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9 Reasons You Never Get What You Want

9 Reasons You Never Get What You Want
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Welcome to the leading edge!

First of all, let me congratulate you. By asking the question, “Why do I never get what I want?” you have already started moving toward everything you want. You are challenging the cultural premise that says, “I don’t deserve it,” or “I should be content with the mediocre life that I have,” or “only smart/rich/genius people deserve that stuff.” You should have everything you want! You should feel good! You do deserve good things! And you have acknowledged that what you’ve been doing so far isn’t working, which means that you are open to suggestions about what will work. This puts you ahead of at least 75% of the human population. Welcome to the leading edge!

Nine Reasons That You Don’t Get What You Want

1. You’re satisfied with mediocrity.

We all receive messages from many sources: parents, friends, churches, movies, TV shows, the news… messages that tell us we should be nice, well-behaved consumers who are satisfied with mediocrity and don’t try to stray too far from it. But this doesn’t mean that YOU have to be satisfied with mediocrity. If you have a few minutes, take the time to watch this video by Randy Gage, in which he points out the

“mind viruses” that are fed to you by movies.

2. You say “I can’t.”

These two words, and their cousins “I have to,” should be eliminated from all languages everywhere. These are loser words. Victim words. As soon as you think or say “I can’t,” before you’ve even gotten to “because,”  you’ve already given all of your power away, and the more words you put after “because,” the faster your power is fleeing from you.

Replace “I can’t” with “I could if I wanted to.” Replace “I have to” with “I am doing this because…”

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If those replacements don’t work for you, there are plenty of other words to choose from. According to the Global Language Monitor, as of January 1, 2014, there were 1,025,109.8 words in the English language. Have fun. But don’t say “I can’t” or “I have to,” ever again. Period.

3. You complain about never getting what you want.

Every time we want something, we are also keenly aware of its absence. As Abraham says in this short video, “Every subject is really two subjects.” There is the problem, which is the lack of what you want. For instance, the lack of money —  and there is the solution, which is what you want — more money.

Instead of joining in your friends’ conversations about being poor, lonely, fat or sick, excuse yourself and go daydream for five minutes. What would it be like to be rich? What kind of car would you drive? What kind of house would you live in? What would it be like to be in a great relationship? What would you do together? What would you talk about? If you had a perfect body, what would you wear? How would other people respond to you? What would your perfect job feel like?

4. You hate rich / skinny / successful / healthy / happy / attractive people.

Jealousy is a colossal waste of time and energy. Worse, it keeps you from getting what you want, because if you get rich, a great-looking body, or a relationship that curls your toes… you’re going to look a whole lot like the very people you hate. And then what are you going to do, hate yourself? That’s pretty messed up!

Instead of hating these people, study them! They’ve figured out how to get what you want! If you can figure out how they got it, and you do the same thing, then you can have it, too. They’re giving you a gift foolish not to accept.

“When the success of another makes your heart sing, your resistance is gone, and your own success soars.”
— Abraham Hicks

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5. You only talk about it / haven’t actually done anything about it / think reading about it is enough.

Don’t get me wrong; dreaming, reading, talking (to the right people) is great! All of these actions make you feel super inspired, and this place of inspiration is the best platform from which to launch inspired, productive action.

If you’ve found a perfect diet, a perfect fitness routine, a perfect person, a perfect job, a perfect business opportunity, act! You may never get this opportunity again! Don’t wait until Sunday because it’s a new week. Throw caution to the winds, and take that first step. If you’re hesitating, what’s holding you back? Is it that…

6. You worry about what others think.

If you decide that you’re going to do whatever it takes to fulfill your dreams, sooner or later you’re going to start looking and acting like those rich, skinny, successful people that people hate. And guess what? This means that some people are going to start hating YOU, and some of these people are going to be friends, family and other people you love and care about. Let’s take a minute to truly look at this one, because I have a feeling that it is behind a lot of hesitation for many people.

Your loved ones probably don’t mean you any harm, but some of them may — consciously or unconsciously — try to sabotage you, to keep you down on their level, to make sure they don’t lose connection with you. They might ridicule your moneymaking ideas or your new boyfriend or girlfriend, or bring you doughnuts while you’re on your new diet, or try to talk you into going to the bar instead of going to the gym.

At some point, if you find their antics too distracting, you may have to make a difficult choice. Do you want to give up your dreams, say “I’m sorry,” and stuff yourself back into your old mediocre box to keep them happy? Or do you want to risk alienating them to fulfill your dreams?

You might be tempted to try to bring them up to your level, to talk them into joining you on your journey toward success. I did this for a long time. But unless they want to join you, your attempts to drag them along are going to fail, and in the process, you’ll end up exhausted.

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The good news is, as you become more successful, you will find out who your real friends are, and you’ll attract new friends who support you. These friends will be ecstatic when you tell them that you’ve made your first million dollars, or that you’ve achieved 10% body fat and look fantastic, or that you are completely healed from your disease and have started running again, or that you have found your soul mate and are blissfully in love. These people are keepers.

7. You’re afraid to suck.

This goes back to being worried about what other people think. Remember, everyone was a beginner: Olympic athletes, top-notch musicians, even you. Remember your first day at work? That deer-in-the-headlights feeling? Remember how many mistakes you made? But you didn’t remain a beginner, did you? You got better at what you were doing.

Babies aren’t born with ripped, perfect bodies, fabulous relationships, or checking accounts full of dollars. Self-made millionaires, entrepreneurs, musicians, bodybuilders, married people — everyone had to start from ground zero. And in the beginning, everyone sucked. They started businesses that folded. They tried diets and training programs that didn’t work. They got involved in horrible relationships. Thomas Edison “failed” 10,000 times before he came up with a light bulb that worked. If you try something and it doesn’t work, try something different. But don’t give up your dream.

“Every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
— Napoleon Hill, Think And Grow Rich.

8. You think getting what you want happens overnight.

Do you know what happens to most people who win the lottery or lose lots of weight in a short period of time? They spend all of the money, they put the weight back on, and they wind up back — or worse off than — where they started. Being an overnight success is like being plunged into the deep end of a pool without learning how to swim first. It’s why people like Susan Boyle and Justin Bieber had such a tough time adjusting to becoming overnight sensations; it was too much, too fast. They didn’t get to be beginners.

In most cases, it takes 1 to 2 years for an average person build a ripped body, unless he or she puts in exceptional effort. It takes from 2-5 years for a new business to start turning a profit; more than that to actually generate enough income to live on. Success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time for our bodies to adjust to a new shape, and it takes time for our minds to adjust to a new way of thinking.

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Once you’ve decided that nothing is more important than your dreams, don’t give up. Stick with it. The payoff will be the manifestation of your dreams, your ability to inspire others to manifest theirs, and, believe it or not, taking the whole human species with you to the next level. You can do it.

9. You decide it’s too hard and quit before you get what you want.

There’s no doubt about it; manifesting your dreams can take a lot of hard work. Whether your dream is starting a business, being in a long-term relationship, having a great-looking, great-feeling body, or changing your outlook on life, sometimes you have to make sacrifices to get there.

When you’re working 60 or more hours a week on your new business and are slowly falling behind on the bills; when you’re exhausted from a late night and the last thing you want to do is get up early and work out; when you and your new partner are fighting again about the same dumb thing you fought about the last time, remember: you aren’t just sacrificing; you’re investing. Just like an investor, you’re setting aside your mental and emotional capital in order to gain wonderful things in the long term. Just hang in there.

Featured photo credit: Freedom/Kathryn via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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