The Problem with Wishing


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The problem with wishing is that it gets you nowhere. It keeps you idle, stuck in your head, constantly daydreaming. The problem with wishing is that it doesn’t really spur action. It keeps you longing, always wanting, forever doomed to be dissatisfied.

“You can wish in one hand & shit in the other & see which one fills up faster.”

My husband pessimistically says this more often than I’d prefer. I cringe every time. It sounds so stinkin’ BLEAK, doesn’t it? Those words strung together are piercing to me, hope shattering — frankly, harsh.

This isn’t to say wishing doesn’t have a purpose.

Wishing — along with dreaming — are healthy. They should not be discouraged, as they are necessary to allow us to reach beyond our norms & challenge our boundaries. Without wishes, we can never progress.

Wishes lead to hopes, which turn into goals. Then goals worth any salt at all start to take shape as actual PLANS with deadlines & all. And, when plans are actually set into motion with ACTION, that is where the magic happens!

The problem with wishes, though, is that too many people let them die.

What is the point in wishing if they’re not going to be nurtured into something MORE? Why put yourself through the agony of endless pining & feelings of helplessness? Don’t fall into that trap.

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So, the problem with wishing doesn’t have to be perpetual. You have the power to solve it. Sure. You could stop wishing altogether, but that would surely be a sad & sorry existence, don’t you think? Instead, be intentional about your wishing.

  1. Separate & recognize the wishes that are meant to be just for fun.
  2. Identify the wishes that, when left unchecked, will leave you wanting for more.
  3. Create goals attached to those wishes, making sure they are S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely).
  4. Begin by taking action — at least one first step toward reaching that goal.

I know some of this seems ridiculously simple. Silly, really. But, in a world of resolutions & empty “promises” to ourselves & each other, isn’t that, basically, what those are? A bunch of WISHES? And, that’s the problem with wishes. Nothing comes of them — unless you take action.

So, in 2019, I intend to be intentional about my wishes. I will let myself wish & dream & IMAGINE! But I will also examine those wishes & turn as many as I can into hopes & goals & ACTIONS I can take to turn them into part of my REALITY. Life is WAY too short to spend it just wishing.


This was written as a contribution to the Finish the Sentence Friday link up hosted over at Finding Ninee where this week’s prompt was “In 2019, I want to …”

Reta Jayne

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Reta Jayne


By Reta Jayne

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I am Reta Jayne. I help women learn to love themselves again (or more!) through no-bull discussions about mental health, self-care, & more. Click the email icon to subscribe to & communicate with me via email.

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