Who Wants It More?

One of my work colleagues taught me the ‘they have to want it more than you do’ lesson. She is a mom of five and learned over the years that no matter how much she might want something for her children, the bottom line is always that ‘they have to want it more than I do’ (or at least as much).

The context for this lesson was work.  We were working very hard to coach an employee who was struggling.  We knew, as she did, that if she didn’t improve her performance, she would lose her job.  We were bending over backwards and practically doing the job for her.  My wise colleague stepped in and said, ‘you know, she needs to want it (the job), more than we want her to keep her job’.  It was pretty clear that this particular employee didn’t want the job all that much.  So, we backed off and she was counseled out.  We then hired someone who wanted the job and the results were far more positive.

I am a slow learner and know I have fallen into that trap in my management over the years and certainly in my parenting.  I have expended energy on someone’s behalf in vain.  I clearly wanted whatever it was more than my staff or child did!

I think this also applies to health issues.  I must want to lose weight, eat better, exercise more, etc.  more than someone else wants it for me.

And boy, is this playing out in the COVID-19 vaccine arena!  As much as we may want a loved one to get vaccinated to keep them safer, if they don’t want the same thing as much or more, good luck!  Getting your child vaccinated regardless is one option, but that doesn’t work when we are talking about adults.

And this brings me to Ukraine (!). 

I am by no means any kind of an expert on foreign policy!

And I don’t even begin to understand all the nuances in the relationships between Russia, Ukraine, NATO, the EU, the U.K., the U.S., etc.  It does seem like Moscow is using the threat to invade Ukraine to force major concessions from the West.

I am just not sure that Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukrainian President (and former comedian), is down with the escalating tensions over his country.  The poor guy is only 44 and has just been in office since 2019!  From his viewpoint, it may seem like we want sanctions/concessions/whatever more than he does. According to the Foreign Policy newsletter, (and the NYT and WA Post) he wants the West to “Chill Out”.

“We are very grateful for the assistance, but we have learned to live with this and develop with this,” he said. “We have learned to protect ourselves, to defend ourselves, and those are our lives to lead.”

President Zelensky,

Anyway, this seems like a super complex situation that is far beyond my understanding – so here’s hoping diplomacy prevails!

As Anne Lamott would say:

“Help is the sunny side of control”

Anne Lamott, Notes on Hope



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