Creating An “I Wish” List Doesn’t Make The World Any Better

The world is full of imperfect people. Including me. Including you.

We often lean heavily on the idea that our world will get better, easier, less stressful if some of these other imperfect people would simply do what we want them to do. When they don’t, we’re frustrated.

We come home from a day of interacting with these other imperfect people and begin to create our I wish list:

  • I wish they would just…
  • I wish they weren’t so…
  • I wish they could just see…

Unfortunately, I wishes don’t change the imperfect people around us. What’s even more frustrating, is that I wishes don’t do much to help us either.

We’re wasting too much energy hoping other imperfect people will get better. Instead, we need to focus on making imperfect us better.

When we put in the work to make imperfect us better, we begin to make the world around us better.

The world is full of frustrated, imperfect people who end each day with “I wish this” or “I wish that.” This doesn’t  accomplish anything (except raise their blood pressure). Instead, we must wisely use our time and energy creating a series of “I will” actions. Clear and concrete steps that will improve the imperfect person we see in the mirror.

Let’s try it out.

Instead of saying, “I wish they would just do what I ask them to do,” you say, “I will be more clear about my expectations and explain why it is important that they complete this task.”

Here’s another one. Instead of saying, “I wish they weren’t so critical of my ideas,” you say, “I will find out why they dismiss my ideas and do my homework so I can address their concerns.”

Do you see the difference? When we take this approach, we begin to lead ourselves better. Leaders don’t spend much time on creating I wish lists. They are focused on I will lists. Because leaders know that the heart of leadership is responsibility.

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