The #1 Reason People Don’t Get What They Want


Do you ever feel like a hamster, running round and round on an apparently endless wheel that never seems to go anywhere?

Life is designed to frustrate you.

Because when you’re frustrated, you’ll ask questions. You’ll look for alternatives. You’ll seek. And life’s journey is about seeking its true meaning.

Living is a process of discovery. We may be able to avoid it for a while. But sooner or later we find ourselves feeling frustrated, or bored, or discouraged, or dissatisfied. When that happens, we look for something to relieve that feeling.

We start by looking where our parents or friends or people we respect said we would find relief. Maybe they said, “Get a good education. That will get you a good job, you can make money, have a family, and then you’ll be happy.”

So off we went to do all those things.

Then one day, you’ve got the good education, maybe you have a well-paying job and a wonderful family, but you wake up to the realization that you’re still not happy. Maybe you feel frazzled, or overwhelmed, or your relationship with your spouse seems to be falling apart. Maybe you get sick, or lose your good job, or find yourself hating that well-paying job you worked so hard to get. Or maybe you just find yourself asking . . .

“Now What?”

If you reach this crossroads in life’s journey after something devastating has happened, then you may look to where your spiritual tradition said you would find relief. So you go to church or synagogue or mosque, you dedicate yourself to helping others, and sure enough you begin feeling better. Because serving others is the common purpose we all share. When you serve others, you’ll start feeling better.

But if you are not also serving yourself, this relief will be temporary. And again that old question comes up, “Why don’t I feel happy?”

And that question will arise again and again and again, because life is designed to guide us to answer that question in more and more meaningful ways. As long as we look to the answers others give, we will only find partial fulfillment. Life’s journey requires that each of us find our own unique answer.

The #1 Reason

In The Passion Test we said, “The #1 reason people don’t get what they want is because they don’t know what they want.”

Knowing what you think you want is a critical step in your life’s journey. As we say in the book, “When you are clear what you want will show up in your life and only to the extent you are clear.”

The Passion Test is a wonderfully simple yet powerful way to clarify what it is you think you want. And it is a tool that will serve you best when you use it again, and again, and again. In fact, any time you have that old question, “Why don’t I feel happy?” The Passion Test will help.

Each time you go through the process of identifying the five things that matter most to you, you learn more about yourself. You’ll discover that your answers take you to a deeper level and the unique things that bring meaning and purpose to your life will emerge.

The End of Searching

Where does it all end? When does one get to the point that there is no more searching for happiness, for meaning, for fulfillment?

Spiritual literature is filled with answers to that question yet ultimately we each have to arrive at the answer for ourselves. No one can “give” you the answer. There are no shortcuts. Life’s journey is this process of discovery. The deeper you go the more fulfilling life becomes.

Sometimes habits that keep us locked in unhappiness are so deeply embedded that it takes a long time to let them go. Meditation, self-investigation, the company of the wise—these are all time-honored and proven ways to step beyond the boundaries of our own limitations.

And little by little, we discover one question that leads to the end of searching, “What do I love?”

Such a simple question, yet within it lies the path to complete fulfillment in life, for “What you love and God’s will for you are one and the same.” This is the beauty of life. It’s set up for you to succeed. Answer the question, “What do I love?” Then follow your heart, connect to what you love most deeply, and you will find yourself not only happy, but living a deeply meaningful and fulfilling life.

An Invitation

Learning to ask this question, “What do I love?” in more and more fruitful ways is one of the most important achievements of life. Combine the answers to that question with action that serves others and life becomes so rewarding.

Yet, we’ve all had so much conditioning, from our parents, our peers, our society, that it usually takes time and patience to get to the answers to the question, “What do I love?” that feel most true.

As you search for your own unique answers, we invite you to join our Passion Test family to support you in the process. By helping others discover their own answers to the question of “What do I love?,” you will be the prime beneficiary. Whether you complete the Passion Test certification program to help others, or simply to gain more clarity for yourself, you’ll discover how wonderful it is to be immersed in love.

And ultimately, that is what lies at the end of searching.

With love


Janet Bray Attwood

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