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Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it all.


Registered Member
What does this phrase heard in countless songs, movies and bumper stickers mean to you? I have heard and read this many times never quite understand the true meaning of it. I mean it sounds so contradictory of it's self, yes? "Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it all", as to say something bad will happen if what your wish comes true, right? It never made sense to me, until very recently.

To me is about reaching your goals, the higher you set your goal, I think the more pain or emptiness you feel once you reach it. I do not mean to say reaching goals is bad, it is not. But once the goal is reached and the feelings of joy of reaching it begin to pass... you are left with a deep feeling of void or emptiness or even sadness beyond your dreams where once your goal was.

My personal goal for the last few years was to leave a country that to me brought nothing but pain my whole life. I wanted to come to the USA and see my sister, start a new beginning and have at least the chance of a good life. I reached that goal on Feb 13, 2014, I had made it. I kissed and hugged my sister with tears of joy flowing like a river. It was over, all my struggles, sacrifices begging and pleading got me here. There is no way to put into words how I truly felt.

Here I sit now only 4 days later and I should still be so happy right? I am happy for reaching my goal, but now there is a void where once my goal sat and it's an empty feeling inside. I think this is what is meant by that phrase, well to me anyways.


Free Spirit
Staff member
Well to me it would mean like if you didn't have any kids and wished you did. Then your sister drops off her dozen on you and now you have to deal with it.


I'm serious
I think it's in line with what you've explained, Laine. But people might experience it in slightly different ways. To me, it means not always understanding the consequences when you want something. To get one thing, you might have to give up something else that you did not consider losing or want to give up.

In your case, you gave up a dream for the reality. Dreams can often be better than reality. In someone elses case, it might be something like health or money they end up losing as a sacrifice to something else. If that makes sense?


Registered Member
For me it's always meant that if even if I get what I want, that won't ever complete me, or make me feel whole, or bring me happiness for the rest of my life. It's kind of why we need new goals once our other goals have been achieved, to keep us moving forward rather than stagnating.


4 legs good 2 legs bad
The phrase "Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it" is best summarized by the movie Home Alone. Kevin's family got on his nerves so he wished they would all disappear. Then he woke up the next morning and they were gone, and he soon discovered that life without them wasn't quite what he was hoping for.


Registered Member
I remember these lyrics from the song "Home" by Chris Daughtry.

Anyway to me I guess it means that things aren't always gonna work out the way you want them to. Life is made up of wishes and dreams but it's not always gonna be perfect in the end.


not a plastic bag
Reminds me of 2 things:
1) A lot of Olympic athletes experience 'post Olympic stress disorder'. It comes after reaching your goal and then its suddenly all over.
2) Alexander the Great: "when Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer"

You feel on top of the world when you are inching towards the goal and then like a slug when you realize you'd made the goal your life and the goal is over. Life is full of exciting things. Coming to America is one, but there will be many more. I think you need to just rest for a bit, enjoy life. Your next challenge will come.


To me, the phrase is less a warning about inevitable consequences as it is advice about making wise choices. It's not saying "don't make wishes, because it's bad if they come true," it's instead saying "exercise caution with your wishes because they have the potential to backfire."

It also makes me think of a story I remember from when I was a kid about whether things are a blessing, or a curse.