I had a teacher once who said ‘we always get what we want’.  It’s a useful way of thinking about our behavior and how we make choices.  It focuses our attention.  So I ask you, do you really want to ‘be healthy’?  Or do you want more energy?  To play with your grand-kids?  To not have that pain in your lower back? To have sex like a 20 year old again?

This question “what do people really want?” – not what they say they want, or what you and I think they should want – is at the heart of how we can best serve those we strive to care for as health care professionals, practitioners, yoga teachers, personal chefs, acupuncturists, physicians, or nurses.  Motivating people to change can be tricky, as any great personal coach, yoga teacher or physical therapist or marketer knows quite well. Bernadette Jiwa, who writes about marketing wrote about the Art of Giving People What They Want.

“Gym goers want beauty as much as health. Wearers of five inch heels want longer legs more than remarkable shoes. Understanding what your customers and clients desire is the key to giving them what they really want. That might not be what they think they showed up for in the first place.

When we are seeking to make change on a personal level, or with a client, patient or family member keep in mind the motivation under the motivation. These women I wrote about recently wanted to be attractive, way more than they wanted to be thin.  Helping others be healthy is not about health, its about what people want.  I invite you to be a Want Artist. Listen for what folks want, and nudge them towards a healthier life along the way.