You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Chad Kanoff opens up on how rainy days really do make you appreciate the sunny ones and that periods of struggle are actually when you learn the most about yourself.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Sometimes we don’t get what we want.

At some point everyone experiences not getting what they want. Be it in football—I wish the coach would play me more, I wish I had more scholarship offer, I wish I ran a 4.3 (or even a 4.7), or in life—I wish that girl would like me, I wish I was invited to that party, I wish I didn’t do that stupid thing.

I want to be on the Buccaneers as one of Tom Brady’s backup quarterbacks and going to the Superbowl; I’d hoped all year I would get picked back up, particularly after one of the Buccaneers coaches called me at the start of the season, and then again in mid-December, to tell me to stay ready, because this year like no other, anything can happen. But, alas, it has not happened.

Unfortunately, you can’t ever wish things to happen. But luckily, there are too many things you can do to waste anytime thinking about all the things you can’t. In 2021, I’m actively trying to reframe every ‘wish’ that comes into my head, instead, into something actionable. Instead of I wish I was in the Super Bowl, it’s been don’t miss a single workout this week, and use this time away from football to prepare for my next career. Instead of I wish I could score higher on the GRE, it’s do math drills every single day. Instead of I wish I’d bought Gamestop at $3, its study the markets/reddit and try to find the next one.

Even with this reframing, sometimes there really are some things that you are powerless to change. Or even if you try your hardest to change them, you still do just come up short. Recognizing this reality of the human experience is incredibly important. The sooner you accept it, the better off you’ll be. You’ll waste a lot less time crying over spilled milk than people who don’t.

More importantly, you’ll come to even appreciate every stumble. Rainy days really do make you appreciate the sunny ones. You’ll learn that periods of struggle are actually when you learn the most about yourself. And that down periods are opportunities to show your wisdom, in that you know the difference between things that can be changed and things that can’t. In retrospect, in the quest for a happy, fulfilling life, stumbles and struggle can even be the best part.