Finding your why can be the ultimate difference between getting what you want and giving up before you even start. All of the ‘how’s’ mean nothing until you find your ‘why’.
My why is my little girl, Holly. The day my daughter was born, there was a figurate ‘fire lit under my ass” – I was doing okay before that, I loved my life, I was happy with what I was doing but now it wasn’t about me anymore.. it was about us.
The reason my life took such a dramatic turn in the last two years (my girl is nearly two at the publishing of this book) is because things like my health now became more important to me. I was competing at the top level of my sport in competitive bodybuilding and fitness modelling (I finished 8th in the world in the Las Vegas World Championships the year my daughter was born) but I was living a lifestyle that definitely wasn’t focused on my health- weeks before shows, I couldn’t hold a conversation with people due to my body being so deficient in food and calories.
I remember sitting on in my living room on cold autumns day, the leaves from the tree were gliding against my kitchen window as I was mapping out the shows for that coming year. Suddenly this vision came into my head of Holly trying to play with me while I’m lying on a couch with no energy because I’m ‘too tired’ and her saying ‘what’s wrong with daddy, why wont he play with me?’ – that vision broke my heart and that was the day I decided that I will never do a contest prep again. That’s not to say I wont do a show ever again, but if I do, it will be because I am ready for a stage due to my lifestyle and not because I dieted 16 weeks and trained four hours a day. My ‘why’ had changed.
If your why power (or desire) isn’t great enough, its likely that any goal will end up like most new year resolutions; you will do it for two, three maybe even four weeks and then life will get in the way and you will slowly or gradually stop or quit. We’ve all done it.
I WILL GIVE YOU TWENTY DOLLARS TO WALK ACROSS THIS PLANK!
Think of it this way: If I were to put a ten-inch-wide, thirty-foot-long plank on the ground and say, “if you walk the length of the plan, ill give you twenty dollars, or whatever your currency)”, would you do it? Of course, its easy money. But what if I took the same plank and made a roof-top “bridge” between two 100-story buildings? That same amount of money doesn’t look as desirable and you probably wouldn’t even consider it for a second. However, if your child was on the opposite building, and the building was on fire, would you walk across the length of the plank to save them? You would be gone before you could even think about it.
Why is it that the first time you wouldn’t cross the roof top plank but the second time, you didn’t even hesitate? The risks and the dangers are the same. What changed? Your ‘why’ changed, your reason for wanting to do it. When the reason is big enough and your why is strong enough, you will be willing to do whatever it takes.
I am fortunate enough to have an amazing life, I have what I call a ‘non job’ –where my life and my job are one and the same, I have an amazingly and healthy daughter and a inner circle of friends of family who help me grow as a person but like every one, there are days when ‘ I just don’t feel like it’ – even the most successful people in the world (note: success is subjective to each person) have days when they struggle; the only difference between and everyone else is they use their ‘why on those days’.
I have a picture of Holly beside my bed; the mornings I don’t want to get up at 5am, I look at that picture and I remember my why, I think to myself ‘if I don’t get up, if I don’t work, she doesn’t eat’ – that’s extreme but 100 times out of a 100, that’s the difference between getting up and getting dressed or hitting the snooze on my alarm. Finding your why, what drives you can be the ultimate difference between getting everything you want out of life and living in mediocrity. There is nothing wrong with mediocrity or being ‘average’ – if that’s making you truly happy and fulfilled. This book and finding your why is for those who looking for more than that.
FINDING YOUR WHY:
“All of us, throughout our lives have learned certain patterns of thinking and behaving to get ourselves out of pain and into pleasure” – Tony Robbins
We all experience emotions like frustration, anger or feelings of being overwhelmed and develop a strategy for ending these feelings. Some people use food, some use sex, drugs or alcohol. Others use running, the gym or books.
Sometimes your pain point can be your strongest why. The pain of envisioning my little girl upset because ‘daddy wouldn’t play with her because he’s too tired’ is a pain that completely shifted my entire focus in life. My why is now to create and a design a life where I have the time, money and health to truly be ‘present’ with my daughter and influence her life in a positive way. Her journey is her journey, I have no control of that; but I have control of how present I am and how much influence, advice and guidance I can provide to develop her character on her journey. She’s my why.
Your why might be completely different from mine and you might even have several ‘whys’; it might be a comment or a jibe from a friend or loved one that gives you that spark to get into the best shape of your life or a friend who called you stupid that lead you to read more books (my why for reading so much).
Pain and negativity can be powerful motivational tools and as long as they don’t consume you, I think they’re vital for achieving great things in life.
“Your why needs to be greater than you” – Eric Thomas
Thus, on days when you’re struggling and want to give up, recall the ‘pain’ that made you get started and remember your ‘why’. Your ‘why’ will keep you going on the days you want to give up; use your way and go get what you want.