Ever hear that expression?  Be careful you get what you wish for.  Who thought it up?  What did they mean?

One way to explain it might be that it was first uttered when someone else said they wanted something nasty to happen, like “I wish he would just drop dead!”

Another way might be that a person wished for something grand and the quoted person may have been warning the person of success beyond their comprehension, or the dangers that come with the spoils.

I don’t think we’ll ever really know.

And today, that phrase is stronger than ever, what with The Secret, The Law of Attraction, Earl Nightingale’s “You become what you think about,” and other things like that.

However, I’d like to change it from be careful to be prepared.

Be prepared to get what you wish for!  Or even, Expect to get what you wish for!

If you were always prepared or expecting to get whatever you think about, you’d monitor your thoughts, wouldn’t you?  Yet, most of us don’t monitor our thoughts.  We listen to our thoughts as if they are the words of the Almighty.  We believe what’s in our heads to be absolutely true beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Here’s the problem:  our mind is a survival machine.  The thoughts we have are very rarely positive.  To maintain positive thoughts one has to purposely work on it.  If we’re not judging and assessing people and situations we’re thinking about a negative future.

We’re usually thinking about how things won’t work out, or what if something bad happens, etc.  We can’t help it, it’s our survival machine programming.  Without it, we’d all go putting our hands on flames and walking off cliffs because there’d be nothing to warn us of those potential dangers.

The problem is that our software needs updating.  We don’t live in caves anymore (well most of us don’t), avoiding bears and other ferocious animals.  We have language and thought to go along with our instincts.

Unfortunately, they don’t mix well together.

So, to put this in layman’s terms, here’s why your life, relationships, business, etc. aren’t going the way you want them to:  you’re wishing for them not to.  Not on purpose, mind you.  You can’t help it.  It’s your mind.

And until you focus on your thoughts, direct them to how you want them to be, you’ll get more of the same.

Actually, the proper phrase is “You (will) get what you wish for.”

You’ve proven it to be true, time and again.  Ever think you weren’t going to get that job, that sale, that listing?  I bet you were right.

Ever think things were going to go badly?  Your finances, your business, your relationships?  I bet you were right!

And what really sucks is that you really think you’re doing your best to avoid it all, while all the while you’re bringing it right to you.  And since you didn’t think you were doing that, you get immediately surprised and overwhelmed when it all comes crashing down on you.  It’s like you train for a fight, step in the ring and then you’re completely surprised when someone tries to hit you.

By the way, there are many reasons that you actually are “wishing” for the negative stuff by constantly thinking about it (and yes, you will think about how to avoid it…still the same thing).  You can choose to believe, or not believe any of the following.  They range from scientific to spiritual.  Take your pick.

Race Car Crash Phenomenon – Race car drivers are trained to avoid looking at the wall during a crash.  No matter how hard they’re steering away from the wall, if they’re looking at it, they’ll drive their car into it.  It’s almost as if they pull the wall to them, like they’re wishing for the car to crash into the wall.

Reticular Activating System – also called Reticular Activation System and Reticular Activating Center.  This is the part of your brain that has to do with arousal and motivation in humans (arousal and motivation sound positive, yet they can both be negative.  You can arouse someone from a sound sleep, or use pain to motivate someone to do something).

Basically, this is the part of the brain that focuses on what your mind says is important to you.  It’s like the camera lense of your mind.  Your mind is the photographer.

The easiest example is when you get ready to buy a car, or actually just buy a new car.  You’re lense is now focused on that car.  Suddenly, you notice a whole bunch of those cars on the road that you didn’t notice before.

So, when you constantly think about on how bad things are, or how bad things might get, you’re telling your brain to focus on finding that evidence.  So, in effect, you’re looking for evidence to support your thoughts of how crappy things are, or soon will be…thereby bringing those outcomes right to you.

Law of Attraction – this is the most spiritual of the reasons.  To paraphrase, it states that you attract what you think about with emotion.  Your emotion is the magnet, and it attracts like/similar emotions.  So, when you think about how bad things are, or will get, you’re obviously not very happy when doing so, and you get more of that unhappiness.

Those who study the Law of Attraction are taught to not say or think things like, “I hope I don’t get sick,” rather to say/think “I am well,” or “I feel healthy,” or something positive like that.

Whatever you’re belief system, the evidence is there to support that you get what you wish for.

So, be careful what you wish for!

Scott

scott@yourethedifference.com