Is wanting what you cannot have an unhealthy addiction? Or does it spur us on to reach our goals?

This is the question I found myself asking: Why do we always want what we cannot have? Is it the frustration of being told ‘no’, the desire to discover further, or simply do we secretly crave the things that are unavailable to us? As human beings living in the twenty-first century, we are surrounded by individuals who constantly aspire to better themselves. Incorporated in a metropolitan world of single minded workaholics, we are pressured into competing with one another; whether that is mentally with fellow colleagues at work, physically within the sporting industry, or even innocently as children. Life becomes a competition; a mission for success. Therefore, with this competitive instinct composed within us, it is not hard to see why the yearning for something we cannot have becomes a prime focal point.

I myself can very much relate to this outlook. Although, I would not consider myself a competitive person, if something I want is unavailable to me, it does urge me to desire it even more. This became apparent, having recently completed my university degree and caught in the mist between no longer being a student, and not quite a graduate; I found myself pondering what would be my next big step. Considering further education as an enjoyable and challenging move, I decided I was interested in pursuing a postgraduate degree. However, without the money to fund my aspirations, I found myself being denied access to something I wanted instantly.

Yes, I can work for a year to fund this ambition and therefore the option is not completely unavailable to me, but the choice of deciding when to act on that ambition is. Therefore is hearing the word ‘no’, the thing that really troubles me, or is it the fact I simply do not have the money which is the biggest bug bare? To be honest, it is probably a bit of both. However, the question remains, whether being denied access to something is a negative thing or does it benefit in us eventually reaching our goals?

Outside of the working world, think more closely at relationships, friendships, luxuries such as holidays and cars. Surely if we had everything we wanted, we would not have any future aspirations, life would be too easy – not to mention boring – and there would be a world filled with no social hierarchy. I think the denied access highlights the importance of working for something in order to receive. Therefore, is it not important to not have everything we wish for, in order to understand the value of something when we are able to gain it?

I think not having the things you truly crave can be frustrating, but at the same time, there is always something to learn from this denial. It pushes you further to want the next thing, and I think eventually that is a positive; the skills you learn along the way, the people you meet and the experiences you have in being denied one thing only contributes to the success you will have when you gain another. Maybe you cannot have what you want right now, but that is not saying you cannot have it in the future. I am a believer in if I want something I know I will eventually get it. However, realistically the inevitable remains that there will always be some things which are completely unavailable. This is observed more noticeably through barriers medically, scientifically and health related, for example. If this occurs, change the way you look at a situation and find an alternative to this refusal that is on par with the real thing.

Embrace being denied something and use it to your advantage. Learn from why you cannot have it, in order to improve your chances of reaching your following goal. After all, if it is what you truly want, giving up is not an option, right?

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