"...because you're in business to get a whole lot more out of life!"

About Why

I remember as a 15 year old being on a 40 minute train journey coming back from the beach with a group of surfer mates and our boards. As silly as it may sound now, one of those mates entertained us in fits of laughter for the whole trip by asking us a question, and then on getting the answer, asking "why?" and then, "how do you know?" and then again asking "why?" and "how do you know?", until we did our brains in trying to struggle for the next answer and laughing uncontrollably at the mental agony of it all.

Twenty years later, I recalled this event when I first read about a Japanese business executive who would routinely put his people through what he called, "The Ordeal of the Five Why's?". If one of his people came to him with a suggestion for business growth or improvement he would ask "why?" and for the next four subsequent answers he would again ask "why?". If the suggestion still had a valid answer and remained feasible after the fifth "why?", the suggestion would be implemented.

It seemed like a great way of testing the strength of a suggestion, but not the greatest way to encourage people to come forward with their ideas.

On the other hand, I think that in many circumstances, we do not ask ourselves "why?" as often as we perhaps should - particularly when it comes to defining our vision for our futures and our goals around that vision.

Similarly, I don't think that people who decide to go into business stop to ask "why?" as often as they should. As a result, the real "Soul" of the underlying reason may be misunderstood for quite a long period while the business owner copes with a very painful experience of building their business in a manner that does not align with their true intentions and desired outcomes. Most often then, this struggle extends into their personal lives and also directly affects those people close to them.

Business failure, financial ruin and broken relationships can be the very sad "reality" outcome of those at one time wondrous visions and dreams.

For example, if you ask the average business owner, "why did you go into business?", the usual answers may be "to make money", "to be financially independent", "to do my own thing", or "to create a job for myself".

These answers can be as far as the reason goes and the business and life gets built solely around that reasoning.

People often come to me and say that they want to increase their monthly sales. "Why?" I ask. "To make greater profits and money!" comes the basically unchanged and predictable answer.

But if I again ask "why?", the answer may extend to something like, "I need to live", "I want to provide for my family" or "I want to build a new home, drive a Mercedes, travel, etc.".

"Why?", I ask. "{sigh!}, I want my family and I to live the good life!", "I want my kids to have a good education!", "I want us all to do things together!", may be some likely answers.

"Why?", I ask yet again. "I want to be successful and feel fulfilled - I want us all to be happy and live happy lives!".

"What was that last thing you said, again?", I ask. "I want us all to be HAPPY and live HAPPY lives!", they answer.

And there it is, finally, the "AH-HA!" moment!

Try it now. Test it on yourself. Chances are if you ask yourself "Why?" sufficient times you too will come down to "Happiness" and that final "AH-HA!" moment.

But you still want to be successful, you say, and only then you can be happy! - Here is a thought...

"Success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success." - Herman Cain.

Now, that's a really interesting thought provoking quote that I will delve into more later.

That is also obviously about happiness and achieving success in our career or business, but what about life in general?
Who better to ask than this notably enlightened man,

"The very purpose of our life is happiness, the very motion of our life is toward happiness." - The Dalai Lama.

So in view of the above two quotes, I don't think that I have to be an enlightened genius to develop (barely) a quote of my own,

"The very purpose of our business is happiness, the very motion of our business is toward happiness." - Neil Weston (With apologies to The Dalai Lama).

But, "Hang on!" you say, "Business is business, it is totally different to our life, that same thing does not apply!".

"Is it really different?", I would ask. "Is a business not a living entity like us, that can have a birth, that needs to be nurtured in its infancy and that can go on to either thrive or die?".

Or more importantly, "Is a business not reliant on the hopes and dreams of people - to cater for the needs and happiness of its customers, its people, its suppliers, its shareholders and others?".

What would be the major seismic shifts in your business and your life, if you focussed solely on "happiness" as the outcome right from the very start? How different would your business be? How different would your life be and the life of those close to you?

Think about it. Really think about it. Dare to think outside of the "norm".

"You’re not chasing a goal, you’re chasing the feeling that you hope attaining that goal will give you. Knowing how you actually want to feel is the most potent form of clarity that you can have. Generating those feelings is the most powerfully creative thing you can do with your life". - Danielle Laporte.

What's the difference you may ask? Drilling down to the emotional core of your purpose not only gives you the added energies that you get from the feelings gained fom those emotions, it also allows you to hone in on the things that are really important to your long term happiness. Driving home from work in that new Mercedes may feel good for a while, but it can never feel as good or last as long as driving home to a happy family. Concentrating too much on one can destroy the other. - And a Mercedes usually wont last too long during a divorce settlement anyway. ***** This is not to say that some of the answers developed along the path to that "AH-HA!" moment are wrong. happiness just by itself is often never enough, it is not a one-way street of self indilgence. More, it is a constant round about of contribution, making a difference, contributing to a better life and the happiness of others, that results in the futher development, filfillment and happiness of ourselves along the way. It is also not to say, that we do not look to gain the greatest levels of success and fulfilment in our business and personal lives, but what we do is gain it with greater balance and harmony around us with an emphasis on gaining the happiness "now" rather expecting it at some future time only to then find disappointment.


So, how do you feel about YOUR business and YOUR life right now?


OK, let's be brutally honest, how do you really feel??? ;)

Look very deeply inside of yourself, do you totally love everything about your business and your life at this very moment?

Nothing could be more perfect with both? Are you and your loved ones really happy?

Or is there a little, or a much longer, way to go yet - are there those annoying little inconsistencies that you would be really happy to do without?

In looking more closely at your business, how do your customers, clients or guests feel about it?

Again, we mean really feel about it?

In dealing with you or using your product or service, do you make them feel really happy?

Do they totally love dealing with you and your product or service - can't wait to tell their family and friends about it as well?

Are they all loyal ambassadors and evangelists of your business who always come back for more and bring many others with them?

What about the people who work for you, do they totally love it too?

Are they happy, highly motivated, love coming to work and constantly give a full effort towards making your business, and themselves, a far greater success?

Do they always tell others how great it is to work for you, so that you only attract the very best people? Does their happiness and positive manner transfer itself to others?

Do your suppliers totally love dealing with your business and fully respect and appreciate it? Do they constantly ensure that they provide you with the very best terms and support you through "thick and thin" - even during the very hardest of times?

Is there a whole positive vibe, respect and support in your community for your business? Is the community genuinely happy and appreciative that you are a part of it?

Now to go back and look at Herman Cain's quote above, wouldn't spreading that high level of happiness be a major key to success?

Happiness is not a destination. It is a method of business and life. Contributing to the happiness of others can be one of the greatest sources of our own happiness. What Herman Cain is saying is that, "if you love what you are doing, you will be successful".

And with your own life, how do you really feel?

Are you happy with the time you spend on it and the daily feelings of achievement and enjoyment you gain from it?

Are you, your family and their future financially and emotionally secure?

How does your immediate family really feel about your business?

Are they constantly excited by it and the opportunities it provides for them? Are they happy with the time that you spend on it and on them? Do they love it too and are really proud of it?

It is not about seeking to give them "things" to make them happy. If you want to help others live a happy life, don't give them things, do the things that help them to achieve their dreams and goals. Happiness begins when a dream is created, and in seeking happiness for others, you will find it in yourself.

It can all be achieved when you shift your focus towards gaining, building and maintaining a high level of emotional wealth rather than a wealth of accumulated and ever depreciating physical possessions that lose their value over time.

Those physical possessions may initially make us happier, but soon become our new normal and we return to our old happiness baseline.

Happiness is a habit and you can seek to cultivate it and savour it, in both your business and your life, in every moment of every day.

And in running and managing your business and your life, do you ever feel that it can get all too complicated - wondering just where and how you get started, how you achieve that all important balance to ensure that nothing gets overlooked or even forgotten? How do you know if something is just "not right" before it is too late?

Would it be nice to have far less to constantly think of, but still maintain a full focus on building that happiness in your business and your life?

- In fact, a far greater focus on all important aspects of your business and your life?

What if you could do all of that by being mindful of just nine things in your business and your life?

Forget everything else - except for just nine things and gain far greater levels of achievement and enjoyment in all areas. By doing this you will also gain more time and understanding to bring balance back into your life.

Does life and business often seem this way to you with all of the pressures and responsibilities that you seem to have? So many things to do and not sure where to start and what to prioritize? Not sure of the essential things to look out for or keep an eye on? Finding it hard to give your adequate attention to things in need of it? Feeling dragged in all different directions at once?

The simple process of classifying the important aspects of your business and life into just nine different areas also provides you with far greater control and much more efficient use of your time and resources.

We are talking about a whole new and far simpler way to hone in on and manage every aspect of your business or your life to get everything running smoothly, efficiently and to the greatest beneficial affect.

The secret is in knowing those nine areas and being constantly mindful and aware of them.

If you have read this far, you have already been thinking about one of those nine areas - the emotions that surround you and your business and whether they are good or bad and can be improved on to work more in your favour.

Just like you and those around you, your business does have an "emotional life" that needs to be built and nurtured to get the very best results right across the board, just like it has a "financial life" and all other aspects of "life" that we commonly know of.

Your business is, and needs to remain, a "living" entity, so it should be no surprise that to ensure its future health, happiness, prosperity and longevity it should be managed in much the same way as life itself.

No complicated business terminology, just the simple aspects of life that we are all fully familiar with - and this is what makes it all so easy and powerful to understand and put into practice.

Would you like to learn all nine areas and how they can be used and combined to get a whole lot more out of your business and your life?

If so, why delay your new and ground-breaking future?

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My Business - Business Meeting

On My Business - Johann Wolfang von Goethe

"The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it."

My Life - Chilling

On My Life - Elbert Hubbard

"Happiness is a habit - cultivate it."

My Environment - City Scape

On My Environment - Peter Drucker

"The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity."