Blog: I’m Smarter Than You!

Welcome to Dave’s Answer Blog. You ask me any question, and I’ll give you the answer. There is nothing I cannot answer.  Let’s get started:

This question comes from Darlene in Tucson, AZ:

Dear Dave,

If a store is open 24 hours, why do they have locks on the doors?

That’s a great question Darlene.  It’s because there might be the odd time when the door would need to be locked. Perhaps on a holiday, during times of danger in the neighborhood, or just when the guy behind the counter has to go to the bathroom.

The next question is from Howard in Mobile, AL

Dear Dave,

Why is it called Greenland when it’s covered with ice and snow?

Thanks for the question Howard. It started in 982AD when Norwegian explorer Eric the Red settled there. He was having trouble getting people to move there, and his colony was not doing well, so he named it Greenland to entice people to settle there instead of that other colony on “Iceland.” It was essentially a marketing ploy.

Here’s a question from Beverly in Helena, MT

Hi Dave

Since bread is square, then why is sandwich meat round?

Good to hear from you Beverly. The easiest answer to your question is that they made the earliest sandwich meats from sliced sausages and wursts that were packed in intestinal casings, which made them cylindrically shaped. Thus, the slices were round. The bigger question is, “Why do you WANT to eat that stuff?”

This next question is from Josh in Portland, OR

Dear Dave,

Why do I do what I do? What’s my motivation for my life, my work, and my future?

You know Josh that is actually the only question I can’t answer. It’s a question only you can answer.

But there might not be a more important question you should tackle in your life. Everything you do begins with that “why?” It’s what motivates you to succeed. It’s what gives you the strength to persevere during times of struggle and leanness. The answer to that single-worded question will be the inspiration for everything you do from this day forward.

If you have ever wondered why your actions don’t match up with your desires, maybe it’s because you haven’t answered “why?” If you have ever found yourself following a path you hate, perhaps you haven’t given enough thought to “why?”

Without answering the why question, you will meander through life. You will say yes to everything without questioning. You will become overloaded, overstressed and overcome. It’s like trying to take a trip without directions. Why do you not turn down every street you see? Because you have a map telling you which street to turn on.

“Why” is your map.

I know I have spent so much valuable time beating myself up for my actions. I do what I don’t want to do, and don’t do what I want to. That’s because if you are not intentional with deciding what your “why” is, your baser nature will take over. If I don’t have a higher purpose, my desires will take the path of least resistance. To do the right thing is often the hard thing. And the only way I will consistently do the hard thing is to have a compelling reason why.

Your “why” is not a cookie cutter answer. It will likely be different for you than others. It’s most likely you have been living under someone else’s construct of your “why.” It’s one that has been forced on you, either by them or by your own fear of having to decide for yourself. That’s why it feels like you are running as hard as you can SIDEWAYS, never making any progress.

So how do you decide your “why?” Again, this is something you have to work out on your own. The process is as individual as the ultimate answer you land on.  But there are a couple of tips to help with the journey:

Make it Powerful

Which is more compelling: a visit next door or a trip to the Louvre to view some of the greatest art of all time?  What is more exciting: going to work every day or going to ride an elephant in Thailand?

You get the picture. Your why should be compelling. It should be something that makes you excited about the journey. It should be something bigger than you think you can accomplish. It should be something that promises such an endorphin rush that you can’t wait to get there.

Make it Emotional

How would never having to worry about money feel? How would it feel to know you get to spend as much time as you want with your kids or grandkids? What would make you feel like you just won at life?

Again, there’s no right answer here. For some, it might be financial security. For others, it might be your family. It might be all of the above.

Former 1 Simple Thing podcast guest Jairek Robbins talks about “Emotional Rocket Fuel” and tells a great story that serves as a powerful example of the power of emotions in propelling us forward. You can listen to that episode HERE.
Just know that you have to feel it deeply. You will not truly land on your “why” until it consumes your emotions, and not just your mind. Your willpower will fail you, your body will falter, but your emotions will compel you.

Make it Measurable

On a long trip, you typically have to look at the map more than once. It’s the same with your “why.” Write it down. Create a vision board. Remind yourself of it regularly. And go back to it from time to time with an attitude of, “Is this still relevant?” Life changes and your motivations might also change.

How do you know if you’re getting there? Do you have signposts along the way? What are some goals you can put into place to help measure whether you are sticking to your vision? Set some measurable goals and watch your progress. If you still are not taking action, go back to the beginning and work on your passion and purpose.

The Journey Begins

Remember, once you find that sweet spot, the actions will almost take care of themselves. Nobody has to remind you to brush your teeth because you don’t want bad breath, and you don’t want to sit in a dentist’s chair while he holds a power tool. That’s a compelling reason to brush your teeth. If you have been focusing on the “how” with little progress, it might be because you haven’t tackled the “why.” When you do, the “how” becomes evident.

When it comes to your compelling reason to do what you do, no one is smarter than you. It’s a question ONLY YOU can answer.

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