Not getting what you want could be kind of cool

We do not always get what we want.

Sometimes, no matter how much we want something and no matter how hard we fight for it, it is out of our reach. When life denies us the things we want, we tend to become frustrated and angry. We claim that life is unfair as we cannot understand that not getting what we want might be exactly what we need. Generally, our wants and desires are fuelled by our emotions; therefore, we seldom think about the future consequences of getting the things we want. Instead, we focus on the immediate benefit and satisfaction which we would feel upon reaching our desired goals.

What we want is not as important as what we need.

James Scott Hensen describes the moment he understood that his desires are not important. “I started to recognize that I had a mind, but I was not my mind,” he writes. “Meditation showed me how this mind was always grasping and wanting and reaching out for different things. It was a craving and aversion machine. It wasn’t long before I realized that it wanted these things solely for the sake of having them, and that none of them were all that important. I just wanted what I wanted because I wanted it.”

Not getting what you want can be a blessing.

As previously mentioned, our wants are influenced by our emotions. Therefore, what we want when we are angry or upset can be something that brings us more pain than joy in the future. Similarly, what we believe we desire when we are happy can also prove to be something that does not bring us joy when we are in a neutral state. Putting our emotions aside, it is important to note that as people, we value immediate benefits over future consequences. In other words, when we want something, it is generally because we know that it will make us feel good and that it will give us pleasure. However, this is true only for the current moment. Taking this idea further, we do not know how getting what we want could impact us in the future.

Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.

Dalai Lama XIV

Be grateful.

Rather than feeling pain and frustration because you cannot obtain what you want, seek the beauty in what you already have. To do this, you must first accept that your wants (and whims) can do you more harm than good. Have faith that whatever is meant for you will find you and that if it is unattainable, then it is not meant to be. Instead of fighting what you cannot change, let go, and have faith that better things are coming.

What’s meant for you will reach you even if it’s beneath two mountains, and what’s not meant for you won’t reach you even if it’s between your two lips.

Etaf Rum

Show gratitude for the things and people that are in your life. What you currently have will always be more important than what you could have had.

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