Dr. Doug Hirschhorn is a partner with the University of Miami Alumni Association, providing insight on excelling in your life and maximizing your potential. Send him your thoughts, comments and questions at alumniweb@miami.edu.


March 22, 2007 - A Journey to Greatness
April 19, 2007 - Why?
May 17, 2007 - Gaining Self-Awareness
June 21, 2007 - Taking the C.H.A.M.P. Approach to Setting Goals
July 19, 2007 - Taking Smart Risk September 20, 2007 - It All Comes Down to Accountability

April 19, 2007

A Journey to Greatness


Our journey begins with a simple word that represents a very complex and powerful question. That word and question are both “Why?”

In life, the vast majority of people consume themselves with questions about HOW.
How am I going to accomplish that goal?
How am I going to make more money?
How am I going to start my own business?
How am I going to lose all this weight?
How am I going to find time to workout each day?
How am I going to get promoted?
How, How, How….

This opens a door to worry, fear, anxiety and in the end you feel so overwhelmed that you find a reason to put it off for another day and revisit it later. Or worse yet, you simply decide to not rock the boat that your world presently floats in so you just go through the motions of living for another day and then another one and then another one. Sound familiar?

What a waste of talent. All that potential you have inside of you. All of that passion, desire and energy just seems to build up and go nowhere. Well guess, what…you have a choice. You have the power to create change. In fact, you already have the fuel that is required – you just may not be aware.

To unlock that door, to begin the first step to greatness, all you have to do is stop asking HOW and start asking yourself “WHY?”

Yes, that’s right, Why?
Why do you want to accomplish that goal?
Why do you want to make more money?
Why do you want to start your own business?
Why do you want to lose weight?
Why do you want to work out each day?
Why do you want to get promoted?
Why, Why, Why…

Once you force yourself to shift your perspective on things from HOW to WHY, something fantastic happens because if you know WHY you want to do something then HOW you are going to make it happen is no longer the focus. As the 19th century German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, put it, “A person who has a Why, can deal with any How.”

As a peak performance coach, I have discovered that all great achievers have clearly identify their WHY. They know WHY they choose to do what they do and they pursue it with passion and relentless commitment.

This month, I wanted to share with you the knowledge that “Why” is what will drive you to succeed. Why is what will keep you moving during unexpected setbacks. Why is what will push you to continue when others tell you that you can’t. Why is what will energize you to pick up the pace when your body is begging to stop. Forget the HOW for now and start by finding your WHY.

Now it is your turn. I want to know your reason for WHY. If I struck a chord, let me know, if you are stuck in a HOW world, email me and let me hear about it so I can push you to find your WHY.

Thank you all for joining me on the first leg of our journey towards greatness. Be sure to check back next month as we take a close look inside of ourselves to see how our personality can help and hinder our future success.