Not getting your way: Embrace it.


It’s no secret that I get pretty fired up for Monday mornings. I love the feeling in the air knowing an entire week of opportunity and possibilities is before us. It’s the easiest day for me to wake up and get going. It’s also the easiest day for me not to let the things of this world get to me.

Be that as it may, after my workout this morning, I went to go in the hot tub (which I always look forward to) and when I took a step in, the water was 50 degrees. Instantly my attitude started to change. In the smallest way, I didn’t get my way, I didn’t get to plan my day out and relax my muscles after a great work out like I wanted to, and I knew that if I dwelled on that, that little bit of disappointment would snowball and could easily ruin the day.

Make no mistake about it, this isn’t about “the hot tub” and the day wouldn’t be ruined because I didn’t get to go in the hot tub (besides I went in an indoor hot tub anyways), but the attitude, mindset, and perspective from dealing with the disappointment and not getting your way – albeit big or small – can so easily snowball.

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.Winston Churchill

If you’re sitting there thinking I’m just a brat and who am I to write a blog article on not getting my way after not using a hot tub, I urge you to quit being ignorant and look at the bigger picture.

Not getting your way sucks. It stings and it’s discouraging. The hot tub situation this morning was probably the smallest way to showcase not getting your way. I could talk about some pretty big examples of not getting my way, but that’s not what this is about. Go read My Story that I blogged about a few weeks ago when I was living out of a car – that wasn’t my way either.

Albeit, this is about dealing with disappointment, and this is about not only dealing with the disappointment, but embracing it. Not getting your way can easily be seen as a type of failure. ‘Your way’ was your vision, your plan, your idea, what you were looking forward to, sometimes your goal, etc. What happens when you don’t get it? You can label that feeling and action very easily as failure.

We need failure though. We need to not get our way sometimes. Nobody rewards failure, nobody commends you for failing, nobody wants failure. But what failing DOES do is provide a plethora of needed actions necessary for bettering yourself. Everything from falling flat on your face and crying out to God for His will be done (because clearly yours didn’t happen) to reaching down deep and developing or rediscovering a will to fight off your back, a will to sacrifice today for tomorrows betterment.

It’s also important not to dwell on the negative “side effects” of not getting your way. Those side effects, for a lack of a better term, are going to sit and stare you in the face like a 2 year old who you promised candy to. Rather, it’s important to look at not getting your way as a stepping block to something greater. What that something greater is only God knows, and what the purpose of the rejecting experience was, only God knows.

Whether it’s because God has something greater for you than what you were trying to receive, whether it’s because it wasn’t God’s timing for you, or simply because God wanted to allow you to receive a hard lesson in discipline, among a plethora of other reasons and circumstances. I don’t know what God is up to. If God was small enough to understand, he wouldn’t be big enough to worship. I do know one thing though, regardless of our circumstances, God is still on the throne, He is still God, and He is still worthy to be praised. Our circumstances don’t change who God is.

God is so good that he very often sends us His denials for our requests for silver, wrapped in gold. It’s not going to happen instantly though when you don’t get your way. You’re not going to get slapped in the face by adversity, and then moments later receive that gold denial. Give God time to execute His will. Let me assure you too that he doesn’t need that time, we do; our hearts need to be prepared to receive it.

We (this includes myself) need to learn to not get winded by adversity, to not give up when we (including myself) don’t get our way, to not let our hearts succumb to our present emotions. We need to learn to embrace it all for a chance of something greater – that something greater being God’s will.

To sum up everything I just said: When life gives you lemons, don’t just make lemonade. Look that lemon flavored adversity right in the face, open up a lemonade stand and franchise that bad boy across the country.  Use not getting your way, use disappointment, use failure as a stepping stone to unleashing your potential and to receiving something greater.