In order to find success, happiness, & fulfillment in life we first must determine what we want. That is where we all begin, but there are plenty of people who know what they want and still do not get it. Why is that? That is a great question and there is a very simple reason.
The reason most people do not actually get what they want in life even if they know what they want is because it costs too must. At least I should say they think it costs too much. I am not referring to a monetary cost, although sometimes that is involved. The cost I am referring to is an intangible cost I call the exchange system.
It is easy for someone to say, “I want that.” Anyone can do that, but that is only the starting point. With every single item on our “Want” or “Get Rid Of” list we must ask ourselves two follow up questions.
#1 “How bad do you want it?”
#2 “What price are you willing to pay for it?”
Most people fail to get what they want in life even after identifying it because they do not want it bad enough and they are not willing to pay the price for it. It is important to understand that often times the price is often paid by exchanging our time and resources from something else. Many times the most important things in our lives require us to exchange time away from “good” things in our lives so we can enjoy the greater things God has in store for us.
When we understand clearly what we want AND that there is a price attached in order to get it we can then weigh our decisions against that. Every decision becomes a choice between things we want in the temporary versus the things we truly want. This understanding is at the heart of the Slight Edge. We often times deceive ourselves into thinking we can do it all and have it all. I am not talking about putting limitations on ourselves. What I am saying is if we fool ourselves into thinking the most important things in our life are free then we will go through our whole life never paying the price and never getting what we truly want. Love, relationships, health, freedom, and integrity all require something of us.
Let me offer a few scenarios to consider.
If you were to ask any parent if they would like to have a great relationship with their child they would say yes, but more and more children are becoming estranged to their parents. Kids spell love T I M E. As parents we have to say no to certain activities and interests we used to spend time on so that we can build stronger relationships with our children.
Single people can go on dates with anyone they choose. When we get married we do not go on dates with other people anymore because we want to have a strong, intimate, and happy marriage.
If someone has excessive credit card debt they often times need to cut back their spending so they can eliminate that burden.
If someone wants to graduate law school and pass the bar exam they may have to exchange going out and partying every weekend so they can study.
Those are just a few examples. I know for me as I have moved closer and closer to the ideal family life I desired it has required me to add more disciplines to my life. They are not always fun while I first add them into my life, but they are always worth it.
Question: What is something you REALLY wanted in life and what did you have to exchange in order to get it? Comment below