In Commitment and Positive Attitudes, Paul Sims warns,
Beware of the “ustabees.” They swarm out of stale, inflexible
attitudes that argue for doing things the way it used to be! Protect
yourself by focusing on what is NOW.
Sometimes a touch of nostalgia may cause us to yearn for the way something used to be done in the past. Or a change in leadership (at work, in the nation) may bring a yearning for the way the previous leader used to do things. Or maybe a couple remembers how the romance in their relationship used to be years ago. Living in the past—remembering the “good ol’ days—can keep us mired in ruts, anger, and inaction.
While the ustabees can be major demotivators, there is another success stopper. I call it the liketodos. They will stop you as quickly as a cop at a speed trap.
- I’d liketodo more days at the gym.
- I’d liketodo a few more hours of sleep each night.
- I’d liketodo more things with my kids.
- I’d liketodo anything other than this!
You get the idea. The liketodos keep us stuck in the present with virtually no movement. A lot of talk; maybe even some gnashing of the teeth. But we remain in neutral; no movement. Excuses rule as we rationalize what we would like to do but just never get around to doing. If you find yourself in this trap consider you future with NO change; just excuses and a lot of liketodos. What does it look like? Satisfied with that picture?
So, let’s replace the liketodos with the willtodos—have the will to do what you say you would like to do. Take action. Move forward. Do something! Remember that ambition and potential are useless without initiative. Consider your future with NO liketodos; just the willtodos and change. Jim Collins encourages his readers to establish BHAGs: Big Hairy Audacious Goals. In my book, Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff (2nd edition) I suggest students embrace their HOGs (Huge Outrageous Goals). BHAGs and HOGs require you to stretch yourself. And then take action. As Einstein said, “Nothing happens until something moves.”
Before the end of this day, identify one liketodo in your life—and change it to a willtodo.
© Steve Piscitelli and Steve Piscitelli’s Blog, 2010.