You’ve got to have a want to
I was 20 years old and knew everything. Crazy Dave was 50 years old and knew nothing. We were on a job site in a local elementary school in the summer of 2003. I had been a plumber’s apprentice for a year and I already knew everything there was to know about plumbing. On this day, Crazy Dave, who received his nickname for being a little on the passionate side, asked me to look for a certain fitting in our job box. A fitting, in this case, was a small piece of copper tubing that we needed to run a water line. He was unsure if we had the fitting, but he wanted me to look anyway.
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Dave could probably see that I was not very enthusiastic about looking through a large metal box filled with heavy tools, tool bags, hardware and all kinds of other junk for a 15-cent piece of metal that we could just go and get from the store really quick. I walked down the long silent hallway of the elementary school to the room where we were keeping all our supplies. I opened the box and nonchalantly pushed aside a few nuts and bolts. I then pushed aside a few of the heavy boxes and bags and peaked around them to see if I could see a glimmer of copper in the bottom of the box, and I couldn’t see anything. I wasn’t planning on seeing anything and I fully intended on reporting to Dave that he should call our boss and tell him to bring us the part we needed from the store. I shut the box and made my way back to Dave. I reported to him that we did not have the part and we would need to call it in.
Crazy Dave looked at me and with fire in his eyes, he began to march his 5-foot-tall stocky frame down the long hallway. He motioned to me with one wave of the arm, follow me! I followed behind him like a toddler that was in trouble with his parents. We got down to the room and I received a front row seat to why Crazy Dave received his nickname. Dave threw open the lid of our large metal job box. He reached in and began to throw 40 and 50-pound bags of tools and heavy duty power tools. I felt like I was in a cartoon where the character is throwing everything out of the toy chest into the air behind them. It seemed like he just kept pulling stuff out of the box. Pushing aside nuts, bolts and screws as they went flying. I just stood back holding my breath, hoping that he wouldn’t find the small copper fitting that I had confidently declared was not in the box.
Once all the throwing was done, Dave reached down into the box and pulled out the small piece of copper tubing that I was supposed to find. He held it up to my face, just underneath my nose and he said to me seven words that I will never forget. He said, “You’ve got to have a want to.”
I will repeat those same words to you today. Whether you are trying to start a business, increase your skills set or transform a community you’ve got to have a want to. Whether you are leading your family, leading a company or leading yourself you’ve got to have a want to. You must have a desire that transcends what someone else suggested to you or assigned to you. I implore you today to identify, define and write down your “want to” because what you are searching for may be right underneath your nose.