If wishes were horses, beggars would ride

I never understood why but for some reason I just don’t like this quote; “Don’t wish it was easier wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge wish for more wisdom.” – Jim Rohn. I have the utmost respect for Jim Rohn and have learned valuable lessons from his books and speeches however, this quote always rubbed me the wrong way.

I finally figured out why. The word wish irritates me in this context. Words are important, and the word wish has no place in the lexicon of someone dedicated to self reliance. I started thinking about the importance of word selection after conversations with Tom Givens, Craig Douglas, Claude Werner and Dave Harrington. When I watch those men instruct, or even just in conversation, I have noticed they choose words carefully for good reason. Our thoughts are simply word formations. Those formations can limit or expand our possibilities. Thoughts, and words are the basis for action, wrong words might motivate the wrong actions. The right words might motivate the right actions. We have to give careful consideration to these things.

Consider the difference between a good question and a bad question. Matt Thornton and Adam Singer talk about the importance of asking a good question in order to find the answers we are searching for. A good question will send us in the right direction while a bad or poorly formed question will lead us in the wrong direction and away from our objective.

If I may be so bold, this is how I would amend Mr Rohn’s quote;

  • I don’t wish to be better. I’m going to work on being better by consistently doing the things that will make me better such as surrounding myself with folks that are better than me who encourage me to be better. 
  • I’m not going to wish for more skills. I’m going to work on gaining more skills by seeking out training and then practicing the things I learn until greater skill is achieved. 
  • I don’t wish for more wisdom, I’ll diligently study, ask good questions, and take counsel from folks smarter than myself to gain the wisdom I lack. 

Wishing is hoping something outside of myself will change things on my behalf. We don’t wish, we do.