4 Oct, 2022Why Having a Big Why is Massively Overrated
“If you do not know to ask the right question, you discover nothing.” – Dr. W. Edwards Deming
People have a habit of asking why, even children would automatically ask why whenever we explain or answer their questions. As adults, we would often ask why when we are in distress. We would even talk to ourselves and ask: why is this happening to me, why is my life so depressing, why is my life meaningless, why is it that no matter how hard I try or how hard I work, I cannot seem to have a better life?
Do not get me wrong, it is good to ask why, because it gives you the opportunity to reflect and search for answers, but should we just bother ourselves with the why? Is it not equally important to ask what, who, and where? Are you baffled? Listen in as I explain and untangle the confusion.
⚡️ Having a why will not automatically lead you to where you want to go or who you want to be.
⚡️ Your current self does not necessarily equate to the future you.
⚡️ It is a necessity to determine who you want to become and where you want to be.
⚡️ Having no connection to what inspires you or following someone else’s way leads to a stagnant life.
⚡️ Behavioral change takes commitment and discipline.
Send us a message and tell us what is your biggest takeaway about this episode. 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼
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Pete is the author of 20 published books, several of which have been best-sellers across the world, including Shut the Duck Up, Habit Busting, Life DIY, and Sort Your Life Out. He has also presented his own show on TV called The Coach and was the resident Life Coach on GMTV for 12 years.
Pete Cohen 0:00
Happy beautiful amazing fantastic day. it's Pete Cohen it's the Future Self podcast today's podcast is called Why Having a Big Why is Massively Overrated. I'll see you after the theme tune.
Hello happy beautiful day. Thank you so much for being here we're talking Why Having a Big Why is Massively Overrated. The question is, you know what the question is ready? Are you ready? Ready for what? Ready to go so where are you going? Is it possible where you're going is where you've been before. But do you want to boldly go where no man or woman has gone before?
Come on let's see some moves. Where are you going? To shout it out guys.
Happy beautiful day. Welcome to the podcast. So ready to go. Where are you going? Where are you going today? You probably know where you're going today. You probably know what you're doing today. Or if you're about to go to sleep, you're gonna wake up tomorrow. I'm sure you've already got an idea of where you are going. Now. Why are you going where you're going? This is a big question. Now as a coach, that's one of the things I do a lot. Great coaches ask great questions because all a coach is interested in doing is helping you identify where you are and where you want to go. That's what a coach is. The word coach comes from a Hungarian word meaning a Coach and Horses and why would anybody get an A coach and horse? You know, maybe there's a very few percentage of people around the world that would go to a coach and horse and say, Please, can you just take me anywhere apart from where I am, just take me on a journey. I don't care where we go. I just want to go somewhere. And some people would be very happy with that to say I don't need to know exactly where I'm going. But I just want to get away from where I am or I'm just happy to go on this journey and you showed me what you want to show me. And ultimately, I think the thing that we're all interested in is what what are we all interested in? What is really important to everybody. Now again, I don't know I don't know. Everybody on this earth. I haven't met anybody, anybody. I haven't met everybody. I've met a lot of people. And when you meet someone, maybe someone you've never met before someone you're introduced to what do you focus on? You know, I remember reading in Stephen Covey's book seven habits of highly effective people that you know, Seek first to understand rather than being understood, and we know that a lot of times when you meet someone, we want to be understood, we want to be liked. I don't know if you've ever done this but the insecurity in me in the past would definitely be I'm very, very nosy person in more ways than one. I'm very curious. I meet someone I am looking for common ground. And then I'm looking when someone says I've done this or I've been there so I've been there. I've done that. Because I've always wanting the person to like me and appreciate me and that's what I did for so many years in my life. My why and everything I did was to massage my insecurities. And I think having a big Y is great. But I also think it's a little bit overrated if you don't examine what your Y is all about. And this whole thing around, you know, how many people have you heard? How many podcast episodes How many books have been written? I mean, it all really started off with Simon Sinek who wrote the book. It starts with y which is a fantastic book. And it really really changed my perspective on a few things. There's no question about that. It's and some of his other books. He's written a love to love the book where he talks about the infinite games. This is a guy who's heavily researched loves what he does and has a very curious mind. But with that tech talk about How Great Leaders Inspire Action, I became very interested in that because I wrote a book about leadership and I've coached leaders all over the world. And it's it was a he had no idea at the time, how viral this TED talk would go. I mean it said, What 50 million views right?
Simon Sinek 5:25
Biology. If you look at a cross section of the human brain looking from the top down, what you see is the human brain is actually broken into three major components that correlate perfectly with the Golden Circle. Our newest brain, our homo sapien brain, our neocortex. corresponds with the what level. The neocortex is responsible for all of our rational and analytical thought and language. The middle two sections make up our limbic brains, and our limbic brains are responsible for all of our feelings, like trust, and loyalty. It's also responsible for all human behavior, all decision making, and it has no capacity for language. In other words, when we communicate from the outside in Yes, people can understand vast amounts of complicated information like features and benefits and facts and figures. It just doesn't drive behavior. When we communicate from the inside out. We're talking directly to the part of the brain that controls behavior. And then we allow people to rationalize it with the tangible things we say and do.
Pete Cohen 6:25
So you know, it's really groundbreaking, and a lot of us have watched and it was really obvious and that's why you know, companies for example, he uses the example of Apple Apple really have hooked us, hooked us in because they are marketing to our why. And we we buy from our many in many cases when we feel a connection to something or we trust something or someone, we hear someone's why. And it's a beautiful thing. It's when someone tells you why they do what they do. You know, why do I do what I do? Why does Pete Cohen do what Pete Cohen does? I mean, he's been doing it for a long time, right? Since the age of 19 years old when he got a job working in a gym. He became really fascinated by the people that were joining and he wanted to do the best for people. And he'd sit down and doing hundreds of fitness assessments, listening to people he could see the patterns. He was hugely insecure himself, but thought that he could make his life better by making the life of other people but if he could get people results, if he could get people to like him, it would mask his own insecurities. So what Pete Cohen found out was a lot of people weren't very happy with where they were a lot of people why they joined the gym, was they didn't feel very good about who they were they why they joined the gym as they were overweight. They were sick and tired of being sick and tired. So they were there, but they had a really good reason for being there. And it was fantastic. But what Pete didn't realize is that a lot of these people didn't identify with the person that was going to get the results they wanted. So they'd come in there because they were in pain. And he now realizes that most people don't know why I'm talking about Pete code as if he's in third person, but I can continue to go down that road if you want. What I realized is that people didn't know what they wanted. You know, with hindsight, I look back and I think about those hours and hours and hours and oh my god, if I could go back in time now, I would get such better results with people. You know, I would literally just be in a completely different space to the space I'm in now. I would have had so much so much more results because I've been really really brilliant and got amazing results with getting people out of pain of all the books I've written from habit busting fear busting life DIY sort your life out, sought your wife out. I didn't write that one. I'm sure that would go down quite well. All the books I've written in aspirators. They've they've really apart from inspirate is because inspirate is was really about being inspired about what's in front of you. And now I know that having a great wise will get you so far but it's not going to get you necessarily to where you want to go. And this is where it's really starts to get interesting because I don't think most people actually know where they want to go. They just know where they don't want to go. And of course you've probably heard that expression in life you get what you focus on. And what do you think most people are focused on? I think it's really easy. You know what we focus on we before heard these things before, right? What we focus on expands it's such a fascinating thing and you start looking at this these areas of development you know what's wrong is always is always available but so is what's right. What's right for you and what's wrong for you can completely different but that's what I want to ask you what's right and what's wrong for you. You know your experience of being you is what you focus on. And what I love about Simon cynics work is if you look at the infinite games, he talks about business, and a lot of businesses work in a way that business is finite. So there's a certain goal and our goal is to hit this target so we we hit that target but then what the game isn't over right? Business for me is an infinite game. It never ends it keeps playing. You know it's not like you run the 100 meter race life isn't 100 meter race and then you stop at the line and you go beyond the line but then maybe you rest and then you go run a run another race. Life is motion life. Is it's I think life is competitive. That's how I look at it. And most of us are competing against an outdated version of ourselves that we desperately want to hold on to because what got us to where we are right now is who we think we need to be in the future. And this is why why is great but I really encourage you just to take a different look at this if you want to you don't have to. But please just take a moment to think about this. What Got You Here Won't Get You There. But where is there
we are sold this illusion I believe that life is a destination and you need this in order to be something you need to get there to be something or someone and I would say no I don't I don't personally agree with that. I don't need to do anything to be anything I already am. I am the being that I am being so I'm being a certain way and I'm doing in a certain way so I can have a certain result from what I'm doing. This is the thing I think is missing from most personal development is the relationship to your future self. And we talk about this a lot. I mean, the podcast is called we changed the name of the podcast six years old. We changed it to the Future Self podcast. And you know the best example I can give you of this because it's ever evolving. And many of you who have listened to the podcast, you've probably heard this story multiple times. But it was only over the last couple of years I've really woken up to this. So when my wife wasn't even very long to live, and I've called My coach who lived in Dallas at the time and I asked him what I should do. He said find people that are still alive with the same brain tumor find out why. Why are they still alive? Why? What did they do? What was the treatment they had and that set me on a journey of learning literature. I learned so much about cancer I learned. I remember reading a book called Healing against all odds. And one of the things that you could see that most of the people who had had stage three stage four cancer had healed themselves. One of the most common things they all did was coffee enemas, right? What does that mean? That means sticking coffee up your backside. Now a lot a lot of people would go well, Come on No, seriously. And the reason a lot of people would think now is because well they would never think of doing it and think well why would you do that? And of course you can go and research it for yourself. But that's not something that your doctor is going to tell you to do. If you go and see it. You know, you're a conventional doctor, I doubt very many conventional doctors will say, Listen, what you need to do is get an enema kit. Get some coffee, let it cool down and stick it up your backside. Okay, lie on your side. Keep it up there for as long as long as you can. Because what doctors tend to do is doctors tend to look at what's wrong and trying to help you get out of what's wrong. So you go from being sick to not being sick, as opposed to being really well. Most people don't know what being really well is in the future. They know what being really well was in the past. And that's what happened when people came to join the gym. And literally, they didn't know what they wanted. They knew what they didn't want. They knew what the problem was. They knew the pain they were in. They knew when maybe in the past they were slimmer and fitter and healthier and had a picture of themselves in their mind. Of when they're on the gym. And when they're in on the beach when they were 15 or 20 or something and they connected to that person. But that's in the past. And if you're not connected to anything that's in front of you, that inspires you. Then once you get out of pain, most people will just return to where they were before and if they don't find their own way and they follow someone else's way. Then once they get bored, they just rebel. For me. I'm only interested in helping people find their own way help them connect to a future they want to go out and create and support them over an extended period of time. So they do the greatest thing you'll ever do. Let me ask you that question what will be your greatest ever achievement in your life? What do you think will be your greatest ever achievement? What a brilliant question to ask people. It's so fascinating when you ask that question of people because most people will start telling you about what their greatest achievement has been. Right? And I'm going to tell you this, you're not a has been. Right. You're to be and just like Shakespeare said the world is backstage. We're all but actors upon this stage.
How's that working out for you? So the act that you're playing now, you're the you're directing this right now. You're directing this, you're producing this you're doing you're doing great, well done, but how's it working out? What what are the results that you're producing? What are the results that you're producing? Where are you with your health? You know, where are you in your relationships with yourself with others? Where are you with your wealth and your work? Is there? Is there work to be done? Is that because what's happened is what most of us had been sold is the idea of you don't really need to do much. You can sit back. You can just live the life of comfort. You don't have to get up here's a remote control. You don't have to go to the shops because it can be delivered to you. We're being sold a life that is comfortable. That I think is limiting our growth. So would you agree that what drives maybe driven you in the past is and some are some are amazing some of the disasters and the tragedies that you've been through have been some of your greatest learning some of your greatest epiphanies. I can't even begin to tell you some of my own learnings in my life that have come from real difficult times. But now it's easier than it's ever been in some respects because I'm more driven by who I want. To become. And that's what I feel is missing in most people's lives. We can talk about your Y and it's great to know what your Y is but for your y to be come into reality Who the hell do you need to be? Who is that person? Because without the who the Why isn't it's not going to work? I'd say in most cases. So we talk about examples like Ghandi, he knew who he needed to be. He obviously worked that out. Maybe he got some help and support. I know his I think his grandmother was one of his greatest inspirations to him and his grandma would tell the story of the elephant that would go into the marketplace and the elephant would literally just be getting its trunk and hitting its trunk everywhere and knocking things all over in the market stall and annoying everybody. But then a clever man said look we need to do is give the elephant the elephant a bamboo shoe and get to put it in its trunk and it will just focus on that. And lo and behold, as Candy's grandmother told him this story, the elephant would go through the market. We're just holding on to having something to hold on to. And that's the thing. What are we holding on to? Now if we're holding on to an outdated version of who we are or who we think we are or who we think we need to be, then don't be surprised when you keep producing the same results so you can have a massive why, but without the who and who you actually committed to becoming i i drew this out this morning I drew it I drew out pretty much every day. I draw a little stickman of me today present me. And then I draw a little stickman behind me of my past self who who has influenced me massively in my life, who tries to talk to me and tell me don't do that. Just do this stay here. And I was always driven to move away from him. But at the same time, it was always been listening to him and be convinced by him and you know the voice I'm talking about right? I mean, maybe you have that voice. Some I've referred to it for a duck for many years of my life. Some people call it a chimp Dr. Steven Peters, the Chimp Paradox, the part of you the survival part of you, it doesn't want you to evolve. He doesn't want you to get caught out. He doesn't want you to have experience pain or discomfort. It just wants you to hold on to who you think you are. But who you think you are, is who you actually necessarily have to be in my life's work. My why is to help people be driven by who they actually want to become so when I asked my coach, you know that when he asked me to find people that was still alive. He also then said Ask Hannah what she's going to do when she comes. And I didn't ask her that question for three years. And three years later, I asked her the question. Raphael asked me to ask you what you're going to do when you get better and she started to cry. At the time I thought she was crying because she didn't have a view of the future. And now I realized no, she did have a view of the future. But it didn't go very far. This makes sense. That everything we do is driven by our view of the future. It's just where is your view of the future? Do you know who you're going to be tomorrow? Tonight? Of course you do you have an idea of that even if you were blind? I'm sure you'd still have an idea. Of what you're doing later on today. You create a visual representation of this. What about next week?
What about next month? Yeah, you probably have an idea of who that person is. But what about beyond that? And this most of us aren't interested it is until we get to our 20s that's when most people start getting into some sort of personal development and then in their 30s 40s spiritual development of realizing there must be more to life than what you're currently experiencing. Chasing significance. That's what most people are chasing in the world today. They are chasing significance and the connection and it doesn't really hit the mark for most people. Most people are trying to meet their needs needs by certainties. nificant. But what seems to hit the mark for most people on a deeper level is growth growing, growing, growing into what a plant knows what it's growing into. It's just instinctive it knows it just happens. But for us, we have the dignity of choice. And most people hugely predictable. You can have the biggest why in the world, but unless you change who you're committed to becoming, if you don't, if you don't just relate to who you think you are, and you're not driven by a compelling vision of your future self. Honestly, I would say maybe just don't bother. Maybe ignorance is bliss. Because we're sold this idea that what I think many of us are sold ourselves on an outdated view. of who we think we are. Because if you knew and this is what we teach people out to do, especially as part of the Stop One Start One and my Y is definitely around building something that we've only just birthed recently and we're going to be rebirthing it and we've got so many plans for what we're creating, and building a movement of people around the world that are 100% committed into carving something out chiseling something amazing. The greatest thing I think you'll ever achieve will be who you become. And we don't want to leave that to chance. We want to help and support people. Like in a way that just works. We can't do it for you. But we've definitely created something that you can apply to any area of your life. And what are the areas that are important? Well, Tony Robbins talks about roles and goals and Jim Rohn talks about the categories of improvement. Sigmund Freud talked about love and work. For us. It's definitely Health First Health relationships and work or wealth service those three areas they seem to be the areas that most people are interested in, tracking down making improvements on and helping people identify with so three areas What is one thing one thing that you need to stop doing in any of those three life demands? So for me, you know with in my relationships, I need to stop being all over the place when I'm with my wife, stop getting distracted and start being more present. And that's something hugely focused on. I'm getting really good at it. Why? Because I'm practicing it. It's not a like it's not a destination. It's an ongoing practice. But wouldn't it be great that something that was once difficult to do? become something that is easy to do? What will be your greatest ever achievement? Well, some of your greatest achievement being what you stopped doing, whether you stopped smoking, stop drinking, stop eating sugar, I don't know what it is for you. But what is the one thing that would if you stopped doing it would you'd have the greatest would have the greatest impact on your life. And what's the one thing you if you started doing it that would have the greatest significance in your life? That and the reason you would do it is because you identify with the outcome. And even though it's not a destination you in the future with you with those three different life domains. I promise you that your future self when you can expand your this is what we teach people how to do expand their view of their future beyond a few days and weeks. And months. They can actually feel the person they feel an emotional connection. So we go back to Simon cynics work of why the why the companies that want you they want you to have a an emotional attachment to what they do. I have an emotional attachment to Audi I don't have an Audi anymore. But I did and when I was given Mercedes to drive and I've been given five Mercedes drive cars I didn't feel emotionally attached to any of them. I felt emotionally attached to Audi that's another story I feel emotionally attached to Apple even though I can relate to in a way that I am emotionally connected to it
and these are the the what influences our behavior is our ability to get distracted. So we end up going down a road that we often don't want to go down our attention being sold to the highest bidder. Where do we need to put our attention? What is the single most greatest thing you could put your intention on? I would say it's who you're committed to becoming. The question is, are you ready? Because if you're ready, we're ready. So in our why in our business, it is to create something that changes the world that we have millions of people that are applying the technology, the theory and putting into practice the principles around behavioral change, of stopping and starting what doesn't serve them as they move their life forwards. And you know what, this isn't for everyone because it's quite mundane, to be disciplined enough to do what needs to be done over an extended period of time. That's where the compounding effect, one of the greatest that's why so many people don't do it. Because to compound something over time, takes commitment. And most people have never made most people are interested in helping others more than they're actually interested. In helping themselves. So what if you had an emotional connection to yourself in the future in a way that just inspired you you just felt no connection and emotional connection which just drove you drove you to go to a place that you've never ever before? Are you ready to make that shift? Are you ready to go in? Are you ready to go from being a librarian to being a warrior of your mind?
Are you ready to be deliberate? Are you ready to answer the call? Answer the call from your future self. Every single day I can promise you, your future self is calling you. You ready to go? Are you ready? To pick up the call Are you ready?
Your future self is just one phone call away. And I truly believe that if you're ready, anything I really believe anything is possible. About you there is a gap the gap because if you don't you're just gonna keep falling in the gap. And history. I don't know whether you agree with this, but history seems to repeat itself. lessons in life tend to be repeated until they learn and I want to thank you for just taking the time you see as I share with you about why I'm doing what I'm doing. I know the only way I'm going to bring into reality what I am bringing into reality is being 100% committed to who I am becoming who I need to be. And it's the be first I need to if I want to impact the world in the way that I want to impact the world. I know who I need to be and I need to do that be every single day so I can have what I want to have what about you? From the bottom of my heart. I want to thank you for listening to this podcast. As I'm experiencing what I believe right now is right at this moment in time the biggest test of my life. I'm still driven. I'm still driven to move forwards. Because life is motion. Life is movement. And if you want to join me be a part of what we're creating. I'd love to work with you. I'm just looking for people that are ready to go check out step one, start one and let us help you go to a place that you've not been before. Thank you so much. I appreciate you. Have a wonderful, happy beautiful day.