Is your WHY big enough and does it really matter?

By Dr. Russ Rosen | Patient issues

We’ve all heard the phrase, “When the “Why” is big enough the “How” becomes easy.”

Dr. Angie and I always talk about “Headspace” and “Procedure”. Regardless of who we are coaching and what we are discussing what inevitably it comes down to making sure that our head is in the right place and that we have the right procedures or systems to accomplish our goals.

In this article, I want to address why the “WHY” is so important.

Think about the things that you need to do as a chiropractor or as a business person that might cause you stress or anxiety.

  • Speaking in front of a group
  • Asking patients for referrals
  • Going out and introducing yourself to people
  • Seeing somebody out in public who you know could benefit from your care but being afraid to open a conversation
  • …and the list goes on.

In all counts, doctors ask Angie and I “HOW” to do these things. And we have answers. We have answers for everything. We can show you exactly how to do all of these things and have tried and true systems in place that we know absolutely work.

But if your head is in the not in the right place; if the “why” is not big enough then the procedure orthe system doesn’t work.

I was speaking with my dear friend Dr. Angus Pyke about how to help people understand why the, “WHY” is so important and he told me the story.

Imagine I asked you to walk across a 20 foot board that was one foot wide. Would you do it?  Most say that they would not have a problem walking across that board.

We then ask if you would walk across that board if it were a foot off the ground? Some say yes some say no. We then ask, what about if we gave you $100 to walk across that board 1 foot off the ground. Many more say yes. Still some say no.

We then ask what if we gave you $1000 to walk across that 20 foot board 1 foot off the ground. Again most people say yes.

We then ask what if we put that same board between two skyscrapers. Would you walk across that board now? The vast majority of the room says no. And a few thrill seekers say yes!

We then say what about for a $1000 would you do it? Again most say no. We then ask what about for $100,000 would you do it? We now start to get some interest and a few people raise their hands. We then say what if we gave you $1 million? And again a few more people raise their hand. We then say what about for $100 million, would you do it? And you can see people begin to wrestle with whether they would do it or not.

We then ask would you do it if your child was on the other and of that board and in the next few moments they would fall to their death unless you quickly got across the board to save them. Would you somehow make it across that board to save your child’s life?

Now I personally have asked this question in front of many groups of doctors and across-the-board most everyone says yes. And when I ask why would you do it the answer is the same. “I could not live with myself if I did not do it.”

I do have to tell you when I was in Ireland I asked this question and I saw a doctor looking a bit perplexed. So I asked him if he would walk across that board to save his child. He responded, “I have to be honest, I have five children and it really depends on which one you’re talking about!”

I always appreciated that doctor’s humor.

But I think from Dr. Angus Pyke’s story we really get the idea of how powerful the why can be. Most people really would not walk across that board even for a lot of money. Yet most people would run across that board to save their child’s life. That, my friends, is a big “WHY” and when the why is big enough it is amazing what can get done. Now I want you to add appropriate strategies systems and procedures to that big of a why and you can imagine how great things can be.

One of the things that Dr. Angie and I ask our doctors to do is to get your team on board. To make sure that you as a team have a big enough why.

We ask you to clarify what your mission is and we ask you to make sure that when you read this mission it brings tears to your eyes. My experience is if it does not bring tears to your eyes the why is not big enough.

So I’m asking you to do the same. I am asking you to touch your heart. I am asking you and your team to get a big enough why so that when you think about doing some of these difficult things such as asking for referrals or meeting someone in the public and speaking with them you literally are saying to yourself, “I cannot live with myself if I do not do this.”

So please imagine now that you are about to ask somebody for a referral, or get them to the health care class, or you meet someone in public and you need to speak with them to let them know that you may be able to help them. Feel how difficult that might be for you.

Now I want you to touch your heart. I want you to really get clear about what your mission is, why you are here on planet Earth, how powerful the work is that you do in the lives that you can save. I want you to get to the point that you have tears in your eyes. Now imagine speaking with that person. Do you see how different it would be?

We have systems in place for absolutely everything. We can teach you how to do all of these things. But you must connect your heart to a big enough why.

As always we’d love to hear from you and your thoughts about this blog.

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