Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why are you doing that?

Every thing we do, each and every day is for a reason. Unfortunately, most of us have no clue what those reasons are, except the classic reason, "because that's what I've always done".

We've all heard of the feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys - a story of two families that feuded for generations. But at the end, most of the individuals feuding had no idea why they were even fighting - except that it was what they always did. It took a conscious choice to put behind the habitual anger and loathesomeness of each other to change the course of history for those two feuding families.

So, rather than doing what you've always done, STOP! Think for yourself consciously, and ask the question, are my actions actually getting me closer to my dreams . . . or further? Am I acting consciously through my actions or am I just blindly following my subconscious influence?

What things are you doing today that you've always done, without even realizing why you are doing it anymore?

If you are a smoker, do you want to keep smoking? Then why do you?

If you are overweight or have high cholesterol, why do you keep eating the way you have always eaten?

Goals drive what you do - whether they be to maintain the status quo, or to help you grow to become what and whom you've always dreamed of being. Everything you do, you do for a reason. If you want to grow and BE someone different than you are right now, then stop letting your subconscious decide your fate. And start questioning what you are doing, every minute of the day.

Think about why you are doing what you are doing and
then choose your path - rather than responding out of habit.

Stephen Covey, author of the breakthrough self-help book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, talks a lot about putting first things first - making sure you are doing what is important first, and then worrying about what's urgent, only after the important things are done. I like to take that one step further. I ask clients to look at what they are doing and why they are doing specific things, and not others.

To highlight the difference between important and urgent in how you are acting consciously or unconsciously, let me use an example - taking an afternoon nap. Is it important, urgent, both or neither? Well, honestly, it depends on why you are taking it.

1. It could be both urgent and important, if you are are very sick and need the rest in order to avoid a hospital visit. This is usually a conscious decision.
2. It could also be important and not urgent, if you feel yourself getting ill but don't want to get to the point where you are run down. This is the most conscious decision of all the decisions in this example - if you weren't thinking of tomorrow, you would definitely blow off the nap for more urgent matters.
3. It could be urgent and not important, if you are really tired and doing it to avoid doing other more important, less urgent tasks. Now, yYou are getting into subconscious influence over your actions. You are subconsciously being prompted to act on the nap now, because of fatigue. But is it fatigue or habit? That's what you have to ask yourself, and search for the real answer.
4. Finally, it could simply be that you want to avoid other more important things, without even being tired - using the nap simply as an escape, because you have always taken naps - or enjoy taking naps. You are consciously acting and choosing a nap - but less out of importance or even urgency, and more out of a subconscious desire to keep you from doing what's important .

It's not the nap that is the problem, it's why you are taking the nap that matters.

Truth, all too often, we end up doing the same things again and again, not because we decided to, but because we didn't decide not to.

So as you go about your day, stop and think, why am I doing what I'm doing? Why am I eating what I'm eating? Why am I working on what I'm working on and being whom I am currently being?

These questions aren't challenging what you are doing, but WHY you are doing it. They get you to go beyond the life you numbly live and challenge you to stop and act out of choice instead of habit.

1 comment:

  1. Are you talking to me again? Geesh, you could just email me! LOL

    I love your blog and it always seems so pertinent to what I am going through!