But there are many different degrees of “wanting” something.
As a coach, working with freelancers almost daily, I often hear about how badly people want to succeed.
But the word,”want” is inadequate to the task of expressing what it really means to want something.
I want some ice cream for dessert.
I want to go away for the weekend.
I want my children to grow up healthy, happy and wise.
The degree to which I want ice cream is insignificant compared to how much I want my children to grow up healthy, happy and wise.
A little while ago I was talking with some family and friends over dinner, and we were sharing stories about how some people we know had overcome major life obstacles like drug addiction and mental illness.
The individuals who had overcome these challenges had succeeded because they really, really wanted to. They didn’t succeed as a result of taking medication or going through a 12-step program. They succeeded because they decided to. They chose to, because they had a burning desire to move on and have a better life.
I’m not suggesting everyone facing these circumstances can do the same. But I do know some people who have.
That’s a whole different level of “wanting” than simply wanting some ice cream.
When I look at immensely successful freelancers and entrepreneurs, I suspect they are driven by an equally powerful desire to succeed. It simply isn’t sufficient to say that they just “want” to succeed.
This now begs the question: How can one tap into this deeper, more powerful level of wanting something?
Unfortunately, I don’t have an easy answer to that.
But I do think it has a lot to do with the value of the intrinsic reward anticiapted.
If someone addicted to drugs can take a moment to look forward a few years, and see the enormous benefits of a life free from drugs, they can see clearly the reward they can achieve.
If the person with a mental illness can envision the improvement to their close, personal relationships that could come with full recovery, that’s another, powerful intrinsic reward.
As a freelancer you can work through a similar exercise.
Look to the future and visualize a change in your life that would be of huge and real value to you. I’m not talking about making money. Money is an extrinsic reward. Think about the intrinsic rewards – things like a sense of personal accomplishment, the admiration of your family, the fulfillment of a childhood dream, the repudiation of those who say you can’t succeed.
To tap into the power of really wanting something, you have to be able to anticipate a massive, intrinsic reward at some point in the future.
This is an exercise I often go through with my coaching clients, and it might be something you could do for yourself.
Go for a walk, or sit somewhere quiet, and envision some powerful, intrinsic rewards that would come from succeeding as a freelancer.
Then pick the most powerful reward of all, and hold it close, every day.