How to Get What You Want

A three-step guide.

Shaunta Grimes
6 min readFeb 13, 2022

Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

This is going to sound boastful, but stick with me for a minute.

I have exactly the life I want. I’m a novelist — published by Penguin and Macmillan. I own a business where I get to spend all of my time working with incredibly imaginative people as they work to bring their own stories to life. I live in my dream house (a huge old rambling Victorian beauty.)

I have a knack for getting what I want. Again, that’s not meant to be boastful. It’s just some kind of combination of my personality and my life experiences, mixed with a good dose of privilege.

So — things I can’t do anything about.

If I can’t do anything about them, how can I teach you how to get what you want? Good question! And good point. I can’t. Not really. I can’t give you a step-by-step for achieving the life of your dreams. No one can, even though plenty of people sure try.

What I can do is talk about some things that actually might be able to use to start working toward getting what you want.

Move the Goalposts

I live in the kind of house I’ve literally spent my whole life dreaming about. The kind of house that, in the places where I’ve lived the vast majority of my life (Los Angeles area, Las Vegas, Reno) would have cost a million dollars. Or considerably more.

We bought this house for $100,000 in late 2020. Not because we have mad negotiation skills. Not because we have a relative who left it to us.

We get to live in this house because in late 2018 we packed up everything and everyone and moved from Reno to rural Pennsylvania. The cost of living here is a fraction what it was in Nevada. A ridiculously small fraction.

We wanted to buy a house. Not just any house. A house just like the one we did buy. So we moved the goalposts so that they were located in a place where that could happen.

Expand Your Language

I’m a published novelist. I have a literary agent. My books have been bought by major publishers. I’m living the dream! Or at least my dream.

But the reality is that I’ve never come close to earning enough money writing novels…

Shaunta Grimes

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