Key Takeaway: don’t bother reading Top 5 blogs. They are all the same. Instead always ask yourself, “I’m doing all this so that what?"
Confession time: when I first started coaching I signed up for all the news and blogs I could gather on coaching, personal development, leadership, and team development. So far in 5 years it has netted me one interesting conversation and an untold number of blogs that start with “Top 5 Things You Can Do to Fix Your (self, life, relationship, money, brain, dog, etc.)” that have added 0 value to my life.
I find myself racing immediately past the preamble to the actual “Top 5". Without fail its always the same kinds of things: “meditate, sleep more, eat 0 sugar, delete whatever app you are using to read this article, etc."
Every single one of these bloggers seems to be missing the point. What they are offering you is a possible solution to your problem. Great. Now you have a list of 5 solutions. 5 solutions that guaranteed you will never use again after a month. They hold no larger purpose than being a set of functional tasks with a limited number of results. They are short term fixes for a problem.
If you want that…awesome. Knock yourself out. A problem/solution mindset however, doesn't often offer any way of creating meaning. It offers first a perspective that everything worth engaging with in life is a “problem to be solved”, and second a bunch of advice. Problems and solutions aren’t necessarily a “bad” way of viewing the world. But is that mindset one that gets you out of bed in the morning?
One of the core aspects of people is that we posses will. Our will is what motivates us to engage in activities, relationships, work, and so on. Will is what causes us to get out of the bed in the morning. But what makes my will rise?
A question to ask yourself is, “I am doing all this so that what?” Its more of a mantra than anything else - a way of remembering oneself. In sailing its a north star. In yoga its a drishti. In navigation its true north. "I am drinking my second cup of coffee so that what?" "I am going for a run right now so that what?" "I am writing this blog right now so that what?"
This question helps you to pause and take stock of the purposefulness of your actions in any moment. You'll notice pretty quickly how much of your life you spend on irrelevant automatic tasks.
“I am on Facebook now so that…I don’t have a great reason. Ok time to shut this shit down."
The hard part is remembering to ask yourself this question but you'll find the more you do it the more it helps you to break that pattern. This allows you to make another choice. It allows you to conserve energy for tasks that are have your will rise - that create a larger meaning and context for your life.
“I’m writing this blog right now so that…I can try to more clearly connect with an audience who wants to become more aware of their intentions, actions, and choices to become more conscious humans. I believe strongly those people can help make the world a more beautiful, fun, and meaningful place."
I can feel my will rise already. And from this will I source energy to create something more fun, beautiful, and meaningful.
So give it a try and let me know what you think.