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A Compelling ‘Why’ Article by: Denis Waitley

I have a suitcase for you. In that suitcase there is $1 million in cash. The suitcase is sitting in a building that is about an hour’s drive from where you are now.

Here is the deal: All you have to do is get to this building in the next two hours. If you get there before the end of the two hours, I will hand you the suitcase, and you will be a million dollars richer.

There is one catch, however. If you are even one second late, our deal is off, and you will not get a dime. No exceptions! With that in mind, what time would you like to leave?

Most people would respond to that scenario by saying that they would leave right now. Wouldn’t you?

So off you go. You jump into your car and start driving for the building. You are excited and are already starting to plan how you are going to spend your million dollars. Then, suddenly, the traffic comes to a complete stop. You turn on the radio and find that there has been a series of freak accidents between you and the building and there is no way to get there!

Now what would you do? Would you give up and go back home? Or would you get out of your car and walk, run, hire a helicopter, or find some other way of getting to the building on time?

Now let’s suppose for a minute that you are driving to an appointment at your dentist’s office. The traffic again comes to a stop. Amazingly, there have been freak accidents between you and your dentist’s office. What would you do then? Probably give up, go home, and reschedule!

What is the difference between these two situations? It all comes down to why. If the why is big enough, the how is usually not a problem. This compelling why is connected to your personal objectives, mission statement, or magnificent obsessions. It is the basis of your motivational support beam. Truly motivated people are able to identify and tap into the power of a compelling why in everything they do.

Source: The Psychology of Motivation by Denis Waitley

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"First say to yourself what you would be: and then do what you have to do."

- Epictitus

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