What is your why?

the compound effect

I’m reading The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy and it is a phenomenal book for anyone who wants to understand how to change their lives in any way. I’m not just talking fitness and health, money, relationships, career, it can be applied to your life in any way you choose. Here is an excerpt that really stuck out to me:

“Forget about will power. It’s time for why power. Your choices are only meaningful when you connect them to your desires and dreams. The wisest and most motivating choices are the ones aligned with that which you identify as your purpose, your core self, and your highest values. You’ve got to want something, and know why you want it, or you’ll end up giving up too easily.

So what is your why? you’ve got to have a reason if you want to make significant improvements to your life. And to make you want to make the necessary changes, your why must be something that is fantastically motivating-to you. You’ve got to want to get up and go, go, go, go, go–for years! So, what is it that moves you the most? Identifying your why is critical. What motivates you is the ignition to your passion, the source for your enthusiasm, and the fuel of your persistence.
The power of your why is what gets you to stick through the grueling, mundane, and laborious. All of the hows will be meaningless until your whys are powerful enough. Until you’ve set your desire and motivation in place, you’ll abandon any new path you seek to better your life. If your why power, your desire, isn’t great enough, if the fortitude of your commitment isn’t powerful enough, you’ll end up like every other person who makes a New Year’s resolution and gives up too quickly and reverts to sleepwalking through poor choices.

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 plank, I’ll give you $20. Would you do it? Of course, it’s an easy twenty bucks. But what if I took that same plank and made a roof top bridge between two 100 story buildings? That same twenty dollars for walking the thirty foot plank no longer looks desirable or even possible, does it? you’d look at me and say “not on your life.”
However, if your child was on the opposite building, and that building was on fire, would you walk the length of the plank to save him? Without question and immediately, you’d do it, twenty dollars or not. Why is it that the first time I asked you to cross that sky high plank you said no way, yet the second time you wouldn’t hesitate? The risks and dangers are the same. What changed? Your why changed. Your reason for wanting to do it. you see, when the reason is big enough ,you will be willing to perform almost any how.”

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