How to Get What You Want

There is actually more than one way to get what you want. Some people steal it. Some people luck into it. Some people have it handed to them. But there are “problems” with all of those. You’ve likely heard the saying that crime doesn’t pay. Well sometimes it does pay, but it never pays for very long. People who get what they want by stealing it will eventually lose it, it’s only a question of time. 

Even the luckiest people in the world aren’t lucky all the time. So if you have what you want and got it by being lucky then you too are merely borrowing what you want. Sooner or later, the bill from Lady Luck will come calling. 

The people who have what they want handed to them most often don’t appreciate it enough to possess it for very long. They have no “skin in the game” so when they lose what they have they assume someone will replace it with something else they want. They are shocked when they discover it doesn’t work that way all the time. 

But there is a way to get what you want. It’s also the only way to be certain you’ll get to keep it. To get what you want and keep it, you have to deserve what you want. 

In other words, you have to earn it. 

People who earn what they want would tell you that the world is actually a pretty fair place. There is no dark force that works against anyone to prevent them from succeeding. Everyone faces challenges and roadblocks. People who earn what they want figure out a way to get past them. 

One big way they do that is by controlling what they can control so well that they minimize the things that they can’t control. 

They have complete control over their character. They understand that there are no circumstances that can prevent them from living with integrity. That understanding helps them build solid relationships with people who can help them overcome life’s challenges. Only you can decide whether or not you’ll live a life of good character. Will you act, think and feel in a way that demonstrates respect for others, displays honesty, is consistently responsible, caring and fair?

Those are all choices you get to make every day. People who earn what they want make great choices. 

They also have a great work ethic. They know better than to put in 50% of their possible effort and expect a 100% return. They simply outwork the people who steal, luck into or hope to get what they want. 

So be honest with yourself and evaluate what percentage of days are you giving less than a 100% effort. I don’t suppose anyone can give 100% all the time but people who earn what they want give 100% almost all the time. If you want to increase your chances to earn what you want then get started by increasing your level of effort. That is also a choice completely within your control. 

Here is one more thing that people who earn what they want do. They learn. Always. Every single day. I would equate much of whatever success I’ve had not to the fact that I’m smart, which is completely debatable, but to the fact that I’ve mostly avoided being stupid. Which is not debatable. 

It is far easier to avoid stupidity than it is to be smart. All you need to do is constantly be learning. You can do that by opening yourself up to learn from anyone. Even people you don’t particularly like. Even your competitors. There is no one on the world that doesn’t know something you don’t and when you learn that you can learn anything. 

Learning is also a choice that is also completely within your control. If you’re willing to learn no one can stop you. If you’re not willing to learn no one can help you. So learn.

What is it that you want? Are you willing to earn it? 

If you can answer that first question then you are ahead of many people. If you can answer that second question with a yes then you are ahead of most.

Are You Too Concerned With Your Reputation?

I played hockey from about the time I could walk up until… well I’d play now if I could find the time and a sheet of ice. I played with a friend from Peewees right through high school. He was quite the character, whenever he would score a goal, even at 12 years old, he would yell bingo. So we called him Bingo.

We still call him Bingo today. Being a “character” tends to stay with you. So does actually having character. But only having character truly defines you. 

Lots of people, I’d say most people, are far more concerned with their reputation than they are their character. That’s a mistake. 

Here’s why.

Have you ever heard it said of someone “their reputation precedes them?” That’s often considered a compliment. Then when you meet them you’re surprised that they are not at all what you expected. It turned out their reputation was more mirage than fact. It’s not that their reputation was wrong, it was simply a representation of “what” people think they do, not “who” they are. 

Remember this, your reputation may precede you but your character is always attached to you. 

Your reputation can be more valuable than money, there’s no question about that. I suppose that’s why people focus so much on their reputation. What they don’t realize is that their reputation is built upon the foundation of their character. 

The words they speak and the actions they take come straight out of their character. Reputation is who people think you are, character is who you really are. You may be able to hide behind a good reputation for a while but your true character will eventually show itself.

People of good character have no need to hide any part of their life. They take care of their character and their reputation takes care of itself. Your character is reflective of the core values you hold. 

Character is within you. It is even more important than other factors like race, religion, age, and personality in determining how you react during life’s tougher circumstances. Your experiences in life may influence the character traits you have—but it is your character itself that determines how you act.

People can “know” your reputation without really knowing you. Character traits like integrity, courage, honesty, loyalty, and perseverance can only be seen by those who truly want to know you. 

Even people of good character can have a less than stellar reputation because other people’s opinions of you and their biases for you and against you can shape your reputation. That’s how reputations become a mirage, they are often made of opinions. Character is based upon actions.

So which are you more concerned with…your reputation or your character? Focus on the long term by focusing on your character. Your character will eventually build a solid reputation made from facts, not opinions.