Careful What You Wish For

Did your mother ever say this to you?  Mine has all sorts of sayings and in my daughter way I tended to ignore most of them as a kid but now find them coming out of my mouth as an adult and a mother myself.  Damn it.

One of my favorites is “Careful what you wish for” because I’m a believer in karma.  Oh trust me; what you give is what you get – positive or negative.  That’s why I try to maintain a positive karmic balance; I prefer to have happy karmic surprises rather than the moments of ‘oh crap, I’m paying for something.”

My best friend and I will have all sorts of discussions about things we want and hope for and she always does a karmic-check.  She’ll say something like, “is that a bad thing?” making sure before she puts any energy into it that it is not a bite-you-in-the-butt kind of wish.  I always tell her that my thought is if the intent is for a greater, positive good then she should be safe.  As long as your intent is not on the evil side or for the harm of someone else then you’re off to the right start.

That’s the easy part of it.  The difficult part is when we have other emotions like pride or fear comes into play.  These are two things that really screw us up.

I’ve had clients want a higher position but they are afraid that they would not be successful so they wish for something lower and in their comfort zone.  They loose out on all sorts of possibilities – a new position, a chance to grow personally and professionally, increased responsibility or pay, a new direction in life.  They throw it away because they are afraid.

I’ve had friends who are crazy about someone but don’t feel that they are good enough or have made mistakes so they wish to just be friends just to stay on the fringe of that person’s life.  They loose out on a great person who may have cared about them for who they are, been a great mate for them, and an opportunity to be happy.  Fear makes them step back, pride makes them shut up.

You have to stop that line of thinking because all you are hurting is yourself.  That job will be filled by someone else and that person is going to move on and you will be left at the same place you have always been – and obviously that’s not really working for you.

Two of my favorite ball players were Pete Rose and Babe Ruth.  Looking at these two guys and “athlete” may not be the first word that comes to mind.  The thing about both of these men is they knew there was failure built into what they did – but they didn’t care.

I heard a story about Pete Rose when he was close to beating a record and needed a few more times on the base, maybe 10 – I don’t remember exactly.  A reporter asked him how many more at bats did he think he would need before he broke the record and he replied “10”.  The reporter thought he was arrogant for that and said something about “you expect to get a hit every time you get up to bat?”

Pete Rose’s response was “Yes.”  The way he explained it is if he didn’t expect to get on base then he had no business getting up to bat.

He knew he wouldn’t get on base every time but he expected it and the thought of failure did not stop him from being what was perceived as arrogant.  Babe Ruth had an incredible number of home runs – and even more strike outs.  He had more “failures” than successes but that didn’t stop him.  Fear and pride did not stand in their way.  They existed for both of them, but they became non factors.

So what is it you are wishing for?  Is it below your happiness threshold? If so – why?

If you want to keep being the buddy or grunt knock yourself out; but if you want to make yourself happy then stop wishing for what you don’t really want because ultimately that is what you are going to get.

What is the worse that could happen – you don’t get the job or the person turns you down.  Pretty much same place you already are but at least you know.  What is the best that could happen- they say yes and you get the warm and fuzzies inside or you get the job and start to love what you do.  Hmmm…pretty hard decision there if you ask me.

If you are going to wish for something make sure it is for the right reasons then go for it.  You are either going to strike out or get on base – maybe even get a homerun; but either way you’ve got to get your butt in the batters box or get off the field because there are other’s that are ready to play.


Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.

Leave a Reply