Finding Your Why

“If I were to put a ten-inch-wide, thirty-foot-plank on the ground and say, “If you walk the length of the plank, I’ll give you twenty dollars” would you do it?  Of course, it’s an easy twenty bucks.  But what if I took that same plank and made a roof-top bridge between two 100-story buildings?  That same twenty dollars for walking the thirty-foot plank no longer looks desirable or even possible, does it?  You’d look at me and say, Not on your life.

However, if your child was on the opposite building, and the building was on fire, would you walk the length of the plank to save him/her?  Without question and immediately – you’d do it, twenty dollars or not.”

What changed?  The risks and dangers were the same – but your WHY changed.  The reason was big enough and you were willing to perform almost any HOW.”

– Darren Hardy, The Compound Effect

This is just one analogy out of many that are out there that focus on this concept – finding your “why”. I have found this to be a key factor in motivation for even more than fitness. It’s hard to stay engaged towards a task, activity, or job if you don’t have a good reason to. Finding a reason to do something that is deep, meaningful, and gets you excited is finding your “why”. This is the first thing that I ask back to people who ask for fitness/nutrition advice. What are your goals/what is your why? Good, specific advice is dependent on the answer to that question.

When finding your why, make sure that it is something that means a lot to you. For example, your goal might be as simple as “eat healthier food” but without a good “why” your goal won’t have a good foundation. If you add “because you want the workouts you’re doing (and secretly don’t like) to mean something” or “because you want to be a good example for your children”, you will have a much better shot at success!

I challenge you to add this component to everything you do. If you’re looking for fitness/nutrition motivation, you will find that it helps that as well.