You Don’t Always Get What You Want When You Want It

So what do you do when you do not get what you want when you want it? How does it make you feel? Does it make you believe that all your efforts were in vain? That you were not meant to succeed or be happy? Or does it fuel your quest to ensure that next time you get it? That maybe the timing was off and that in due time your goals will become tangible?

I think the first thing most people feel is frustration and disappointment. It is a bit unnatural to just accept in that moment. Accepting that you did not get your way sort of like a grieving process. You go from denying to bargaining, the whole nine yards until finally you accept your reality. But does your current reality represent your fate? The answer to that question separates everyone who endures this circumstance. The optimist is hopeful that this is just a temporary phase in their current reality rather than permanent defeat. The pesimist accepts their fate as permanent and will likely never try again.

Does this ideology work with everything you want? Sometimes we want positions of power. Other times we desire people. When is it time to go against the grain and try to force what appears to be unnatural to work in our favor? For some it has led to success. For others it has led to quite the contrary.

Is life easier when we just accept what comes to us? Just accept what flows? Possibly so (assuming what comes to us is good). But is ease necessarily good? Sometimes it is, sometimes it can be dangerous. Ease does not stimulate growth. We do need the tugging and pulling. The seeds that are planted underground and know darkness from birth might squint in discomfort when their first leaves see the sun. But they know it is good for them. It is necessary for their survival. The rain helps them grow, too, no matter how light or heavy it may be. Perhaps what you need supersedes what you want, and the ultimate goal is to want what you need. What you want might be fleeting. What you need is your power.

What I Learned in 2018

Artwork from Art Basel, Fontainebleau. Photo taken by Adaola O.

2018 was a particularly interesting year for me. Why, you might ask? It was the first time that I was really real with myself. It was the first time I stopped making excuses for the inexcusable behavior demonstrated by others in my circle and outside my circle. Let me explain.

I had to reckon with my definition of being a friend. What did it mean for me to be a friend to others? What did it mean for me to call others my friend? Up until that point it had unfortunately become a loose term that I distributed too freely and without much consideration. Basically if someone was nice enough to me and could hold conversation, they could be my friend.

What is my new definition of a friend? Someone who wants to help put you on when they see you doing something positive with your life. And not only do they WANT that for you, and TELL you how proud they are of you, but they DO something about it. They shout your business out on their social media. They patronize your business, support your ideas, and overall play an ACTIVE role in your success. If your current friends are not doing that for you, then what is the basis of your friendship? Is it gossip? Is it clubbing? Drinking, smoking, eating out every weekend talking about anything but how you can progress as an individual? To me that is just a time-waster. Does your family put you on? Do they support you? Because the same applies to them, to a higher degree I might add.

And of course I asked myself how frequently I was doing the aforementioned positive acts for others. I can honestly say that I did a pretty good job of supporting my friends or people I worked with (photographers, artists, etc) and publicizing their work on my social media or to contacts I knew could help them. But this year I plan on taking it up a notch with my new podcast series (stay tuned!). I challenge you to ask yourself the same questions and DO BETTER in 2019!