Life coaching: Eliminating the "W" word

Do a search in your brain for "Why" questions that don't motivate you to take action and replace them with "How" questions.

By BEN GOLDFARB
July 9, 2008 15:18
2 minute read.
ben goldfarb 88

ben goldfarb 88. (photo credit: )

It's time to stop using the word "Why". Unless you are a philosopher or an immigrant from a polysyllabic country, there is little reason to keep asking "Why". Do a search in your brain for "Why" questions that don't motivate you to take action and replace them with "How" questions. "Why" is often used to make excuses and overuse of the word can lull us into victim mode. Here are some typical why questions: Why didn't I get that job? Why did I sell those stocks? Why does that man keep staring at my wallet? Why questions tend to be a complaint that either nature or nurture dealt you a poor hand. (Incidentally, the whole nature/nurture debate is based on a typographical error made by a nearsighted scribe in Vienna. Once the mistake was revealed, thousands of students already wrote their PhDs on this topic. By that time, it was too embarrassing and costly to correct the error.) So instead of moping around asking "Who am I and why?" you can start asking yourself the question, "Who do I want to become and how." One of the most effective ways of doing this is changing your orientation towards time. Here are some ideas: Past: Remember, whatever happened in the past is over. No one, especially you, cares "why" you the person you are. Past memories can be remembered in such as way to empower you in the future. Use the past to propel you forward into a brighter future. Or go watch an "ER" rerun. Your call. Present: Enjoy living in the moment. Use the virtual slow motion button in your head when necessary to enjoy the present. However, don't do this while driving or operating heavy machinery. Future: A little future orientation can be healthy, as long as you don't become as unstable as a surreal estate agent. Craft your future plans in a compelling way such that you become nostalgic about them. Once you have done these things, your "why" questions will be transformed into the following "how" questions: Why didn't I get that job? Becomes….. How do I succeed at my present job, find another one, or start a business of my own? Why did I sell those stocks? Becomes….. How can I build a diversified portfolio and create multiple streams of income? Why does that man keep staring at my wallet? Becomes….. How can I handcuff him with his tie before he takes my money? The time is now. The days of "why" are in your past and the era of "how" is about to begin. How can you afford to wait? Ben Goldfarb was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He moved to Israel in 1988. He is the founder and director of Paradigm Shift Communications. He has given seminars and training sessions at Israel Aircraft Industry and Philips Medical Systems. His book, "Double Feature: A Nostalgic Peek into the Future" will be published next year. He lives with his wife and children in Jerusalem. For more information about his coaching practice, visit the Paradigm Shift Communications website, or send an email to ben@pdshiftcoaching.com © Copyright 2008 by Ben Goldfarb


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