To Succeed You Need To Have A Strong “Why” – What is Your Why?

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when it’s convenient. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; only results.”
– Kenneth Blanchard

Yesterday I was going to blow off going to the pool, and getting my workout in. It was cold outside and I really didn’t feel like going but what saved me was my strong “why” for going.

I knew from past experience that willpower alone wasn’t going to be enough to get me to the pool that day.

Using willpower requires a great deal of effort and energy because when you are not fully committed to something there is a constant internal conflict going on inside of you. You are pushing yourself to do something that you know is good for you, but when your heart really isn’t in it you’ll probably end up failing more times than not.

“Why” is your reason for doing what you are attempting to do. Ask yourself “why” is it so important to make it to the pool or gym and get your workout in? Why is it so important to lose weight and eat healthy foods?

Maybe it’s because you:

    • love your family and you want to maximize the time you can spend with them on this planet.
    • want to have enough energy to play with your grandkids, and be around for their graduation.
    • would like to walk up a flight of stairs without being winded and feeling like you are going to have a heart attack.
    • are trying to avoid going to a nursing home.

Instead of relying on willpower to force ourselves to do something, we use our “why” as the driving force – the reason to do something so we can reap the benefits.

Ask yourself if your self-destructive lifestyle is more important than your family? Isn’t it more important to be healthy so you can spend more time with them? Answering these questions honestly can give you all of the ‘why” that you need.

Why do you continue to do what you do? … because you forget about your “why.”

When you know your “why,” you won’t be tempted to skip your gym workout, eat that big bag of BBQ chips, drink another beer or give up on your new business venture. You’ll stay on track, show up and do the work because you know exactly what the payoff will be and you want that payoff badly.

Bottom line, if you don’t have a strong “why” and only rely on willpower, chances are you will end up getting what you have always gotten.

Create some new good habits for yourself

It takes willpower and a strong ‘why” to create a new habit at first, but once the habit is firmly in place, you no longer have to use willpower. For instance, I made it a habit not to eat dessert to lose weight. Now that it’s a habit, I automatically say no to dessert and don’t struggle with the decision.

Retirement becomes so much simpler when we already know what to do without thinking about it. The daily decision about whether to go top the gym or sit on the couch and watch Netflix is eliminated, which helps us avoid stress.

I’m happy to say that I made it to the pool that day. It’s the showing up part that’s hard for me but I have a strong enough “why” to get me there.

So what’s your why for doing what you do?

Note: this article originally appeared February 13, 2020 and is republished with permission of the author.

About the author: Michael Drak is a thirty-eight-year veteran of the financial-services industry. He started his own Victory Lap in 2014 and is busy helping others transition into their own personal versions. In addition to mentoring others, he gives speeches and seminars to groups across the country and cultivates and maintains the Victory Lap community at www.victorylapretirement.com.

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