Wishes, Wants, and Wills

If you’ve spent any time reading my posts, you’ll know that I have a predilection for analogies. As much as I love analogies, I also have a deep appreciation for subtleties of the English language (exemplified by this truly inspirational book).

Snuggle up and listen closely, because I’m sharing with you a little personal epiphany I had today about three wonderful words: Wishes, Wants, and Wills. Each word is a unique expression of our desires, and which word you use to express one can suggest how likely it is that that desire will be obtained.

Wishes are akin to far-away dreams. When someone talks about a wish, that wish is often what will never be or what will never become. When you declare wishes like:

“I wish I was skinny.”

“I wish I could control myself.”

“I wish I could be happier.”

“I wish I had more money.”

You’re suggesting that those things are impossibilities – only existing in beautiful, wispy dreams, unobtainable, unfathomable, out of reach. In a way, you’re putting those things on a pedestal, and deservedly so – wishes are beautiful things. I get it – in life, some things really are out of reach or impossibilities, but let’s just assume for a moment that you’re not an entirely unrealistic person, and after all, this is just a health and fitness blog, and most of what we talk about here are realistic, obtainable goals for the vast majority of people.

If Wish was a baby or an immature child, then Want is its more mature form. When you want something, you’re not just wishing for something to happen, you’re envisioning it as if it were reality.  If Wish was a mere dream, then Want is a vision. You will do whatever it takes to get what you want, whereas you’ll meander about in dreamland if you’re wishing for something to happen.

Someone who declares wants like:

“I want to lose weight.”

“I want to control myself.”

“I want to be happy.”

“I want more money.”

…is already suggesting that he or she has a vision in mind. This is the bridge. Without an idea of what you want, you’re also lacking a vision, and your dreams and goals are in danger of crumbling. We all know that goals are valuable things that give your life direction. When you know what you want, a path slowly appears – but first it’s a blurry road. The more specific your wants are, the clearer the path becomes, and you’ll know how to take the first step.

“I want to lose 5 pounds in 5 weeks”

has a clearer path than

“I wish I looked thinner”

“I want to stop eating cookies”

has a clearer path than

“I want to eat healthier”

When you know your wants, you then transition into the most evolved form of your desire – your Will.

What you’re willing to do is the sum of your actions. What you do on any given day is a translation of your wills. When you have a will, you’re on the track to what was once just a wish. The more specific the will is, the more obvious your goal is, and the more likely it is that you’ll realize your desires.

“I’m willing to get up at 7 every day to work out.”

…sounds different from…

“I wish I could get up at 7 every day to work out”


“I’m willing to spend less time eating and more time moving”

…sounds different from…

“I wish I wasn’t such a fatty”

Upon reflection on what your typical day looks like, you’ll realize quite quickly what you care about the most – what you want the most – based on what you are willing to act on. It is easier to judge ourselves based on our intentions and not our actions, but realize there is at least as much value – if not more – in judging ourselves by our actions and less on our intentions.

Merge your powerful Will (action) with your Want (vision) and your Wish (dream), and you’re on track to realize your desires. Each by itself is directionless, but combine them and you are closer to becoming the master of your own fate.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s