Growing up, I’m sure you heard the phrase, “Be careful what you wish for.” This little phrase has more meaning to it than you might think. This phrase was always said to me when I said something negative like, “I wish I were sick so I didn’t have to go to school.” It’s appropriate to use the phrase in those situations, but it also applies to positive statements. Let me explain.

The Obvious

When you say something like, “I want to get my undergrad degree in biology and then go on to be a doctor,” you are placing a tall order. You know that it includes roughly eight years of college, most likely six-figure debt, and several years of residency. If you told your parents, “I wish I were a doctor,” they wouldn’t say be careful what you wish for. They wouldn’t say it because you know what you just wished for. You wished for eight years of schooling, sleepless nights, stressful exams, several years of residency, and then to become a practicing doctor.

be careful what you wish for

The Not So Obvious

This works the same way for everything you wish for. When you say things like I wish I were (financially) rich, I wish I were skinny, or I wish I were the President of the United States, you might not know what you are ordering. I would say to you, “Be careful what you wish for because it just might come true.”

When you wish for something, you are ordering far more than the thing itself. If you wish to be rich, you are ordering the journey that is required for you to become truly rich. If you think that the money will just magically appear, you are mistaken. If someone were to give you a few million dollars, you’d run out of the money faster than you could spend your current salary.

You are not rich until you develop the qualities that make a person rich. Until you have wealth consciousness, you are not rich. If you were to receive a lump sum of money before you developed wealth consciousness, you wouldn’t know what to do with it. You would still have the consciousness of your previous financial situation.



The Universe always restores balance. Having things you didn’t earn throws you out of balance. If you wish to become skinny, a diet will not work for you. A diet is a shortcut just like winning the lottery is a shortcut to riches. You will lose the weight and gain it right back. You have to develop into a skinny person. For every change you want in your life, you have to tweak your lifestyle and go through a journey that will develop you into the perfect receptacle for the thing you wish to be, do, or have.

A new lifestyle requires a new self-image. If you’re not willing to change your lifestyle, you aren’t willing to have the thing you desire. That is why I would caution you to be careful what you wish for. When you place a request with your Higher Power, you are requesting everything that goes along with the thing you requested.

Most people don’t think about this since they don’t believe they’ll get the thing they requested. Anytime you request something from the Universe; you will get exactly that or something better. The only time you don’t get what you request is when you don’t have faith. Worry, doubt, & fear can’t exist at the same time as faith. If you feel any of those emotions, work on trusting the Universe more.

defined life


Knowing that your wish is the Universe’s command, you definitely don’t want to wish for things in which you would not be okay with the journey. If you don’t want to have sleepless nights or work 80 hour weeks (residency), don’t wish to be a doctor. If you don’t want to have a large car note and expensive car insurance, don’t wish for the fancy car. If you don’t want the Universe to take you through the uncomfortable journey that’s required to be wealthy, then don’t wish for wealth.

If you don’t mind the journey, which will seem ridiculously tough at times, then by all means, place those big desires in the hands of the Universe. Expect your request to be delivered. Start viewing yourself as already in possession of the thing. Have the faith of a child and you will surely get the thing you desire.

It’s always great to look back on the journey and laugh. In hindsight, you will be able to see exactly why you went through the tough times. You will learn lessons on your journey that are essential if you wish to become the person capable of handling the thing wished for properly. In the same way, no one can do your pushups for you; no one can go through your journey for you either.

Click here to read about a real world example of a tumultuous journey