We all share the same set of wishes. We also have similar wants, dreams, and desires. We want to feel good. Live an effortless life while having well paid jobs, awesome relationships, stimulating sex-life, amazing bodies and to be at the center of everyone’s attention. We want to own the world. We truly would like that — as it is easy to like that. It also so pervasive that it doesn’t even mean anything.

What sets us apart then? I think not so much what we want to have and rather who we are as individuals in the commitment to our values for which we are willing to struggle. Our conviction around only experiencing positive things — as “positive” is pretty and easy to handle — makes us avoid at all cost being disturbed by the “negative”. Therefore, mostly what we get out of life is how much distress we are willing to handle the to get through. Because we want the reward not the struggle, we want the result not the process. We are in love with victory not the battle.

The entitlement impulse and the need for instantaneous gratification constantly convince us to want more, faster, and now. We blind ourselves with the most sophisticated reasons why we deserve things in life and why we ought to have them. Moreover, we boost our self-esteem justification when we fail to obtain them. A simple statement as “I want” seems to warrant the delivery of the desired results. And, when we finally get to realize (if at all) that we are executing a wrong recipe for life, we start our most favorite blame game. We blame our childhood, we blame our parents, and we even blame the political and religious system. The last people we get to evaluate are ourselves. Because we are perfect and want enough and it has not been given to us! Really?

Wanting to have well paid job does not equal wanting to work long hours, days and weeks. Wanting to have awesome relationship does not equal going through tough conversations, emotional turbulence, and hurt feelings. Wanting to have an amazing physique does not equal physical effort that comes with living inside a gym. Wanting to run own business and be financially independent does not equal embracing risk, uncertainty, and failure.

Who we are is truly defined by the core values for which we are willing to battle. Those who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get to be fit. Others who work long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who end up moving up in their careers. People who don’t mind the strains and uncertainty of an artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it. So, if you want the benefits of something in life, you must also want to pay the price.

It is an illusion to think we can have a pain-free life. In order to get to where we think we want to be, we must be willing to answer the most significant question- what is that we are willing to suffer for……? That answer can change our life. Fantasizing about wanting something does not make that desire a reality. It is like a dream about a hike and climb to the top of the mountain — we all like to imagine being at the top yet not so much the climb itself.

Success and failure don’t exist without each other. Failure and struggle clarify the meaning of what we truly want, because each letdown takes us deeper to the core of our own humanness. It puts us through harshness and sharp edges of the circumstances. It teaches us to withhold and to withstand the uneasiness that comes with them but only when we are truly dedicated to the desired outcome and prepared to reinvent ourselves on the path to meet our true desires.

Although different points of view in our society can scrutinize us for “quitting” and “giving up”; self-help view may criticize for not being courageous and determined enough; and commercial crowd for dismissing our dream under the pressure of social conditioning — the omnipresent truth is — we thought we wanted something and it turned out that we didn’t. End of story.

When you find yourself wanting something month after month or year after year, yet nothing happens and you haven’t gotten any closer to it, then maybe what you are pursuing is just a temporary whim or a mere fantasy. Perhaps what you want is not your true desire and you are stuck just enjoying wanting it. Maybe you don’t actually want it at all.

This is the simplest element of life: our struggle shapes our success.
So choose your struggles wisely as you jump into another wishful project.

I would like to hear from you. Your observations are immensely valuable. If you feel stuck in “wanting”, let’s connect to explore the challenges you might be facing and what you would want to work on and what is possible for you.

Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on December 16, 2016.

Originally published at journal.thriveglobal.com