Why You Don’t Get What You Say You Want

Biscuits from dough from the girls scouts.

Ever see those prescription drug commercials on TV? You know, the 60-second ads with the 55-second disclaimers?

The one that always bugs me is one for cholesterol medication. The patient says “I eat right, I exercise, and yet my cholesterol is still too high.” The message implies that the cholesterolly-challenged dude has done everything he can do to get a clean bill of health from his doctor.

You and I both know that’s a load of crap. Look around. Very few people do “everything they can do” to fix their own problems or achieve their goals. Doesn’t matter if the problem is being overweight, up to your eyeballs in debt, in a bad relationship, or performing poorly at work.

Want to know why? To borrow a phrase from Thomas Edison, it’s because the solution to your problem is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

If you aren’t getting where you want to go, are you doing EVERYTHING you can to get there? Are you really?

Are you bringin’ it like a Girl Scout?

Did you know the average Girl Scout sells between 50 and 500 boxes of cookies? My daughter sold over 100 boxes one year to lead her troop, but in all fairness I bought most of them. True story.

Did you also know that Oklahoma City Girl Scout Katie Francis sold 18,107 boxes of cookies this year and broke the national record?

I heard your thoughts. In your head you said “wow.” Then you asked, “how?”

Here’s what she said in a recent interview:

There are three ingredients to the cookie sale. It takes lots of time, commitment and asking everybody I see.

Hmmm…I smell a secret to success. And it smells a lot like Thin Mints.

Did you catch the last part of her success philosophy? “…asking everybody I see.” Now THAT’S doing everything you can.

So if a Girl Scout ever asks me “Why didn’t I sell that many boxes?“, I would ask her “Did you ask EVERYBODY you saw to buy a box?


If you’ve asked yourself “Why can’t I get in great physical shape?” I’d ask, “Have you exercised hard EVERY DAY for the past year?” or “Have you eaten clean — and the proper amount — at EVERY MEAL?

If you wonder why you can’t seem to get a raise or a promotion, I’d ask “Have you done EVERYTHING you can do add value to your team, boss, or company?” or “Have you read EVERY book in your area of expertise…or an area of expertise that you’d like to develop?”

If you can’t seem to get a relationship to work out I’d ask, “Have you explored EVERY possible way of communicating, understanding, and working on the relationship…including books, seminars, and therapy?

I’ve been complaining (to myself) for the past few years that my back yard isn’t anywhere near as nice as I’d like to to be. “Oh really, ” you say, “Have you done EVERYTHING you could to make it beautiful?

Busted. That’s why I now have a dump truck’s worth of fine, black mulch taking up my entire driveway. I’ve committed to doing EVERYTHING I can to make by back yard the oasis I dream of. After moving about a third of the mulch from my driveway to my fence row this weekend, I am intimately familiar with the hard work that Thomas Edison referred to.

So, what do YOU want?

Have you done EVERYTHING you can to make it happen?


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