“I want” vs. “I want to want”

“I want to be fit.”  I said this about a million times between the ages of 18 and 28.  I would complain that I was going to the gym and I still wasn’t skinny.  I would say things like “I’m fat” ALL THE TIME.  To the point where I’m sure it got annoying to listen to.  And I eventually got tired of saying it.

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I came to the conclusion that all those times I said “I want to be fit” what I really meant was “I WANT TO want to be fit.”  The reality was I knew what it took to get fit and healthy but I wasn’t willing to do the things I knew would get me there.  I wanted to want be fit.  And for a long time “I want to be fit” were just empty words.  They were meaningless.  The saying it part is easy.  The execution is where we all get tripped up.  How many times have you said one or more of the following?

I want to get healthy.

I want to stop smoking.

I want to get a new job.

I want to buy a bigger house.

I want to go back to school.

I want to have a better relationship with my spouse.

I want to start my own business.

I want to start my blog (oh wait, that’s me!)

We want, we want, we want… but do we REALLLLLY want these things?

No, because if we did we’d stop saying it and just actually do the damn thing.  For whatever reason, we aren’t that unhappy, we aren’t that uncomfortable.  Meaning we don’t like that we’re tired and lethargic all the time but it’s not to the point where we’re ready to execute a plan to get us right.  The thought of what we have to do to get to our goals is waaaaay more daunting than staying right where we are in our “comfortable enough” state.  We come up with thousands of excuses as to why now isn’t the right time for us to do “that thing” or work on “that goal.”  And what it comes down to is YOU JUST DON’T ACTUALLY WANT IT…. YET.

So, what you’re saying is… if I’m not ready I shouldn’t bother trying because if I say I want to do something and then I don’t do it I’m just one of those people who says things that they don’t mean and inevitably comes up with an excuse about why they can’t do it so instead I just shouldn’t care and not say it and not want it until I ACTUALLY want it.  (I love a good, purposeful run-on sentence).

Ummm, NO! The answer is NO.  What you should do is stop saying you want all these things and just pick ONE, just ONE that you want bad enough to actually go for.  You have to care enough about something at some point in your life to do something about it!  So pick ONE thing and do it.

Sounds easy, right?  Well it’s not.  Because anything worth having takes WORK.  It takes self-discipline. It takes willingness to change. And it takes our least favorite thing ever—sacrifice.  You have to give up something to get something.  But, like, 1000% of the time what you gain far outweighs the things you lose along the way.

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SIGH! It was super fun to type all of that.  I felt powerful and in control and kind of awesome… BUT the reality is, I still have things I WANT TO WANT.  For instance…

I WANT TO WANT a new job.  For those of you that don’t know, I work for a financial services firm.  I’ve been in the business since I’m 20 years old and have been the operations manager at my office for over eight years.  There are things I LOVE about my job (like the fact that every day is different, I meet some cool people, and I get to take care of MY people).  But I also dislike things about my job (it gets boring at times, I meet some not-so-cool people and I get overwhelmed on a daily basis).  HOWEVER, my comfort, or discomfort level is not high enough.  I like my job… but I’m not passionate about it.  My dad (who I work for, interestingly enough) would tell me that you don’t HAVE to be passionate about your job… because it’s a J-O-B, not F-U-N.  True, Jay, I get that. But I want more. But obviously not enough… at least not right now!  Because if I did, my resume would be updated, I’d have a picture on my LinkedIn profile and I would be networking my butt off to get that new job.

On the other hand, I ACTUALLY wanted to get healthy and fit a few years ago.  I finally chose to stop saying it and just started doing it.  And it took me becoming a Beachbody coach, posting after-workout selfies and using color coded containers for me to do it.  And that may sound LAAAAME to you but I don’t care.  It’s what worked for me.

This past summer I decided I wanted to get my license to sell life insurance.  The first step was saying “I want to do this.”  The second step was telling everyone I worked with that I was doing it.  The third was taking a course and skimming the study materials.  And the fourth was taking the test.  I’ll admit… I started step one at least twice since I started working.  And I probably skipped over step two, which is why I never got to steps three and four.  Look, you don’t have to tell everyone what you’re doing because maybe that’s just completely unnecessary and uncomfortable for you.  For me, though, I needed to.  I can’t imagine someone in my office asking me how the studying was going and having to sheepishly say, “Yeah, I’m not doing that.  I [insert any lame excuse here].  I knew that I wouldn’t want to have that conversation.  This time I actually WANTED it.

Today’s takeaway?  Think about the things you’ve said you want.  What’s the one thing you’ve said you wanted time and time again and just haven’t been able to do?  DO IT!  You’re not getting any younger! (Sorry, I had to go there.  And also, it’s true).  You can sit around all day and think of all the excuses in the world as to why you can’t… but YOU CAN.  And YOU SHOULD!  In the words of Jim Rohn, “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

Turn “I want to want it” to “I want it” to “I did it!”  And if you need someone to help cheer you on through the process, I’m here for you, babe!  😉

~L

2 thoughts on ““I want” vs. “I want to want”

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