Why We Don’t Always Get What We Want

Lonely Man

“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” ~Dalai Lama

It’s probably happened to you. In all likelihood, it has happened multiple times in your life thus far.

You don’t understand why it happens. And when it does, it can throw you into the deepest valleys of despair.

Perhaps you cry out to a higher power to make things better. Maybe you just stare into the cosmos, wondering what the meaning of life is and why things get tough.

I’ve been there. Many times. For all sorts of reasons.

Breakups, career problems, dealing with a death, financial issues, there are a million things that can put you into this frame of mind.

You know what you want more than anything, but no matter what you do, the universe just doesn’t seem to give it to you. Why? Why can’t things just be easier, simpler? Why can’t things get better?

Why can’t we get what we want?

A few years ago I was going through an extremely difficult time in my life. My fiancé of four years had broken up with me. Over the phone.

No visit. No long talk about how we could maybe work it out. She just told me she couldn’t do it anymore.

And just like that, I was thrown into that valley.

I spent the next few months searching for answers. I read through different religious texts, self-help sites, and scientific books. I prayed, I meditated, and I even tried to visualize the thing that I wanted the most. 

I just wanted my fiancé back.

My work suffered at my job, though I didn’t notice. It took an old friend, one of my bosses, calling me into his office and having an honest conversation for me to realize that I was basically coasting through the weeks.

In the evenings, I was plagued by dreams of my ex. In them, we were happy and together. Everything had worked out.

Of course, I always woke up in the middle of the night, sweating and crying. Yeah, I woke up crying.

I was raised to believe in a higher power. But during those nights of torture, I found myself pounding my pillow and begging him/her to make everything better.

Nothing ever got better, though.

Talks with friends yielded no good counsel. As a student of the psychological sciences, and a counselor myself, their cliché words only served to frustrate me.

“There’s a reason for everything.” “If it’s meant to be.” “Time heals all wounds.” The more I heard their fortune cookie advice, the angrier I became. 

And the whole time, I continued to beg the higher power to fix everything.

One day at my job, I was talking to one of the teachers I worked with. She was a huge fan of Native American history and had an interesting perspective on my predicament.

She suggested that I go on a vision quest.

I’d done one of these when I was in graduate school as part of an assignment. We had studied the ancient technique the natives used when they were searching for answers, so I was pretty familiar with the process.

If you don’t know what a vision quest is, you go out to a place where all you can do is observe the world around you and focus intensely on the thoughts that come as a result.

This time, though, the stakes were much higher than on my previous quest.

I decided to do it on a weekend and woke up the following Saturday morning with one mission in mind: to find answers. 

The former capital of the Cherokee nation was only twenty minutes from my house, now set aside as a state park. I figured what better place to do a vision quest than where the Native Americans used to live?

It was a chilly morning, and the forests surrounding the historical site were thick with fog as I began my walk.

I stopped at various points along the way to meditate and pray. There was one spot next to a gentle brook where I watched the birds and squirrels scurrying about their day, mirroring the many thoughts and feelings rushing around in my head.

While nature was peaceful around me, a storm still raged in my heart centering around a single question: Why can’t I have what I want?

I continued the walk, writing down every thought and emotion that came to my mind. Minutes turned into hours and, as I neared the fourth hour of my quest, I decided it was getting close to time for me to leave. Empty handed.

I neared the top of a ridge at the edge of the sacred land and looked up into the leafy canopy of the forest. Poplar, oak, and maple leaves hung silently above me.

“I just want to know why you won’t fix this for me,” I said out loud, bitterly.

Suddenly, my mind was whisked back to the school where I work to a point a few weeks before and a conversation I’d had with one of my students. I’d walked into the computer classroom to see what everyone was working on that day and he’d gotten my attention.

“Hey, can you fix my grade in this class so I can pass?”

The question caught me off guard and I laughed. “Yeah, I can do that,” I surprised him with my answer. As a school counselor, I have access to that kind of stuff.

His face became hopeful. “You can?”

I went on to explain to him that I could do that, but I wouldn’t.

He asked why.

I told him it was because if I fixed everything for him like that, he would never learn anything.

My brain zipped back to the moment, standing on the forest trail. The realization punched me in the face like Mike Tyson in his prime.

A smile crept onto my face. Then I began to laugh and looked back up into the treetops.  A robust breeze rolled in, waving the high branches around dramatically.

I continued to smile as I spun around staring dizzily into the rustling leaves.

That was it. If someone or something always fixed everything for me all the time, I would never learn anything. More than that, I would never be able to do anything for myself in life. I would always be dependent on someone or something else to make things better for me. 

I would never be able to learn another language, live in a foreign environment, try new foods or activities, or grow as a person in any way.

Sometimes in life things happen that can be difficult, and often they can be extremely painful. We must push through those moments where all seems lost. When we do, we can find a new us on the other side that is wiser and more beautiful than we ever imagined.

By working through these difficult changes in life, we grow into something new, better, stronger.

To paraphrase what the Rolling Stones said: You can’t always get what you want. But you get what you need.

Photo by Zigg-E

About Ernest Dempsey

Ernest Dempsey is a Counselor and fiction author from Chattanooga, Tennessee. You can check out his books or his powerful blog posts at or follow him on Twitter @ErnDempsey.

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  • Esha


    This piece found me at such a RIGHT time! How amazing that first we must always always help ourselves first before the Universe can help us 🙂 Thanks so much for this article. I discovered for myself that because I think that the ‘Higher Power’ will take care of this, I just sit back and become passive. Sometimes it becomes an excuse to not take action and move forward. Of course, believing in a Higher Power is not wrong but first we must learn to completely fend for ourselves.
    BTW, what did you do in regards to your fiance?
    Thank you sooooo much again! Your previous article on helping others was also amazing 🙂 True human-ness!
    Keep rocking 😀

  • Nick

    Good words! I have been struggling with the end of my first serious relationship and the death of my mother in such a short span of time. This ‘crucible’ has taught me many things, some of which you mention in this article. I believe that a ‘Higher Power’ does not give us direct answers, much like you discovered. They come in pieces and parts through observation and syncronicity. Much like the teacher gives a student a ‘hint’ as to the right answer. Thank you for your insights and for helping me discover my own!


  • Great comment, Nick.
    I love what you said about synchronicity. Sounds like you’ve been hit pretty hard with the pouring rain.
    I’ll be sending some positive vibes out into the universe just for you. 🙂

  • You’re more than welcome, Esha. 🙂
    Your comments are right on. Just be sure to keep in mind that, while we are working on ourselves, true balance is also achieved by helping others. In fact, I just posted an article on my site today about that. Coincidence that this one ran at the same time? Not a chance. Synchronicity, like Nick said. 🙂
    The ultimate balance for us is to better ourselves through mindfulness of our actions and by helping others. I get fired up just thinking about it.
    As for the fiancé, it hurt for a while, as those things always do. But in the end, I dodged a huge bullet with that one. Eventually, I moved on, and am way happier than I ever could have been had we stayed together. 🙂

  • Talya Price

    Again this is a great article. I have been through this many many times, and I kept thinking I was being punish for something. And it wasn’t until months sometimes years later that all of those things happened in order to make me stronger. I am a much better person because of those things.

  • Alexey Sunly

    Nicely put together piece, Ernest. Your story telling skills are quite very well developed 🙂

  • Debbie

    Wow, Earnest this is great and you are right. All things happen for a reason and they do make us into a better person if we just let them.
    Thank you for sharing this very meaning full post. Great way to start out my week.
    Blessings to you and I hope you have found that right lady.

  • Thanks, Alexey. That’s a really nice thing to say. I appreciate the compliment. 🙂

  • Thanks for the compliment, Talya.
    It is so tough to step back and see the big picture from objective eyes. Glad you are at a better point in your life now. 🙂

  • You’re very welcome, Debbie. And thank you for the kind words. 🙂
    I love that the article helped you get the week off to a good start 🙂

  • Michelle

    Ernest, you are adorbs and your ex is a silly girl. I hope you found the right one! Thanks for the great post.

  • Blaze


  • chrisinuae

    Words of inspiration..thanks! i’ve been pining for my ex-bf for over 3 years after he left me for another woman. I often question myself as to why I continue to hurt MYSELF by thinking bout him/them. I think, he didn’t give me closure, he just left, no chance to meet him to discuss, etc. then I think, maybe it’s my ego, feelings of rejection or abandonment? I don’t know, and will never know I suppose. But then, something brought me to your page 😉

  • Morgana

    This is one more veridical fact that can happen with anyone, are trials that we must pass in our existence.
    What we can do? Lift our head up, trust in the major force or divine force that we have faith and keep walking in the road of life which is full of happiness, beauty and peace waiting for us…
    Thank you Ernest. I wish you a lot of moments of happiness in your life!!

  • Bhav

    Your timing is impeccable is ever. Your words give me hope and direction. Maybe you be richly blessed

  • Picasso in Panama

    That’s how it is isn’t? It seems we stay in a place until we learn the lesson that was needed at that moment. I just got chills up my spine. I know its confirmation for me. I’m in Panama and have been looking to sell and head back to the states. I have been trying to sell for a couple of years. Saying to myself why the hell am I still here? Yelling at God when prayers weren’t answered. I’ve got to get back and help my mom. I am of no help to people sitting here in this jungle during the rainy season. I got the message to open my heart more and start writing so that’s what Ive been doing. Sharing the life experiences in my words may be just that thing that helps others. Your words helped me and maybe my words will help someone else.

  • Padmini

    Loved it!

  • Great article Ernest, thanks for sharing! It’s a great reminder that tough times are life’s classroom, helping us to evolve and become our best selves, synchronistically bumping us into circumstances that will eventually suit us better and arm us with the wisdom we need to go on and help ourselves and help others in future. B 🙂

  • Well said. And thank you for the compliment. 🙂

  • Now you’re talkin!
    I love this. Even though you are struggling with this issue right now, try to embrace it and meet it head on. Sounds like you are already. Own it. No one else could deal with this. So, it is your honor to bear this burden. But you are uniquely equipped to handle it. I know you can.
    And I love that you are focusing on helping others as well. So key. 🙂

  • Thank you. I truly appreciate knowing this. 🙂

  • Thank you! And you’re very welcome. Plus, you showed me a new word: veridical! Very cool. 🙂

  • Ha! Thank you! I’ve never been called adorbs before. Glad it finally happened. 😉

  • Ru-an

    Great article. Thanks for sharing.

  • I’m glad you found it inspirational. Closure is such a tough thing to try and find. I really feel like it is something that can only come when you stop looking for it. Sometimes it can take a while to even get to that point. While the pain may return, just know that you are given it because you can handle it. No one else can but you. Every trial any of us goes through can only be tasked by our unique character. I don’t know if I could go through life without vision, but a blind person may look at my life and say, “there’s no way I could go through what he went through.” It is all relative to who we are deep inside. So, take pride in knowing that only you can handle your trials. And handle them, you will.

  • Morgana Dias

    I’m glad I show you something good. Stay in peace 🙂

  • Pooja

    Beautiful story Ernest. And yes, the pain and learning makes it all the more so.


  • Ann Neris

    This couldn’t come at a better moment……. im at that point…… I can’t stop asking WHY?!?!?!? ugh!………Thanks for sharing your experience with us it gives me some hopes.

  • growthguided

    I love it!

    What a powerful message Ernest. Thank you for taking the time to put this together for us!

    Feel free to contact me if you would like to write a post for GrowthGuided

  • chithbhai

    Well done my friend and God bless you with peace and happiness. I too my struggling with something beyond my control in my life and every moment seems like a challenge. I got myself out from one situation and the second is already ready for me. I am asking the higher power why? But the more I look outside, the more I seem to get distressed. I am looking inside now and realizing the strength always lies inside, perhaps forgotten. I am learning. Thanks for your honesty and may God give you immense peace and joy!

  • You’re welcome, Ann. It sucks when you’re going through it. But you can get through it. 🙂

  • Thanks, man! My pleasure.

  • Very welcome 🙂

  • Thank you for sharing this. I wish you the same peace and joy 🙂

  • Ampersandwich

    Ernest – your words give me a lot of comfort. I broke up a very long, dysfunctional relationship three years ago and *still* find myself coming to terms with it. I also find myself, at this point, yearning to be in a new relationship, but the universe just doesn’t seem to agree with me. I also struggle with society’s pressure (and perhaps, more importantly – my own) to be married and having children. I really want to let go of all the preconceived notions of what my life is supposed to be, and enjoy what I have – which is tremendous and rich. Being by myself has been an incredible learning opportunity.

  • Izza

    Ow yes… it’s not gonna rain forever. Even I know this already, there are really tough times when the same question going back again. And to just keep reminding myself, it won’t last long unless I let it. That’s how powerful a human brain could be. It changes your perception about everything.

  • Esha

    Such a pleasure reading that. I really loved how you are authentic in your comment even 😀
    That was another reminder to absorb….. help yourselves by helping others. In my own life while helping myself, I realize how the helping others part got neglected…. it hurts a bit ‘cuz the past year’s been a bit difficult.
    Well….. whatever happens is for the best (I loved your ‘fortune cookie advice’ expression) and now, I resolve to strike the balance and always always remember that.
    Thanks soooooooo very much Ernest! It was great connecting with you.
    All the veeeeerrry best for the future and your coming endeavors.
    Blessings and light

  • As someone who has had a lot of learning lately, I so much can appreciate this article. Instead of asking lots of ‘why me’ now, I’m learning to say thank you 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story and reminding us that the answers we sometimes search long and hard for are right there in front of us. Looks like your vision quest led you right back to yourself and the realization was the gift of growth and learning.

  • lv2terp

    That is a beautiful story!! Thank you for sharing your vision quest and learned lesson! It is amazing how we possess the exact answer for someone else, but fail to see it apply to us. I guess it has a lot to do with being inside vs. on the outside huh!? Pretty wild, I love the idea of a vision quest, thank you so much for this post! 🙂

  • Ernest,

    What a great essay. This is one of the hardest lessons I’ve ever learned; i.e. that mistakes and failure are a true learning process and nothing given is as sweet as that which is learned and earned.

    BTW, Chattanooga is a great town…used to visit there frequently when I was living in Huntsville, AL.

    I’m a Yankee again now!

    Thanks again for the great article.


  • Moi

    What a brilliant thought. Thank you. 🙂

  • Ally

    Thanks for this Ernest. It was like reading my own life. I feel like life has been throwing me punches after another. Same thing happened to me when my ex broke off our 8 year relationship by phone call. It’s been a year and I am still a work in progress. I agree with what others have said here, it also has a lot do with our ego. But when I look back, I stopped being happy in the relationship a long time ago but I chose to stay with him because he needed me. In a way, I should be thankful that he freed me because I may have married him and end up being negative like him, and have kids who will end up resenting him like he resents his parent. Now I know I am capable of selfless and unconditional love, and the next time I will know how I should be loved.

  • donnie6

    Your article is spot on and I hope I can take on board what your saying to cope with this difficult period in my life. Thanks

  • Gopal Mahato

    love this article

  • Nice work, Ernie!

  • Amanda

    What if you don’t get what you want because you are a bad person who has done some incredibly stupid things (and continues to do them for some reason) and you don’t deserve to get what you want or to be happy. How do you come to terms with that?

  • Alia

    Thank you so much for this. I feel like most of my life is a series of wanting things I can’t have, and it can be really frustrating sometimes. Right now I’m in such a situation and I can’t help but keep wondering if the reason I can’t have what I want is because I’m not good enough for it. But reading your article was a wonderful reminder for me to change my perspective on the way I view these things. There is always a lesson to be learned. Thanks again!

  • Megan

    Thank you so much for writing such an amazing, inspirational article. I found this to be very relatable to my life right now after going through a recent break-up. This was exactly what I needed to read to start off my day!

  • m&m

    i know exactly what u mean. Did anyone reply?

  • himynameisSue

    Thank you Alia for your post.

  • What you want is not always what you need.

  • Pooja

    Great Article Ernest !

    I am happy that i got to read your article just at the perfect time 🙂
    Thank u so much !

  • tornilsson

    I am currently 19 years old, I moved away from home when i was 18. I lost my mom when I was only 3 and my dad was an alcoholic. Needless to say I grew up learning many of life’s lessons on my own. While living at home I gravitated towards a group of bad friends and took on a strong opiate addiction midway through high school. When I became a senior in high school I got into a lot of legal trouble and landed myself in juvenile detention multiple times. I put myself into plenty of selfishly based relationships and often left myself getting hurt. After turning 18 and getting into a nasty physical altercation with my dad, I decided to leave home starting a brand new life with my sister who was 30 at the time. Basically things didn’t work out living with my sister, i was kicked out and luckily was able to move in with my brother who is now 35. I guess i could say I have always felt sort of on my own in life and have considered myself closest by far with my sister. My sister and I don’t talk much anymore now im with my brother, and my brother has some alcohol issues and isn’t the easiest to be around at times. I have been working the whole time ive been here and paying rent but ive recently lost my job. Basically all of this has led me to where i am now feeling the burden of the world and new responsibilities of providing for myself. I took a big step by leaving home but now that im on my own sometimes i just feel worse than when i lived at home and am dealing with some extreme anxiety ive never felt before, which is why i come to sites like these, to seek understanding. I just wanted to say thank you because i always question a higher power and feel as if my life has been nothing but struggle but this shifts my perspective and gives me some gratitude for what ive been through, i feel it made me very insightful for my age but the anxiety of feeling like the world is literally on my shoulders and always has been since i was young leaves me hopeless and lonely most of the time. If anybody has any thoughts please reply id love that:)
    Ernest, you’re a great person for putting yourself out there to help others i wish you a life of peace and hapiness

  • Eva

    Sometimes in frustration and this type of answer comes in, I feel I’d rather not learn anything and have an easy life instead.

  • justin

    What this made me think about is that we come into our own as people in gods time. Our growth and development can be stimulated by outside forces but it truly does not begin to blossom until we admit to ourselves exactly who and what we are. Sometimes the picture is not pretty. Like me…. I’m a control freak and a perfectionist. Working with others terrifies me because I might have to do it someone else’s way. Sounds horribly immature but by owning this facet of my personality, I was able to quit a profession I did not like and open a business I love that is profitable and becoming more so. I run things my way and my small staff is pleased because there is work to be had in hard times. I think one of Gods lessons for us is to accept ourselves and love ourselves which can be so hard to do sometimes…. Especially in a world that is bombarding you constantly with sensory input telling you how things should be. Owning my perfectionism and my introversion has helped me connect to a power source inside me I had never tapped in 34 years of living.. I always tried to be this outgoing and social guy because that’s what gets rewarded in our society….I realized though after much pain and suffering and through constantly doing backflips with my personality to please others that you have to honor yourself and others by being exactly who you are and then you get access to your true power source. My life is transformed. I used to teach high school. Now I run a translation company. I used to conduct lessons, coach sports, chair committees, chaperone dances, and talk about grammar and culture. Now I work quietly in a home office, immersed in complex legal agreements in two languages all day. I am so pleased and fulfilled. After nine years of being a B+ teacher, I am now an A++ small business owner with a sense of inner peace accomplishment joy and fulfillment. There are public speaking engagements and team meetings ahead of me for sure, but I’ve learned how to build my own quiet sanctuary to be alone with documents and research and dictionaries, lost in the complexities and nuances of my translations.

  • Harmen Kampinga

    I’m thinking and reading about my passions and goals for more than four years now, but still I didn’t figure out where to go. I’m getting close to my opinion… tips, tricks?

  • Sirius30


    You sound like a very brave young adult. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to lose a mother at 3, and not have a supportive father. Your testimony really spoke to me, since although I haven’t been through what you have, I am currently raising a 3 year old, and I understand how fragile they are and how much love and security and support the little ones need. My 3 year old’s emotional and physical health is totally dependent upon how my husband and I treat him, respect him, discipline him and love on him. As independent as he tries to get, he would be totally lost without us. And I shudder to think how he would be affected if he lost his dad (who means the world to him), or if something happened to me.

    In saying all of that, I just want to commend you for being so brave and still striving to make a good life, despite your past. It is not your fault you lost your mother at 3, or that your dad was an alcoholic. We can not control these things, no matter how unfair or painful they may seem at the time. And although you’ve made mistakes in your youth, there is redemption for everyone. I am so grateful you are finding your way, and I pray that you will be reconciled with your siblings and father, especially your sister, in the near future.

    Never lose hope and keep seeking answers to all of life’s funny and confusing problems. I know in my heart your life will get better and you will live well.

    Peace and blessings.

  • janbo

    “And just like that, I was thrown into that valley.” Powerfully written. I had to pause at that point just to let my emotions settle back down. Thanks for this.

  • Motivated90210

    I am late to the conversation but, words cannot explain how everything you mentioned in this article was a much needed conversation.

    Thank you for reminding us that the answer is truly within ourselves. One of the hardest things is seeing that through adversity, we are given knowledge, strength, and the ability to transform into something we never knew that was within us.

    Thank you!!

  • ryan

    dude i am also a luv failure…my question is i too belive in “high power”…so y did high power made me met her….why coz it only ruined my happy mind,belive in true love,education,energy…i am a pot wit hholes on it…i am being useless…i am losing d water…. i am done…. sorry high power,i still don’t get d title of LESSON which i supppose to study..

  • thankappan

    weed iks d answer dude… try it its d real life…only way to sustain …. break of true love

  • nalin_action

    u feel like there is no luck for u on her case anymore and unluck is following you….ur frds try to make u happy but u r crying inside always….she hate u madly…no hope left…u r like a joker to yourself…

  • ryan

    yes…bro…exactly… :'(

  • nalin_action

    really..and u need to know ur life purpose…and reason for her encounter in your life??

    question there a god,den where is he.?…will god help me?…go will help me?…god hates me?..
    such questions circle on u?

  • ryan

    yes…100% exact….its great..hw can i survive it ..can u help me…?
    help me if u can?

  • nalin_action

    sorry i am not the one god sent for u… lol
    go get a rope and suicide…if it is panifull…then overdose some drug and die urself… only way out…if u r in this situvation..noone can help you except GOD… since he is not cominf to you go to him

  • ryan

    somebody help me…pleae show some pitty to me…..i cried a lot for her in my life…i dreamed a lot…its hard for me to forget and move on….continuation is been uncertain… :'( …god only hope…or am done

  • Awesome. Enjoy the journey. Don’t pressure yourself or let society pressure you.

  • Thank you for this. Remember, letting go of wanting is the first step to being open to receive that which you desire. 🙂

  • Outstanding.
    The vision quest helped. But I’m still growing and learning, like everyone. 🙂

  • You’re very welcome. Transformation is hard, because we resist change, even if it is for the best. Being open to the possibilities and opportunities that can come from change is essential.

  • You’re more than welcome. And I love your Gravatar image. I’m a huge Simpsons fan. 🙂

  • Sounds like you’re stuck.
    1. Don’t focus on the goal, focus on actions that will result in finishing your goal.
    2. Don’t focus on the result. Focus on the journey, the sharing of what you’re doing and creating, and the impact it will have on others.
    3. Enjoy the ride. 🙂

  • Got to have that sanctuary. One reason I love the song Sanctuary by Gareth Emery. 🙂

  • Ha! I know the feeling. But a flat roller coaster doesn’t go anywhere. And is boring to ride. Got to have some ups and downs to make it fun. Right?

  • You are not hopeless. You are not helpless. And no matter what darkness may come, you can find the pinpoint of light and turn it into a sun.
    I read things like your story and am blown away. You have pushed through such adversity and so many trials.
    Your bravery and unwillingness to give up is more inspiring than anything I’ve ever done or could think of doing. Thank you for sharing it with this community.
    Feel free to email me anytime you like if you have questions or thoughts. I’d love to hear them.

  • You’re very welcome. 🙂

  • Happy to, Megan. I hope you’re doing better now. 🙂

  • You must let go of these thoughts. We are all bad people. And at the same time, none of us is bad. Every single one of the greatest spiritual, political, and motivational leaders had demons from their past or things they struggled with. Even the great masters like Buddha, Christ, Rumi, and others had things they struggled with. While some may not have done anything bad, their followers sure did. And yet they are considered to be great people. Forgive yourself for anything you’ve done. Learn to let it go. Then let it go. No one is perfect. And by the mere fact that we exist means that we deserve to be happy.
    Our purpose in this universe is not to simply be. It is to be happy, to experience goodness that triumphs over pain.
    Forgive yourself. You are ok. 🙂

  • Thanks Johnny!

  • I have some friends down in Huntsville! You’re very welcome for the post and I hope it helped.
    Let me know if you’re coming to the Nooga again in the future. Always up for meeting new folks. 🙂

  • You’re welcome and I’m glad you liked it.
    It’s tough to see things when there is so much in front of us blocking the view.

  • Thank you and you’re welcome. 🙂

  • Amnaya

    Thank You 🙂

  • Elvis

    Hey thanks for partying your story. My life isn’t great, but it isn’t horrible either. The things I’ve been dealt I can deal with. But there’s this put, this dread, this longing deep inside me that just makes my head spin. One place where I would really like to improve is my relations with the opposite sex. I feel or would like to think that if I get that I would finally be good, satisfied. I also know that if I do get what I want that longing won’t disappear. I really appreciate your article. I want to go on a vision quest myself.

  • Johnno

    Some times, you can’t even get what you need. The universe doesn’t care. It is an unthinking, unresponsive; uncaring place.

    Some times you are meant to learn something. What if that thing is that life is inherently unfair and that you should just learn to give up? The universe doesn’t give a rip.

  • Lacey

    This was very beautiful and profound. I am thankful to have stumbled upon this. Thank you for sharing your journey, thank you for being you.

  • DoYouKnowTheMuffinMan?

    I’ve been getting what I want lately…but I’m still not happy. What I really wanted/needed was underlying, but I translated that into working towards what I wanted on the surface. I wish I didn’t end up getting exactly what [I thought] I wanted. I’d complain in naivety if I didn’t, but that isn’t as disappointing as getting what you asked for and being unfulfilled.

  • Kiff

    Thank you for the great article. Somehow the worse things in life can get the best out of you.

  • Ginny

    Unfortunately I just don’t get it. I understand, I just can’t seem to make the change I need to make because I don’t know how. But awesome analogy, good story.

  • Eric Korbly

    After being a single parent of a 16 year old autistic child for 9 years I can see that what I experienced as normal passing hard times are a luxury. After turning 33 that changed. I’ve lost out on work, my social life has all but disappeared, my family has judged me to be lazy because of my lack of success deeming my isolation based upon bad choices. No woman who knows I have a disabled child shows interest … ever. This is like the spring sun melting snow when they learn I have a disabled son …. good bye. I know I’ll never find support or understanding, be able to use my education to find work, or do much of anything except exist on the edge.

  • Acel

    Everything felt like a struggle to me and I was resentful for a while about other getting things easy. I thought, I have tried to live as selflessly as possible, putting other people first and doing everything I can to make others happy. I started to question why I cannot get happiness, which I deem more valuable than material stuff. I never got what I wanted the most and it always made me sad. Then I realized that happiness comes from within but it is not without a source. Then I am ready to receive. Your post has been very enlightening. Thank you so much. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    It is better to not want anything.
    Nothing you attain or achieve will make you happy. Running after desire is an empty pursuit. Gratification is boredom. Flattery and praise are equally ignorant. Every emotion has already been felt.
    Just keep walking, and be kind, and don’t take more than you need to not starve. It will soon be over.

  • Livinglifewithluv

    I too have often wondered this but I don’t want to be sad anymore. I don’t want to hurt anymore. Rejection sucks. I don’t wish it on anyone.

  • sanjeeb guru

    Loved this article. I could relate many things that happened to me. I still continue to struggle for a better life and every time I want something, I dont get. When I stop wanting, it comes right in front of me. Is that a rule! I dont know. but whatever happens is always a learning experience for me and I continue to do so as a being and as a traveller in the mysterious voyage .

  • Murthy

    Do higher power really exists? Any evidence?

  • Murthy

    With my own experiments, I thought higher power is nothing but a hope which if you are not confident in yourself, you depends on higher power (hope) to buy time and stabilize your anxiety and think calmly and until you are satisfied with your answers.

  • Jeroen

    but i give you everything, and i can not get what i ask, every question you ask me i unwires and this i how you repay me

    what am i to feel?

  • Jeroen


    break me as i stand, i refuse to fall

  • surya

    But if we get what we want after we struggle alot for that , we get to remember the lesson and also get what we want. It would be a lot better, right?? considering the sentence you said “If someone or something always fixed everything for me all the time, I would never learn anything”.

  • Tina Ming

    Thanks for writing and sharing your experience and insight. I found this article after my own frustration and googling “synchronicity why people don’t get what they want”

  • Katie

    I needed this. Thank you.

  • Miao Miao

    Hi Tornilsson,
    Thanks for your comment. You are really brave. We have got to work hard and life won’t be easy. Just keep going. I believe we will learn a lot of things along the way.

  • Sammy

    This is exactly how I feel now. And I am lost and no one understands. I have Been suffering for 7 months now.

  • dip

    Exactly….it’s not just a consolation type of thought…it’s reality.

    In difficult time…depend on yourself. ..don’t give up..keep on trying …sooner or later things will change..I have seen this many times.

    God is everything. God gives and takes it away. It’s only a play. Keep the faith and move on.