Now, at first, I thought this was a ridiculous thing to say and there must certainly be exceptions and circumstances that determine and even govern what people do. I mean, c'mon, we don't always get to do what we really want. Sometimes I really don't want to do the dishes. But hang in there and I'll try to explain.
When our kids were young and we were very (extremely) faithful about attending church, nearly every Sunday RL and I would argue about being late to church. I hate being late. He would get up late and I would try to hurry him along and we would argue and we would be late. I didn't want to be late and I didn't want to fight and I didn't want to be stressed out going to church. What I really wanted was for us to all go to church together.
I complained about this weekly fued to someone once and they said, "Leave without him. If you don't want to be late just go on without him." Well this isn't what I really wanted. I really wanted us to go to church together. If I left without him, sure, we wouldn't be late but we also wouldn't all be going together. But one day, I decided that what I really wanted was to not argue. And so I left without him. I can't begin to tell you how that changed my life, but it was incredible!
People only do what they really want to do.
So why do some people continue to do things that make their lives miserable? Because there is something that results in them getting what they want. I wanted us to go to church together, despite the turmoil it caused. I know people who say they really don't want to be in debt, but let their spouse nearly run them into financial ruin just so there's "peace" in the house. They will tell you they really want to save money and stick to a budget. But what they really want to do is "keep the peace" and that's why they're always in debt.
Remember those dishes I don't want to do? Well, I will do them, because what I really want is to have a clean kitchen. There are a lot of things we do that we think we don't want to do, but if we look at it a little differently we'll see we only do what we really want to.-- we just have to figure out what is we really want.