20180308 Gimme a Reason...
The Thursday Thesis - 8/03/2018
In life, everything boils down to One Good Reason.
Sounds simplistic, doesn’t it?
“Surely you can’t be suggesting that life is just about one thing?” I hear you say.
That’s exactly what I am suggesting, and don’t call me “surely”.
Yes – life is really all about one thing.
Find that one thing and give it capital letters, make it your One Thing and pay attention to it every single day.
“All well and good,” I hear you say, “but how do you know what your One Thing is, smartarse?”
I thought you’d never ask!
Simply ask yourself a few questions, pay attention to your own answers, and ask yourself what lies behind those answers.
It sounds pretty simple, but when I’m coaching and mentoring people it’s rare to find a client who has given their One Thing much thought. Even businesses that have been successful and want to develop can be fuzzy about their One Thing.
So, grab a cup of coffee, a pen and some nice paper or a notebook. Divide the paper into five columns and get settled – you’re about to discover your One Thing...
We’ll start with this simple question:What do I want?
Write “I Want” at the top of the left column and immediately start writing your answers down underneath it, one item per line. Don’t edit yourself, just write it all down without worrying about whether you are right to want something or not.
Keep writing until you have filled a couple of pages, because you’re aiming for a hundred or more answers.
Take a sip of your now-cold coffee and write “Why do I Want It” at the top of the second column.
Once you’ve done that, go down your list of things you want, line by line, and answer the question: “Why do I want that?” writing your answers down in column 2 as you go.
This will give you your Why behind your What: a superficial understanding of why you want what you want. For example, if you wanted to start your own business, your Why might be that you can escape your day-job.
Still with me?
Good, because here’s where it gets interesting – where the gold comes.
At the top of the third column write “Why do I want it?”, and repeat the previous step. Now you’re peeling back another layer, finding the Why behind the Why behind the What.
So your “I want to start my own business so that I can escape from my day-job” will be followed by the reason why escaping your day-job is a good thing. “I want to start my own business so that I can escape from my day-job, because that job is going nowhere.”
Now do the exact same thing in column four, with exactly the same question: “Why do I want it?”
This will get you deeper into your motivation - the Why behind the Why behind the Why behind the What. This is what’s really driving your wants and needs: this is the really powerful force behind you. At this deep level, some of your answers might make you uncomfortable, but they will also alert you to problems in your behaviours and motivations.
Around about now you will begin to see that certain things you thought you wanted are not so important after all, and you can discard them.
You might begin to notice that what you thought you wanted is only a vehicle to take you to some other destination: a marker for your deeper purpose, so to speak. Your “I want to start my own business so that I can escape from my day-job, because that job is going nowhere and I want to be in control of what I do every day.”
Now repeat the same thing for column five, and be really fearless about this one, because there may be tears...
“I want to start my own business so that I can escape from my day-job, because that job is going nowhere, I want to be in control of what I do every day and I want to express myself through my work”.
Add as many more columns and sheets of paper as you want. Just keep asking “Why?” until you hit your deepest Why – and you’ll know it when you hit it. This is the moment when your One Thing will snap into focus with a suddenness and force that will shake you.
Instantly, you’ll know it.
And it will feel so obvious and natural to you that you will wonder why you never really saw it before.
Write it down.
Look at it.
That’s your One Thing.
Now get busy doing it.
© Neil Cowmeadow 2018
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