Sunday, May 18, 2014

Is “Whatever you want” Really Valuable?

For many of us, we say something to people…thinking it is a lot more valuable than it truly is.

“Whatever you want.”


Many of us (including me) make this statement with good intentions, but it’s not always as valuable as we might think.

Let’s explore…

When "anything you want" IS valuable

It IS valuable when we know what we want, but it is not advertised in the menu or catalog…exactly the way we KNOW we want it.

“Whatever you want” is exactly what we want to hear…and feel…when we know what we want.

However, it’s NOT always valuable…

When "anything you want" IS NOT valuable

It’s NOT valuable when we need or want the advice of an expert.  When the expert tells us, “Whatever you want,” but we’re not sure how to evaluate…much less decide…we NEED that person to guide us.  To give us a choice without guidance is like letting us dangle in the wind when moving is painful.

It’s NOT valuable when we are just too tired to make a decision.  Sometimes, we just want someone to lead us, even if we’re naturally leaders.  It takes energy to make a decision.  It’s good to know that we’re not being forced into anything, but once we make it clear that we need help, “anything we want” is not going to be anything we “decide.”  We want you to do that for us.

It’s NOT valuable when we are not educated enough about what is offered to make an intelligent decision.  We think we know what we want, but we do not have enough knowledge to understand the consequences. This is a lot like a child who thinks he wants ice cream for dinner instead of the meal with the four food groups.  Even as adults, there are some choices we make that do not help us, and we don’t really benefit from “anything we want.”  We don’t know any better, and “whatever we want” is not really better for us.

It’s NOT valuable if we know you might very well like something different even more than what you think you want.  How many times have you seen someone eat the same thing thinking it’s their favorite—until they are introduced to something new…that THEN becomes their “new favorite?”  Sometimes, “whatever you want” is nothing more than the “best of whatever you’ve only tried…so far.”  There are new territories to explore, and many of us will never explore them without someone else with that experience pushing us.

“Whatever you want” needs to be an alternative provided to people who are prepared for it.  Then it’s a privilege and a potential selling point.

Otherwise, “whatever you want” is simply lazy and irresponsible.

If you know what you want and I can provide it, I would be delighted to provide you with that.

Otherwise, allow me to guide you so that you might know what you want.

If you’re unsure—even then—allow me to make your life easier or more fulfilling and make that decision for you.

Now…allow me to learn enough about you so that I’m not simply providing you “whatever you want,” but I am providing you with what you really want…a great experience…whatever that is for you.

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