A few years ago, I was a 17-year-old girl in the general admission section at a Bruce Springsteen concert. Surrounded by fans much older and more dedicated than myself, I listened in awe as everyone swapped stories about their musical idol; the first time they heard his music, the songs of his they danced to at their weddings, the amount of live concerts they’d seen. When one of them looked towards me, I chimed in, “My favorite memory of Bruce is probably last year, when I met him!”
A few eyes around me widened, and a few narrowed into looks of anger.
“You’re not even old enough to be a fan. How did you get to meet him? How come I haven’t gotten to meet him after all these years?”
I thought for a minute before answering in the most honest way I could. “Well, I asked a lot of people if I could meet him, then waited around until he came out. Did you ever try?”
I think that was the first time I ever saw a “grown-up” look at me as if I’d actually said something smart enough to make them think.
It made me think, too.
There are a lot of different ways to approach getting something you want, whether your goal is something little like meeting a celebrity, or something big, like changing careers or getting a certain job. If you want something badly, but you’re still not reaching your desired outcome, you may want to ask yourself these questions:
1. Do I know exactly what it is that I want?
There is a difference between passively “wanting” something (i.e. knowing you would be pleased or content if this thing happened to you), and very actively wanting something to the point where you actually seek it out yourself and take steps towards it. If you know exactly what it is you want, you’ll be able to create a plan of action that is specified to the desired outcome, and up your chances of actually making it happen.
2. Do I know what I don’t want?
Almost equally as important as having a specific desire in mind is knowing exactly what you don’t want out of life, so you can take the appropriate steps in ensuring those things don’t happen. If you know for certain a specific type of job you truly would hate having, (like working in a retail store, for example), you’ll be more inclined to take steps that help ensure you don’t end up needing to work that type of job. Although there is a negative connotation associated with “not wanting” something, confidently knowing what you don’t want is every bit as much of a goal as wanting something is.
3. Have I planned?
I’ve written about this before, but I feel strongly about the fact that simply wanting something isn’t enough to get it. There is a certain amount of work that has to be put in to achieving most goals, and sometimes, that work needs to couple up with a good amount of luck to actually make the dream a reality. With that being said, researching how others before you have achieved the goal you’re after, and then diligently planning the steps you need to take to get there is an essential part of realizing any dream or goal.
4. Have I done everything I could alone?
If you really need something to happen, you have to ask yourself if you’ve done everting within your power to make it a reality. You need to exhaust every possibility before moving on to outside help. If not, you may want to move to question five.
5. Have I asked?
Sometimes, getting what you want (whatever that may be) could be as simple as freaking asking for it. This is where that “Did you ever try?” question comes into play. Do you want to meet someone in your field whom you admire? Reach out and ask them. Do you feel like you’ve been working extra hard, and you want a raise? Ask your boss. Do you feel like you are ready for a new responsibility at work? Ask your supervisor. Do you feel like it is time to take the next step in your relationship? Ask your partner. Oftentimes, other people have a certain amount of pull in getting you what you want, and you could be missing out by simply being too nervous to ask them. If you really want something, ask – the worst they could possibly do is say no. Then you move on to Plan B.
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