Here’s an interesting exercise – play along with me…
Step One: I want you to ask you about your something you’d like to achieve in the next 12 months.
For the sake of an example we can probably all relate to – pick a money goal. What would you LOVE to bring in the next 12 months?
Write it down. Yes, actually do it – I’ll wait while you get a pen and paper.
Step Two: Now, underneath I want you to write the question ‘why’?
Why is that number the one that you picked? It might be the first number that sprang to mind, but there’s a reason why that number was lurking in your subconscious.
What specifically will that amount of money in your bank account bring you. List it out, line by line. You might find yourself writing ‘a new car’, ‘pay off my debts’, ‘take a training course’ etc.
Step Three: Now underneath that answer I want you to write the question ‘why’? again.
Why do you want the new car? To pay off your debts? Here, write the thing you wanted in Step Three and next to each one the reason why.
What will it bring you? Status? Respect? Security? Love? Freedom? What do you have it mean about you when you have that thing?
Step Four: Now underneath those answers I want you to write the question ‘why’ again. You might find it gets harder. That’s OK. Sit with it a moment and see what comes up.
List out the answers to the last ‘why’ and next to each write what these things will bring you.
(For me I used to feel that that THEN I could relax)
Now traditional thinking takes you down the route: “Well that’s great – now how can I most quickly and easily make the money at step one, so that I can get step two, so that I can get/have step three, so that I can get/have step 4?”
For years I spent so much time and energy focusing on the answer to that question.
My diary was filled with to-do’s, I implemented, I achieved step one, it fleetingly got me step two, which kind of got me a bit of step three, and hang on, where was step four?
I reached the financial goal and would you believe after all that time, energy, effort and missed hours with my kids – it didn’t cause step four. I was shocked and to be honest a little devastated. Maybe it was the wrong goal. Maybe it wasn’t a big enough goal.
I must have been doing it wrong.
So then I thought: perhaps a far more efficient use of my time was to shortcut.
What if I actually didn’t need all that money, and I could achieve step two without step one? In fact what if I could get step three without having to do step one or two?
Surely that’s true productivity?
And then then the huge understanding for me was realising that I already HAD step 4. The only reason I hadn’t realised I had step 4 was all my thinking about steps 1, 2 and 3 had been clouding the very fact that step 4 had been sitting there all along.
I already had it.
I mean, how simple could life be if that were true?