Why do you like that TV show, movie, certain vacation town, coffee shop…why do you like anything you do?
It’s not a question we often ask ourselves, we simply know we like it. You ask 99% of people why they like a tv show, “it’s entertaining”.
And they are not wrong. But go a level deeper. Why is it entertaining? Specifically, why do you find it entertaining?
You see, there’s a deeper level to why you appreciate some things over others. Understanding that will give you a huge prospective into who you are as a person and can help you make decisions in the future already knowing if you’ll like something or not.
Where this thinking began
I didn’t think this way a few years ago and I don’t really know when it clicked over for me.
What distinctly stands out in my mind as I started asking people what their favorite travel spot was. All sorts of answers and always a beautiful place.
I would ask why it’s your favorite spot?
“because it’s beautiful”.
Wrong (I didn’t tell them this). But you’ve been to a lot of beautiful places, why is this one your favorite? What really makes it so perfect for you?
…..They are not sure. And often times, they would get frustrated with me (this wasn’t the only thing I asked them why they liked). They were getting frustrated because I was challenging them to think deeper, something most of us are not often challenged to do.
You see, most of us don’t really think about what makes us tick, what makes us so happy, we just know the things that do.
For me, my favorite spot is Mexico (where I live now), because of the culture and the ocean. The ocean brings peace to me. It provides me a sense of calmness, just looking at the ocean clears my mind. This is important to me as I’ve really focused my life on mental health, creating a strong platform for my thoughts and creativity.
Some other examples:
Recently wrote about why Entourage is my favorite TV show. I’ve watched this series a dozen times but never thought about why I liked it so much. For me, it’s really watching an entrepreneur fight for what they believe in, the struggles of making in, triumphs at the top. It’s watching someone go through a personal battle to follow their dreams, that’s why I enjoy the show so much.
I enjoy living alone. I’m more on the introverted perspective. Living alone gives me that quiet place I can be with my thoughts, allowing me to break away and get my me time when I really need it.
My favorite dog is a Pitbull. I enjoy challenging myself in life, I believe it’s a long-term play on the market “aka, your life”, that will be dividends in the long run (I have no idea why I just compared my life to the stock market). Having a dog that has a bad reputation, and showing the good side of the dog, while challenging myself to bring out the good side of the dog, I believe has a greater impact on the world than just having a dog.
How to apply the why thinking
Think about some things that make you really happy. You work (hopefully), vacations, restaurants, people.
Now think about why they make you happy. Really why.
Sometimes this can be difficult. A trick is to keep asking yourself why until you can’t anymore.
Why do you like pit bulls?
“because they are cute and really sweet”
But why is that important?
“I enjoy how affectionate they are”
“because I like I a dog I can cuddle with”
“Because they are so sweet and I don’t think people appreciate them for what they really are”
See where we are going with this…
How to apply it to the future
Perfect, you now know what makes you tick.
Now, how do you apply it?
Before you do something, go through this frame of thought.
An easy one is a new job. Really think about why you would like it. Does it get you closer to the future you want? Is it your dream job? Why is it your dream job? The complexity of the work? The money? If it’s money, think about why the money would make you so happy.
It’s not wrong to overthink things. Overthinking things means you know how you think, you know how you make decisions.
It’s not easy knowing how your mind works, but making an effort to getting a deeper understanding of who you are will only lead to a stronger future.