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FOCUS on the WHAT, not the HOW

We all have a fundamental need for certainty. For some this is the predominant need that is the driver of all the decisions being made. For others it's there, but not as strong of a driving force compared to other needs such as significance and growth. Either way, we all make decisions based on this need to a greater or lesser degree.

The reason why it's important to know this is that, because of this need for certainty, we tend to put a lot of emphasis on the "How-To's" of life. We want to know exactly how something is going to get to get done. And so we create all these to-do lists; and before we know it our lives turn into this endless list of things to do that we're constantly stressed about because we know we can never do them all.

We can become some caught up in our to-do list that we lose sight of what we're actually doing all these things for and why they're so important to get done. And because we're not clear on the what and the why, our drive to do the things starts to drop off or we just continue to spin our wheels for no reason.

So my invitation for you (and the reminder for myself), is to start with the what and why before you get lost in the endless list of things you think you should be doing that may or may not actually get you any closer to where you say you want to go.

The what is the outcome or result you're after. When you really start to look at it, you'd be amazed at how many things we choose to engage in that have no clear connection to an outcome we're trying to achieve -- even if that outcome is as simple as consciously choosing to numb or escape or feel a sense of momentary pleasure (nothing inherently wrong with any of these).

And give yourself permission to dream as big as you can, knowing that the potential is always there even if you have no clue as to how it will happen

The why is the reason achieving that specific outcome is important to you. We all have our reasons; but if you're not clear on those reasons, there may not be any drive to take action on the things that are going to produce the result you want. Reasons bring the emotional charge that can either make you unstoppable or continue to dread the things you feel like you have to do.

Once you've gotten clear on the WHAT and the WHY -- the outcomes and the reasons they're important to you -- and you continue to put your FOCUS there, the HOW tends to take care of itself. And the best part is that you'll likely discover that you've either been wasting a lot of time and energy doing things that aren't really important and/or you can achieve the same results with only a fraction of the effort.

As the saying goes: 20 percent of the effort give you 80 percent of the results.

Like any other skill, this shift in focus takes practice and you may even come to find a newfound sense of certainty by believing in yourself to produce the result instead of getting wrapped up in action items that may not actually be getting you anywhere.

And through this simple shift in focus, you may also come to find that opportunities seem to come from all directions because you're not trapped in your ideas of how you think things are supposed to happen.

So next time you're presented with an opportunity, a goal you want to achieve, or a decision you need to make, instead of immediately going to the HOW, take a step back and ask yourself what the ultimate outcome is and juice it up with reasons it's important to you.

Trust me, this is something I'm still continuously working on. So we get to go on this journey together :)

With love,


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