Why? Have you ever had a child ask you that? And, of course, once you answer, the next response is… “Why?”. In a seemingly never-ending cycle.
But the question isn’t limited to children. Lots of coaches and therapists use it, too. Sometimes they use different wording but the essence is still to uncover the “why”. And for good reason.
If you can uncover the why behind a goal, a desire, or a behavior, you can have a powerful ally in your fight to change, to achieve, or to control your life. An understanding of the why is especially helpful in working toward your goals.
In a recent newsletter article, I talked about setting goals that based on “shoulds” and why we are likely to fail when trying to attain those goals. (Because what we “should” do is always an externally imposed goal… which means we haven’t really bought into it.)
If you are trying to reach a goal because you “should”, then you are highly unlikely to ever accomplish it. On the other hand, if it is a goal that you want, deep down, then your success is pretty much assured.
So, how do you know if your goal is a “should” or a “deep down inside” one? That’s easy. Ask yourself “why?”. And when you answer it, ask again about your answer. And again. One more time, if you need to.
Somewhere about the 3rd or 4th answer, you will uncover your real reason for that goal. It will be one that you wouldn’t share with anyone, not even your closest friend. You may not like the answer, yourself. It likely won’t be one that you think shows your best aspects. That’s okay. It is true and that is the important thing here.
Knowing the real reason will reveal whether it is a “should” that will never happen or a core driver that will assure it happens.
Someone might have a goal of a higher-paying job. Working through the whys might reveal that everyone expects him to have a better paying job and that he is neglecting his potential if he doesn’t. As you might guess, this has a low probability of succeeding.
Another person has the same goal. Working through the whys reveals that he never got to go to college because he couldn’t afford it and he wants to put plenty of money aside so that his kids won’t have to face what he did. That has a high likelihood of succeeding, even though it will take lots of time.
Connecting with the real reason and letting it push you forward to success with your goal is a winning strategy. If you aren’t asking yourself why and finding your core reasons for your goals, let me just ask one question. Why?