When you want something you can’t have, do this!

I know why you are reading this! Just like me, you have been there! You wanted something so bad you could not stand it. And you knew that you only wanted it because you did not/could not have it.

In any other circumstance you would not think twice about moving on. But the fact that you can’t have it is making it look OH! so appealing!

Toolkit Aliah

I was talking to my 6 year old the other day (ok, it was more like arguing), and she was asking for a particular game on my phone, saying she will “never ever ever want anything else again“. Haven’t I heard this one before!

In fact, she wanted it so much that she was willing to give up telly time for a week! And you know how long a TV free week can be for a 6 year old. Five minutes later, she handed me back the phone. It was, after all that asking, not as interesting as THE TV she could no longer have.

It’s part of everyday life. I remember when it was time to say good-bye to my first boyfriend. When he was sat there next to me in the 10B seat of a small airplane from Laramie to Denver, flying over the beautiful Rocky Mountains, I could not care less about this being the last day we spend together. If anything – his sweaty palms were quite annoying, and all I could think of.

I could not wait for sweet little freedom when he will stay behind and I will fly on.

And then BOOM!, when he was no longer there on my next flight from Denver to New York, the thought that I would never see him again made him THE best boy ever.

The other week I went for a contract that I was not so sure about. In fact, getting it would have been a problem. I was dreading the phone call that would give me the job. And yet when I didn’t get it, the job suddenly became THE best job ever.

I don’t know about you, but when I want things I can’t have, I get in fighter mode. Get it or die kind of mode.

The society of “want” around us is not helping either. We want more, we want things we can’t have, we want things that don’t exist.

Over the past few days I’ve spoken to some friends and colleagues about this issue. The overall consensus was that we should become more grateful for the things we have and less wanting of things we can’t possibly have.

In theory, I could not agree more!

But in practice, how is this “want less, be grateful more” message ever going to be enough to tame down something you want so passionately? Even if it is irrational? Even if it is for the moment?

A more satisfying response would be ” When you want something you can’t have – go and get it!” (Unless of course it will result in hurting somebody or getting into trouble with the law – this is my official disclaimer, by reading it you sign up to it!)

Yes, you read this right.

Carpe Diem – go and get it.

And if in the process you decide that what you wanted is indeed the best thing since sliced bread – great.

If time goes on and you realise that it is not for you after all – at least you tried something new. Doesn’t it feel great!?

Oh, and also – men do it all the time!

Illustration: Aliah Malik

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