HOW TO GET ANYTHING YOU WANT IN LIFE
Taking action to create your desired outcome
Less than two weeks after our marriage, I told my husband that I wanted a divorce. I know this sounds crazy but this is not where the story starts or ends. You see, I was a traumatized child. Growing up, I experienced no love. I didn’t even know what the phrase “Home sweet home” really meant.
Home was where I desperately wanted to get away from. As I place my fingers on my keyboard, everything comes rushing back; the hitting, the cursing, the screaming, the whimpering, the bruises, the frequent migraine…. I could go on and on but no amount of words I write now can fully capture what growing up really felt like for me. To keep it short and simple, Home was hell!
My parents’ marriage had been bad from the beginning. As the years passed by, it got worse. My siblings and I had been physically, verbally and emotionally abused. Happiness wasn’t something we expected anyway. You simply can’t give what you don’t have.
My parents were grossly unhappy in their marriage, so they simply couldn’t make us happy. I particularly suffered from long — term depression and an inferiority complex that I still battle with today. As a teenager, I had no friends. I believed I didn’t deserve one. So I caved in on myself.
THE TURNING POINT
My freshman year in Uni was a pivotal point in my life. It was the first time anyone ever said anything positive about me. “You’re smart and beautiful.”
“Smart and beautiful?” was I really any of these? In a strange way, it made me feel a little good; at least that someone was nice enough to say nice things about me. Even if I hadn’t been beautiful or smart, those words of affirmation had awakened something in me. I wanted to be just that.
Following that day, I continued to receive compliments from colleagues and classmates. Those constant words of affirmation were like therapy; they sounded like things I needed to hear about myself since I was a child. From the simplest phrases like “That’s so smart of you”, “You’re a genius!” “You look so bright and beautiful today!” to wittier phrases like “Boss woman!” “You look like a million dollar bag!” the everyday mention of them made be brighter and happier.
I looked back on all the things that had gone wrong in my life prior to Uni; a bad marriage, domestic violence, anxiety and depression, and right there, I decided that I was never going back to that dark place ever again.
I deserved a good life; I deserved good relationships and I deserved to be treated in the best manners possible. I wasn’t ever going to settle for less than I deserved. My experiences made me aim for things that seemed too good to be true, yet were possible to achieve.
I decided to close the chapter of my past and open a fresh new one. This meant that I was going to stop complaining about my childhood experiences. My traumatic years thus became stepping stones on a well-lit path to a beautiful life.
So why did I ask for a divorce just less than two weeks into our marriage? It had been something minor that led to an argument. My husband had yelled at me in a rather unusual manner. I had not only been taken aback, but I had also suddenly been thrown back into a world I never wanted to return to.
Everything came rushing back; the sound of my parents yelling at me, an image of me gritting my teeth to avoid letting out a scream, the echo of my sobs as I buried my head into my pillow. I was terrified. I was terrified that I was back in that world.
Right there on the spot, the hundreds of friends, family, and well-wishers that had just graced our wedding didn’t matter to me. I wasn’t going back to that dark place, I wasn’t about to put all my years of striving into waste.
I had worked on my confidence and self-esteem, I had read countless books, attended seminars and classes, gone for counseling, had deep, soulful conversations with my husband about what we were both bringing to the table and what we both wanted out of marriage. I hadn’t just paid lip service to the idea of having a great marriage; I had worked hard for it. I deserved it.
“I want a divorce!” I said to him. My husband couldn’t believe his ears. Perhaps, he hadn’t heard right. And if he had, it must have slipped out of my lips by mistake. I said it again and he thought I was crazy. Then I said it again and again, with my two unblinking eyes peering straight into his.
He suddenly realized that I had meant it. He simply walked towards me and drew me into a deep embrace, patting me on the back. I felt his heartbeat rise. The next few hours found us sitting on the living room floor, talking about the whole drama.
As a matter of fact, divorce was one of the things my husband dreaded most in life. But he knew that it wasn’t my own greatest fear. Reliving my traumatic past was what terrified me. We both decided from that very day that we were going to be committed to making our marriage beautiful.
And today, I think of all the times that I allowed things to happen to me by my inaction and unwillingness to do what was necessary to create what I wanted. And I have come to the realization that we either create or allow everything that happens to us in life. If I had allowed my husband to get away with yelling at me, he would have felt it was okay to continue doing so. And we won’t be where we are today.
GO GET WHAT YOU WANT
“You can’t hire someone else to do your pushups for you.” — JIM ROHN, America’s foremost business philosopher
Some of my life experiences have taught me that if you want something, anything in life, you only need to get up and go get it. You don’t wait for someone to get it for you. You also don’t wait for the right time because there will never be a right time.
If you want food, get up and cook it. If you want money, get up and work for it. If you want a great relationship, work towards it and believe in yourself. And if there are obstacles in your way, take action and confront them.
EXPERIENCE YOUR FEAR AND TAKE ACTION ANYWAY
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.” — JIM ROHN, America’s foremost business philosopher
Sometimes in life, we see the handwriting on the wall. We get clues, inklings, and suspicions. We see things coming, yet we do not take action by changing our responses to certain events. We ignore all the red flags because paying attention to them would require us to do something awkward.
We seek safety because it’s the easy road. It is uncomfortable to confront your spouse about coming home late in the night. It is uncomfortable to speak up during a board meeting which resolution is likely to affect you in the long term. It is uncomfortable to tell your best friend that you feel betrayed by her actions. So you pretend everything is fine because pretending is easier, peaceful, avoid confrontation and protects you from taking risks.
According to Jack Canfield in his book, Success Principles
“To be powerful, you need to take the position that you create or allow everything that happens to you.”
Successful people don’t wait for disaster to occur and then blame something or someone else for their problems. They take 100 percent responsibility for their lives.
BE WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE
I was fully aware of the fact that getting a divorce barely two weeks after our marriage would spell failure for me. But in my head, I could picture a bigger failure; living a hell of a lifetime.
If my husband wasn’t willing to compromise, then I would be willing to pay the price. Everything good in life comes at a cost. If you’re not willing to pay the price, then you should be ready to accept anything that comes your way.
In the words of Jack Canfield,
“you can never truly get what you want out of life until you are ready to face facts squarely, do the uncomfortable and take action to create your desired outcome.”
Just remember that in the long run, you are 100 percent responsible for what happens in your life. It’s up to you to make the change, to do something different. The world doesn’t owe you anything, but you can get anything you want from it. You just have to create it.