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Find A Why Not – Episode 1

Find A Why Not – Episode 1

More people than we probably realize fall into one of two camps:

  1. Those who have  no idea what one of their Why Nots might be, and
  2. Those who have so many Why Nots that they make no headway on any of them.

To start, let’s try three little tips for finding your Why Not.

Let go of the idea that there is One Grand Why Not.

I spent years searching for the One Big Thing that I was supposed to do with my life. It was only when I opened up to the idea that there may not be just one Earth-Screeching-To-A-Halt thing, but several smaller (yet no less important) Why Nots instead, that things began falling into place for me.

Take a good, hard look at your interests.

What subjects/topics/ideas mentally attract you? What makes you light up when you discuss it with others? Following this path could lead you to a Why Not.

Less thinking, more doing.

If you’re anything like me, you think about so many varied interests that you sometimes mire yourself down in the Thinking and don’t Do the Doing. If this is the case, try focusing on just one Why Not for roughly a week. Begin researching and pursuing it; if you find that it’s just not for you… well, that’s why we have to accept the first point above!

Ask Away

Ask Away

Regardless of what your Why Not is, it’s fairly likely that part of achieving it will mean gathering information. Researching, learning, talking with other people who share similar interests… in short, filling up your brain. Personally, I’ve found that filling my brain with information that relates to one of my Why Nots also feeds my motivation to achieve that Why Not.

So, let’s help each other Pick The Brains of Others!

I have a list of people who have achieved some of their Why Nots and a list of interview questions to ask them. Everyone I’ve asked has happily agreed to participate in this little adventure.

But that list is limited to my tiny circle of acquaintances.

Who would you like me to interview?

You’ll find a submission form below; simply input your name, email address, the name of the person you’d like to have me interview, and any contact info you may have for that person. If you don’t have any contact information for that person, just leave me a link to their website or Twitter handle or Facebook page… whatever you may have that can help me get in touch with them would be fantastic.

 

You Already Have What You Need

You Already Have What You Need

(For those who would rather watch the video than read the post, here you go:)

You might already know what your Why Not is, and you might not. If you do, that’s fantastic! If you don’t, do not fret. We’ll get there.

Before delving into the million different ways you can find your Why Not or how to tackle getting there, we need to grasp one belief.

That’s right. One.

Personally, I think the only thing you truly need in order to achieve your Why Nots is to believe one thing.

You already have inside you everything you need to achieve your Why Nots.

Why do I think this is the single most important concept to grasp before going any further with figuring out this whole Why Not thing?

Because one of the easiest things to do is to talk yourself out of your Why Not.

  • I’m too old.
  • I don’t have time.
  • I don’t deserve it.
  • I can’t afford it.
  • I’m not smart enough.

I know that you know what I mean. There are as many excuses not to pursue a Why Not as there are Why Nots themselves. I honestly believe that every single one of those excuses stems from fear in some form. We fear that we are too old to go back to school to pursue the degree we so desire. We fear that we’ll make our lives even more chaotic by adding the class we want to take to further our understanding of our Why Not. We fear that we’ll fail because, at some point in our lives, we’ve failed others, so we don’t deserve our Why Not. We fear that pursuing our Why Not will take time away from the job that provides our income.

We fear that we don’t “have what it takes” to win this thing.

That was my roadblock; I simply felt that I didn’t have whatever is it that people who achieve their goals have. I saw those people as just that… “Those People.” Golden, brilliant, lucky people. And I wasn’t one of them.

Guess what?

That’s a load of crap. People who achieve their goals are simply People, just like everyone else. They succeed sometimes, they fail sometimes. The only difference I can see now is that they believe they have what they need to accomplish their goals.

When you have a minute, go listen to the Radiolab Short entitled, “Goo and You.” It’s about caterpillars and butterflies. Yes, it applies here. The last line literally left me a bit breathless.

If you don’t want to listen to the whole thing, just skip to the 11:10 mark. Let me catch you up to that point: Researchers have studied caterpillars and butterflies for hundreds of years, and no one understood how they transformed from a caterpillar to a butterfly. In the chrysalis, there’s just… goo. No order, no sense, no structure. Just goo. How on earth did a butterfly come from that?

Not long ago, a researcher discovered that the “butterfly structures” (wings, antennae, etc.) were already inside of the caterpillar before it even began to pupate.

It already had inside it everything it needed to facilitate change.

At the 13:10 mark, Molly Webster utters the line that physically knocked the wind out of me:

“… what of my future self is in me right now?”,

I think that’s really all you need to get this thing done — to believe that inside of you, right now, dwells everything you need to achieve your Why Nots.

You might need to learn more, pursue a formal education, seek out people with similar interests, allocate extra time to this pursuit, face and fight your fears, and on and on. I won’t deny any of that at all.

But you wouldn’t be reading this if at least some of the characteristics you need in order to achieve your Why Nots weren’t already inside of you:

  • Desire
  • Drive
  • Passion
  • Curiosity

What of your Future Self is in you right now?

What’s Your Why Not – The Beginning

What’s Your Why Not – The Beginning

I’ve been struggling with something for the past several weeks, and I finally really pinned down what it is.

Many of us are looking for the perfect planner, the perfect system, wonderful organization… and all of those things are fantastic. If you’re a “planner person” and your system or setup is “failing,” then obviously something needs to change.

But what if you’re having a hard time pinpointing what needs to change?

Many of us then fall into the seemingly endless rabbit hole of changing systems. Changing inserts. Switching binders. And, all the while, that unsettled feeling follows us into every new setup we attempt to bend to our will.

And if you’re a “planner person,” this can make you crazy, because you somehow feel that you are failing.

I’m here to tell you that you aren’t failing, you just aren’t thinking big enough.

Not long ago, I went through this very process. When things feel off-kilter or chaotic, I turn to paper to set things right; but, this time, paper wasn’t solving anything. In fact, it was making everything worse.

And then I realized what the underlying issue really was.

I didn’t know my Why Not.

Why do you plan? Is it so you can keep your family’s schedule straight in your head? Do you plan so you don’t lose tasks as the days go by? Do you keep a calendar so you don’t miss appointments or bill due dates?

These are all wonderful reasons to maintain some sort of planner, regardless of what system or format it is.
But don’t you want more? What about all of those things in your life that you feel drawn to, intrigued by, and interested in? What about the things you feel would give you a bigger purpose?
You know what ‘things’ I’m talking about… the things that, when brought up either in your head or in conversation with others, often receive a response of, “Why?
To that, I say, “Why Not?
My whole issue was a massive brain block about where my life was going. We have a lot of kids and extremely chaotic work schedules to deal with every day; just keeping track of everyone else’s stuff was enough to fill my planner with little room to spare.
But what about my Why Not?

I need goals and projects that reach much further than how I’m going to drive everyone where they need to be this weekend. I need to act on my desire to accomplish my goals just as much as I need to make sure I don’t miss anyone’s appointments.

Finding my Why Not opened my eyes to the bigger picture. I love my husband and our family with unfettered devotion, but if I don’t make the effort to push myself forward and chase down the things I want for myself, I’m not much use to anyone else outside of being the maid and the chauffeur. And I am so much more than that. Once I figured out one Why Not, everything fell into place.

So we’re going to embark on a little journey; to be honest, I don’t even know how long of a journey it will be. What I do know is that, whether you’re a “planning person” or not, finding your Why Not is imperative to making things work in your favor. If you are a planner person and you feel that your system or setup hates you right now, please listen to this and take it to heart:

No system in the world is going to work for you until you have things right in your own mind.

That might sound like a harsh truth to a planner lover, but it is Truth nonetheless. Planning anything without having some kind of defined Why (or Why Not) is pointless; you may not lose tasks or miss deadlines, but that unsettled feeling will follow you regardless of how well-curated your lists may be.
I have no idea where this will lead, but one of my big Why Nots is simply to find out exactly that.
Here’s where I’m heading:
  • How do you figure out what your Why Not is?
  • If you already know what your Why Not is, why aren’t you pursuing it?
  • How do you stay motivated to chase your Why Not?
  • How do you make time for your Why Not?
  • How have other people achieved their Why Nots?
And hopefully a lot more.
I am truly humbled and astounded by the fantastic reception that you all gave the Introduction to this series. I’m honestly scared to death to dive headlong into this pursuit because it is one of my biggest Why Nots… and Why Nots are often accompanied by fear. As this is my Year of Being Fearless, I’m charging ahead.
Let’s keep each other company along the way.