Is it that you can’t or that you don’t want to? |

Is it that you can’t or that you don’t want to?

I was having a fascinating conversation with a super smart and successful client who wants to take his career to the next level this week.

We were exploring how he can maximise his impact when he is very time poor, given the pace and breadth of his role.

Through this conversation, one thing that came up was how low value tasks were getting neglected.  For example, getting his expenses submitted in a timely way.

The obvious place to start any kind of question which has a flavour of ‘I can’t’ such as...

I can’t keep to my diet

I can’t get to meetings on time

I can’t get expenses in regularly

I can’t keep to my fitness regime to to ask the question ‘why?’ or ‘what are you doing currently?’

These questions can surface valuable data but they don’t necessarily bring about a sustainable shift.

A far more powerful distinction is to call out is whether you actually ‘want to’ do something.

When we really want to do something, the ‘how to’ falls out much more easily.

You can get creative about the systems you have in place to ensure you stay on the track.

But without the ‘want to’, no system will support you into sustained performance.

When we dive into the ‘want to’ we start to get far more leverage.

In my client’s case, he wants to be an MD or CEO.

His deeper desire is to make a deep impact on people and the world in his specialist domain.


So from this want to, comes a deeper exploration of what does it take to really live into the performance and behaviours that lead to the ‘want to’ being realised.

We began to sketch out an idea of ‘impeccable leadership’ - not as a place to get to but as place to come from.

An attitude of being, behaviours and action that ‘impeccable leadership’ embodies.

In this particular case, having a system in place that takes care of the lower level tasks as if they were as important as the big picture ones, leads him to be an impeccable leader.

The behaviour will be largely invisible to his colleagues, but the energy of his being, will have an enormous impact on those around him, at home and at work.

I’ve chosen a work example, but what I’m sharing applies to ever domain. When you identify whether you actually ‘want to’ do / be / have something, how to get there falls out really easily.

If your want to isn’t solid, it’s so easy to get locked into cycles of using will power and ‘I should’ then feeling shame and despair when you fall off the wagon.

So a question for you this week is to consider is, ’Where are you feeling resistance in your life?’

And in those places of resistance, ‘Are you clear about your ‘want to’?’

Start with that and see what magic unfolds…

Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash