Vail Daily column: Doing what we have to do |

Vail Daily column: Doing what we have to do

Have you ever found yourself wrestling with the decision to be doing something you wanted to be doing rather than doing something you knew you should be doing? I know I certainly have at different times.

We all would rather be engaging in something fun or pleasant rather than doing something that is hard or that could potentially create conflict. But there comes a time when we must do what needs to be done, or said differently, do the right thing.

Zig Ziglar used to say it this way, “If we do the things we have to do when we have to do them, a time will come when we can do the things we want to do when we want to do them.” And my experience tells me that many of us want to jump right to the latter part of Mr. Ziglar’s quote, they want to do the things they want to do when they want to do them without doing what needed to be done first.


Let me share an example with you. A friend of mine left his full time job as a chef to open his own business. He said that he was just working too many hours in the restaurant and he wanted more control over his life. I totally supported and applauded his decision. As he opened his storefront business, he immediately took Sundays and Mondays off. He spent a little too much time fishing. He was doing the things he wanted to do without doing what he needed to do which was to eat, sleep and breathe his business, especially in the beginning. Sadly the result was that within a year he closed his doors.

Now another friend of mine has worked for a salon cutting hair. She never went to college and she worked very hard her whole life. She worked six days a week, sometimes seven as she would cut hair for friends and family on her day off. She did this for many years, saving all of her money. As her friends went on beach vacations or skiing, she worked. Today, she owns her own home outright, she takes care of an elderly parent and she goes on vacations wherever and whenever she wants. She did the things she needed to do when she needed to do them and now she enjoys doing what she wants to do when she wants to do them.


If sales people want a healthy opportunity funnel, then they have to prospect so they can enjoy the benefits of a commission check. If a couple want to enjoy a strong and loving relationship, then they have to invest the time to do things for one another, make sacrifices and nurture that relationship. If any one of us wants to enjoy the benefits of shedding a few pounds or more, then we have to do the right things when it comes to diet and exercise. You get the point right?

We experience and learn so much along the journey when we take the time to do the things we have to do when we have to do them. If we could only be disciplined enough to understand this and not try and jump into only doing what we want to do, seeking that immediate gratification or fulfilling a selfish whim, we would realize the results we desire.

How about you, are you doing the things you need to do when you need to do them? I would love to hear all about your journey at, and when we do what we have to do, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach, and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.