“Be careful what you wish for, lest it comes true.”

While origins of the above quote are sketchy, popular opinion suggests that it’s a translation of an old Chinese proverb from several centuries ago.

But is it true?

There indeed times when something we want looks far more attractive than it really is. It may be the forbidden fruit.

For example, someone might be itching for a job promotion but might not be familiar with what a higher position entails. Perhaps it involves longer hours and more arduous responsibilities.

Nearly everyone I know wishes to win the lottery. But there have been many instances in which people who win the lottery became financially irresponsible. This probably stems from them thinking that such a large amount of money money will never end.

So should we stop wanting to climb the top of the chain via promotions? Should we stop wanting to having resources to be financially stable or for that matter, be rich?

Because chances are a part of life. Just walking outside your home could bring a string of calamities. Just like everything else in life, our desires have a 50/50 chance of being beneficial to us. We may wish for something, receive it and it may be good or bad.

Another root the proverb might stem from is the fact that many believe even the best things in life come with a price. As another famous proverb states, “There’s no such thing as a free meal.”

But then that also applies to every walk of life as life can never be perfect. No matter who we are and what we achieve, we’ll all have our shares of good experiences and bad experiences.

Hence I feel that instead of issuing a warning of being careful to wish for it, we should encourage people to just be more informed about what they’re pursuing. But don’t discourage them.

Because if don’t have hopes, dreams and ambitions, what are we left with? If we get achieve our dreams the way we envisioned them, great. If we get more than we bargained for, it becomes a learning experience.

As mentioned before, life is full of ups and downs. And that’s not just because we have desires. That’s just part and parcel of being human.

So keep dreaming. Keep wishing. God made us human beings (and not robots) for a reason.

How do you feel about being careful about what you wish for? Do you think all it leads to is disappointment? Or do you feel wishing has a 50/50 like anything else in life? Are your thoughts shaped because of any specific experience or just in general? Share your opinions and experiences by commenting below on our secure servers.

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Hi, I'm Neel! I'm a writer (fiction and poetry), a journalist and currently working in the advertising business. I'm also a mental health advocate, having been diagnosed with clinical depression a few years ago.
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