Should Versus Want Versus Will

should versus want versus will The words we choose to use and how we say those words can have a huge impact on our lives, and when it comes to choosing your words, the differences between should versus want versus will is highly significant.

Let’s play a game… how often do you hear yourself say one or any of the following statements during the course of your day?

I should get to bed earlier.

I should wake up earlier.

I should make that phone call today.

I should meditate more.

I should be more productive.

I should update my resume.

I should apply for that job.

I should spend more time with my friends and family.

I should eat better and exercise more.

I should go on a vacation.

I should be happier.

You should be getting the idea by now… I am joking there but I think you see the direction of where this is going. In terms of our internal-dialogues, using the word “should” is ultimately rather weak.

Should Versus Want Versus Will

Imagine if you will in each of the statements above the word should were replaced by the word want. “I want to update my resume,” is a much stronger statement than “I should update my resume.”

However, take it to the next level and replace the words should or want with the word will and you have an entirely different statement. “I will update my resume.”

Of the three different sentences, which one do you believe will be most likely to be acted upon? Which sentence is the most powerful and in the affirmative?

As you go through your day and catch yourself saying that you should do one thing or another, ask if yourself if it is something that you really want to do or not. Then, if it is something that you really want, truly want, declare that you are going to do it and then say that you will do it.

It is funny but each of us has the responsibility to be the spin-doctors of what is said and how it is said in each of our heads. But never underestimate the true power behind choosing your words carefully and striving to state things in the positive.

A while back, I was having dinner with a friend who was a corrections officer from a nearby Federal Penitentiary. During the dinner he was talking about his career path so far, the exam that he was close to taking for promotion, and that what promotion would entail once he got it. However, as he was telling his story, he used the words “should” and “if” quite frequently.

I decided to have a little fun with him and after he was finished talking I asked him what he was going to do after he got the promotion, but how I worded it was, “when you get promotion next month, then what?” His face changed instantly as how I said it and the reality of it actually happening hit him. By me using the word “when” instead of “should” or “if” completely changed and shifted his entire outlook on his prospects. He even corrected himself on the spot and said, “when I get the promotion next month.” And yes, he did get the promotion the following month; just proof that what he say and how we says does have a huge impact.

It is the same thing with should versus want versus will… use the word want instead of saying should if you really mean and if you really, really mean it… say I will and take the action to get it done.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten 03 September 2006

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