Is Our Why Big Enough?
Posted: November 05, 2015
I’ve been doing a lot of remodeling lately up at the fitness center, to better utilize our space. When I’m working, I like to catch up on Dave Ramsey’s radio show on their iPhone app. That means I’ve been hearing a lot of good wisdom quotes lately.
One thing he said was similar to something I’ve heard many times before. It was so good that I had to write it down: “Your ‘what’ never works unless your ‘why’ is big enough.”
I’ve often used the line myself too, especially with our Biggest Losers, but I’d never heard it said quite this way before. “Your ‘what’ never works unless your ‘why’ is big enough.”
What I like is that it explains why some people struggle with getting traction with things like weight loss, or in the case of Dave’s audience, paying off debt. It can apply to self-destructive habits too, like over-eating, or even addictions.
You might recall that in my recent 8-part series on drug addiction, to a person, everyone agreed that until the person was ready, they couldn’t be helped. Anything else was probably not going to work.
It applies to getting things started too. It’s easy to put things off, especially if the task is daunting. But difficult doesn’t mean impossible. And once you start, you often gain some momentum just from starting.
I call this getting leverage on yourself. If I’d stopped to consider all the problems I was going to have with this remodel, I might not have started. Instead, I got some leverage. I put myself in a position where I had to deliver.
Like when I took a few hours and tore out some half walls and moved the entire cardio room to the back of the building, and our mat room to the front. There were some immediate benefits, but a lot of little ancillary issues to figure out. But I had no choice. I was committed.
This doesn’t work for everything, but it works a lot of the time. Like telling someone you’ve started a weight loss program. Now you’re accountable. Or actually showing up to volunteer somewhere, after you’ve spent months or years thinking about it. Now you’re taking action.
Noted achievement guru Anthony Robbins used to talk about “changing your state.” The idea was to gain leverage and momentum by imagining all the worst possible consequences of NOT taking action.
For example, if you don’t start eating right and exercising, here’s the cost of not acting: You’ll continue to gain weight. You’ll develop knee and back pain, and high blood pressure. Your health will steadily get worse. If you continue this way, you’ll develop heart disease and type II diabetes. You’ll end up in the hospital and your loved ones will be sad. You won’t get to play with your kids (or grandkids). They’ll really miss you when you’re gone.
Get the idea? What will happen if you don’t do it? The fear of inaction, or continuing in this unhealthy direction must be greater than the cost for action. The price for NOT changing has to be higher than what it costs you to make the changes.
Unfortunately, some people are already living with the consequences of their actions (or inactions) with drugs. Or they’re living with someone else’s. And that comes with a terrible cost. I’ve written about some who are paying it.
But we can take action now, and maybe avoid a more devastating cost. Like the cost of NOT getting a drug dog for our community: Interdiction will be harder. More people will escape detection. More people will be provided drugs like meth, prescription drugs, and heroin. More lives will be lost. More families will be devastated.
Get the picture? So what are we going to do about it? Are we going to help them get a dog, or what? I’ve been told it’s a $10,000 problem. I’m willing to be at least 1/100th of the solution. One hundred bucks. Are you? Think of who we might be saving.
But we can’t do something like this half-way. It’s all or nothing. You can’t use 50% of a drug dog on a vehicle stop. So are you with me? Is our “why” big enough?
If it is, let’s establish a drug dog fund together and give local law enforcement another tool that they need. Why not?