Today I caught myself wishing I was different. Sitting at a cafe waiting for my soy hot chocolate, I saw a girl who was fit, healthy and lean. No muffin top, skin-tight t-shirt fitting exactly where it should, and a glowing complexion. And while I was looking at her, I found myself wishing I was like that, as though this girl was just lucky, and had somehow been ‘chosen’ and granted her wish of healthy attractiveness. I wished I had that complete package of strength, fitness and total hotness. I wished I was different than me. And it got me thinking – how many other things in my life do I just wish for?
Then I realised, wishing is not going to make it happen.
So damn obvious, but so true. There is no magical way I will suddenly, with ease, be transformed into my ultimate physique, just because I long for it. Nor will my wish be granted that my daughter won’t throw hissy fits so loud the whole mountain can hear, or that our mortgage will be miraculously erased so we can travel to our heart’s content.
Wishing is for fairy tales, not fine asses, immaculately behaved children and pure financial independence.
Some people want it to happen,
some wish it would happen,
others make it happen.
~ Michael Jordan ~
How many times do you quietly wish for something to change? Wish for a better body, wish you could work less, wish your boss would acknowledge your efforts, wish your partner would be more romantic, wish you knew another language, wish you could go on a holiday, wish you could lose weight, wish you could play the guitar, wish you could start a business, wish you could eat healthier, wish you were more organised, wish you had a better memory, wish you lived in a nicer house? How many times have you looked at someone else and wished you could be/do/live/ like them? And where has all that wishing got you?
Wishing things were different is like admitting change is not possible, while still wanting and feeling entitled to it. It’s like placing your order for something that’s not in stock – it’s just never going to arrive. You’re stuck on the receiving end of a life where there’s no home delivery service. Without action to cultivate results, a wish is a fruitless tree. Because when you only wish for something to change, you’re not taking active steps to make it happen. You’ve got to make it happen, because no-one else is going to do it for you.
So as I sat there pondering the location of my fairy godmother and her magical wand, I looked at my excuses. I knew this was something in my control. Time to get out my personal bullshit meter. Why can’t I be the best version of me? What am I telling myself that makes me falsely believe what I want will only be relegated as a wish? Why aren’t I what I admire – more than just physically? What’s stopping me?
Following our wishes are all the excuses that hinder us from getting what we want, and from turning wishes into reality.
I don’t have enough time
I am just not that kind of person
I’d never be able to ask for that
I’ve had kids
It’s not that bad
Heaps of people are like me
I don’t have that money
It runs in my family
I can’t do it on my own
I’m too old
It’s really difficult
This is just who I am
The next time you find yourself wishing for something, listen to what excuse follows. Literally say the excuse out loud, as though you were telling your best mate. Listen to how it sounds, as though you were your best friend. And ask yourself, are those excuses really true? How do you know they’re true? I could say I’m just not the kind of person to be fit and perma-healthy. Why? Who says? Since when? What’s stopping me? Throw some accusations at your excuses and see where they begin. Usually you’ll find the finger points right back at you.
Often our excuses are so entrenched, we rarely realise they exist and prevent our progress. Excuses are buried deep, so far below, that we come to believe them as truth. That’s why it can be hard to spot them as excuses and not justifications of reality. Sure, there are often justifiable conditions that hold us back from achieving things – I’m not talking about those – I’m talking about the layered excuses and blatant lies we allow ourselves to believe, often for huge spans of our lives. We can go our entire lifetime believing fabrications of what we or ‘society’ deems ‘appropriate’ or ‘normal’.
The next time your find yourself wishing for something different, something better, new, exciting, but thinking it’s just not possible, ask yourself why. Do you want it bad enough to change your thinking and get the results you want? Do you want learn more, expand your life, try something outside the box, and take a risk? Or are you happy to think that it’s just not possible? You can choose to believe what you always have is what there will always be, or choose to believe there’s an alternative.
Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.
~ Henry Ford ~
The truth is, we are all capable of so much more than simple wishes. It’s time to stop making excuses and start making changes. Wishing is an empty dream, but the decision to act and make change is real.
So now, instead of listlessly wishing for change, I’m going to start saying ‘How can I do this?’. What decisions can I make throughout my day, week, month, or year that will get me what I only formerly wished for? What steps – big or small – can I take to move me in the direction I desire? These daily decisions to override excuses are what will make the difference.
What do you wish for? And what stops you from getting it?