One of the many quirks of being a human is the presence of never-ending desires, physical and mental. Our minds and our bodies make us yearn for things constantly. These things aren’t always ‘things’ – they can be emotions, experiences, or other non tangibles. For most people it would be literally impossible to ever get everything we want. Especially since once we get it, we eventually just start desiring more.
There will never be a point in your life where you are without any desire for something you don’t have. That thought can be freeing to some, in the same way that accepting you are going to die one day can remove your fear of certain things, but it can also be discouraging; There is no way you can ever totally satisfy all your desires and get EVERYTHING you want.
The good news is that for the vast majority of people reading this article it is entirely possible to get ANYTHING you want, and you don’t have to be lucky, or smart, or born rich, or anything. All you have to do is acknowledge that you will never be able to get EVERYTHING you want, and instead focus on the few things that are really the most important to you, and that you are really passionate about, and you WILL get them. To do this you HAVE to stop diverting resources away from the things that aren’t as important, or it won’t happen.
It doesn’t matter what your goal is (owning a Ferrari, Living in a certain place, improving yourself in some way, getting a certain kind of job) if you truly dedicate your resources toward that goal (most importantly your time and money) you can get it.
Where people go wrong is they let other things that would know, if they stopped and though about it for even a second, are non-essential to them get in the way and prevent them from achieving what they really want.
For example imagine a guy who for whatever reason is just super passionate about owning a certain type of car, like a Ferrari or Lamborghini. He just needs one to be a complete person. If that guy truly dedicated himself to getting one, it would happen. It might not happen fast, or easily, but it would happen. If he made most of his decisions based on that goal – where he lives, how much he spends on other things, where he works, who he becomes friends with, whether or not he gets married, etc, – then it’s not hard to imagine he would eventually get his $350k or whatever, or find other ways to own such a car.
Now that particular goal is just an example and might seem stupid to you, but it is designed just to point out that if a person, even a person of meager resources, uses all those resources toward a goal, it will usually happen.
The reason it doesn’t happen for most people, even for goals that are WAY easier to achieve, is that they aren’t willing to accept the opportunity costs. They want EVERYTHING and in the process of trying they end up giving up the stuff they want MOST to get other things they don’t even really care about!
We’ve all seen people talk about things they are really passionate about, where they get that gleam in their eye just imagining it. Travel, living in a certain place, whatever. And when they are done somebody asks, why don’t you do it? And crestfallen, they always answer something like “my job” or “I don’t have enough money” or “my girlfriend/wife doesn’t want to” or whatever. But they don’t even like their job, they are spending money on all sorts of stuff they don’t care about nearly as much, and their significant other (who is supposed to care about them more than anybody else) is the one keeping them from their dreams. Insanity.
It is always remarkable to me that the people who REALLY want things, who view something as a given that must be a part of their life, find a way to make it happen, and don’t view the opportunity costs as a hindrance. The guy for who surfing is everything, his life, doesn’t say “I can’t live by the beach because its too expensive”. He goes and lives in a van, or gets 4 roommates, or maybe even moves to another country where its cheaper. What if that guy looked around and said, “I there are no 2 bedroom apartment’s I can afford close enough to the beach, so I guess I won’t be surfing.” ? He just let some random aspect of his life ( a certain living situation) that he probably doesn’t even really care that much about, control the thing that he DOES really care about. Don’t let that happen to you.
- Prioritize the things you want in your life
- Acknowledge that you will not be able to have them all – You can have anything you want, but not everything you want.
- Sacrifice the desires lower on the list for your true passions
- Ignore the haters