In my last post, I listed six words that give you clues about how ready you are to achieve a life worth living: 1. Wish, 2. Can,3. Want, 4. Need, 5. Will, and 6. Should. Let's look at what you can learn about yourself or someone else when you use these words.
The word wish means there is something you long for or desire. Usually, it also means that you have an underlying belief that there is a high probability it will not happen. It is what is called a "long-shot." You might say, "I wish I could achieve a life worth living." When you hear this, notice that it seems off in the distance and not likely it will happen. Maybe you do not have the ability or the resources to make it happen.
The word can indicates you believe you have the ability to do what you are thinking about doing. This is a necessary ingredient. It is a word you want to hear. It is like a green light that indicates you want to look for more. You might say, "I can achieve a life worth living." This is clearly stronger than wish. However, do not stop at this point. It is not enough. There are many things people can do that do not happen.
The word want is a good word. It can indicate a desire like wishing does. However, it is a stronger word than wish. The problem with want is that you can have many of them. It does not tell you if you have the ability or the motivation necessary to accomplish what you want. Notice how you feel, when you say, "I want to achieve a life worth living." Does it match your most important values?
The word need is a strong word because it implies something that is required, strongly desired or a necessity. You will be motivated to take action when you hear this word because it usually matches one or more of your top values (what is most important to you in your life.) Notice how you feel, when you say, "I need to achieve a life worth living." If you truly need something, you will feel it when you say it.
The word will indicates action. Notice what is different for you when you say, "I will achieve a life worth living." Usually this means you know you have the ability, or you will learn how to accomplish your goal. There is a feeling of confidence underlying the statement and a readiness to take action. The next step is to develop the plan if it is not already done.
The final word is should. Notice how you feel when you say, "I should achieve a life worth living." Should is one of the most negative words in the English language. It is a de-motivator and tends to create guilt. It strongly indicates you do not want to do whatever it is you were thinking about doing. This is a good word to work on eliminating from your vocabulary. You will find you can usually substitute one of the other words on this list and be emotionally healthier.
As you you can see, there is no one correct way to answer the question, "Are you ready to achieve a life worth living?" One of the above words can be used alone or several can be combined to make the statement even stronger. Of the six options, you have four that can be used alone – want, need, can, and will. Of these four, will is the strongest because it indicates commitment which implies ability.
Action step: Practice listening to yourself when you are making a decision. Use this information to help you know how ready you are to say yes to something. Listen when others are talking about their plans. You will have a better idea about how important something is to them and how ready they are to take action.
Until next time,
PS Let me know in the comment box below what you notice when you try this.