Jan 062014 3 Responses

Why You Aren’t Getting What You Want

We had a break down last night.

Silas was doing something irritating. I told him to stop. When he didn’t, I warned him that one more act would get his Christmas present placed in timeout. He acted and so did I.

He went crazy—like 5–year-old this would never happen in front of anyone but his parents crazy.

It was so over-the-top, I took him upstairs, turned off the lights, and held him down while rocking in the rocking chair.

Eventually he calmed down enough I could ask him questions.

He explained why he was mad and that’s why he threw his fit.

I asked, “What did you think the yelling, screaming, and kicking would get you?”

He said, “I thought it would cause you to give me my toy back.”

I nearly laughed out loud. “So you thought that by acting horribly, I would give your toy back?”

He said, “Yes.”

I then explained what I have explained a thousand times: good choices lead to good consequences and bad choices lead to bad consequences. I assured him I would never reward the behavior he was exhibiting by giving him what he wanted.

He seemed to understand. In an unusual moment, he calmed down, apologized, and we returned down stairs.

He got it.

I wish we would.

When things do not go our way, we often respond the way we feel with the hopes that our response will happen to result in what we want.

What we fail to realize is that what we are doing will rarely result in what we desire and might actually be preventing the outcome we want.

Several years ago a parent came to see me. She was angry over her son’s playing time and was on her way to see the coach. She felt her son had been treated unfairly and she was furious. I asked her what she was planning to do and she described her plan.

After listening, I asked, “What do you want the outcome of this meeting to be?”

She said, “For my son to be treated fairly and to play.”

I asked, “Do you think doing what you are planning to do will result in what you want?”

Having heard it out loud, she said, “No.”

We then discussed what she could do which might result in what she wanted.

In most situations, we have two choices:

1. To do what we have a right to do.

2. To do what is most likely to get the result we want.

There is a radical difference between these two choices.

Almost without fail, we foolishly choose the first option.

The good news: our actions often feel justified; we feel in the right; the other person is clearly wrong.

The bad news: our actions rarely result in the desired outcome.

The reason is obvious.

Silas learned a great lesson last night. He will spend the rest of his life re-learning it.

The question is when will we understand what even a 5–year-old knows?

Is there an area where you aren’t getting what you want?

Could it be that what you are doing would never result in what you want?


3 Responses to Why You Aren’t Getting What You Want

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