Another person encouraged him to meet with me as someone who may be able to help him get out of his slump. He drove a Lexus and looked the part of the successful entrepreneur. Golf shirt. Sockless with loafers. Health club body.
Poker faced he asked me, "What do you have for me?... What do you do?"
Surprised by his direct question, I shared a brief description of my services: how I coach people to discover, engage and fund what they were born to do. I consult with people and companies who are willing to get to the heart of their purpose, then seriously do something to unleash their potential... He looked unimpressed, just poker-faced. "So, why did you want to get together?" I then asked.
He looked down. Then looked me right in the eye. "I have no reason to get up in the morning. I have all the money I'll ever need. But, I have no reason to get out of bed. I can't answer the question, "Why should I get out of bed?" So, many mornings I don't even get up."
That sure wasn't the answer I was expecting! But, I so appreciated his honesty, though was quite sad to realize the internal status quo of this man who had "everything" externally was so stuck internally.
Now I was really surprised. He was unable to answer the "why question." "Why get out of bed?" Even with an early retirement, health and no lack of wealth, this Money Magazine's "poster boy" was stuck. Where could he get help to answer: "Why am I hear?" "Why should I do something rather than nothing?" "Why work?" "Why care?"
Yes, he's an extreme case. And yes many of us don't have the luxury to just stay in bed. But, I'm convinced there's life on the other side of doing what it takes to receive the authentic answer to the "why question." Sweeping it under the rug unanswered won't kill us, at least instantly, but it won't give us vibrant life either.
Think about this: Isn't it true that dynamic individuals, catalytic leaders and even the most authentic human beings who really love life, love what they do and live passionately answer that "why" question? They do the work of getting below the surface and getting clear on their purpose. They can lead others because they're motivated by more than mere survival, profitability or sustaining the status quo. They have a reason to get out of bed that excites them! And when it comes to any day or an opportunity they can answer:
"Why will doing this be worthwhile?"
"Why should I give my time, talents or energy?"
"Why will something good come from this?"
"Why am I here?"
"Why does our company exist?"
"Why does our family exist?"
"Why get out of bed?"
"Why" works... if we have the courage to go there. If we willingly stay in the process until we get a satisfactory answer. If we believe that a bigger picture, a bigger purpose really exists. If we have faith.
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