Will Power vs. Want Power

What sounds more motivating to you? “I want to go work out"? Or "I have to go work out?”

While there are many philosophies about the purpose of life, it is safe to assume that one of the main purposes of life is for humans to be happy. But what causes or creates happiness? This of course varies from person to person, but the one constant is that people are usually their happiest when they are doing the things that they want to do; the things they are passionate about; the things that enrich their lives.

We all have the power to choose and create whatever our heart desires. We hold the power to decide what we want, and then simply move toward it.

Want Power

Want Power is the pursuit of things that make us happy, independent of what others think or want for us. Dr. Seuss had something simple, yet very powerful to say about this:

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind."

This is so true.

For example, think of a time in your life when you chose to do something because you wanted to do it regardless of what anyone else thought about it. How did it make you feel?

Utilizing the Power of Want

We attract what we want when our thoughts, our beliefs, and our goals are in alignment. When we want to do something, we set an intention that aligns us with our goal, organically creating the structure by virtue of one’s commitment to self-love/care.

But, how do you make the mental shift from feeling like you "have" to do something, to "wanting" to do it?  How do you change your perspective on something you aren't naturally happy or excited about?

Changing Your Perspective Happens By Choice.

The foundation of any change, and usually the most difficult part, is making the decision to change. You decide to take the necessary steps and are committed to doing so. What helps us get to this point is to focus on the big picture of what we want, why we want it, and the behaviors that will achieve the outcome. This is a great way to start any process of changing a habit or perspective. 

Once you start the process by deciding and committing, then you move on to the steps needed to change your thinking. These are: 

  1. Identify that you are framing your thoughts in a negative way. Notice you are saying/thinking in negative terms. For example, "I have to work out" or "I hate to work out." 
  2. Feel the feelings that are associated with the feelings of "having" to work out, rather than "getting" or "wanting" to work out. 
  3. Refocus and reframe negative thoughts into positive ones. "I am so thankful that my body is healthy enough to get to be able to work."


Change is hard no matter how we slice it. But it's even harder if we try to white-knuckle our way through it. Willpower matters and is great to get you started, but you’ll also need other strategies to help you keep on track and to make a lasting change.

Changing your perspective from a negative to a positive is one of the best ways to do that. Shifting from I have to, to I want to is a game-changer. 

Thanks for reading!

Jeff Miner, LPC, M.Ed.

Founder/Owner of Triumph Performance Institute




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