Why, Oh Why, Oh Why?

Things are easier if we know why we’re doing what we do. I mean really know.

The reasons we do what we do are often not the first reasons we come up with. The first reasons we come up with are not wrong. But they’re not the whole story.

There’s more…

I have clients who do what they do because they want to pay the mortgage, get the promotion and buy the car. That’s not wrong. But there’s often more.  

And we need to know what the more is. Because the initial reasons we come up with tend to be rewards for our actions. Rewards are poor motivators. However, the deeper reasons for our actions are the real and enduring motivators. They reflect our purpose. And purpose is a powerful thing.

If you can get clear on your purpose you will have endless motivation and you will take massive action and that will lead to results and ultimately success.

You cannot and will not fail. Not in the end.   

So…what to do..?

1. Think of a goal. Something you are trying to achieve. Something that takes a good deal of your time.  

2. Ask yourself “Why am I trying to achieve this?” Be clear in your answer.

3. Keep asking yourself question two until you can go no further.

This may take you some time. You may want to reflect upon it over a day or so. But it’s worth the effort.

Reduce, reduce, reduce…

Everything we know at any level of real depth comes from this reductionist approach.

We used to think the sun went round the earth. Then Copernicus noticed that the movement of the stars and the sun didn’t quite support this view. He asked why? And he kept on asking why until he got the answer. This was his Copernican Revolution.

We can do the same. Keep asking why? Until we have a real understanding of why we’re doing what we’re doing.

Health warning…

We will also need to accept that there’s a risk we may discover that we have the wrong goals and are doing the wrong things. Better to know.

Viva La Revolution…

But when we keep asking why?, we can have our own revolution in our heads and from there, in our lives.

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2 Responses to Why, Oh Why, Oh Why?

  1. MattWard May 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    “We used to think the earth went round the sun. Then Copernicus noticed that the movement of the stars and the sun didn’t quite support this view. He asked why? And he kept on asking why until he got the answer. This was his Copernican Revolution.”

    Should that not read “We used to think that the sun went round the earth”? Or m I slowly losing the plot…

    • Mark Nugent May 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

      You’re right! It is me who is losing the plot.

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