I can bet that there is not one person here who has done everything that he or she ever wanted to do. It is just not possible. There are so many factors outside our control that keep us from doing the things that we actually want to do. Here is a list of the top ten such reasons:
10- Financial Constraints
I know this is one huge reason why I don’t shop as much as I would like to! Financial constraints are a sad, ugly truth. Many people are not able to do what they want to do because they simply cannot afford to do whatever it is. Just the other day, I saw a gorgeous pair of Steve Maddens that I could not buy because the price tag gave me a mini heart-attack. But that is a trivial example. For many people, even basic necessities of life are out of reach because they are unable to afford them. People who live in slums, for example, suffer from severe poverty due to which they cannot buy proper houses that they want. People belonging to the lower end of the socio-economic strata cannot afford to send their children to good schools or drive around in the cars that they may admire. Financial constraints are thus a huge reason behind people not being able to fulfill their dreams.
9- People are Lazy
No really! Some things just require too much time and effort. I really want to clean up my cupboard but the task is going to be too time-consuming and so I procrastinate. Moreover, I know that a lot of people, including me, are too lazy to complete the tasks they begin. So many things that we want to do are left undone just because we do not want to put in all the effort. Going out to buy supplies, cleaning up the house, reading a book- these are just some of the things that people want to do but put off for later when they are feeling more energetic.
8- The Task is Hard
I really want to master this chapter on calculus and score perfect marks but it is Just So Hard. She wants to unpack her stuff and arrange it neatly but man that is going to require so much energy! He wishes to ask out the girl he has a crush on but that is going to be so difficult. So many things we want to do are left undone because they are hard. From small issues to big decisions, not everyone is comfortable doing things that require time and energy input. This is the reason why many of the things that are not exactly simple and uncomplicated simply remain undone.
7- It is Immoral
Society has very rigid standards about what is right and wrong. A lot of things are considered sinful and immoral by the Church, religious sects, moral police and the entire society at large. Many a times, in order to adhere to this strict moral code, people refrain from doing the things that they really want to do. Haven’t you heard the phrase “Everything I like is either immoral, wrong or fattening”? Truer words could not have been spoken. One of the biggest reasons why people do not do what they actually want to do is because it is considered immoral. For example- a man who may want to cheat on his spouse knows that infidelity is considered wrong and hence stops himself from doing so. Macbeth, when he agonizes over his decision of killing Duncan, talks about how much easier life would be if immoral actions had no consequences, which leads me to my second point-
6- Fear of Consequences
This is one major reason of people not doing what they want to do. The fear of retribution, man-made or divine, is one huge factor that stops people from doing the things they really want to do. A politician who wants to scam the government out of millions may not do so out of the fear of getting caught and landing up in jail (although I must say that this has stopped a very few politicians from going the corrupt way) Divine Retribution is another things that scares people- the belief that actions have consequences in this life or another lifetime. Various religions further propagate the theory of divine retribution in order to enforce their moral code. All actions have consequences, which is why people refrain from doing things which may have result in bad consequences later on.
5- It is Illegal
Besides moral norms that the society expects its citizens to adhere to, there are also legal reasons why people do not do the things they may want to do. A society with no laws would give birth to many criminals, no doubt. Our laws deem many things and actions as illegal, such as murder, robbery, causing bodily harm, rash driving, underage drinking, polygamy, money laundering and so on. It is because that these laws are in place that people do not do many of the things that they may be wish to do, out of the fear of facing the wrong side of law. A seventeen year old kid who wants to experiment with alcohol, for example, will stop from doing so because s/he knows that the legal age for drinking is at least eighteen, or twenty one in most cases.
One more reason why a person may not do something they wants to do is because there might be a conflict in their mind about the decision they are making. If there are two or more options available and a person has to choose one way of action, it leads to a conflict. This results in a situation where one of the two or more options has to be forsaken. The conflict often results in a person not being able to do the thing that they want to do so that they can do the things they are supposed to do. For example- a teenager wants to go for a movie but her exams are drawing nearer and she realizes that she needs to study. This gives birth to a conflict between something that she wants to do and something that she is supposed to do. She will now give up going for the movie that she really wants to watch so that she can study for her upcoming examinations.
3- Health Problems
A ninety year old man who wants to travel the world and even has the means to do the same may not actually be able to do so because his health does not allow it. A person in a wheelchair can unfortunately not walk, even though he wants to, because of his health problems. Health therefore plays a major role in determining what a person can or cannot do. Many people do not or are not able to do the things they want to do because they know that it would be physically impossible for them. An alcoholic will not touch the whiskey they really want to drink because they knows it is bad for their health. This is why people generally take good care of their health so that they have at least one less reason of not being able to fulfill their wishes.
2- It hurts our loved ones
One thing that most people cannot bear to do is put their loved ones through any sort of unhappiness. Many people therefore refrain from committing deeds which may end up hurting their friends and family. How many times have you wanted to scream at your parents but held back thinking of how much that would hurt them (that and the fear of being grounded for life)? How many of you have dragged out a dead relationship because you don’t want to break up and hurt your partner? Plenty, I am sure.
1- Fear of Failure
“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” It is precisely this fear of striking out, however, that does keep most people from playing the game. The fear of not being able to succeed is so deeply ingrained in so many people that they simply do not take the first step. Countless number of things are left unsaid and undone because people are scared that the end result may not be favourable. I would say, then, that the fear of failure is the biggest reason why people do not do the things they wish to.