If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.
-- William Arthur Ward

 

   

The MONTHLY Motivator - December 2005

What and why

Imagine for a moment how life would be if you could have whatever you desired. What would you select as the objects of your desire? How would you live each day? What kinds of things would bring meaning and fulfillment to your life?

The fact is, we live in a world, in a culture, in a time when it is more possible than ever before for more people than ever before to achieve precisely what they desire. Increasingly powerful tools and resources are becoming more readily accessible to those who wish to tap their power. For the most part, we’ve come an incredibly long way in figuring out the “how” of accomplishment. Just look around you. The world has, already in place, an efficient and effective infrastructure of communication, information, transportation, finance, production, creativity, entertainment, marketing and other facilities that exist primarily for the purpose of turning dreams into reality.

In such a world, two questions become vitally important to the quality of your life. Those questions are what and why. What will you do with all the grand possibilities available to you? And why? They’re simple questions, and yet the answers can be quite profound. In short, the world around you is ready to be harnessed in service of your dream. So what will you do with it all, and why?

The essential natures of “what” and “why” do not mean that the “how” of accomplishment is any less important. Indeed, the “how” is crucial to anything you undertake. However, the world has spent the last several hundred years focusing on the “how” and as a result we’ve become quite good at it. So good, in fact, that in many areas “how” has become something of an externality -- that is, something, which we virtually take for, granted.

For example, a client on the other side of the world calls and says, “I need your proposal by 10 o’clock tomorrow morning. You answer “OK” and then get to work finishing the proposal. As recently as just a few years ago, your primary challenge in such a situation would be figuring out how to get your proposal to the other side of the world by tomorrow morning, and how to justify the significant expense of doing so. But now with the worldwide accessibility of the Internet, you don’t even give it a second thought. You know you can zap your proposal to your client by e-mail and it will be there almost as soon as you send it, at virtually no cost. And you can include in your proposal not just black text on white paper, but also colorful photographs, complex diagrams, full-motion video, audio, animation and even interactive features that allow your client to explore numerous “what-if” possibilities. Rather than putting your energy and resources into the how of getting your proposal delivered, you’re free to concentrate on what your proposal contains and on why you’re putting it together in the first place. The how is still vitally important and necessary, yet in more and more areas it’s become something you can feel confident in taking for granted.

Of course such a situation assumes that you already know how to use e-mail and how to create and attach a word processing or multimedia presentation file to your message. So the “how” of doing it is still critical, but it is likely that the “how” is something you’ve already mastered. Having done so, you are free to focus on the “what” and “why.”


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—Ralph Marston