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“I Want” Doesn’t Get… by Mel Carnegie


Mel Carnegie often ponders the idea of wealth. It brings to her mind the saying her mother used to repeat to her when she was a child: “I want doesn’t get!” This phrase, once understood, provides a wisdom that offers freedom and growth.


The links between language (thoughts we have) and results (experiences that follow) have fascinated me for years and I’ve realised that even everyday words and sayings can unintentionally hold us back.


When people wish to improve something about their life, the statement tends to be “I want…” followed by whatever the desire may be. Numerous times I’ve cried out in despair “All I want is to be happy!” I realise now that this is precisely where I started to go wrong.


We are regularly advised to focus on our wants and then make plans to achieve them.  It may sound logical, but I’ve realised that this approach is entirely the incorrect way to go about things. Far from bringing the goal in to reality (even with a very real desire) the statement of ‘wanting’ only increases our experience of not having.


I’m not saying there’s anything wrong in having goals – far from it. I’m saying that the way we go about goal-setting is flawed from the start. I’ve learned the more we get clear on what it is we want, the more we create the experience of not having. When we believe we don’t have, we feel inadequate, because we’re giving our fulfilment to something that is external. Confirming that until we achieve whatever the ‘wants’ may be, we’re simply not enough.


Many years of frustration led me to this understanding. When it finally clicked, I felt a huge sense of relief – a feeling of freedom as the weight lifted from my shoulders. Because I’ve found that just a simple shift in the words we use has a profound impact on our immediate internal response, which influences our ability to bring things in to reality.

I learned that rather than stating what it is we ‘want’ to happen (which keeps it distant) it’s much better to bring the desire into reality. It’s about deliberately finding a link between now and the future. It’s about already experiencing what it is we think we’d like to be, do or have before it happens. Very motivational for creating solutions.

The key is in replacing “want” with “choose”… a word that is both neutral and supportive. For example “I want to feel happy” (which feels unattainable) becomes “I choose to feel happy” (sparking the possibility it’s achievable).

“Choose” goals allow us to experience the possibility – and decide whether the goal is indeed important or just habitual mind-chatter. “I want” doesn’t get. Whereas “I choose” opens a heap of possibilities. Now that’s what I call real wealth.




Mel Carnegie

Professionally, I work as a leadership and change development coach, helping business leaders and their teams to achieve their best potential. I love what I do with a passion, because I am driven to help others succeed, particularly through times of change and challenge. Coaching and developing leaders and their teams has been my chosen career for the past fifteen years. I love my work with a passion. I still get a huge buzz whenever a client makes a breakthrough! Nothing gives me greater pleasure than guiding others to tap in to their inner strength, helping them to remove blocks and move forward with confidence. How did I get here? Since early childhood I’ve dealt with a number of difficulties – the early death of both parents, emotional abuse, betrayal and abandonment. Through these experiences I instinctively learned about resilience and flexibility; how to stay balanced and focused while all about me fell apart. This is what led me to become an avid student of self-development – and ultimately to my chosen career. Until recently, though, I kept the background part of my life private. It didn’t need to be shared. I discovered I was good at what I did, and quickly gained a solid reputation as a professional and motivational coach. Why would anyone be interested in knowing about my past and the roots of my career…? My shock discovery in 2009 hit with such force that it nearly destroyed me. My journey since then led me to publish my first book “I’m Still Standing” in December 2012. It’s the account about overcoming adversity – not just once, but many times over. I wrote it in the hope that by sharing my story, I might be able to give others hope in times of trouble. Or just to find the courage to make changes in their life. I count myself as one of the lucky ones, and feel deeply blessed. My beautiful son is thriving at University, I am surrounded by a wealth of wonderfully colourful friends and family. I love my work and I love my life, happily splitting my time between the UK and my home in France. I have no idea what the future holds for me – but I know that now my life has properly begun. And I’m ready!

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