Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

January 2, 2019

5 Why’s Will Show You The Truth About How To Accomplish Your Goals.

Your life will change when you change the details of your life.

The results you have experienced thus far are an indication of the details you’ve been focusing on up until now.

That is true about your health, wealth, getting that raise at your work, falling in love with someone who is madly in love with you, and thousands of other real life results that you want for yourself.

No one chooses to be unhappy, bitter, and massively unsuccessful. Quite the opposite.

There’s a part of you that wakes up every morning longing deeply for the rich rewards that come from knowing you have done all that you can do. Their is happiness that comes from making uncomfortable changes that lead to outsized rewards.

It’s the tiniest of details that usually have the most impact on your success. And not because those details are the exact things that trigger better results.

It’s because the details, when mastered correctly, begin a snowball effect that gathers momentum and ultimately becomes a catalyst so powerful it get you to where you need to be regardless of the obstacles in your way.

In other words, the details create a chain reaction. That reaction either leads to successful outcomes, despite looking silly and insignificant along the way, or leads to magnanimous failure, despite how you appear to everyone else around you in the moment.

So what are those details? What are those things that have such a massive impact on your results?

On one hand, you might think that when you get up in the morning is one of those details that you need to master. And certainly, the amount of time you have in a day to do awesome things is a good indicator for how much awesomeness you can do in a day.

That’s pretty much a given.

But just using brute force to get you up earlier each morning is a dangerous mistake to make. The willpower you have between your ears is in limited supply. And quickly used up.

Here’s a few other replacement actions you could try instead:

  1. Every evening, before you go to bed, create a list of two to three things that you are going to spend your early morning hours working on.
  2. After you write the list, write down beside those items the benefit you will receive in achieving success by finishing those up.
  3. As well, take a moment to think about how you’ll feel when you’ve made this progress.

It’s an exercise that might take you 3 or 4 minutes.

But its a behavior that will greatly empower your desire to get more done each morning.

And for a new behavior like this, it’s not just important to strengthen your soul, you need to understand and leverage how your body is wired to work.

Most sleep experts will tell you that deep sleep, which is where you get most of your restfulness, is in 90-minute increments.

  1. Use that to your advantage by only setting your alarm to wake you in 90-minute increments from now — 4.5 hours, 6 hours, 7.5 hours, 12 hours, etc… Don’t blindly put yourself in the middle of a tragic alarm cycle where you are ripped awake in the middle of a deep sleep cycle feeling off — cranky and unproductive.
  2. Take a few minutes each night, regardless of when you happen to go to bed, to adjust your alarm for a 90 minute increment that has you waking up feeling like you had the perfect amount of rest.

Is it making sense how mastering small details can level you up in ways that you might not be harnessing right now?

Let’s dig a bit deeper.

To level up, you have to stop focusing blindly on the big goals you need to fix or achieve this year.

It’s not about the thing. It’s about fixing the “thing” behind the thing. It’s not just about “why it’s not working” or “why you haven’t gotten there”. It’s about the “why’s” behind the “why”.

Think about it this way — what would you do differently if your life were a manufacturing plant focused on producing awesomeness each day?

When you’re manufacturing a product, you don’t celebrate because one time you did one thing right. That’s what the workers are expected to do. That’s what the process is expected to do.

You don’t celebrate success until it becomes a habit so deeply ingrained in everything that everyone does inside the manufacturing facility that it becomes a pattern so remarkable that it’s consistency must be noted and rewarded.

To do that, the details have to matter. The details have to be mastered.

It’s not just about what happened and what you’ll do better next time. It’s about why that happened and what details need to be enhanced so that awesomeness can be achieved on a regular basis.

To figure this out for yourself, you might need to adopt the “5 Why’s” that Toyota famously taught their managers to use when tackling a problem. It’s a simple exercise that leads to profound answers.

Here is how you use the “5 Why’s” to master the details:

When examining a particular problem, ask yourself “Why” 5 times in a row.

  1. Why didn’t I get that raise at work? Well, I was told that I’m not the most skilled person for that position.
  2. Why am I not the most skilled person for that position? To be honest, I probably don’t have enough experience yet.
  3. Why don’t I have enough experience? I’ve been in my particular position for most of my career and haven’t taken on the challenge of learning anything new.
  4. Why haven’t I taken on the challenge of learning anything new? Hmmm… I guess it’s because I don’t want to fail.
  5. Why don’t I want to fail? Because it feels uncomfortable and I feel bad about myself when other people notice that I am not the best.

Your real challenge isn’t about not getting the raise. It’s about you working against yourself to avoid being uncomfortable.

Progress always requires pain. Reward always demands discomfort. You know that already.

But when you don’t get the raise that you thought you deserved, it’s easy to blame others for that. It’s easy to make excuses about why you were overlooked.

In this case, the “5 Why’s” lead you to a more personal explanation — and the potential for a massive breakthrough.

You thought you wanted the raise. Really, you wanted comfort. To get the raise you’re going to have to be uncomfortable.

Changing your outcomes requires some tweaks to your daily manufacturing process.

Those changes start with tiny details. Those details turn into habits. Those habits create outcomes that push you closer to where you want to be.

Ask yourself “Why” again and again and again and agin until the truth shows you the detail you’ve overlooked.

Start by fixing that first.

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.