Hot Tips to Negotiate the New Decade Part IV: Discovering Your Why
As we continue on our journey to design the life we choose for this decade, it’s important to pause and turn inward for a moment. In Part I of the series we explored the power of thoughts. In Part II we took a hard look at discovering and planning our vision with intention, rather than getting carried along in the grind of daily ‘to do’s’ that keep us stuck in the mundane and away from our bigger dreams. In Part III we took the next stepping stone, to uncover obstacles that could hold us back if we weren’t vigilant in considering and preparing for them. Now, it’s time to dig a little deeper, and layer our discoveries to make them stick. We do that by getting in touch with our why.
Uncovering your goals and vision is key, but I’m sure you may have done some version of that before and it didn’t stick. If you want to avoid your vision dissipating like water vapour on a cold day, it’s important to attach emotion. In other words, now that you have clarity on your vision and obstacles, I invite you to attach the emotion that comes from knowing your deepest why. This gives you the reason to stick with it when you’re doubting yourself and your vision. On those days when nothing seems to be going right, you feel beat up, and Netflix is calling your name, you need a deeper motivation to keep you moving forward, to find that extra grit and inspiration. That inspiration is your deeper why.
Most people believe they’ve already considered their why if they ask themselves what’s motivating them in a particular situation. I invite you to do a little excavating past the obvious response that comes from that kind of superficial question. If you ask a superficial question, you’ll get a superficial answer which will in turn give you only superficial motivation. For example, the first knee-jerk response when we question ourselves about motivation is often ‘money’. You may think it’s about the money, but in my experience it’s rarely really about the money. It’s about what the money means for you. It’s about something deeper. Money on its own is a poor long-term motivator. Instead, I encourage you to go seven (7) layers deep when you do this exercise to get to the deeper reason that drives you.
What do I mean by seven layers? As you ask yourself why you’re pursuing your vision, take whatever answer comes to you and ask yourself, ‘and why do you want that?’ Let me use myself by way of example to illustrate the concept. In considering my bodacious goal to be a global thought leader in women’s empowerment, the first why that came to mind was ‘to make a difference’. As I pushed further and asked myself ‘why do you want that?’, I got ‘for my daughter’. As I dug a little deeper, and asked ‘why does that matter?’, I got ‘to be a positive role model and example’. Deeper still, asking ‘why is that important?’, I came up with ‘I had to fight for everything’ and then ‘I want to make a change to empower other women so they don’t have to fight so hard for every gain’. Plumbing still further, ‘I felt like I wasn’t in control of my own life and I want to change that for myself and others’. Finally, asking ‘what will that mean?’, I came up with ‘freedom’.
Can you see how pushing to get deeper answers allows you to access more meaningful motivations? Motivations that will be more likely to keep you on task when the going gets tough. What’s the deep-seated why that will fuel your drive to achieve your goals and visions for this decade and allow you to push past or through the inevitable obstacles you’ll face on the journey? I hope you agree that it’s worth digging for. In Part I of this series we explored the power of thoughts. If you recognize that your thoughts can determine your future (as where you put your focus determines where you put your energy), and you recognize that your thoughts are powered by the meaning you give things, then it stands to reason that giving a profound meaning to why you’re compelled to pursue your vision will make it exponentially more likely that you’ll get there. Find your impactful why today to step into the future you desire and deserve.
[Stay tuned for the next post as we design your life with hot tips on creating a productivity plan to fast-track getting you to your goals.]
If you’re interested in kick-starting 2020 to make it your best year and decade, try our new Women On Purpose Planner, designed and dedicated to helping you step into a purposeful and purpose-driven life!