Ken Hettiarachi, Director of Freedom Works UK, about what it takes to master “now” in life or business and produce outstanding results by asking a different question.
We all ask ourselves questions like, “how do I start my business”? “How do I get that dream job”? “How do I become successful”? And we look, and ask and, we ask Google, we ask experts, we ask friend and family. We ask everyone, waiting and hoping for some enlightening answer. Until we know how. I don’t mean people who ask “How to?” and find some way and leap into an adventure. I mean people who keep asking how to and keep asking and say, “if only I knew how to, then I’ll start.” And don’t start.
So we never start anything, or we start something based on someone else’s “how to?” and think “ah that’s how to!” and do it as their 5 steps to heaven or 7 steps to hippodrome or any other nightclub our inspiring gurus fancy. We look for a path someone else had trodden and think, “I’m going to take the same path”. “They have success, I can do the same”. But at least that is something. But most of us don’t even start. We wait for years and some don’t even begin.
The people who are following the paths prescribed by their successful guru’s quickly realise that it is not so easy to follow those paths, although it seemed to be when that person is talking about it or when we observe them in the process of running their life or business. It looks easy.
But people who ask how, has a chronic problem. They have a way of doing things which is entirely based on their comfort zone and fear of failure. That is why in the first place they keep asking “how?” over and over again. They reduce and bring the “how to” steps from their guru to inside their comfort zone. That’s called, “my way”. Unfortunately, unlike our Frank (Sinatra), almost everyone who does it their way ends up doing what they have always done, only may be a little bit better, a little bit more and a little bit different. But there is no breakthrough. No unprecedented results, all predictable results.
Then we ask “When?”And this really paralyses us. We ask when based on a set of criteria. When these criteria are met, then we will start. But the criteria seem to never meet exactly as we want them to. Main criteria are time, opportunity, relationships/who we know and money of course. So we do it another time, later, when the time is right, or when we see the right opportunity like market conditions or when we know who can help us or when we have the money. Until then we postpone and procrastinate. And eventually when we do start, the opportunity has gone. There is never a “now”. It’s always “some other time”.
Then we ask “Why?” “Why is this not working?” “Why I can’t figure it out”. Or “why me!” like that song, “why does it always rain on me?” “Is it because I lied when I was 17” Well may be you failed and then you lied to yourself about why you failed? Like, “I’m not good at selling” or “I can’t sell” Or “I’m stupid, who am I to kid myself?” Or “I’m ugly and unattractive.” And you forgot you said those things to yourself.
So where is when? I mean where does “when?” exist? Now. Because now is the only time there is. So we start now, where everything exist.
Then we come to “how?” Actually “how” only exists for us humans, in nature there is no how. The seed cracks, the green shoots shoot, the leaves spring and the plant grows, flowers, fruits and seeds. it just does. The seed doesn’t ask how? The little chicks in the nest grow wings, jumps up and down for a few days and then just fly. It doesn’t ask how. That is how. You might say it’s all in our genes and DNA. Then success also must be in our genes and DNA. Maybe we deprogrammed ourselves from success by listening to “why?” And why does it really matter “why”? What ever happened happened. “Why”? Isn’t going to make what happened better or worse or un-happen.
Then we come to the question of being. Because all these questions arise in relation to “do”. As you have heard many times we are human beings, but “being” is an alien concept for most people. After a lifetime of getting weathered by how, when and why we have forgotten who we are – Being! It’s the being that enables all action (doing) to happen and then we have results.
But this being gets interrupted by our mood, like how we feel. Like the weather our moods or feelings change all the time. So if we tie ourselves to determining who we are being to our mood then we are in for a rough and bumpy ride. And when we are bumping up against our moods we have no time for being anything else in those moments.
As a human being you have feelings, but you are separate from your feelings. Because all feelings arise in you. Like you are the glass and feelings are in you like the water in the glass.
Does the glass gets effected by the water? It never does. But you have made water your vassal and put the glass in it bobbing up and down and then it gets filled up with your water and sink to the bottom. Then you need a how, when and why to explain why you are stuck at the bottom of the sea of life. You forgot that who you are is life itself and everything like your thoughts and feelings and your hows, whys and whens all arise in you. Like the saying, you put the horse before the cart!
So if you are the glass or the vessel which carries your life, then, who can you “be” in life which enables you to act decisively now? If you are being your feelings like fears or unhappiness or anxiety then the action you take will also be tainted by those feelings.
I’m not saying how you should feel or even those feelings are wrong. It is human to feel. But basing your entire existence from your feelings makes you fall into a hole in life which you never really climb out of.
So instead of you base who you are just as “you” and then you take on being whoever you need to “be” to “do” what you want to do for example being extraordinary or as my friend Tim Dingle says being Amazing, then you are choosing that over and above how you are feeling. So you can be depressed but at the same time be amazing or extraordinary and take action that an amazing and an extraordinary person would take while also feeling depressed. You will have the opportunity to do something now. If that is not being extraordinary or amazing I don’t know what is.
So the question to ask is not how, when or why? But Who? Who are you going to “be” in life?
So when you are in the space of being extraordinary and amazing, while whatever feeling is going on in you and took powerful action which yielded you results now, in this moment, you will know what to do or say like the seed knew how to crack open and germinate. It’s all in you as you are the glass holding life inside it. Ask Who? Now how, when or why?
“Ask not to whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee!”