How Bad Do You Want It?
I have a standard response every time a client tells me what they want, what they would like to accomplish. It’s a simple question: how bad do you want it?
The question is an interesting one because their answer will always indicate the degree to which they are likely to achieve the goals.
Everything we want falls somewhere on a continuum. On one end are those things that are “Nice to Have.” Those are those things we want only if they pleasantly and easily fall into our laps. We will make little or no effort whatsoever to acquire them, have low expectations of ever having them, and feel no disappointment when they don’t arrive.
As we inch forward along this continuum, those things we want assume a greater urgency and a higher level of desirability.
Each “want” becomes more important the further we place it along the continuum until we reach the outermost extreme where our desires now fall under the category of “Must Have.”
It fascinates me when the answer to “How bad do you want it?” is “I want this so badly I will do whatever it takes to get it.” I always inquire as to what that means and usually, it doesn’t take long to learn that “whatever it takes” comes with conditions. Invariably, this means that the desire truly does not fall into the “Must-Have” category.
When something is truly a “Must Have” it means, within the boundaries of legality and, hopefully, morality, there is no effort too great, no price too high and no pain too severe to endure in order for the Must Have to become an “I Have.”
All too often when I work through the process with my client and we determine what needs to be done, and highlight the frequency, intensity and duration of effort required to achieve the goal, the very thing that started out as a Must Have begins to nudge ever so gently back in the direction of “Nice to Have.”
How Bad Do You Want It?
My own life’s experiences have repeatedly taught me that there is always a price to pay. In truth, there are always two prices to pay. There is the price of doing something – the “whatever it takes” – price, or the price of doing nothing, which in the short term is always the lesser price but also the one that ensures that the goals we say we want to achieve are really little more than wishful thinking.
Desire always precedes acquire and if we want something badly enough, if our desire is unshakable, our commitment undentable and our persistence relentless then we have all the ingredients for a recipe of success.
The lesson here is that unless something we want is firmly entrenched in the Must Have sector of the continuum we are best served by allowing it to remain at the “if it happens, it happens” section.
Rarely do great things happen without great prices being paid. I have long believed that the price necessary to convert a Must Have into a I Have is always a lesser price to pay than the price of wanting without ever having.
Make A “Must Have” List
I encourage my clients to keep their Must Have lists short and to focus on them with reckless abandon. I believe obsessing over achieving the goal and immersing ourselves in the actions necessary to do so will, more than anything else, energize us to create the momentum needed to take us past the finish line.
If it is true that anything worth doing, is worth doing well, then listing only a few items on your Must Have list and then mastering the habits necessary to excel at the behaviours that will take you there, is the most obvious way of pursuing goals.
And remember, the goals most worth chasing are the ones we absolutely cannot live another day without.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.
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