Not getting what you want challenges your illusion that your mind can control reality. "If I just make good enough plans and am clever and strong enough, then I'll be able to shape reality and control everything." These kinds of thoughts slumber somewhere in all of us.
We sometimes say that reality is a bit disappointing. But not getting what you want says nothing about reality – only about your plans for that reality. If reality refuses to conform to your plans, whose fault is that? Is it the fault of reality or your ideas of reality?
If you don't get what you want, you have three options. You can continue struggling to get it, but that's rather pointless: after all, you haven't gotten it. You can also sink into a feeling of resignation, but that also won't get you very far. Finally, you can focus on the new reality, namely the reality without whatever it is you wanted.
Not getting what you want is a very strict teacher. It puts you in your place and leaves you behind naked and empty-handed.
It's a force of habit to continue struggling, but the teacher invites us to find a way to make peace with the new reality. Of course, you don't have to accept the invitation, but then the teacher will just come back later.
Just take note of all those daily little instances of not getting what you want, those little barbs in the day: it provides valuable material for practice.
From: Rob Brandsma , Elke dag mindfulness, Scriptum Uitgeverij