Why do some people almost always seem to get what they want? They get the promotion they’ve been dreaming about. They get their dream house…for $20,000 less than market value. They seem to attract new business no matter what the economists say on the news. No matter what it is, they seem to get it.

Waiting Expectantly
What separates those who get what they want and those who don’t is in how they wait. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook

The truth is, they have to wait just like you…but they wait differently.

We spend a lot of time waiting in life.

Waiting for a new job or promotion. Waiting for the right person to spend life with. Waiting for our health to get better or our finances to improve. Waiting for this and that.

The waiting part of life is no different for you, me, or anyone. It’s always going to be there.

What separates those who seem to always get what they want and those who don’t is in how they wait.


When I announced to my co-workers in 2010 that Tara was pregnant, I only said two words:

“We’re expecting!”

That’s all that needed to be said.

And what happened next? The guys told me stories of their first child. The ladies asked if we had names picked out. Everyone wanted to know if we would find out the sex of the child (we didn’t). Where would we deliver? How would we deliver?

If you’ve ever had a child, you know what happens next. You paint a room, buy a crib, have a baby shower, and then…you wait.

You wait confidently.

You wait prepared.

You wait expectantly.

You expect a child to come. You are confident of his or her arrival. You prepare for the child’s birth and life.

The waiting is inevitable. There comes a time when the room is painted, the crib is assembled, the clothes are bought, washed, and folded, and the bags are packed and sitting by the door. And then the days pass slowly.

But you know that this waiting is leading to something special.

Three Stages of Expectancy

You have to wait the same way in all areas of life.

Waiting for that promotion. Waiting for the sickness to go away. Waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right. Waiting for products to move off the shelves.

If you want to achieve your goals and learn to wait expectantly, you’ll have to master the three stages of expectancy.

1. Remove the doubts and fears

Before you can focus on the positives and wait expectantly, you must remove the doubts.

The negative voices will tell you all kinds of lies (and even some truths). Your dad was never promoted. Your mom died of the same disease. You’ve been single too long. You’ve never been any good at selling.

You’re too old. Too young. Too slow. Too fast. Too dumb. Too smart.

The reason this step comes first, before preparation, is that the doubts will likely render your preparation irrelevant. If your doubts are too powerful, why would you ever prepare?

Focus on the outcome. Focus on the positives and talk back to your doubts and fears. Remove the doubts and continue to step two…

2. Preparation

You must prepare. You work your butt off. You exercise and eat right. You get out of your house and smile at people. You learn about marketing and practice the art of selling.

It’s hard to be confident without the right preparation.

You’ve probably heard the story of the two farmers. One only prayed for rain. The other first planted his crop and then prayed for rain. Who was more confident that rain was coming?

But there is a missing part to the story…preparation.

The second farmer, the one who planted the crop. For the previous five years, he’d honed his craft. He’d studied farming, apprenticed under an expert, and planted crops the past four years.

Then he bought the seeds and tilled the land. Day and night, sweat pouring from his brow, he tilled the land.

Preparation is what gives you the confidence to wait expectantly. If you don’t put in the hard work, don’t expect some magic expectancy fairy to grant you any wishes.

3. Action

Confidence and expectancy are not just attitudes, they are shown in your actions. 

You learn how to be an effective leader before the promotion ever happens. You buy the running shoes knowing that one day soon you will be better. You change out of your sweatpants into some more presentable before you leave the house because this could be the day you meet the right person. You buy a bigger shelf.

You take action based on your preparation and expectancy.

The sign of true expectancy is the action you take. Without action, the preparation and confidence, and removal of doubts is wasted.

When doubts do creep in from time to time (and they will) you can point to the action you’ve taken in faith. You’re prepared and you expect good things.

Now you can wait the right way…expectantly.

How can you change from an attitude of just waiting to waiting expectantly?

Download print-friendly PDF version of this post to share

3 thoughts on “Why Some People Almost Always Get What They Want

  1. Very good post. I have lived a lot in the opposite, forced to wait in many areas of life, but often with little hope/expectancy involved.

    The thing is, even if you do NOT get what you are waiting for, expectancy keeps you moving forward, and then you can adjust to a new goal or dream if the old one isn’t working out.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Very well said. Even if you only achieve half your goals or get half the things you want, it’s just a more enjoyable way to live.

  2. Great post Matt! I can’t remember the exact say but if you’re waiting on something to happen to you then you will wait a long time. People that have things “happen” to them are proactive and make them happen. The entitlement mentality many have are holding them back from success.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.