When I was in school, I hated to prepare for tests.  I had this strange idea that, if I didn’t get the material in class, I probably wasn’t going to get it doing homework or studying for tests, especially if it was a subject I didn’t care a lot about anyway.  So I put off studying until usually a day or so before the exam.  And while I did well enough most of the time (and failed spectacularly several times), I was always tense as the teacher made the rounds, handing out the tests.  I could have known a month in advance and still, I would not make myself study until I absolutely had to.  I “wanted to”.  At least that’s what I told myself.  But in reality, I didn’t want to bad enough to put school in front of leisure.

I’ve talked to a lot of people in life who “want to” prepare for things much more serious than a physics test.  They “want to” get their finances in order, or prepare for their family’s future, or get in better shape, or start a new business – any of a number of things that would make life better for them and those around them.

And months or years later I see them and things are no different from before.  The reason is simple: they didn’t “want to” bad enough.  Leadership expert John Maxwell says, “When the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing, we’ll change.” Continue reading