Sakichi Toyoda, founder of Toyota industries, came up with the concept of “the 5 whys” – asking why five times in order to drill down to the heart of a problem. We use this tool in life coaching too, and usually find that by the time you get to the fifth why, you have the root of the issue. Today we’re going to do something a little different with the 5 whys and apply them to a goal or vision you have for yourself.
We might not get all the way to five in every case, but the idea is to get to the true desire so we can refine the vision accordingly. As usual, it’s easiest to see this with an example. I’m going to use one of my own visions to demo this.
My Vision: I am completely debt-free, having paid off all credit card debt, and am on the road to building wealth.
Why #1: Why do I want that?
So I can have more disposable income to play with.
Why #2: Why do I want that?
So I can travel, and worry less about money, and take more training.
At this point, things can become convoluted, as I have multiple reasons for wanting more income. So, in order to get the full benefit of the whys, I’m going to ask why for each of these elements.
Why #3: Why do I want to…
|Travel?||Worry Less About Money?||Take More Training?|
|To see my friends more often.||So I can relax & feel free.||So I can serve my clients even better.|
Why #4: Why do I want to…
|See my friends more often?||Relax & feel free?||Serve my clients even better?|
|To feel connected (and it’s fun!)||Um…so I can feel peaceful and feel free!||Because they’re awesome and I want to help them live joyful lives.|
You can see how this goes- eventually I am going to hit an answer for each of these items at which I want the thing because it is inherently awesome. I want to feel free because feeling free is amazing all on its own. That’s what we’re going for – I now know I want to feel peaceful and free. I’m going to eliminate the fifth why on that one.
Why #5: Why do I want to…
|To feel connected and have fun?||Help my clients live joyful lives?|
|It’s obvious – to feel connected and have fun!||Because I want to be of service to others.|
I could go on and ask why I want to be of service to others, but I know that I will end up flipping back and forth between these answers – because I want to bring more joy to the planet/because I want to be of service. You will most likely know when you come to the very core of your desire, because it will feel like the something that is inherently ‘right’ for you, for lack of a better word, and you can’t get any further into why you want it.
The final step is to come up with revised vision – mine looks like this:
My True Vision: I consistently feel free, peaceful, connected – being of service, increasing the joy on the planet while having fun.
That sounds like a lot more fun to me than building wealth. The best part is – everything in my true vision is something I can do right now, while paying off credit card debt!
What’s your true vision? Try this out, and leave a comment to share it with us.