Could doing this be the reason you continue to struggle to get the results you want?

Every day I get a daily quote emailed to me from Abraham-Hicks Publications.  This past week I got one that speaks to a principle I teach my clients for how to connect to a sense of purpose and fulfillment from their work.


The quote read:


“When you talk about what you want and why you want it, there’s usually less resistance within you than when you talk about what you want and how you’re going to get it.  When you pose questions you don’t have answers for, like how, where, when, who it sets up a contradictory vibration that slows everything down.”  


What this quote shares is simple – you have control over what and why and almost no control over all the other stuff.


Clouding up your thinking and feelings with things you cannot control like who, when, where and how gunks up the physics of manifesting what you want.


Think about it for yourself – which of these two scenarios would energize you more…

scenario 1 – when your boss assigns (“get me this by X deadline – AND do it this exact way – and here’s what you have to work with”)




scenario 2 – when your boss delegates (“get me this – accomplish it however you think best – let me know when how long it might take and what you need”)


Clearly in scenario 1 the focus is on how and in scenario 2 the focus is on what.  If you feel confident in your abilities I bet you picked scenario 2.  It’s more energizing plus I bet you believe you could deliver results faster, and you may even have confidence that you could exceed your boss’s expectations.


But sadly, many of us automatically put a lot of energy into figuring out how – even when it restricts our creativity and ability to exceed.  Corporations especially value how answers and I believe they have conditioned their workers to value how answers too.


Yet, according to this quote – how conjures resistance – “how” could this be?


At our jobs it’s simply not enough to share a vision or to set goals.  The demand for how you will make a vision or goal happen is big.  Delivering the results you promise is just not enough – they must manifest the way you said they would too.


So not only do we become married to our how plans, we may judge our results and only label them as valid – as successful – if the results manifested within the well thought out parameters of our initial how plans.


So in other words we are pressured (by ourselves and others) to predict and control things like:

  • how events will transpire
  • how people will behave/react/be able to contribute
  • how resources will function and remain available


It all seems ridiculous doesn’t it?  Not only are we limited in how much control we can ever have over events, people and resources, but our initial how thoughts are severely gunked-up.  Here’s what I mean…


Anytime we try to imagine how anything will get done we immediately think in the past-tense.  Our how ideas exist in the realm of what we think is possible based on how things happen for us or others in the past.  So we believe that’s what’s possible for us in the future.  This thinking is flawed on so many levels I can’t even get into it in this blog.


A perfect formula for disengagement looks like this


…accept a vague picture of what (based on what someone else wants with limited understanding of why they want it) and give a vivid picture of how (our predictions and plans), it will get done.


Could doing this be the reason you continue to struggle to get the results you want?  Could too much focus on how also be a reason why engagement in the workforce remains so low?


The truth is engagement is created when we flip this formula…


…give a vivid vision for what (based on a solid understanding of why something is desired) and accept a vague an open plan that includes a couple of steps to start results rolling, and allows freedom to take advantage of opportunities that support the vision.


That means making yourself an expert – not an order-taker.  Sometimes you will need to take some orders – experts know when it makes sense to do that but that’s not how they approach their work on a regular basis.


Part of what makes someone an expert is that they know how to capitalize on a (good or seemingly bad) situation.  That means believing that opportunities exist even in crappy situations and knowing how to recognize opportunities when they do show up.  Until an expert clearly sees opportunities that can bring velocity to their vision fully manifesting, they start brainstorming and acting on ideas to kick-start their opportunity recognizing energy.


Clarity of what we want and persistence in taking advantage of opportunities to experience what we want is what assures the outcome we imagine or desire.




Certainly for some tasks or life ambitions it may make perfect sense to hold onto your how ideas.


Even so, it doesn’t change the fact that the more you choose to value how ideas the more you put yourself at risk for feeling that you won’t get what you want – especially if your process isn’t unfolding the way you thought it should.  When things don’t happen as you imagine them to, you might question the possibility of your what entirely – you might even question yourself – and that will just threaten your self-esteem, clarity, confidence, and ability to feel connected to a sense of purpose.


So what’s the right measure of value for how vs what?  Well there is no right answer – there is only your answer.  In any process or situation, explore the value you have for both your what and your how.  Just ask yourself…


“Am I open to some kind of a process, confident of a specific reward? Or am I open to some kind of a reward, confident of a specific process?”


In other words, are you willing to accept various ways in which your what could come, or are you determined to have the process – the how – be a certain way, even if it means a different reward? Because the fastest, most ideal path to your what may be very different than your initial how ideas.

About Gina Calvano

Gina Calvano is a certified coach and Senior Professional in Human Resources, with over 20 years of experience as a talent management professional in both the private and non-profit sectors. With a unique approach, she combines her strategic corporate expertise and accreditations with metaphysics and transformational thinking which has resulted in people all over the world feeling good about themselves and connected to a sense of purpose.

She created the Success Readiness Bootcamp™, a step by step process that enables people to easily discover their unique talents and abilities and match them to majors, jobs, industries and leisure pursuits. Gina is also the co-author of Breakthrough! Inspirational Strategies for an Audaciously Authentic Life with NY Times Best Selling Authors Marci Shimoff, Janet Bray Attwood and Chris Attwood and Powerful Connections Made Easy™ with Aprille Trupiano, and is currently working on her next book — Caged in My Cube: The Turnaround Guide For Loving The Job You Hate.

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