It’s all very well knowing what you want and how you might go about getting it, but I think the key is to understand why you want it. So, what is your why?
What are you hoping to achieve by getting what you want? Do you want to win awards, receive accolades, or feel an enhanced level of appreciation, more recognition from your peers or mates? Are you driven by ego or achieving a level of mastery at what you do? Think hard about why you are doing this. What is your why?
Starting with the why (reversing your thinking ) creates clarity. If you don’t know why you are doing it, then you haven’t understood the point of doing it. Your dedication and focus could evaporate without having the understanding and commitment of why you are doing this. When you know why you are doing this, you will be able to hold yourself accountable.
Your principles and values will be in line with what you are doing and why. You will be consistent, authentic and you’ll truly believe in what you are striving to achieve. And, when you believe in what you are doing, you feel inspired to take action.
Inspiration leads to action. Success begins in the form of an intense desire. Intense passion to achieve.
When I first sat in a rally car I can remember bursting with passion to drive. All I wanted to do was eat, sleet, talk and drive rally cars. I was obsessed for twelve years and the feeling never dipped – not once. I loved it and I wanted it like nothing else, so it felt easy to put in the hard yards to make it happen year after year. It was a no-brainer for me.
Intense years of hard work gave me the success I craved. Having a really clear understanding of what you want, and why you want it, can be a powerful force. Even when the odds are stacked against you (as they were with me), with this clarity you have the strength to face adversity.
The true winners in life are the people who can persist when times are tough. When it seems the whole world is blocking their path, they persist. The question is, how do you keep moving forward when the odds seem to be stacked up against you? The first step is to realise that you are in the same situation that every person who has ever accomplished anything, finds themselves in.
No ones path is easy. Life isn’t easy. We move every day from one problem or issue to another. It’s normal. Life without obstacles is not a reality. I will go so far as to guarantee that the wealthy business tycoon was once broke and inexperienced. The olympic gold medal winner was once slow and clumsy. The amazing stage performer was once in a low budget show forgetting her lines.
Here’s a great example of beating adversity is Leicester City winning the Premiership in the 2015/6 season. It was a statistical impossibility. The odds were 5,000/1. The bookies had finding Elvis alive and the Loch Ness monster being discovered amongst the things more likely to happen that year. So Leicester City actually winning the Premiership was one of the most brilliant and unlikely sporting triumphs ever seen.
Back in the 90s Marshall Mathers (Eminem) was a skinny, blonde haired, blue eyed white kid, living in Detroit, one of America’s toughest cities. There was no statistical possibility of him becoming one of the worlds most successful and wealthy rappers.
I could go on and on, quoting incredible unlikely success stories. But they all share a few important criteria. A dream (a clear goal). A deep desire to make it happen (passion). Get-up and-go-again-ability (resilience).
Think about the why behind your goal.
I want you to genuinely ask yourself what you are hoping it will deliver for you. Because I could bet it’s really about a feeling, emotion, or internal state that you’re really seeking.
For example, the person who has a goal to takeover and run the company might believe that power and status will bring them happiness, security, fulfilment, attention, popularity and the partner of their dreams. In this instance, their ‘what’ is status, but their ‘why’ is ‘happiness’.
Six months later, they have achieved their initial goal, but they’re no happier, no more secure, no more confident, no more fulfilled and in keeping with their miserable state, they have failed to attract their dream partner. After all, who wants to be with someone who’s miserable? It is a very lonely and isolating place, sat at the top of a big tree. They achieved their practical goal but still failed to meet their emotional needs.
So they set a goal to double the turnover of the business. And then triple it. With the destructive and erroneous belief that if they can build a company big enough, they’ll find their own personal nirvana. And we all know how that story ends.
The sooner you begin to explore, identify and understand what really motivates you towards certain achievements, acquisitions or outcomes, you’ll begin moving towards greater consciousness and self awareness.
The sooner you’ll make better decisions for your life, set emotionally intelligent goals and experience more fulfilment and less frustration.
So write down your goal. Now write down how you will feel when you have achieved it. What is it about this feeling that gives you a tick in the box? What this is this goal all about – what is it you are really trying to achieve?
That is your why.