In Others’ Words: You Can’t Always Get What You Want … Or Can You?

What Do You Want 2016

This quote baffles me.

I wish I could sit across from the illustrious Mark Twain and ask, “Who were you hanging out with?”

I mean, really? He couldn’t find anyone who could tell him what they wanted out of life? And then there’s that other part of the quote — the first part — where Twain boldly proclaims that he teach anyone how to get what they want out of life. But I’m skipping over that segment of the quote. I wouldn’t ask Twain his secret(s) to success because I’m stunned that the people he knew didn’t know what they wanted from life.

I know lots of different people who know what they want from life — and I’m not talking a Miss Congeniality “I want world peace” kind of answer. Not that “world peace” is a bad thing to want. It’s just wrong if you’re parrotting the expected answer to the question.

I know what I want out of life because I’ve paused long enough to consider my values. My core values determine what I want … what I’m working toward.

Here’s one thing I want: I want to live an honest life. 

I talked about this with my friend Casey the other day. Living an honest life doesn’t mean you have to be belligerent or in-your-face about who you are or what you believe or where you came from. But living honestly means you don’t let other people whitewash over the facts of your life because it makes them more comfortable.

In Your Words: Let’s take on Mark Twain today, shall we? Join the conversation and share what you want out of life. And if you want to, go ahead and share how you’re getting what you want out of life!

 

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7 Comments

  1. March 29, 2016, 7:16 am   /  Reply

    Great post, Beth. You got me thinking. And this? “I know what I want out of life because I’ve paused long enough to consider my values. My core values determine what I want … what I’m working toward.” Yes!

    I want to live an authentic life, with honesty and integrity guiding my thoughts, words, and actions. I want to lead a life that points others to Jesus.

    Thanks for making me think this early in the morning. It’s a good thing I’ve already had my coffee. 😉

    • March 29, 2016, 10:02 am   /  Reply

      Jeanne: I’m glad you had your coffee too. 🙂
      And I appreciated your honest answer and how you connected with your core values — and how you live them out day to day.

  2. March 29, 2016, 7:34 am   /  Reply

    World peace? Ugh. Mongols are like Irishmen…if we can’t find an enemy we’ll happily lay the cudgel and fist to cousins and brothers.

    I can tell you what I though I wanted, and what I learned I DID want.

    When I married I thought I wanted closeness and warmth and passion…but what I craved was competence and professionalism, and disdain for luxury in surroundings and persona.

    Not exactly a love poem, and it took Barbara a while to get used to the dichotomy, until I came to terms with it. She had her moments.

    When I tried to leave ‘love notes’ for her, it was kind of uncomfortable…a bit like having Genghis Khan showing up at your door to sing “I Honestly Love You”. Jarring.

    So now I send prayers instead, and we’ve both realized that even an anachronism of the Mongol Horde can be a fit companion. Well, sort of.

    • March 29, 2016, 10:04 am   /  Reply

      Oh, Andrew, your honesty is so appreciated … and you made me laugh out loud with your “a bit like Genghis Khan showing up at your door to sing ‘I Honestly Love You.’ Jarring.”

      So well said.

      And prayers in a marriage … have I got a quote for you … and I will share it in another post!! 🙂

  3. March 29, 2016, 8:58 am   /  Reply

    Gasp! You have just put my character’s greatest dream into words! That’s exactly what she wants…thank you. Unfortunately, I do know a couple of people who don’t know what they want out of life. They are not passionate about anything, so they do nothing. And are miserable. What do I tell them?

    • March 29, 2016, 10:06 am   /  Reply

      Glad to be of help, Pat!!!
      And now you know exactly what to tell those people, Pat.
      You help them discover what they are passionate about. What the care about. What creates desire in them … even the slightest hum … it may take awhile, but there has to be something. It may be something they love or hate … something they want to advocate for or fight against …

  4. March 29, 2016, 1:35 pm   /  Reply

    I love Mark Twain’s humor, enjoyed visiting his birth place w/ my sons when they were little. He did well to keep his humor in light of some considerable hardships he faced, but I’m grateful for what he’s added to our national consciousness as well as world literature. I can’t improve on what you wrote so won’t try except I would like to have people near me better able to read who I truly am and my wishes and intended kindnesses toward them.

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