It’s Not Enough to Want It More

During a recent election cycle I heard a television commentator say that the Republican nomination is going to come down to “who wants it more.”

I sincerely hope that this is not the case.

Republican or Democrat, I sincerely hope that we’re not going to choose our leaders on the basis of who wants it more. I mean, really, would you make any other choice that way?

“Honey, where would you like to eat tonight?”

“Well, the Mexican place is always great. The Italian place is kind of grimy and the food’s not that good, but I think they want it more.”

“Italian it is, then!”

Or:

“Which one of these guys should we pick for the basketball team?”

“Well, the guy on the left is seven foot six, lightning fast, and can dunk the ball without leaving the ground. On the other hand, that little fellow next to him–the one who comes up to his waist–really, really wants it.”

“Welcome to the big leagues, little guy!”

Sounds kind of preposterous, doesn’t it? That’s because in the real world (which apparently excludes the world of politics) we reward performance, not wishes.

Yes, “wanting it” is important. Desire, passion, drive–these are all a part of “wanting it.” And they’re a great starting point. In fact, I would argue that you should always keep your desire, passion, and drive alive. But they’re not enough. Nobody will pay you a million dollars for your award-winning desire. They will pay a million dollars for award-winning performance. We see it all the time: in sports, in entertainment, in business. Award-winning performers get the rewards, while the non-performers wish they, too, could afford the good life.

If the world rewarded wishes, there’d be a lot more nine-year-old girls with ponies. And a lot more 40-year-old men with Ferraris. (Maybe it’s not a coincidence that the Ferrari logo is a horse.)

Award-winning performance is what happens when desire meets action. Of course there are other elements involved–skill, training, natural aptitude, perseverance, and a host of others–but at the core it comes down to desire and action. “Wanting it more” by itself won’t do it.

Don’t show me what you want. Show me what you’ve done.

Show me the results you’ve achieved. Show me the ideas you’ve brought to fruition. Show me the lives you’ve changed for the better.

Show me your award-winning performance.

Then you’ll get my vote.

And I’m not just talking politics.

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