It’s Not the Goal That Drives You

Photo of Mark Arsenault for Join Me For SuccessHave you ever considered why you are doing something and thought, “Well, that’s a silly question. I want to do it for X” (X being the seemingly obvious goal)? I suggest to you that the “obvious” answer isn’t the real answer at all. Here’s what I mean.

The goals we set for ourselves are real, but they’re not the real reasons we do what we do. We do what we do not because of the goal but rather because of what achieving the goal will do for us. In other words, it’s not the benefits of doing the thing that drive us. It’s the benefit of the benefit of doing the thing that drives us.

Here’s an example. Why do most of us go to work at a job? The answer is obvious, right? We work for money. We work to get paid, right? Wrong. We work so that we can acquire money (the benefit) so that we can pay our bills (the benefit of the benefit). Ultimately, we work so that we can pay our bills.

Here’s another example. Why do we buy flowers on Valentine’s Day? We buy flowers to give to that special person in our life to make them happy, right? Wrong. We buy flowers to give to that special person in our life to make them happy (the benefit) for what it does for our relationship with them (the benefit of the benefit).

So the next time you consider why you (or someone else) is doing something, consider the real, underlying reason. Consider the benefit of the benefit because that’s what truly drives human beings. There’s an illustration that was used in a sales training book I once read. It went like this:

People don’t go to the hardware store with the goal of buying a drill. They go to the hardware store because they need to make a hole. That makes sense, doesn’t it? Nobody really “needs” a drill. What they need are the holes that a drill makes. That’s the benefit of the benefit.

So the next time you are looking for a reason to do something, or even a reason to persuade someone else to do something, consider the benefit of the benefit. What will doing that thing really accomplish for you (or them)?

If we focus on the benefit, that alone might not outweigh the perceived negatives of doing something. If that’s the case we won’t do it. For example, if I work out I will lose some fat and get in better shape. Is that enough of a motivator for me to go exercise, get all sweaty and feel pain? Absolutely not. But if I consider what losing weight and being fit will do for me, such as allowing me to fit into a nice suit I want to buy, give me more energy and a longer life to spend with my children, then it absolutely is worth the pain and sweat.

It’s not the benefit of the exercise alone that motivates, but the benefit of the benefit that drives us to do what we do.

If you got some value from this post, please comment below or share it with others. And, as always, have a great week.

Here’s to your success.

Marksig

Originally published on JoinMeForSuccess.com

 

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