I want to write a book.
We need to renovate the house.
I want to get promoted.
I should exercise more.
I need to get out more.
We need a holiday.
Why does X even matter, and why do you care?
The Laundry List
These, and many more, are the common lists of things we “need” to do, or “should” be doing according to ourselves.
But as often as not:
- we don’t know why we want them; and
- we don’t have a plan to get them done.
The result is obvious enough: none of them ever happen, or if they do it’s through no fault of our own.
Asking yourself WHY any of these things actually matter to you is the starting point to achieving anything.
It’s not because you need to come up with the greatest reason in the world, but more to help you figure out whether it’s something you really want or not.
What’s that mean?
It means that when you look at it closely, a lot of the stuff you tell yourself you should be doing often doesn’t matter to you at all. In truth, it’s not something you’ve ever decided to care about. Instead, it’s something that somebody else has told you that you need to be caring about.
“I want to write a book”. Well, why? “Oh, it’s because Bob Smith on [Website Here] said that writing books is the best way to…”.
Now I’m not against taking advice, nor am I against being open to persuasion.
But at some point you need to internalise your own why rather than relying on the why of others.
The second problem here is that achievement doesn’t equal reason. “Writing books is the best way to…” – whatever comes after that sentence isn’t a “why”, it’s what you’re achieving.
And the next question is: why does that even matter? Why does achieving X matter, and why do you care?
Figure out why you want it. Two things might happen: you’ll realise you don’t want it, or you’ll be more likely to get it done.
Once you know why you’re more likely to get into the how, rather than staying stuck in the land of aspirations and desires.
The how is normally pretty simple:
- figure out what you need to do
- learn how to do it if you need to
- do it.
Usually any task of significance will require you to do this tiny process over and over and over again, every step of the way.
And it really is that simple.
But it starts with why.