I love the phrase 'whatever it takes', but the reasons I love it has changed.

My work is project based, and at some point someone will say 'we're going to do it, whatever it takes!' It's usually when things aren't going to plan or there's some sort of crisis. I used to find this rally cry really motivating, as if the project was so important that we'd do anything to make it happen.

My response was to regroup and give it my all, as if by my own Herculean effort I could do more. Be more. Rise to the occasion. And more often than not I did - the project would roll on and I felt proud of my ability to give 'whatever it takes'.

Then another interpretation of the phrase came to mind. 

Perhaps 'whatever it takes' isn't so much about what is 'required' as what is 'removed'. Maybe it's 'whatever it takes... away'. 

Usually the thing that the project would take away was time and energy for myself and my family and friends. So I started to loathe the phrase and would flinch when someone said 'well do it whatever it takes!'

I stuck with this feeling until a slight shift occurred. I began to see 'whatever it takes... away' as a way to help me see things I needed to let go off. It  became about finding projects that didn't make me feel this sense of 'personal sacrifice' but rather created a sense of purpose, meaning or fulfilment. 

More 'whatever it gives' than 'whatever it takes'. 

After learning how to exit projects that are exhausting or unsatisfying I progressed to refusing them in the first place. So I'm back to loving the phrase. It's become a way to identify what is truly important and what can be rejected, removed or released.

Leaving me freer to give it my all, whatever it takes.  

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