Children can get away with doing the best they can. We adults have a different standard: the best we want.

With experience, maturity, contacts, education, wisdom, the internet, and most importantly, will power, “doing the best I can” just doesn’t cut it.

Sure, we have our limits. In fact, knowing them is one of the emotional intelligence competencies of self-awareness. But we also know that those limits don’t excuse us from wanting something (and when we do, we exercise another emotional intelligence competency, achievement orientation).

Whether it’s to become a better parent, a stronger leader, an anti-racist, a good neighbor, or more emotionally intelligent…if we don’t want it, nothing will happen. And when we do, we’re often amazed at what does.

“Can” keeps us stuck in the past. “Want” moves us into the future.