If You Want Something You’ve Never Had

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” – Thomas Jefferson

This is one of those quotes, that once I heard it, was stored away in my memory bank. Any time I face a challenge, or want to accomplish something “new” in life, I think of this quote from the 3rd President of the United States. (I believe Vince Lombardi may have used it sometime in his life as well) The weight this quote carries is multiplied once you understand who it came from. Thomas Jefferson. An American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and the third President of the United States (1801–1809).

I won’t bore you with too much history, but I feel as though the quote in and of itself could suffice as a blog post. However, I will add a little bit of my own thoughts to this famous and inspirational quote. Let’s break it down.

  1. WANT – You must want it. “If you WANT something you’ve never had….” There first must be want, or desire, in your heart to pursue something that you’ve never had. Doing something without actually wanting it, leaves you prone to either A) Not give it your all B) Quit in the middle of it.
  2. WILL– You must be posses the determination. “You must be willing….” “Will” and “want” seem closely related, but they are different when used in this quote. Want is a desire whereas the definition of will is “determined or sure to“. Your will must be strong enough that you are determined, sure to, set on, insistent on, etc.
  3. WORK- You must do something. “Do something you’ve never done”. If you truly have the want and the will, I believe the doing part will come naturally after that. And this “doing” that Thomas Jefferson is talking about isn’t a half-hearted effort. He’s talking about jumping into the unknown and accomplishing something you’ve never had. He was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence! This quote speaks volumes to the heart and desire of our founding fathers.

The Will. The Want. The Work. The three parts of attaining something you’ve never had. I would be quick to say, however, there is a little bit to add….


 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

BE HUMBLE. Throughout scripture God honors those who are humble. “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” – Proverbs 3:34

REMEMBER YOUR HELP.  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” -Pslam 121:2

Steven Furtick, in his book Sun Stand Still, says something that I still remind myself of today. Push while you pray. Take the want (desire in your heart given to you by the Lord), the will, and the work; humble yourselves before the Lord. Lean on him. Pray. And push while you pray. These things together are a wrecking ball for obstacles and new adventures in life.


May the grace, peace, and love of Jesus be with you always. And as always, here is a video to supplement this post. Stephen Curry is a very inspiring basketball player.


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