However, when it comes to taking action, 'Why' questions are killers. Why questions keep you stuck exploring the meaning of your choices, your actions, your relationships, your life... rather than getting out there taking action and living your life. If you are at the point where you are done with exploration and introspection, if you are at the point where you want and need change, then it is time to get down to shifting from Why to What.
To help get you unstuck and moving forward I have 3 key What questions you can use to help take you from here to there. Use these to help you to define and shape the action that is needed and your willingness to do what it takes to get there. Three basic questions to help you stop the 'why-ning' and shift into action.
1. What do I want?
A seemingly basic question, but an essential one. If you are going to take action then it's best to have a destination in mind lest you just wander aimlessly. If you want your actions to have purpose, then defining clearing and specifically what you want is the place to start.
2. What do I need to do to get there?
What are the steps that need to be taken? You can start out with broad steps but narrow them down. The more specific that you make them the more likely you are to take the steps. Eliminating ambiguity eliminates questions and hesitation. The more specific the steps the likely the smaller they will be also, which means the more likely you are to take them. Small steps are easy steps and any step taking you in a desired direction is a positive one, regardless of the size.
3. What am I prepared to do?
And... here's the kicker. Now that you know what you want and what it takes to get there... what are you willing to do? Just because we know what to do doesn't mean we are actually going to take those steps in which case, you need to know where your buttons are. Which are you willing to push and which aren't you? What dreams does this cost you and are you willing to let 'em go?
If you are experiencing any hesitation my best advice is to simply look at the first step and ask yourself if you are prepared to do it. If so, then do so. Now look at the second step and ask yourself if you are prepared to do it. Often our hesitation arises when we look at everything that needs doing, which may cause a sense of overwhelm to arise. Instead, simply look at each step you have defined in isolation and take that step. If you hit a step that seems too daunting then see if you can break it down further into smaller components.
- If you are missing a skill... what do I need to learn? From where? From whom?
- If you are missing some information... what do I need to know? Who knows it? How do I access?
Each missing piece simply becomes another step. Define it and add it in.
Take a step.
This may sound simplistic but this System of the 3 What's works. It focuses you forward rather than getting caught up in exploring the past. You can do something about your future, but only if you are willing to step up and step forward into it. Perhaps upon reflection there is one final 'What' question I have for you...
What are you waiting for?