The Joy of Not Getting What We Want

“Remember that not getting what you want Is often a terrific stroke of luck.” ~ Dalai Lama
Let me tell you a story. I initially read it in a book on Taoism, however Ive seen it in a minimum of a dozen other places ever since, each with its own variation. Heres the gist:
Theres this farmer. His preferred horse escapes. Everybody informs him that this is an awful turn of events and that they are sorry for him. He states, “Well see.”
The horse comes back a couple of days later on, and it brings an entire herd of wild horses with it. Everybody informs him that this is a wonderful turn of events and that theyre delighted for him. He states, “Well see.”
The farmers child is trying to break among the brand-new horses, it throws him, and he breaks his leg. Everybody informs the farmer that this is a terrible turn of events which theyre sorry for him. He says, “Well see.”
The army comes through the village. The nation is at war and they are conscripting people to go battle. They leave the farmers kid alone because he has a broken leg. Everyone tells him that this is a terrific turn of events and that theyre happy for him.
The farmer says, “Well see.”
Now let me tell you who I was when I first heard that story. I was twenty-three or twenty-four, trying to get off of drugs and stop drinking and turn my life around in basic. I had recently rolled my car out into a field, lost my other half and the majority of my buddies, and had actually transferred to West Texas to begin over.
I was clever sufficient to know something needed to alter, however I wasnt rather wise adequate to understand how, so I tried to do what I believed smart people did– I started going to the library.
I at first got into a lot of unusual things like alternate theories about the history of the world, cryptozoology, and things like that. Not truly the modification I required.
One day I went to the library searching for a book about the Mothman, however Stephen Hawkings A Brief History of Time was being in its place. I didnt know anything about this book or the things it discussed, however the title was cool, and libraries are free, so I inspected it out.
Its difficult to overemphasize just how much this book revolutionized my view of the universe and my place in it. It was enjoying recognize how much there was out there that I didnt understand. Atlantis and Bigfoot were replaced by quantum mechanics and string theory.
I ultimately stumbled onto The Dancing Wu Li Masters by Gary Zukav, rearranging my worldview once again. Having grown up in a pretty rigorous evangelical home, any sort of eastern viewpoint was completely outdoors my context. This led me to begin studying Taoism and Buddhism, the majority of particularly Zen Buddhism, and to the story I started this post with.
I started to acknowledge that I had a mind, however I was not my mind. Meditation revealed me how this mind was constantly desiring and grasping and connecting for various things. It was a yearning and aversion maker.
It wasnt long before I understood that it desired these things solely for the sake of having them, and that none of them were all that important. I just desired what I wanted since I wanted it.
This changed whatever.
I had actually invested the previous fifteen years running from one thing to another in order to avoid stress and anxiety, depression, anger, and worry. I did this through alcohol and drugs and taking insane risks with my life. These things have consequences.
These effects came as car wrecks, prison time, hospitalizations, and a long string of ruined relationships. I was so mesmerized by my wants that I was going through life with my eyes closed, blindly chasing them, with predictable results.
Understanding that I was not my mind provided me a sense of neutrality about the important things I desired and the important things I did not desire. It taught me that I didnt need to be so attached to having or avoiding things. This let me stop running.
I discovered that getting our method is exaggerated. Once we recognize this, we are much less prone to the whims of a lightweight, vulnerable, and fickle mind.
Why We Have No Business Getting What We Want
There are three main reasons we require to be careful about being too purchased getting what we want:

About James Scott HensonJames Scott Henson has actually worked with people as a social worker, a counselor, a meditation teacher, and now as a coach for close to two years. He composes, podcasts, and posts on Instagram about mindfulness, compassion, intentionality, and gratitude.

We are emotional animals, driven by things like appetite and a bad nights sleep.
To a great degree were wired for short-term thinking. Immediate advantage often outweighs long-lasting consequences.
We experience time in a linear fashion, so the future is entirely unidentified to us.

Lets have a look at these.
Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired
I often motivate individuals to memorize the acronym HALTS to use when making decisions. It means starving, delighted, angry, lonely, exhausted, stressed, and unfortunate.
These are all common emotional states, and they are all terrible times to make a choice. Weve all heard the advice not to shop while were hungry, and theres a factor for that– its excellent suggestions. You will purchase more food than you need, all based upon how you feel in that minute.
Im unsure Ive ever seen excellent choices originate from these emotions, unless luck intervened and let the person off the hook. All of it makes sense when we think of it.
Anger shuts down the very best parts of out brain. When we choose to address something in a moment of anger, situations go from bad to worse and from even worse to unfixable.
When we are unfortunate the entire world seems bleak and it seems like it will never alter. This is okay, unless we make long-term decisions based upon the concept of a threatening, crushing world.
Stress makes the tiniest things feel overwhelming. We can not make great choices when making our bed or going grocery shopping noise like monumental jobs.
Due to the fact that we need somebody, when were lonesome were likely to let the incorrect people into our lives simply. This opens us approximately hazardous, manipulative, and malicious people.
Our brains are sluggish and slow when we are exhausted, and our decisions are, unfortunately, seldom our best.
Even the so-called favorable feelings arent safe. I understand I have overcommitted to things on days when I enjoyed and feeling a bit much better than normal.
When you take all of this together, it assists us to see that the things we want are flimsy which they change depending on our state of mind. The important things we want end up being a lot less essential when we realize that we might just want them since we had a bad nights sleep, or we skipped lunch.
Short-Term Planning
Our immediate actions are hardly ever oriented to the long term. This makes sense, given that many of the things our body requirements are immediate– food, sleep, defense, sex, using the restroom, and so on.
When we focus on meeting these needs to the exclusion of the things that are excellent for us long term, the issue emerges. I wasnt stupid– I d constantly known that the drinking and drugs were an issue. The problem was that logical James was generally outvoted by insane James.
I had good intents, and they held so long as I wasnt around any of my temptations. My long-term preparation was strong until short-term fun remained in front of me. It was infuriating to enjoy my willpower and dreams go out the window over and over again.
As I pointed out above, our desires are lightweight when we begin to explore them. Why do you desire chocolate? Why do you desire a beer? Why do you wish to go on a walk? Why do you wish to go to Disney World?
We have all sorts of responses for these questions:
Due to the fact that I deserve it.
Because I require to relax.
Since its a great day outside.
Since Disney World is the happiest put on earth.
When we analyze them though, these do not really hold up.
Why do you deserve it?
What does it suggest to relax?
What makes it a great day?
What makes Disney World the happiest put on earth?
We always arrive at the realization that we just desire to feel good one method or another if we keep going. We want to feel helpful for the sake of feeling good. While theres definitely nothing wrong with this, it is ultimately unwarranted, and we can not let it drive our lives.
Not feeling good belongs of the human experience. Youre going to get ill, youre going to have days that are not as good as other days, youre going to have a headache sometimes. These things are inevitable.
The important things we desire right here and today are seldom the very best things for us long term. Long-lasting preparation requires intentionality and energy because of this. It may be bothersome however its real.
We Cant Predict the Future
As a kid, I keep in mind believing it was unusual that we could not keep in mind the future. If I could remember what took place yesterday, why could not my brain go the other direction?
This is among the primary constraints of our species, and the most essential reason that we shouldnt hold the important things we desire too firmly. We dont know how anything is going to turn out, including what will take place if we get what we want.
I utilized to drive through Lubbock, Texas one or two times a year to go snowboarding. Lubbock is a city out in the desert, and while I have actually come to enjoy it here, I dont think anyone would describe it as lovely.
Lubbock has some dubious honors. We have actually been voted most dull city in America, worst weather condition worldwide, and I just recently checked out that we have the worst diet in the United States. Our hardship and violent crime rates are roughly double the national average, and we score high on things like child abuse and teen pregnancy.
I constantly swore I d never live in a location like Lubbock when I would pass through here, but moving here twenty years ago conserved my life. The place that I enjoyed, Austin, I brought me to rock bottom. it was only a matter of time prior to I was dead or in jail.
On the other hand, the place that I swore I d never live has actually provided me a college education, a family, and an effective company– all things that I thought only existed for other people. I truthfully shutter when I believe what my life would have looked like had I not moved.
I was working at a CD store and loved it, but one Sunday corporate came in and said they were shutting the location down. They gave me a two-week paycheck to assist them pack the store up and move it out.
It sucked, but this led me to working at hotels, where I had the ability to make money to do all my research and still have time to check out for fun. I burned through all the Russian classics, made all As, and got to invest a lot of time with my child when he was little. I will always be grateful for that.
Before opening my practice, I was operating at a personal university. For somebody with sixty-plus tasks in their life (my wife and I made a list), dealing with a college school was incredible– it was the top place I viewed as a “forever” job.
When things went bad, they went all bad and it was obvious it was time to leave, but I was comfy. I neglected some problems I need to not have been overlooking, and it overtook me. By the time I left I was burned out and ill all the time.
Due to the fact that I didnt really see any other options, this catapulted me into opening my own service. I d never seen myself as being responsible adequate to do this, and people informed me I didnt have the head for it.
6 years later, my business has been incredibly successful and managed me more flexibility than I could ever think of, however even this wasnt the end. I just recently closed my office to stay at home with my kids, another twist I couldnt have seen coming.
We are trapped in direct time, so we dont know whats coming right around the corner. Hanging on to something or another as the ideal thing or the thing we “ought to have frequently causes us to miss out on the remarkable things right in front of us.
Accepting What We Get
My life has been a series of hard lessons caused by my narcissistic, entitled, and silly choices. They have all, in one way or another, taught me something: I do not understand whats best, so a bulk of the time I do not have any company getting what I want.
Things like someone shelving a library book in the incorrect place, corporate closing the location I worked, and moving to a city I actively disliked have produced the very best things in my life. I would not have picked any of these if I d been provided the option.
We are psychological, shortsighted animals who have no access to the future. Discovering to cultivate approval for the things beyond our control often opens up remarkable paths for us. I know it has for me.

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Meditation revealed me how this mind was constantly understanding and wanting and reaching out for different things. Realizing that I was not my mind provided me a sense of objectivity about the things I desired and the things I did not desire. The issue arises when we focus on conference these requirements to the exemption of the things that are great for us long term. The things we want right here and right now are rarely the finest things for us long term. When things went bad, they went all bad and it was obvious it was time to leave, but I was comfy.

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