… why you want to change or create a mind-state or a behavior.
I call this your Powerhouse WHY. The single most important reason why you’ll stick with the change process.
This WHY needs to be deeply emotional for you in order to keep you “hooked in” throughout the habit formation process.
Sure – some habits will happen easily for you. But most behavior or state change isn’t overnight or easy. Making sure you know the deep reason why you’re on the path of change – will help you stay on it for as long as it matters.
The 5X WHY technique is super simple and super effective every time and in every situation, when you’re trying to get to or to test the emotional value of a self declared statement.
It basically gets you to ask WHY 5 times deep – hence the 5X WHY technique ;o)
* for the sake of this exercise, let’s use the example of you wanting to implement the new behavior of exercising daily.
On a blank page, write down the statement you want to emo-check (emotion-check).
For e.g. The reason I want to exercise daily is because I want to be healthier and have more energy through the day. (This is your first time asking WHY you want to create this new behaviour in your life. A good reason, but sounds a bit on the surface.)
Rest of the steps:
Now ask yourself (2nd why): Why is it important for me to be healthier and have more energy?
Example answer: Because then I can be more focused at work and get more done.
Ask again (3rd why): Why is it important to “be more focused at work and get more done”? What would that mean?
Example answer: Because then I can launch my business faster and reach more people with my message.
Ask a 4th time (why): Why is it important to you to “launch my business faster and reach more people with my message”?
Example answer: Because then I can help more people to be their best proponent or Dame in shining armour!
And finally: Why is it important that you “can help more people to be their best proponent or Dame in shining armour!”?
Example answer: Because that’s the only way people can be truly engaged with their life and truly enjoy it as opposed to just surviving day-to-day…
This last reason is the real reason, the Powerhouse WHY the exercise habit is important, NOT the first answer of being healthy and having more energy.
Can you see how the 5X technique digs-in past any disguise we may be putting on for a show, or even subconsciously downplaying the significance of something.
This last answer should be pulling on your emotions.
It should be choking you up.
If it’s not – maybe you don’t have a deep enough reason to create this change now. Maybe there’s something more urgent you should focus on.
If it does the job, write your reason why and either have it with you so you can refer to it every time you’re thinking of giving up, or skipping a workout you’ve scheduled. Or if this works better for you – stick it on your wall or make it a screen saver on your mobile. Rig things in your favor – the way you know things will work for you.
BONUS: a bonus step here would be to internalise your powerhouse why and associate it with the totem you may be using to implement this behavior. So that putting on your Totem, or seeing it immediately brings the emotional association of why you’re creating this new mind-state or behavior.
Please share what worked or didn’t work for you. There’s so many way to get results, so the more we share – the more ideas we have to draw on.