“Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way.” ~ Les Brown

Got a bunch of wants that aren’t getting fulfilled in your life or with your Art? Want to know one of the biggest reasons why you have unfulfilled wants? It may be that all you have are lots of wants and no BIG WHYS.

I have conversations with my clients constantly about what they WANT for themselves and their lives. They want: a bigger audience for their work, more money, a studio of their own, to do x amount of shows a year, a more balanced life, to be more creative, meaning in their lives and Art, relationships that support their creativity, etc. WHOOOOOOHOOOOOOO … welcome to being human … it is part of the game to want.

It seems most of us know what we want and we want a lot.   Don’t worry, I am not going to go into some dialog about how wanting is wrong or bad and/or how we should want what we have, etc.  That might be a conversation for another blog, but for now let’s just roll with the experience of wanting  and not getting what we want fulfilled.  🙂 Wanting, like any human experience, is an opportunity for us to expand, evolve and grow so I do not think it is bad in and of itself.

However, just wanting things won’t have us obtain you what we want.   This is where the dilemma comes in. As a matter of a fact, if all we have are wants and they aren’t getting fulfilled then we may end up with nothing but jealousy, anger, bitterness, frustration and/or resignation about how the very thing or things we want seems to consistently elude you.  This path won’t serve us.

What I think is missing to obtain those things we want, right up front, is a BIG WHY for what we want! There are other things that need to happen on the other side of that WHY that will have us obtain our what we want … like massive action over time … but without the initial BIG WHY to start us out then the chances of us ever getting to the massive action above and beyond all the challenges is pretty slim.

Why do you want money? Why do you want a bigger audience? Why do you want a studio? Why do you want, want, want what you want?

“Why?” is the question that children frequently ask. It is an open question that comes from curiosity and is filled with surprises and wonder. It is a question that will let us go beyond our brain and into our heart or to your higher self for an answer. Now for those of you that were shut down early in life and were told to stop asking why … I understand, but I think it is now time bring WHY back into your life again.

One of my favorite WHY exercises is the 5 Why process. Sakichi Toyoda (yes, that is spelled correctly), the founder of Toyota Motors, formally developed it as a root-cause, problem solving method and it is now used as one of a set of tools within process improvement such as Kaizen and Six Sigma. It is brilliant and you can use it for anything you need to get to the root cause of.

I use it to get to the bottom of WHY we want things. My approach is that if we do not know our Why then the following formula kicks in: No Why = Insufficient Motivation = Insufficient Mind-set = Insufficient Actions = Insufficient Results. Show me someone who obtains the things he or she want and I will show you someone with a BIG OL’ WHY at the beginning of their process to get it!

The 5 WHY process is very simple. YOU start with a statement and then literally ask Why 5 times! The trick is to dig deep for each answer. Really explore it at each level you go through. Here is an example of how it works when trying to get down to the bottom of WHY you want something:

The starting point of the 5 Why process is a statement such as: I want to make more money off my Art.

  1. Why do I want to make more money off my Art?
    Because I am tired of being broke.
  2. Why am I tired of being broke?
    Because I want to be able accomplish more things in my life.
  3. Why do I want to be able to accomplish more things in my life?
    Because I think there are some important things to I need to accomplish.
  4. Why do I think there are some important things I need to accomplish?
    Because I think I was put here for a purpose.
  5. Why do I think I was put here for a purpose?
    Because I have my own unique message to give the world.

If I ask a 1000 people the same staring question my bet is that I will find close to 1000 different end results. I think it is pretty easy to see, in this example, that it is much more motivating to make more money so that you can give your unique message to the world than it is to just not be broke.   If I spend my days working inside of the context and intention of giving my message to the world I will be working with a whole different attitude that will give way to things like joy and determination vs. perhaps apathy and resignation.

You can always test this out by figuring out how long you have wanted whatever you wanted and seeing that no matter how much you wanted it that you are not really doing everything you can do and taking all the actions you can take to change it. Without a big enough WHY it is easy to just get comfortable in a state of on-going wanting.

You may find your BIG WHY in less than 5 Whys and it may take a few more to get you there. But usually within 5 Whys, if you have actually done the thinking work and been willing to dig deeper and deeper with each Why, you will be very close. You will know that you have gotten there when you feel yourself inspired or a real “ahhhh-haaaa” shows up or there are no more answers. In the end you have a BIG JUICY WHY to motivate you to do whatever it takes to obtain what you want.

As I mentioned earlier, please notice in the equation above (No Why = Insufficient Motivation = Insufficient Mind-set = Insufficient Actions = Insufficient Results) that the BIG Why is just a starting point to get the ball rolling. You will still need to use it as motivation, to adjust your mind-set and add massive actions (be willing to do whatever it takes). The good news is that you now have your BIG WHY to motivate you to take the next steps!

WARNING: When you start coming up with Big Whys you may actually be wildly motivated and start taking the actions to do whatever it takes to receive what you want. Look out!!! Prepare yourself that you may start getting things that you want. No fear though, you are a creator so I know that there are always new wants you can create. 🙂

So what are some of the things you want?

Please feel free to share your wants, any BIG WHYs you uncover and/or any thoughts or feedback you may have with me/us! Some of My BIG WHYs for writing my blog posts is to contribute something of value to you and to be able to hear from you and interact with you (which gives me real JOY).