Updated: Jun 24, 2020
Every time someone says that we ‘need to’ do something it has a rational basis, but the evidence is that we often reject these logical arguments in favour of maintaining our existing habits. At an individual level common ‘you need to’ suggestions would be; drink less, exercise more, stop smoking, recycle more, eat less red meat, use your car less, the list goes on. Often ‘need to’ leads to positive intentions, but we know that these intentions generally fail.
To illustrate this, many years ago, I became involved in a Smoking Cessation service and even then the ‘golden rule’ was to ask if people had considered stopping smoking. If they hadn’t then there wasn’t any point in continuing to support them. You’d be wasting your time and resources. Essentially, if there wasn’t even the smallest desire to want to give up then all the support in the world wouldn’t help. Even with the desire to give up, it takes eight attempts on average to kick the habit.
Historical Example of ‘Want to’ Change
History shows that when there is a desire to ‘want to’ change, it’s a completely different matter.