Don’t do it because I told you to — do it because you want it!

Drove back from Boston to Chicago last weekend to ferry my new college graduate (and all her stuff) back home. Along the way, we played the license plate game. (We found 47 states in just over 1000 miles!)

I couldn’t help but notice that every time we found a New Hampshire plate, I had a powerful reaction to the state’s motto.

1999 New Hampshire License Plate

Somehow that motto, “Live free or die” made me want to push back. I found myself saying (in my head), “No! YOU live free. If I want to live in oppression, I can do that.”

Observing that, I became aware of two different thoughts. First, I need to see someone about that oppositional defiance disorder! Second, there’s something about telling people what to do that can get their dander up!

Many of us are aware of changes we want to make in our businesses, or our lives. (We talked about some of those in the last email)

  • I should exercise more
  • I should make more client follow up calls
  • I should meditate

But whenever I feel like I should do something, it becomes a chore, a burden, something I want to push back on. It’s secretly doomed.

  • I should exercise more, but I’m not going to.
  • I should make more client follow up calls, but I have so much to do already!
  • I should meditate, but I’m no good at that anyway.

What if, instead, each action aligned with something we truly desire? Something we want so badly that it hurts?

  • I look forward to living to spend time with my grandchildren and maybe even great-grandchildren. For that, I might exercise.
  • Having the money to step away from work as I get older feels like real freedom, so I’m going to make three client follow up calls every week so that I can earn enough to save.
  • When my mind is clear, I’m so much better about being present with the people I’m with, so I’m going to take time to meditate every day.

Reframing shoulds into wants makes me way more likely to follow through with changes to my behavior!

So what desire do you have that’s stronger than your internal resistance? What do you want so much that you won’t fight the changes you need to make to get it?

Now, about that New Hampshire motto. “If you don’t want to die, live free” — No, that’s not it…

Could your leadership range restrain
the growth of your business?

Take our self-leadership assessment to identify opportunities
to grow your leadership (which could grow your business).

Get your results instantly without entering your email address.