Most people come to me and they want to know how to do something.
How to build an online business.
How to find the career of their dreams.
How to make more money.
How to lose weight.
How to meet the man of their dreams.
How to quit drinking.
How to eat healthier.
They think the how is the secret to getting what they want.
But that’s not it at all, my friend. Not even close.
The how changes all the time.
Technology shifts, things change. Some things that work for one person don’t work for another person.
It’s not about the how.
It’s about the WHY.
When you have a strong and compelling why, you’re committed to getting the result you want no matter what.
You have grit, focus, commitment, and most importantly… you’re willing to do hard things, including failure and experiencing a ton of negative emotion.
In this episode, I explain what a compelling why is and how to make sure you have one so you can achieve your impossible goal this year.
Here are my favorite resources to go with this podcast:
- Why Do You Skip Dessert? (blog post)
- How To Set Goals (podcast)
- Dream Year: How To Accomplish Your #1 Goal This Year And Feel Good Doing It (book + workbook)
- Goal Setting Blog Posts (all blog posts for goal setting)
- Personal Development Free Course (free training)
- Personal Development For Her (course)
- Grow You (coaching)
Full Episode Transcript
Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast where it’s all about designing your life on your terms and now your host, Natalie Bacon.
Hello my friend. I’m so happy to be with you this morning or this afternoon or this evening whenever you are listening. I feel so connected to you and I love that. I love technology in this year. We are so lucky to have it. I want to hear from you. How was your year starting off, what big goals do you have for this upcoming year? I’m serious. I would love to read your email. If you want to email me at [email protected] and just let me know how things are going. What are your intentions for this year? What is your one big goal? I think that if you’re really clear about what you want and you really understand why you want it, you will create it. It’s a beautiful thing and that’s what I want to talk with you about today.
Before I talk about why and multiple whys, I want to just mention to you that it’s really important for you to be considering all the input that you’re putting into your brain. So a few years ago I made the decision to stop listening to the news and despite what some people think in my life, you know, whether it’s family or whether it’s, you know, my circle of lawyers or anything like that, I don’t really care cause I’m really clear about why I don’t really listen to the news.
Now I do sometimes kind of want to be informed about what’s going on and I’m a voter and so I take some time to learn what I need to learn and then that’s it. And honestly, even after that I feel like I need to wash my brain of all of the things that were just inputted. So your brain loves scanning for what’s dangerous and harmful. This is why the media will always frame things in like a fear based way, right? It actually sells more and it’s not really the media’s fault, they’re just responding to the market. They’re, you know, if this headline is going to be what sells more magazines, they’re going to use that headline. They don’t have this like altruistic purpose where they’re going to put the headline and not entice you to buy, but just keep in mind that your brain really, really loves to scan for what’s dangerous and harmful because it’s a survival brain, it’s evolved this way and it just wants to keep you alive.
So it’s constantly looking for the negative and I have to remind members in Grow You of this, nothing is wrong with you. This is just the human brain. You actually have to proactively change your wiring and really kind of focus on the positive and try to, you know, stop complaining or stop having all the negative input from the media. Like it’s an effort. I make that effort. I limit when I listen to the news and how much negative input I choose to listen to and not even includes who I follow on social media just because even if it’s kind of funny and sarcastic, I did a while ago stop following like meme accounts because I just didn’t even want that to be another source of negative input and I didn’t want it to get in my way of the future I wanted to create.
So whatever you are constantly inputting in your brain is what your brain is going to magnify and focus on and it’s what it’s going to grow. It’s funny, actually, just yesterday I was in an Uber and my Uber driver was talking with me about human trafficking and the plight of the world and I got out of that Uber and I was like, oh my gosh, I need to go like wash my brain out. Now this doesn’t mean that you don’t want to be informed and you don’t want to make a difference and really be involved in the community, but that’s not what was happening. It’s not like this person was, you know, actively doing anything about it. It was just a way to connect with someone in a negative way.
So I just see this for you to be mindful of it and choose intentionally what you are inputting in your brain, especially with respect to media. Of course, you know, if you get in an Uber and they’re talking with you, you’re not going to say, okay stop, I don’t want to hear this, it’s negative, right? I just talked with him. But it’s really a reminder that you do have a lot of control when it comes to the media that you choose to read, listen to, all of it.
And that kind of relates to what I want to talk with you about today, which is having multiple whys and I’ll explain how it relates as as the episode goes on. But I hear so many people coming to me and they want to know how? Right? You want to know how to lose the weight, how to meet the guy, how to make the money, and you think that you just need to learn more of the how.
So for sure. If you knew how to do it, you would do it right. So I know how to make six figures. I know how to run an online business. I know how to manage a team and I’m doing it right. But there was a time not that long ago where I didn’t know how. Okay, and how did I learn how to do it? Sure. I took courses and I took programs and I did other things like going to conferences or live events. I did all those things. But there are other people who also did all of those things and probably more things than I did that passive learning.
So why do I have the results and they don’t or put differently, why do some people achieve their goals while other people don’t? So as you think about this year, and you think about your impossible goal and what you really want most for your life and your future, even beyond this year, I want to inform you. I want to let you know that the difference isn’t in the how. It’s in the why. You need to have a really, really strong and compelling why for why you’re doing what you’re doing and not just one way but multiple whys. So it’s not that you need to know more of the how. You just have to get a stronger why. You just need to be all in. So how bad do you want it? How bad do you want to lose the weight? How bad do you want to work less and fewer hours and make more money? How bad do you want to meet the man of your dreams? How bad do you want to pay off your debt or work for yourself? Whatever it is that you want, that impossible goal, how bad do you want it and why do you want it? You need to feel it.
That’s like where that grit comes in. That’s where that passion comes in. That’s where that oomph comes in. And what I see most is that people don’t want it bad enough. They kind of think that it’s impossible for them. So there’s this like low grade disappointment combined with this like fantasy dreaming or you know, it would be nice if, but when you’re really setting a goal, I don’t want you to focus on like getting excited and motivated about it. I want you to feel it kind of in your gut as to why you want it.
So most of the time what happens, and this is kind of why new year’s resolutions typically, you know, drop off by end of January, February or March, is that we set this goal and we’re really excited about it. And you know, if you’re listening to this podcast, maybe you even think that really it is possible for you. But then life sort of happens and circumstances happen and your own actions happened and you get, you know, you, you miss the mark or you fail and then you stop remembering why you want it. You don’t have that compelling why. So then you look to your current reality and find evidence for why it’s not true. You get stuck in the bad news of the day, whether it’s the news of the day in your life or literally the bad news of the day on the news and your brain will just look for evidence of the negative, right? So your brain is always trying to keep you alive. It’s a survival brain, right? That’s the flight or fight. It’s always seeking pleasure, avoiding pain, and wanting to be really efficient, right? And that’s really great. It got us to this time in our evolution, but now that we are in air conditioning houses and we are worried about money and quitting our jobs and losing the weight, that type of primitive brain isn’t going to get you to where you want to go. You have to use your prefrontal cortex and really plan and be future focused if you want to get whatever it is you want. And part of that means you have to be so certain and why it is you want what you want.
So what I want you to do is I want you to practice wanting it. This sounds so funny because people will really think that if they just knew that how they would get the results, but I am a course creator. I am a coach and I have very different results for all of my students. Some students are rock stars and some students aren’t, and this is especially true when someone emails us on my team about getting into the program and they’re, they’re really on the fence and they want to know all of the, the stuff inside. They want to know how it’s set up and they want to know, you know, what the success rate is and they want to know what the features are and it’s, it’s riddled in fear.
And I always say to my team to reply to these emails, hey, this might not be a good fit for you because who I want to help and who I know I can help most are the people who have a strong why ahead of time. They’re committed. They’re all in. What I’ve found as a business owner is the more you charge, the easier the clients. So it’s like when I paid thousands of dollars for my one to one coach, I didn’t ask her any of that. I didn’t need to know how it was set up. I didn’t need to know you know, the details of any of it, like literally any of it. I knew her, I knew she was one of the best coaches in the world. I was all in. I said, here’s my money, let’s go.
That’s who I want to work with. And I want to encourage you to develop that as a skillset so that you make really good decisions, but they’re based on the why, they’re not based so much on the how. Because sometimes the how changes or technology changes or you fail and you thought it was going to be one way, but it ends up being a completely different way and that’s totally fine because if you have a compelling why, if you know why you’re doing what you’re doing and you really, really want it, you can withstand all of those changes and the failures and the obstacles and the changes in the how doesn’t matter. You figure it out. You kind of fail forward.
So when I think about my story and I think about my career path and I think about getting up at 4:00 AM and working 60 70 80 hours per week, right? Worked on my business before work, then worked at my job and then you worked on my business more and I gave up a summer and a year really of of friends and dating and my social life and I quit the gym and I wasn’t cooking. I never felt burned out. You can be really, really inspired and energized and work 80 hours a week. It’s not your circumstances that cause your feelings, your thoughts cause your feelings. Always. I knew for me what my why was. I knew that I wanted to do this full time. I knew that it was for a season. I was willing to get off balance externally while still being balanced internally. I had a really, really strong why. I was inspired, I was committed, I was motivated. I was determined. Notice this about yourself and notice if you want what you want bad enough.
And something I learned from Dean Graszosi. He is a real estate guru and kind of a direct response marketer I follow. I really like, he’s talked a lot about seven layers of why, and he talks about this in his book and podcasts and I’ve heard it so many times from him, so you can look it up if you want, but he talks about where he hired a coach and the coach had him do this exercise of seven levels of why he wanted what he wanted.
Because it’s kind of like saying, I want to make $1 million, and then you say, why do you want to make $1 million? And the first answer is going to be very rational, right? It’s like to be an example to the world of what is possible or to have a better life for my family or whatever it is, it’s going to be very much in your head and then you do the next question and you say, okay, why do you want that? Why do you want whatever it is that you said was the first answer. And you do that seven times and answers one to three will be very rational answers. Four to five will be a little bit deeper, right? So the example might be so my kids don’t have to experience what I went through. See how that’s like a little bit deeper? You kind of feel it in your heart a little bit more. And then at six to seven layers deep, you get to the, the real why, the compelling why. Maybe it’s because you want to be in control of your life because you think that your parents did a bad job. But whatever it is, it won’t be in your head as the why that you think it is.
So I really encourage you to do this exercise and figure out why it is you want what you want and write this down because it’s more important than the how. It’s more important even than the what. Having a strong why is what will get you through the hard times. And it’s really, really important. So when I coach a lot in Grow You, I see that people are really, really excited to create their future thinking that they’re going to be excited and motivated and wake up really happy to work on their goals. That’s kind of like what they’re envisioning and what they think they should feel like and create. And what I kind of help them do is plan for when they’re not happy, when something goes wrong, when it’s really challenging to stick to their plan. That’s when you need a plan. It’s really easy to work on your goals when you’re quote unquote in the mood.
What I want you to do is anticipate not being in the mood and then have a plan for it. And the best way that I know how to do that is to kind of get your mind right and have multiple whys. So you have to figure out why you want whatever it is you want. That’s kind of like your main why. The big overarching why can be anything. It just needs to be compelling to you. It doesn’t need to be, you know, to save the planet and the children. It can be just something that’s compelling to you. You want to live a long time for your children. You want to be an example of what’s possible. Whatever it is, your why for whatever it is you want. You really need to be clear on and just have that one strong why. Then I want you to come up with a list of whys for what I call, why you’ll skip dessert. So that basically means you need to have multiple whys for when it’s hard, right?
So it’s really great to have this one big why, this purpose, this vision that’s inspirational to you. But is that really going to be compelling when Saturday rolls around and you said to yourself earlier in the week that you’d work on your business, is that why going to do it? Or when everyone at the table that you’re out to eat with is eating the french fries? Is that why going to do it? So I want you to anticipate the obstacles and I want you to have a strategy for them. And I want you to have a clear why.
So when Thursday rolls around and you’re supposed to go to the gym after work, but the girls in the office invite you to go to happy hour and grab a bite to eat. What’s your why for saying no. Or you’re at the wedding on Saturday and everyone is eating cake, what’s your why for saying no. Or you know, you’ve been on this food plan and you’ve been following it, but you haven’t lost more weight. Why are you going to stay committed? Or you’ve gone on 35 dates in the last, you know, three months and your single friends keeps sending you memes about dating and how dating is the worst and you really want to just give up. What’s your why for continuing to keep going. Or You have a relationship and after five years, what’s your why for processing that emotional pain and getting back out there and dating again?
I just want you to plan for things to go terribly wrong, for things to fall apart and for you to miss the mark and for you to fail. So when you’re full of doubt, what is that why for you? Plan for it ahead of time so it doesn’t have to be, you know, super altruistic. I just want it to be compelling to you.
For me, a lot of times I like to think about my why as being my highest self. I really think that for me, I want to be an example of being a human being. And that doesn’t mean that I don’t fail and that doesn’t mean that I try to be perfect. I’m just always trying to kind of do my best and I want to be my highest self. So you know, when I quit drinking, the reason that I did that was because my future self and my future self letters always said I was a non drinker. So that why was compelling enough for me to just stop kind of cold turkey. I just don’t, I just prefer not to drink now.
Whenever I think about my goals or my decisions, I go back to the why. Even getting a puppy, right? For whatever reason in my future self, I have two dogs. Like, I want that in my life and it was really hard for me to do. So it’s not something that necessarily felt good. I’ve never had a puppy before. It would have been a lot easier to kind of just push it off and never do it or not do it right now. But I decided to do it anyway.
I remember when my dad was really sick of the end of his life. I went back and forth to Cleveland to the Cleveland Clinic three different times and stayed for several days at a time and it took about three weeks of the month of October and it was a lot. Right. And there was the attending in the hospital, one of the attendings would come by and he would say, you are here as if you live around the corner like and you live in Chicago. It’s unbelievable. He’s like, we can’t even get people who do live around the corner to come. And I in that moment just realize like my why for doing it. I want to be the type of daughter who does that. My future self wants to look back and have no regrets and be the best kind of version of a daughter that I want to be. And for me that meant coming to the hospital and being there while he’s dying.
Now that might be different for you. Whatever you want and whatever decisions you want to make, you just need to like your reason. That’s why I say that over and over. You can do whatever you want, just like your reason. Right? I love my reason for visiting my dad. I love my reason for quitting drinking and getting the puppy and ending relationships that I’ve ended. I loved those reasons. So when you’re really clear about your reason and your why, you can come back to that and hold onto it and it will keep you going through the really, really hard times, especially when it pertains to your goals. So when you’re not losing the weight, when you’ve gained weight and you’re supposed to be losing it for your goal, when you’re not making any money, what’s your why? What’s your why for figuring out Facebook ads or how to sell more? Like on an entire holiday weekend from Saturday, Sunday, and Monday instead of going and visiting your family, you have to know that. And people will say to you, oh, well, you’re off balance. You’re, you know, just be really careful about listening to people who don’t have the results that you want. So it’s just something I don’t really advise because they’re just making decisions based on what they want for their life and look at their life. And if that’s not what you want, be really careful about what they’re advising. I always say I want you to be internally balanced, but forget externally balanced, especially when you want to achieve something super amazing and impossible.
One more point that I want to make and it’s a really important one, is a really bad why. So you can have any why that you want or multiple whys that are really compelling to you. It’s no one else’s business what the why as it doesn’t matter as long as it’s compelling to you. If you feel it in your gut. And it’s what keeps you getting up at 4:00 AM and doing the work on a Saturday, whatever that why is that keeps you going. It needs to be really compelling for you. When you’ve tried everything and it’s not working and you realize you’re going to have to do it completely differently, as long as the why is compelling to you that’s all that matters. Except for if the why is comfort.
If your why is comfort, it’s not going to work and what I mean is any sort of material thing that adds pleasure externally. So we call this a false pleasure in coaching. Things like a vacation or a bigger house or more clothes or a nicer car or working fewer hours. If that is your why, you’re never going to work as hard as you have to work or be willing to experience the emotional discomfort of achieving your impossible goal.
And I actually see this a lot. It’s not just like a hypothetical, so I really want to spend some time on it. Just think about it. If you want to build an online business and your main why is to work less or fewer hours and live in a really big house and buy all the things and basically just seek external false pleasures to feel better, you will not be willing to work as hard and to experience the failures and the discomfort that it takes. You will not give up your entire summer to make this happen. You will not get up at 4:00 AM, you will go out to lunch, you’ll do the travel, you’ll do the vacations, you’ll make excuses and you will always see that regardless of what you tell yourself, you’ll see it in your results because the results don’t lie.
The same is true for weight loss or for dating or for paying off debt. Whatever it is. You can have a compelling why and you know it cause you’ll feel it in your heart. But if your why is comfort, people say, oh I, I want to work less or have the freedom and flexibility, right? They kind of look at my life and it’s like glamorized a little bit or anyone who kind of does what I do. The truth is this was built on so much discomfort. I am just really willing to experience that discomfort.
I quit being a lawyer that was not easy. I quit my career as a certified financial planner. I would get up at 4:00 AM. I gave up my last year in Columbus, Ohio that I could have spent enjoying it so much more with friends and that summer, so many invitations that I said no to. I would go to that coworking space on a Saturday and no one was there. There’d be like two people there and I would work all day. I was so in it. I knew it was going to happen and I knew it was for a season. Now would I want to do that forever? No way. But whatever that impossible goal is, it’s like zero to one is the hardest and then from there it’s kind of like that curve up. It gets easier.
So from six figures to multiple six figures, it was hard, but it was like a different kind of hard from multiple six figures to seven figures. It’s going to be harder still, but a different kind of hard. The zero to one is the hardest for whatever it is. It’s losing the first few pounds. It’s starting the relationship. It’s starting to see sales come in. That’s the hardest part and it takes so much failure and so many obstacles. It doesn’t take the how like you don’t need more of the how, right.
I always tell people, okay, join Online Business For Her. It tells you everything you need to do and then come back to me in like a year as you’re implementing and then let’s go, like tell me what’s working, what’s not working, what you’re trying next. I can tell by someone’s energy what their commitment level is when they’re looking at their past and when they’re looking at their failures and they’re saying, this isn’t gonna work for me, the market’s too saturated, I can’t do this. They are not tied to their why. i always laugh. I always like to say, get rich or die trying. It’s a 50 cent quote. You know me, I love my gangster rap, but I’m serious. There’s no doubt. I was like, oh yeah, I was just like, I’m rich. I’m going to make seven figures. I’m making seven figures. I never doubted my success because I didn’t care what it took because I was always all in.
I’ve shedded so many identities. I’m almost like used to it. Right? Even when I was nervous about getting Penny, my puppy, I noticed how uncomfortable I felt. I’ve never been a dog mom, and then I had all these thoughts about how mothers of children must feel when they’re having their first child. It was like, oh my gosh, how does anyone do this? Right? But then I would stop myself. That was my primitive brain freaking out and I would say, okay, wait a minute. I talked to myself from my prefrontal cortex and I’d say, no, no, no. Nothing’s gone wrong. This is the way of it. I’m supposed to feel nervous. This is something new. My brain doesn’t know what to do and it thinks that I’m going to die. Your brain freaks out. Just wants you to repeat more of the past because it knows that you’ll stay alive. And what I want to encourage you to do is to bring some awareness to what you’re thinking and what you’re feeling and what you’re making all of those failures and obstacles mean, and instead of making them mean that something has gone wrong and that you’re on the wrong path and that you should slow down or stop. I want you to make it mean that it’s time to double down and go all in and be committed and be really clear about why you’re doing what you’re doing so that you keep going.
This year, I want you to fill your mind with positivity, with inspiring and motivational content that will help you hold tight to your why. Whether it’s the podcast, the books, the courses, the coaching programs, the live events, all of it, whatever is going to help you remember why it is you want what you want is going to help you take your life to the next level and achieve that impossible goal. I want you to be a leader of your life and know why you’re doing what you’re doing.
All right, my friend. I love you. I will talk with you next week.
Hey, if you liked this podcast you really should check out Grow You, my life coaching program I coach you on everything I teach on the podcast so that you can uplevel your life. We 10x it so you get the results you want most. Just like a monthly gym membership to get your body in shape, this is a monthly personal development membership to get your mind in shape. It is an investment in your future self will thank you for. Check it out at nataliebacon.com/coaching. That’s nataliebacon.com/coaching. I will see you there.