Want to know why I think so many folks struggle with finding happiness? Because they spend most of their time living on the surface of their own life. They focus on the stuff they want, but never quite get down to the reason WHY they are wanting it.
I hate to break it to you, sugar, but if you want to find true happiness, you must be willing to go deep. And by deep, I mean you have to be willing to look in the mirror to see who you are and be honest about what you really want.
And, most importantly, to get clear on why.
Why do we want to dive deeper? Why do we want to resurface from those depths having changed? Why are we so keen to change some aspect of ourselves or our lives?
Trust me when I tell you that I get it. Living on the surface can seem easier. But let me be frank here, darling: you’re more likely to drown in your own life surviving in the shallows than you are if you go deep.
Living on the surface is how we settle. Living on the surface is how we prove to others we have a GREAT Life.
We can style those Instagram photos so you have lots of neat little squares lined up in a row that will prove our lives are Oh, So Perfect. We can choose to settle in a million small ways until we’ve settled so much we don’t recognize who’s looking back in the mirror.
We insist that we are #blessed, and yes, we realize that life is good, but deep down we know something is missing.
Though my birthday posts have become a tradition for me as well as my readers, cataloging my lessons is what reminds me to look in the mirror and dive deeper into my own life. It helps me take a good look at what’s working and what isn’t. It opens the doors to my fears and my vulnerabilities. Find the grace in the hard stuff and congratulate myself for being human and choosing to be ALL IN when it comes to my life.
One of the lessons I shared in my 2016 post was this:
I need to be willing to go deeper. Within myself, my work, and my relationships. It’s so easy to live on the surface of our own lives. One of the big “ah-ha!” moments I’ve had this year is the creation of my theory “The Five Why’s for Truth”.
Oh, going DEEPER.
A scary prospect for most of us, because, let’s be honest: we live most of our lives in the shallows.
I regularly ask these questions time and again because they are critical to loving your life: What you want and what you need to live a more fulfilling life? What do you need to be more satisfied? What do you most desire?
Our desires lead us along the path to setting goals and taking action so that the things we desire in our life can be a part of our everyday ordinary life. Yet, even when we say we really WANT something, following through on those goals is hard.
To follow through on our goals…to keep motivated to not only take some action but take a lot of action means that we need to be clear on WHY our desire is leading us along that path.
Let me share an example: A common desire for a lot of folks is to lose weight. And so when asked WHY, the quickest answer is always: so I’ll be healthy. Right?
But, let’s be honest here, sugar. That’s a throwaway answer. Yes, it’s a truth, but it’s only a shade of the truth. It’s one that’s easy to share, sounds politically correct and folks won’t try to argue with our desire. They won’t try to sabotage us…they won’t try to talk us out of our desires by saying: “Oh, you don’t want to be healthy”.
And the thing is, maybe health is a motivation to drop some pounds. Maybe your blood pressure is high or the doctor said: “Oh, you really need to lose some weight so that your cholesterol / blood sugar, (etc) is lower”.
So, sure, being healthy is a good motivation at first. Especially when we walk out of the doctor’s office. At least it motivates us for a little while.
Then, we get tired of salads and tired of getting up early to go on a walk. I mean, we won’t see the doctor again til next year, so there’s plenty of time to get back on the “wagon”.
I have come to understand that in order to really be motivated to our deepest desires, we have to get downright, vulnerably, bald-faced truthful with ourselves around the REAL Why behind our desires.
So, here’s the game I’ve begun playing with myself when I say I want something and then have motivation challenges.
After the 1st Why’s answer, I ask: “and what would that give me?” You do this at least 5 times.
You write this down. This little conversation with yourself.
And, in all honesty, it takes us about FIVE layers of that question to get to the REAL truth…at least the one that is rocking us way down deep in our soul and our heart…the ONE ANSWER that will help us with our motivation, especially when we’re tired or frustrated.
So, the 5 Why’s of Losing Weight May be something like this…
- Why? To be healthy. What would that give me? Lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and a less risk of heart disease.
- And…Why? Well, because I’m tired of the doctor always telling me I need to lose weight. What would that give me? I wouldn’t feel so shamed every time I need to go to the doctor.
- Why? Well, I’m tired of struggling with being “too big”. What would that give me? More ease in my life. Easier to fit in chairs at a café and, well, I just think people look at me like I’m FAT. I don’t want to be the Fat Girl in all the photos with my sisters-in-law.
- Ah…So Why do I want to lose weight? Because, I feel better about myself when I am a size 10 than I do when I’m a size 16. What would that give you? More confidence. Cute clothes make me feel confident and happy. I’d feel better about myself when I look in the mirror…
- I see. So, Why do I want to lose weight? I want to feel sexy. My husband loves me no matter what, but he was more attracted to me when I was smaller… What would that give me? I’d be happier in my relationship, feel more attractive, and have more sex. When I have more sex, I always feel happier…
Can you see how asking yourself WHY 5 times will help you find your REAL reasons rather than just the surface excuse? How it helps you go DEEPER into yourself, your life, your desires…? Can you see why staying motivated is more likely when you go deep?
All of these answers are truths, but you need all the truths to go deeper. And let me be perfectly clear, my darling: your deep why for a desire may not be pretty. It may seem shallow or selfish, but the fact is, no one but you needs to know it.
You don’t owe anyone an explanation of why you deeply desire what it is you desire, but the most important thing is that you get brutally honest and stop lying to yourself.
You owe it to yourself to dive into the depths of your desires.You owe it to your desires to dig into your “Why”. You owe it to your life to discover your real truths.
“I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” – Anaïs Nin