Why ‘wishes’ aren’t enough

What do you wish for?

  • Fortune
  • Fame
  • Success
  • Money
  • Perfection
  • Time

We all have them – wishes.  We wish for ourselves, for others, for the world.We wish for new cars, new houses, and in MOTH’s case new(old) guitars, and we wish for world peace.

Last night I looked up “wish” in the dictionary; actually a couple of dictionaries, just to be sure.

The Oxford Dictionary (online) had this to say about “wish”:

Noun: A desire or hope for something to happen

Verb : Feel or express a strong desire or hope for something that cannot or probably will not happen.

The big, fat Collins dictionary on my bookshelf (circa 19 hundred and something) provided something similar:

Noun: The expression of desire or mental inclination for something to happen

Verb: to want or desire (something, often that which cannot be, or is not the case)

Collins online was a little more clear:

Noun: the act of wishing; the expression of some desire or mental inclination

Verb: If you wish something were true, you would like it to be true, even though you know that it is impossible or unlikely.

None of these definitions imply any action towards achieving this longed-for desire or hope, which had me asking myself, “can wishes actually come true?”  If you take these definitions as correct – then I would say no.  A wish in itself is something improbable, unlikely, even impossible; a “something” that will most likely not happen.

Take “time” for example.  Many of us wish for “more time” – likelihood of any of us actually making that happen – absolutely none whatsoever!  One day will always be 24 hours, 1,440 minutes and 86,400 seconds, notwithstanding leap years etc.

So wishing for more time – a waste of time.

A goal on the other hand is more specific – the aim or object towards which your energy is directed (the wish), the end point of an activity.  The key words here being energy and activity. Wishes and making them come true involves a little physics – there must be forward motion to make wishes come true.  My disclaimer here is I am NO physicist but I think we can apply Newton’s First Law of Motion to wishes and goals.

An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

If this is true, then:

  • A wish will remain a ‘wish’ (an object at rest – inert) unless acted upon by an unbalanced force – i.e the wisher takes action, moves forward.
  • A goal (an object in motion) will remain in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force – the actions ceases or  the end point is reached, .

Without action, forward motion, propulsion, exertion – a wish is just “a dream your heart makes” (Cinderella, 1950)

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