Actually, do try this at home or wherever you happen to be these days.
With all the tips and tricks and how-tos and how-not-tos and top five this and whatnots about running your business, I was thinking about life in general and some of the ways we can help ourselves. Whenever someone mentions work-life balance I always interject with the point that they have it wrong from the beginning. It is life balance with work being below, on the next tier down. Work is a part of life and should not compete with life. For most of us it is a big part but so are family and health.
But I digress. I’ve come up with an exercise that anyone can benefit from going through. The premise is not new. The 5 w’s. I am going to change it to the Five Double ‘you’s. This exercise is about you. I’ve often said that knowing your personal ‘why’ is the first step to achieving your goals. I’m not the only one to say this. But like so many things this can be easier said than done. So I have developed this exercise to assist in determining not only your ‘why’ but also what it looks like, who can help you, when you will get there, where you may need to look for things you need.
I’ve come up with an exercise that anyone can benefit from going through.
The Five Double ‘you’s
Part 1. Why?
We start with the why but this isn’t the big why. This is actually 5 why’s about what you are doing or would like to be doing. Again, I didn’t make up the 5 why thing.
It works like this:
- Why #1: Why do I ….(fill in here ex. Why do I want to be a doctor? A.: Because I want to help people feel better.)
- Why #2: Why do I want to help people feel better? A. Because I want to know what is making them ill.
- Why #3: Why do I want to know what is making them ill? A. Because it’s like a puzzle and I am good at puzzles.
- Why #4: Why am I good at puzzles? A: Because I love the challenge and satisfaction of solving them.
- Why #5: Why do I love the challenge and satisfaction of solving puzzles. A: Because I have an analytical mind and love to use it.
So the result here is to dig deep down to the foundation of what makes you tick. Knowing a bit more about the underlying reasons behind your hopes and dreams will give substance to your why. 5 iterations will mostly get you there but, hey, it’s your life. Keep going if you like.
The ‘what’ here is all about getting from here to there.
What #1: What do I need to do to become a doctor?
What #2: What do I need to do over the next 5 years to become a doctor?
What #3: What do I need to do over the next year to become a doctor?
What #4: What do I need to do in the next month to become a doctor?
What #5: What do I need to do today to become a doctor?
The important thing here is to start fresh every day. Don’t look back. Revise the ‘whats’ as required. You might find yourself ahead of the game.
Now that you know why you do what you do and you have clarity on what to do the get there it is critical to define when you are going to do the ‘whats’. I know, I am beginning to sound like Abbott and Costello in the classic ‘Who is on First’. Let’s get started.
When #1: When, today, am I going to do what I need to do to become a doctor. By designating a specific time in your schedule, you increase the likelihood of completing the task, immensely.
When #2: When, this month, am I going to review and revise my ‘Whats’?
When #3: When will I reward myself for progress? Regular rewards for mini successes really work.
When #4: When am I going to tell my friends and family? The science around this goes both ways. Telling everyone can help to hold yourself to the goal. Some studies suggest otherwise; that by announcing and visualizing your goal you can trick the subconscious into believing that you have succeeded and therefore don’t need to continue. The important thing here is that you consciously decide whether you tell or not and stick to it. It’s just easier since the question is put to bed and you don’t need to think about it anymore.
When #5: When do I quit my day job? This is going to be different for everyone. This link may help. The big thing is to explore this one deeply.
This one may seem simple. In this brave new world it is not so simple.
Where #1: Where do I want to be a doctor? Since you are going deep on everything, then location needs to be on the table. Are you eligible for a second passport? The path to your goal may be a lot smoother in some locations that in others.
Where #2: Where should I complete my studies? Canada, Ireland, Asia, Nevis? All of these places are viable options in today’s world. Really do a deep dive here. The world is your oyster?
Where #3: Where am I today? This could get ugly. Or not. Taking stock is crucial, can be painful but more often that not will reveal that you are in a better spot than you thought.
Where #4: Where have I come from? I am never one to spend much time looking back but this is about the big picture. This is looking way back. I was able to follow one line of my family back to 1200’s. Turns out that I come from royalty…..not! Tract farmers in Denmark. Impossible to say how this helps but it does. Grounding.
Who #1: Who can help me? Take a look around and realize that asking for help is very human. People love helping people. No weakness here. You are actually helping these people to do what they love doing – helping others. Win win.
Who #2: Who else can help me? See where this is going…
Who #3: Who else can help me? Yep.
Who #4: Who can I help? This is where you give back. It doesn’t have to be big. I send out a Dad joke to a few people now and again. I know it helps them get through the day. Sometimes. Don’t start sending them to me. Please.
Who #5: Who do I think about when I first wake up in the morning? If the answer is ‘Myself’ then you need to consciously start each day thinking about some one else. It is important and it works.
Once you have completed this exercise, save it somewhere and make a point of revisiting it sometime down the road. Also, let me know how it worked out for you. Did you come up with any new ‘double you’s?