If you were looking for an article on sexual preferences then I’ll save you the time – this article is not for you.
What I would like you to consider is your vision, your purpose or a common term in the self-development world – your WHY. In this case:
Is bigger always better?
Most self-development gurus will tell you that having a big clear vision is essential and generally I agree with them. Motivation comes from two primary forces: moving away from pain and moving towards pleasure.
While pain is an effective short-term motivator, I increasingly encourage my clients to use it sparingly, if not at all. I discovered that while pain did indeed make me do things, it’s a rubbish way to live your life to continually dip into the pain bucket. Sometimes the pain can become too much and we get stuck, or even worse feel sad or even depressed. It can lead to self-esteem issues and lack of confidence. So why not focus on motivation through pleasure?
What do I want to move towards?
Is motivation through pleasure enough? In my personal experience and from using this concept with my clients, the answer is a resounding yes! The mistake that I made was that I thought that the bigger the vision or mission, the bigger the motivation. I’m not saying that it doesn’t work; I’m offering the possibility that bigger isn’t always better.
I have been involved in the Tony Robbins environment since 2006 and his events are brilliant for creating that spark, for connecting people with their WHY and purpose. To have a purpose that keeps you awake at night, that makes you wish there were more than 24 hours in the day is a wonderful thing. To have clarity on that purpose is incredibly useful because then your brain can begin to process what’s next?
So why is bigger not always better?
I have noticed a few trends in the self-development space that concern me. I see people procrastinating or putting off action until they get their perfect WHY. It needs to be big and meaningful before I can take action. I haven’t quite got my purpose yet. Isn’t doing something you enjoy enough? Wouldn’t that be a good place to start? Do you think your WHY might show up if you do more of what you love? You have time. It took me until I was 35 years old before I had any idea what I wanted to spend my life doing and even now, nearly ten years on, my purpose continually evolves.
The key I believe is action. Action allows you to get feedback. Does this feel right? Am I enjoying the journey? What could make it even better? There are paths that I took that felt right at the time which don’t any more. Allow yourself the freedom to evolve. That’s OK. Nothing is fixed unless you make it that way.
Another reason that bigger isn’t always better, is when the vision is so big that your brain can’t even process it. This may show up in many forms. Lack of clarity. Waiting for that one big step to make it all happen at once (lottery ticket mentality). Shunning opportunities to take small steps towards your vision. Inability to even process or prioritise what the next step might be.
So what is the solution? Retain your big vision if it fires you up and serves you and in addition look to create some milestones. If I moved towards my vision what would this look like in a one year, six months, 3 months, 1 month, 1 week, today? What could I do right now that aligns with my vision? In coaching circles we call this “chunking down”. This makes it real and actionable.
“Small steps consistently taken produce extraordinary results.” Joseph McClendon III
The opposite is also true, when we have too small a vision or maybe even a lengthy list of TO DOs – we can feel uninspired and overwhelmed. So if you are in that space then reconnect with your purpose and why.
The key I believe is to find what works for you. What is the chunk size that keeps you inspired as well as effective? Do something that you enjoy and your purpose will develop. Take action and be aware of the feedback this gives you.
If you would like to have a powerful conversation about what this post means for you then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.