want it. But how bad do you want it?

How bad do you care? Show me and show the world.

4. Sacrifices had to be made

Getting what you want requires giving up other wants.

I knew what I wanted. There was one small problem: I wasn’t willing to give up a few other things to make room for this goal.

Getting what you want requires shortening the list of wants to make room for the main want. Because you can’t have everything you want and you already knew that before this article.

Sacrifices will bring you closer to getting what you want.

It’s incredibly hard to make a sacrifice, but it’s even harder to live your life not getting your want/goal and living with this anger for the rest of your life.

5. Haven’t been in the game long enough

Okay, I said it before: There’s no such thing as an overnight success.
It’s going to take longer to get what you want.

6. Haven’t been rejected enough

Spending 12 months trying to get that one big thing I want ticked off my list taught me that there are going to be lots of people who are going to stop you getting what you want.

Some intend on blocking your path to glory, and others are just in your way and don’t even know why. You are going to be rejected trying to get what you want and maybe that’s what’s holding you back.

Get used to the rejection because with 100 no’s, there’s bound to be a yes in there somewhere.

The rejection you experience along the way makes getting what you want feel so much better.

7. There’s never only one chance

You never get only one bite at the cherry.

Don’t tell yourself that if you don’t get what you want this year, it’s over. Don’t give up that easily. Even if you have an opportunity right now to get what you want, and it’s the dream opportunity, it’s not going to be your only chance.

Other chances arise; it’s just that they don’t always look the same.

8. You’re going to look stupid at some point

What many of us want looks entirely stupid to other people.

This pursuit of getting what you want and achieving that elusive goal is not going to come without times where you have no idea, make mistakes, say dumb stuff and make a total arse of yourself in front of people you admire/respect.

In the process of getting what I want, I’ve shown my naivety, lack of experience, less than ideal formal education and my lack of preparation at times.

One part of the process made me look especially stupid. A person who was an enabler of me getting what I want asked me of a time I demonstrated humility. I accidentally mixed up the meaning of the word humility in my head and described a time I was compassionate. This hijacked, and ultimately, led to one giant embarrassment.

Through looking stupid, though, I also discovered what it was like to be persistent and keep going. My mindset also came out during these low points when I least expected it to.

Whatever you want, don’t be afraid to look stupid while trying to get it.

9. Something better always comes along

And sometimes, not getting what you want leads you to find something better. The big goal I’ve referenced this entire article — as being the thing I want — has turned out to be exactly what I don’t want.

Like I said earlier, what you want can change and it’s better to pursue something and fail than to never try and get what you want because it’s too hard.

You are worthy of getting what you want — just be prepared to learn a few things along the way and know that everything can change and will change, so enjoy the process.

10. You’re responsible

No one owes you anything and it’s up to you to work your face off and get what you want. When you don’t get it, you only have yourself to blame. Sounds sad although there is an upside: you’re in control. Yay!

Don’t make others responsible otherwise you’ll never get what you want and you’ll find a way to complain instead of working towards getting what you want. It begins and ends with you.