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How to Get What You Want (Most of the Time)

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How to Get What You Want 
(Everything Happens For a Reason - and It's All Your Fault)

I'm going to tell you how you can get what you want in life - most of the time.

One night in 2008, I realized how it works and tried to follow it ever since.
(notably, my life started turning the corner in 2008)

"Everything Happens For a Reason - and It's All Your Fault" (GLL original aka or I arrived at this conclusion myself) was a concept that I discussed in "30 Things I Wish I Knew In My 20's" (#22).

When you take responsibility for EVERYTHING, your fault or not, you are empowered in ways that better ensure short-term success and all but guarantee long-term success.

You tend to get what you want.

Parts of this concept may be hard to swallow, but the long-term dividends are many.

This concept as well as "The Real Golden Rule (How to Be Productive)" have been the keys to my success

I'm definitely not smarter or even harder working than a lot of people.

I'm a good (but not great) writer, but I have a lot of real-world experience because I don't stop until I have what I want.

Video - How to Get What You Want (Most of the Time)

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You can listen to the audio on SoundCloud if you rather.

The Girl That Never Gets What She Wants

(This is a true story but has been shortened and simplified for convenience purposes)

I got to know Angie pretty well. 

She was actually the first really hot girl I got close to after I moved to Los Angeles in early 2008.

Although older than her competition (26), she still looked 21-22 and swore she was more determined than ever to make it in Hollywood.

She just needed her big break. 

As I got to know her more, I noticed a pattern.

Angie was always in crisis. 

Her life was always a mess.

Angie really had the worst luck ever though.

Whether it was her landlord not getting her rent check, freeway traffic causing her to miss a potentially career-launching audition, her car getting towed when she was legally parked, the car accident that left her without transportation for 2 weeks, her disruptive roommates stealing her food and clothing, or the one seagull that shit on her head two times - misfortune always seemed to follow her.

Poor Angie.

She didn't know why.

Then something happened that made me realize why Angie couldn't get ahead.

I started to realize why making the varsity cheerleading team in 10th grade would always be her biggest accomplishment in life.

I started to realize why she'd always be an unknown actress with "unlimited potential", living paycheck-to-paycheck as a cocktail waitress, and why she'd never even be able to lose that pesky 5 lbs. on what was already a perfect body.

Late one night, I was dropping her off and she told me that her cell phone was broken and she'd have to message me on Facebook about hanging out later that week.

I asked -

Okay, no problem.

What happened to your phone?

She said -

It fell out of my purse and it broke when it hit the ground.

Well, that's a bummer.

But wait...

I asked -

What happened? 

She said -

It fell out of my purse and it broke when it hit the ground.

What should have been blatantly obviously the entire time - was now blatantly obvious.

It all made sense now.

Everything.

I asked -

You mean you dropped your phone? 

She said -

No.

It fell out of my purse.

I said -

It fell out of your purse?

Or you dropped it?

Thinking that I was joking, she said -

Same thing Chris.

I'll talk to you on Facebook before I go to sleep.

I thought about it on my way home and for the rest of the week.

It's not the same thing.

It's not the same fucking thing at all.

In fact - it's the complete opposite and the reason her entire life wasn't working. 

She wasn't taking ANY accountability for breaking her phone life. 

She had nothing to do with it.

I thought back to all her other stories when she had been unfairly victimized -

  • The landlord that didn't get her rent check.
  • The traffic that prevented her from trying out for a sitcom that would vault her career the next level.
  • The restaurant owner that had her car towed when it was supposedly legally parked.
  • The annoying roommates who constantly stole her food and clothing. 
  • The car "accident" that smashed the front of her new car.
  • The seagull that shit on her head 2 times.   

This wasn't bad luck at all.

It was all her fault.  

Individually, these 'incidents' were small things but were representative of her entire life and why she'd never be anything more than an above-average cocktail waitress who browsed the 'gigs' section of Craigslist every weekend to "get ahead"

The girl was irresponsible and either too proud or immature to shoulder any of the blame.

So many people have this type of victim mentality too. 

I don't really know why I had such a strong reaction to her latest excuse. Her lack of responsibility didn't affect me one bit. She was just a bed buddy and things between us were pretty solid. She was actually a sweetheart too, but perhaps part of me knew that she was an airhead, headed nowhere and I resented that. 

Angie was the type of person who - if she had the winning $25 million lottery ticket and had to claim her prize at a certain date and time - something would happen to her and she'd lose the money. 

The lottery ticket would get lost...

The clock would be wrong...

The car wouldn't start...

The check would get lost...

That type of person.

Another blameless victim. 

The epiphany from that night stuck with me for the rest of my life.

take responsibly for everything and get what you want

Take Responsibility For Everything (Literally)

The key to getting what you want is assuming full responsibility for 100% of the outcomes in your life.

Doesn't matter if it's 100%, 50%, 10%, 1% or 0% your fault or if it's completely outside your control.

Although you might be a little blame heavy on yourself at times (you will find solutions and immediately put them in place), you will be way better off in the long-run because more things will go your way if YOU handle them.

There's 2 parts to this -

#1 Take responsibility for everything you can control.

This part is easy to grasp if you are actually serious about your life. Even unsuccessful people understand this.

An example -

Today, I have to be at Redondo Beach at 2:30pm. It takes about 45 minutes to get there from Hollywood. I know there might be some traffic, perhaps an accident that will jam up the freeway and I'm not guaranteed to find parking.

I'm going to leave at 1:00pm to guarantee that I get there by at least 2:30pm.

Pretty simple.
(result - I reached my destination and parked by 2:18pm) 

#2 Take responsibility for everything you can't control.

This part is WAY HARDER for people to accept.

Especially future unsuccessful people, aspiring underachievers and undefeated blame-game warriors.

I'll give you another example -

A few months ago, I was expecting a very important big shipment of 240 kilograms of Happy Hippo Kratom to arrive.

Needless to say, that's a lot of inventory and it's worth a lot of money.

If the packages arrived but I didn't answer the door or wasn't home, DHL would probably leave a note on my door stating when they'd attempt to deliver it again - no biggie.

Still, the last thing I wanted is for this expensive shipment to somehow be left at the door, taken back to the regional DHL depot to be put in storage or worse - sent back to Indonesia.

But I'm a responsible guy, right?

Everyday, I checked the tracking information to make sure I was home the day the packages arrived in Boise and were out for delivery.

The packages were to be delivered on a Tuesday and the DHL guy always comes between 11am and 3pm.

On Tuesday, I woke up at 9:45am, well ahead of schedule and waited around for several hours.

No packages...

At 4pm, I opened the door and found a 'Delivery Attempted' note on the door.

Christ.

According to the note, the DHL guy showed up at 6:52am and I missed him.

Since when does the DHL guy show up at 6:52am?

6:52am, are you kidding me?

I got screwed.

But the fact of the matter is -

It was partly my "fault" that I didn't get what I wanted.

Did I do ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING I POSSIBLY COULD to ensure the result I wanted?

No - I didn't.

Although it may have seemed obsessive-compulsive at the time (genius looks like insanity to normal people), there were several things I could have done to GUARANTEE that I received the packages on that Tuesday morning and got what I wanted. 

I could have - 

  • Put a note on the door stating for DHL to ring the doorbell multiple times because I was expecting and waiting for the delivery.
  • Called DHL to try and schedule a more concrete delivery time and not assume he would come between 11am and 4pm.
  • Had the packages sent to our shipping and fulfillment center where employees could receive them if I was not there.
  • Slept on the floor or couch right in front of the door.

Had I done ANY ONE of those things, it would have almost GUARANTEED that I would have received the packages and the desired outcome.

Instead, I left it to chance, wasted my day and didn't get what I wanted.

I was absolutely furious - partly at myself.

It wasn't totally my fault but I could have prevented this.
(the packages were delivered the following day at 1:00pm, the usual time the DHL comes - Hippo was a day behind however)

take-responsibility

Pour Conclure

Everything Happens For a Reason - and It's All Your Fault.

Start to believe that.

Do EVERYTHING you possibly can for important matters and you'll get what you want far more than if you didn't.

Go overboard if you have to.

Now, obviously, what happened with DHL wasn't my "fault". 

But whose fault it was or wasn't does me no good whatsoever.

I didn't get what I wanted and tens of thousands of dollars were influx. 

In the game of money, in the game of pussy, in the game of winning at life - assigning blame, "fault" and evading 100% responsibility never made anyone get ahead.

Start embracing FULL ACCOUNTABILITY and ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR EVERYTHING that happens in your life - whether you had anything to do with it or not.

It goes far beyond just "being responsible". 

One day, some of you guys will be commanding groups of people, large amounts of money and substantial influence.

Like it or not - the blame will fall on you.

You had better start taking unconditional responsibility for your life right now.

It's an empowering thing when you do.

Even though it's not realistic to always get what I want, in the long-term - I feel that I can nearly fully control the destination and almost everything that ultimately happens in my life. That is no exaggeration at all.

I have built 3 successful businesses (one that is likely to exceed 1.2 million dollars in sales this year), slept with more girls than I can count and I never have to do anything that I don't want.

But I've come a long way.

Although never like "Angie", like so many people, I was many times a willing victim of circumstance.

I was reluctant to accept blame for things that weren't completely my fault.

Like so many people, unless I was completely wrong, I would deflect responsibility, cling to ego and totally miss the learning experience or the chance to ensure the next best result. 

I didn't want to be like "so many people" and neither do you.

It's not going to be super easy to accept responsibility and blame for everything, especially if you've done the opposite for decades.

Just try your best.

Unlike some things - this is something that is fully under your control.

Hi, Chris from Good Looking Loser. "Get a Life" is our safe for work, non-adult site that features lifestyle, health/fitness and style information. Feel free to leave a comment!

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  • Tania

    Hello. Glad I ran across you. I was actually looking for a site where "anything goes" coz I'm a writer and always go off topic. Especially that "stream of conscientiousness". I would like to start a blog, but I'm scared of the committment, and lack of knowledge (altho I got a LOT). Your esteemed advice?
    thx

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  • Abhinav Tyagi

    hey chris! Just wanted to say, I FUUUAAAARRRRKKKINNNGGG LOVE YOU so much!

    I'm a 22 year old loser from a rather smalltown "upclass" family in a third world country. (Although find myself to be a deep believer in jefferson's philosophy and capitalism)

    Trying to articulate the impact you've had in my life in just a couple of months is going to be a failed attempt.

    'You' got me laid, not pushing the blame (or maybe I'm), I was a fucking virgin even having dealt with 3 relationships. And I think I'm a fairly handsome guy, many girls (even hot once, atleast considered here) did actually check me out (and secretly approached me, if I am to interpret correctly) and could've been banged by me quite easily if it wasn't for my self-rightous-arrogant-for-nothing-approval-seeking-ass! (and chasing my butt off a girl who didn't give a shit about me, yeah that's how FUCKED-UP I was (so much for being intellectually superior), whom btw I found out to be shit recently when I finally talked to her thanks to you)
    But anyways THANK GOD (aka, Chris) I found you.(<strike>Lower your standards enough</strike> just get laid dammit!)

    You are responsible for the reason I got dramatically better grades my final semester (last month), even though it was a course I hated. (not that it matters but good for a sense of achievement.)

    You dragged me out of the gym (in a positive way).

    You saved my hair from getting sabotaged by anabolics (rather then just pushing an advice down my throat to "shave it off".)

    Infact I first stumbled your blog as a result of searching for combating hair loss from anabolics which I was using in secrecy, and I was depressed as fuck attributing to my hair which I thought were "surprisingly abudant" and "Genetically Superior" (from childhood I never imagined myself to be a bald monster (not judging anyone) instead a wise-ass hero (like the once from the detective stories, you know)), couple that with the fact that I went cold turkey after the cycle I was fucked. And you pulled me right out of it.

    You know how? Even I dont.

    But certainly not by pamparing my sorry ass, because afterall "it's my OWN fucking fault."

    Although the name of the site saw striking resemblence to myself (GoodLookingLoser), it didn't appeal to me all that much when I first viewed it 5 months back, I don't know why, probably because of the lack of immediate (and fake) lusture and enthusiasm you see in the "main stream gurus" (including your run-of-the-mill example Robbins, whose books by the way, I finished reading ages ago).

    But I kept listening to you time and again and doing your stuff one at a time, "on a casual just for trying basis", just cause even I do like to experiment a lot.

    It was about time when I realised, none were failing.

    I repeat, NONE WERE FAILING!

    Yes, I might disagree maybe sometimes here and there with you in trying to explain things (like estrogenic side effects aren't all that prevelent from propecia/dutasteride). But the ultimate message has NEVER ONCE failed me (if you do face them though, FUCKING DEAL WITH IT!).(nor did I need Chantix to quite smoking, been 3 months now, :-D)

    Work Ethic for Success? 12 hours, none less or fuck off. (I don't even know how you came up with a such a perfectly calibrated figure.)

    Want women? talk to them.

    Social consequences? They're imaginery you pussy.

    And I'm sorry to go against one of your principles of, "I don't give a shit about your opinion, nor do I give a shit about my own", but I just wanted to acknowledge how much I value you, and how undervalued you are in this world. For me you're right up there with my intellectual heros, which includes btw Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Charles Darwin, Gallileo Gallelli, Kepler, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens.

    And no matter what you say! I DO GIVE PLENTY OF FUCKS ABOUT YOUR OPINION.

    Yes, I do feel shit in my incapability or rather impracticality to show support by buying your stuff from 20000+ miles away, (since that's how its supposed to or rather it should work in a (capitalist) country.) (Wish I could buy a book you where you put together your work in a sequentially articulated manner.)

    And by no means has this comment done any justice to the impact you've had in my life.

    I hope to see you someday.

    ~I love You~
    "the Big Brother I Never Had"

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  • Thank you very much ABHINAV !

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  • Tony

    What about getting picked on or bullied ? People at work always ignore me, tell me to shut up and that I talk to much . how do I handle or take responsibility for changing that ?

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  • That's a bad situation - if it was highschool, I would tell you to handle it physically.

    Confront them (them? or the person) about it the second it happens again and tell them to STOP or they will be sorry

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  • Sam

    Read Gorilla Mindset and hit the gym. In time you'll see changes in your life.

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  • Chris, man, I really love your wisdom and writing style.
    You always seem to write with such passion in a powerful way, though :)
    There are no hints of no cynicism, greed, and depression in this article despite it being somewhat on the 'harsher' topics.

    Keep up the great work, Chris!

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  • Thank you Gerardo

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  • john

    Yes Chris, everything happens for a reason, but for things like death one cannot take responsibility. Lost a brother too (to a car accident) and I know first hand what it feels like. I'm entirely Greek and was so glad I discovered your site

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  • Chad

    This is what being a man is all about. The moment you start ignoring reality is the moment it doxes you. Only pussies rationalize their life choices. Cynicism is a blessing and a curse for the rational.

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  • jectalo

    I live by this rule. I actually think it is the crux of existentialism. EVERYTHING that happens is YOUR fault. Even things that don't happen TO you. To illustrate this with an extreme example, if a cat falls out of a tree 3,000 miles away it's your fault the cat died because you weren't there to catch it or prevent it from going up in the tree.

    Another mantra I try to live by is Don't take Anything Personally, which is in the four agreements. Extreme example: one day someone shoots you in the back of the head with a gun. Don't take it personally.

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  • There's more to it than that. I saw this same thing occurring just like you, Chris. I saw the people around me with patterns of constant drama and misery and failure. I looked at my life and didn't see that at all.

    It's not just taking responsibility, it's your "mindset" (to use Mike Cernovich's term). It literally influences not just your actions but the world around you.

    It's where the Law of Attraction comes from. The rules really do change for someone who stops believing in them.

    (cue score of hundreds of people telling me im going too far and im going to hurt myself thinking that way)

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  • KillerGuy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My5Idj7J9wg Tyson Fury starts at 2:00 it just fits so perfectly to this topic. Enjoy

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  • Timothy

    Be proactive. Be accountable. Say "Yes, it is my fault. I will learn from this, so I can prevent this from reoccurring."

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  • you got it

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