How to get what you want in life

by Jake Smolarek
Person holding gold trophy

Fauzan Saari / Unsplash

Sometimes life can be super frustrating. You feel like you've got a goal, and you're putting in the work, but you just aren't getting results. You feel disappointed, and you aren't sure what you're doing wrong. You might feel like you aren't living up to your potential, and it can be uncomfortable knowing you aren't really moving forward.

But believe it or not, these uncomfortable feelings are actually the first step for the next stage of your life.

Feeling uncomfortable or disappointed can lead to a moment of clarity. What is that you actually want out of life? What do you want to change? From there, you can plan your next move.

You know when something isn't right. Your gut tells you that something needs to change. Here's what you need to know about embracing the bad feelings, gaining clarity in your life, and how to take the next step towards success when you feel stuck. Read on to find out how to get what you want in life.

Getting what you want

People often think that going after what you want is selfish. Some people think you are self-centred, self-obsessed, or if your goal is career-related, money-obsessed. This means that many people feel guilty about taking time to work out what they want in life. As a result, many people never take the time to think about what they want and how to get it.

What a waste!

But if you aren't happy with where you are in life, and you want more from life, you want to do more and be more, you may feel unhappy, uncomfortable, or stuck in a rut. Even if you are working hard and want to improve, if you don't take the time to think about what you really want, you'll find yourself working with no goal in sight.

Getting what you want in life is about finding clarity. What do you really want? What do you actually want? Before you can even begin to think about living your dream life, you need to know what that means for you.

Stop thinking about what other people want for you. Stop thinking about other people's judgements. Take a deep breath and be selfish for a second. What do you want?

Clarity in life

Getting clarity in life is all about finding the truth of your situation so that you can plan your future.

The truth about where you are now, what you want and how far you are willing to go to get it. The truth is that no matter how hard you work, if you don't have the clarity of direction and motivation, you'll be stuck in an endless circle.

But finding the answers to these questions isn't always easy. It takes time, self-reflection, and deep thought to gain clarity. Often, it means feeling uncomfortable with your current situation and being a bit selfish. Many healthy and wealthy people can still experience self-doubt and anxiety because they don't have that clarity. For them, clarity might mean reflecting on personal relationships and realising they are lonely. Or perhaps realising the money isn't everything and they are working too hard. Clarity looks different for everyone.

Gaining clarity in life means realising some uncomfortable truths and then being prepared to work to change your current situation.

There is always something to work on, something to improve, and a new goal to set. But to effectively move forward in your life, you need to know where you are now, which means accepting the positives and negatives in your life. Then, once you've recognised what needs to change, you can start building the life you dream of and getting what you want.

How to actually get what you want

A chess pon with golden crown


Getting clarity and accepting some uncomfortable truths about your life doesn't always feel good. But it does give you an excellent foundation to move forward and actually get what you want in life. To know how to get what you want, you need to know that you don't already have it! If you're feeling stuck, unmotivated, uncomfortable, and don't know where to start, here are some tips and tricks to help you get what you want in life.

Set goals

If you want something, you have to know how to get it. It seems basic, but setting a goal is the number one thing you can do to get what you want. Don't just tell yourself it's what you want; write it down and tell someone else.

Experts suggest that the more specific your goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. So don't just say you want to have more money. Work out what that means for you based on your outgoings and expenses. Consider future income and how much additional work will impact your leisure time, and what this means for your mental health.

Have a plan

It sounds a bit obvious, but having an actual plan is a great way to focus your mind, find clarity and move forward. Psychologically, having written goals is a proven way to stay focused and ensure you are motivated and always prepared. You need to break down your overall goal into manageable steps. Not only will this keep you focused and moving forward, but it will help make sure you stay on track and don't lose sight of your main aims.

Try writing down what you want to accomplish and by when. Setting time deadlines is crucial to ensure you don't drift. You can get what you want in life if you know what you need to achieve it.

Overcome negative thoughts

You are one of the biggest things holding you back. We all have those negative voices in our heads saying we can't succeed, we aren't good enough, success is meant for other people. Overcoming your own negative thoughts is a major part of finding clarity and moving forwards. If you feel stuck, ask yourself if the thing that's stopping you from succeeding is you! Try making a note of when you feel bad and what your thoughts are at the time. This way, you'll be able to identify when you feel bad and begin to tackle negative thoughts that are holding you back.

Find your why

It doesn't matter how hard you work; life will continue to disappoint you and leave you feeling dissatisfied if you don't know why you are working hard. Finding your "why," the reason for your motivation, is crucial for helping you feel good. Often, we feel lost in life because we lose direction. Making sure you know why you are working hard is as important as your end goal. Perhaps you want financial security or want to be able to provide for a loved one. Maybe you want to retire early or travel lots. Whatever your "why" is, make sure you never lose track of it. It will help you to focus on your goal and keep you from getting stuck in a rut.

Take time off

It might sound a little counterproductive, but taking some time off can sometimes be the best option. Especially when you've been feeling rundown or frustrated, taking a step back to relax and centre yourself is crucial.

It's all about working smarter, not harder. If you are working yourself into the ground, you'll become mentally exhausted, which means you can't give 100% to your projects. Everyone needs a break. Take some proper time off and let yourself relax. Take some time to think about how to get what you want and how to achieve it. You'll feel refreshed and find it much easier to concentrate and work hard when you feel good.

Be assertive

Going after what you want isn't always easy. If you back down or allow others to overpower you, you will never reach your goals. Successful people know that being assertive is a big part of being successful. Make sure you know what to stand up for yourself and how to firmly stand your ground when the occasion calls for it.

Being assertive isn't always easy, especially if you are experiencing doubt or aren't sure how to improve your life. Try to ensure you are proactive and confident rather than overbearing to make sure you get your way and don't allow others to walk all over you.

Have a detox

No, this doesn't mean cutting out alcohol and only drinking green juice. Have a detox from distractions. Turn off your phone, disconnect from social media. If you're always running around after the kids, ask for help with babysitting. Taking some time away from your day-to-day life can help you to see more clearly.

Use the time you would spend on your phone to read a book or make a plan. We often get stuck in bad habits that are just part of daily life. Detox your life by shaking things up and focusing on things you wouldn't normally consider. You might find a new perspective, a new habit, or a new goal simply by doing something different.

Find a role model

Whatever you want in life, you can probably find someone who has already achieved it. Is there someone you look up to? Someone who is living your dream life? If you already know who this is, try to find out how they became successful. Look at their daily habits and what they avoid. By imitating others, you can find your own path to success.

If you don't already have a role model, find one. Keep your eyes open for someone who lives the life you want, and then start studying them. This can help you find clarity in what is holding you back and what you need to start doing to succeed.


Getting what you want in life is hard work. It requires determination. Once you've got a goal and set aims and found your reason and motivation, the hard work begins. To achieve what you want, you need to do put in the work over and over again. You need to show up for yourself and hustle every. Single. Day. Until you get what you want. It isn't easy, but it does work.

Find a pattern that you can effectively repeat. This is a marathon, not a sprint, so you need to prepare yourself for the long haul.

The secret to getting what you want in life

Everyone wants to know the secret to a successful life where you always get what you want. And the reality is that most people have no idea where to start or what to do. Getting what you want in life isn't always easy, so setting goals, planning, dealing with any negative thoughts, and working hard are great places to start.

It doesn't feel great when you're unhappy with your current situation. But feeling guilt, shame, annoyance, frustration, or disappointment are signs that you are ready to move on. Use those feelings to motivate you to do more.

If you need help gaining clarity, want an outsider's perspective, or need support and advice, a life coach or therapist can help. It can be hard to accept your current reality and the real negatives of your life, but it is necessary to move forward and eventually get the life you want.

About the Author

Jake Smolarek

Life and Business Coach & Entrepreneur

For over 10 years I have been helping people achieve their personal, professional, and financial goals faster and easier than they've ever imagined.

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