It’s Not What You Desire, It’s What You Do

I’m reading a book called How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character. It’s written by Paul Tough.

I don’t mean to critique the book here. I am fascinated by its observations. If you are raising children or grandchildren you might find it informative.

In the book, there is an involved story about helping impoverished kids become experts at chess – an unlikely combination. In the course of the story, a chess grandmaster named Jonathan Rowson made an interesting observation about becoming a champion.

He said there is a distinction in people’s ambitions. He said many people “want” to be champions. But, the key to being a champion is “choosing” to be a champion.

Do you get the difference?

It’s like me on a diet. I frequently will say I want to lose weight. But, I don’t adopt the habits and behavior of a weight loser. I can “want” to lose weight but if I eat sweets and don’t exercise, it ain’t going to happen.

Rowson’s point is that champions act like champions well before they actually become champions.

We can “want” to be safe or we can adopt the habits of safe people and be safe.

We can “want” to be lean or we can adopt the proven habits of lean performers and sustain them. That’s how we become lean.

I see the difference. It’s not what you desire. It’s what you do.

If you haven’t accomplished what you want, consider if you have chosen to do what it takes.