Monday, November 2, 2009

Do You Have a Strong Enough 'WHY?'

By Preston Squire

Whenever you set a goal in your life, you need to be sure to have a strong enough 'Why' attached to that goal.

The 'Why' is what drives you.   The motivating factor that makes the difference between just wanting something in your life and absolutely needing it.  Between it being a 'wouldn't it be nice' and it being an insatiable itch that you cannot continuously ignore but must tend to, causing you to always be moving towards accomplishing that goal.

Everything you do in this life is done to either avoid pain or to gain pleasure.

Why do you talk to some people but not really with others?   Because you associate pleasure with talking to your friends and pain or discomfort in talking to people who don't share any of your values or interests.   It's boring, tedious or even annoying.   Why do you eat some foods and not others? Same reason.   It holds true for every facet of your life.

If you are not doing something you want to do, it's because you are associating pain to it.

One common example of this is the teenage boy wanting desperately to ask out a girl.   He really, really wants do but he doesn't.  Why?  Because he's afraid of rejection, of saying something stupid and feeling embarrassed, of being awkward and uncool in front of the very person he wants to impress the most.   Or in other words, he's associating greater pain to talking to her than pleasure.

Mixed values can cause pain and also block progress.

If the girl in question really wants to go out with the boy she might try asking him out instead of waiting for him to ask.   She values relationships and see him as a good match.  But she also highly values her dignity and people's respect.   She feels that if she asks him out then she'll look to be of questionable character and so she continues to wait for him to make the first move.  Her values are crossed and causing pain to be associated with asking him out.

It's very common for pain to be associated to the very same thing we desire fondly.

You may desire wealth but associate pain to having to work to obtain it, or in taking the risks necessary, or even associate pain to being wealthy because you feel it would alter your character.  You may desire romance but associate pain to being with someone because of past experiences.  You may desire to lose weight but associate pain to dieting and exercise.   You may desire to stop smoking but associate pain to not having something to 'calm your nerves'.

You cannot get yourself to consistently take action if you cannot consistantly want to achieve the goal, if you're being wishy washy on it since you associate discomfort to it.   Nor can the Law of Attraction work if your mind is not consistently viewing the attainment of the goal in an enthusiastic light.

Make sure you have a strong enough 'Why'.

Most people have a sense of why they want to accomplish certain goals but often they are not highly motivating.   For example your 'why' could be 'to make the world a better place.'   Well, that's a noble enough goal but it won't really motivate you because that's just too nebulous.  It's too hard to really relate to intimately.

You may have a better defined reason like, 'quitting smoking would be good for my health and allow me to live longer.'   However even that might not be enough if your also associating pain.  If your subconsciously believe, 'my life will be more miserable without a smoke to reduce stress,' or  'I won't be able to hang out with my friends at break time anymore' for example.

How to strengthen your 'Why'.

Make sure your 'Why' is highly personal.   See how accomplishing the goal would benefit yourself directly or your loved ones.  One way to do this is to ask yourself 'Why' five times.  Ask yourself why accomplishing the goal is important to you, then why is getting that result important, then why do you care about that and so on five times.   For example your answers might look something like this:

I want to run a successful free self-help website.


Because it would benefit thousands, even possibly millions of people.

Why do you care?

It would give me a sense of satisfaction.


It would make me feel like I've done something meaningful with my life and improved the world, if only a little.

Why is that important?

I don't want to die feeling like my life had no meaning.  By giving the world hope I give myself hope.


If there's no meaning to life why bother?  If there's no hope why bother with life?  I cannot, will not accept that there is no hope in the world.  That just because you're born in a certain neighbourhood it's a foregone conclusion that you'll never amount to anything, that you'll never have any opportunities in life and that you'll get gunned down at an early age so you might as well not even bother to try to live.  I don't buy that.  That's not the world God created, that's a world Man created but God is bigger than Man.  The ability to succeed despite our environment must exist, so we have hope, so we can transcend our circumstances.   By finding the way to succeed I can increase my life and then share it with others to help improve there's.  By doing that I discover my joie de vie, my reason for being and I can live and die a happy man.

Associate massive pain to not accomplishing your goal.

Ask yourself what would happen if you didn't accomplish your goal.   How would that make you feel?  How will it affect the quality of your life?  How would it affect your family and loved ones?  Find as many and as powerful negatives as you can.   Make it so that the thought of not accomplishing this goal is simply unbearable.   You simply couldn't live with yourself if you didn't do all you could to meet this goal.

Associate massive pleasure with accomplishing your goal.

Write out as many possible benefits as you can for yourself and your family and loves ones that reaching your objective would endow.   Make it as compelling as possible.

Write them out and read them daily.

Make a card for each of your goals with your pain and pleasure reasons.   Place it somewhere you'll be sure to see it every day and make it a habit to review that list daily.

"Give me a lever long enough and a prop strong enough, and I can single handily move the world."


Creating a compelling Why gives you massive leverage.  Leverage you can use to drive yourself forward to achieving your goals.

Anthony Robbins does a great job of describing how to use pain and pleasure to creating a compelling Why and how to effectively reprogram your mind for success in his book, 'Awaken the Giant Within' (see link in sidebar for more info on this title).

©Preston Squire

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