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The Bigger the Why the Easier the How
I have a friend who struggles with weight. Her intention to lose the weight is honest and sincere; desire and action is not the issue. She goes to the gym regularly, participates in multiple softball leagues, and does constant reading on diet trends, trying anything that might work. But eventually, the diet falls by the wayside even if the activities don’t, hence her progress fluctuates.
When I asked what the motivation was for wanting to lose the weight it was, “I’m disgusted with myself.” Okay, sometimes pain can be an effective motivator, but how about something a little more … self-supportive? I don’t know … like looking forward to the day you go to the beach and show off? That sounds a little more compelling and positively motivating, doesn’t it?
Everyone’s motivation is going to be different no matter what the goal, but whatever that “why” is, it better be powerful. It’s got to be emotional. Hey, sometimes it might even be reacting in a moment of total freak-out, but whatever that trigger is, make it mean something to you! If you have a good enough reason, you’ll figure out a way how, won’t you?
I have another friend who quit smoking almost a year now, cold turkey. He had smoked for over 10 years. People, including me, were surprised and proud, all wondering how he did it. No patch. No gum. No electric fake cigarettes. He said it was easy—he looked in the mirror one day and saw a small lump on his neck, in a lymph area.
He then flashed forward to imaginary moments of telling his friends and family that he had cancer. He thought about what it would be like to put them through watching him disintegrate, maybe suffer. He thought about the pain, guilt, and helplessness of those who wouldn’t have the strength to deal with all of that.
That small lump turned out to be only a garden-variety in-grown hair, but it was enough. He broke his last cigarettes in half and that was that.
When you have a big enough reason, the “how to’s” come a lot more easily. You need clear and powerful reasons. It’s also going to allow you to be willing to do whatever it takes.
More importantly, your why has to be stronger than those non-supportive beliefs you’ve been working on. Like, “Rich people are greedy.” Well great! You don’t wanna be broke, but “rich people suck,” and your freaking rent’s due.
You have to have a strong purpose for pursuing money, or anything that really matters to you. If you have nothing behind it, where is there to go? You’re either growing or dying! You’re either going to it or away from it! Got it?
What was one of the biggest challenges or obstacles that you faced in your life, and what was the push that finally got you over that hump? Was it life or death? Absolute need for safety or survival? Would a less desirable outcome have negatively impacted someone you care about? It’ll be interesting to see how many people were motivated to act when someone else would be affected by our actions, our non-actions. We want to hear from you!