At first my motivation was money Now God and family come first I like my lifestyle

You're back. We hope you've got a good idea of what your Big Why is. Chances are you wrote

Jack Gross Millionaire Real Estate Agent Bethlehem, PA Sales volume—$132.1 million discuss later in this chapter, long ago, I discovered the magic of business goal categories. Each year I simply choose the next achievement targets in each category rather than re-creating the whole system. For me, business goals are part of a larger personal strategy designed to push me to my limits and make me grow. Unfortunately, to my friend, they seemed to be more about pure ambition and possible greed than about personal development. That misunderstanding was the source of the conversation I'd like to relate to you now. It was very telling and honest, and I think it may help shed some light on the difference between living with and without a Big Why:

friend: When I look at your business goals, I have to ask, "Why do you want all that money?"

ME: What do you mean by "want all that money"? I don't.

friend: Then why do you set all those goals to get it? It sure looks like you want it.

ME: Now, friend, no offense, but I don't work for money. You do.

friend: That's not true.

ME: Sure it is. Because when you have enough, you stop work ing.

friend: What do you mean?

ME: I mean that the amount of effort you put out at work is directly related to the amount of money you're getting paid. You appear to know exactly how much money you want to make and when you make it, you stop working. You work for money.

friend: Hmm. I guess I never thought of it that way.

ME: Well, try thinking of it that way for a moment. Then, go a little further. Now, you say you have everything you need, but it appears to me that you feel maybe you could have accomplished a little more by this point in your career. Right?

Gary, you know I hate it when you do the tough-love thing with me. Well?

You're right.

Why do you think that is? Maybe your focus on money is actually holding you back? But I do need a certain amount of money. We all do. Try looking at it this way. I also need a certain amount of money, but the difference is, I've never worked for money. Never. Never even really thought about it. When I wake up in the morning, my Big Goal is to do my very best, to be my very best, and to grow as much as possible. Any money I've made is simply a by-product of my constant pursuit of personal growth. That's why I set Big Goals and work so hard.

So you have to be careful when you're trying to discover your Big Why. We hope that what motivates you isn't just money or a comfortable retirement. The truth is, you can achieve those things faster than you think; then, if you're not careful, you'll be left with a lot of life and little reason to live it. We hope you're getting in touch with what truly motivates you. Maybe you love to do the deal. Some of the best agents I know love nothing more than a difficult negotiation that gives them a chance to really shine, to acknowledge objections, to discover a solution with which both sides can be happy. This is the kind of Big Why that doesn't easily fade.

I've also known real estate agents who like nothing better than providing exceptional service to their clients and handing them a key to their dream home. This kind of Big Why has led them essentially to become invaluable financial advisers for their clients, guiding them on investments so they can eventually buy their dream home.

FRIEND: ME:

FRIEND: ME:

FRIEND: ME:

As you've probably guessed, my personal favorite is the Big Why that drives people to be the best they can be. You might try thinking of it this way: Being your best is actually a goal-less pursuit. You can never ever really reach a point where you can truthfully say, "I just can't grow anymore." And what is so exciting is that this kind of Big Why can create a life that literally explodes with limitless possibilities and unlimited personal growth. It is where the unimaginable you dared not dream becomes the imaginable you dare to live. And as far as money goes, when you are always striving to do the best you can do, you will always be making the most money you can possibly make. Here is the best part of all: Once you have the money, what you can do with it (gifts, travel, charities, hobbies, etc.) can then become another why that supports your Big Why!

Now, stop for a second and take another look at your notes. What are the whys in your life? What is the biggest one for you? Whatever you place foremost will be your Big Why. If it is the right kind of Big Why, it will also tend to lend foundational support to all of your other whys. Like geese that fly in formation, the lead goose bears the brunt of the work and allows all the other geese to draft behind her. Your Big Why can and will do the same thing for all your other whys. It is the why that pulls all whys.

In the end, I am a strong advocate for placing personal growth ahead of any Big Why you have. It is simply that powerful. High achievers know this. They know that when they decide to be their best and place that at the forefront of all other whys, it will pull the rest in its wake.

Just as important, striving to be the best you can be will keep you from pulling up short and settling for "good" and letting "just good enough" be the theme of your life. In his bestselling book Good to Great, Jim Collins declares, "Good is the enemy of great. . . . Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life. The vast majority of companies never become great, precisely because the vast majority become quite good—and that is their main problem." I have come to accept that one of the greatest challenges in life is pushing to be our best when we are already pretty good. The surest way to combat that natural tendency is to make "being your best" and "doing the best" the point of everything you do, to make it your Big Why.

Robert Browning is often quoted as having said, "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp—or what's a heaven for?" Significant whys led by the Big Why, "Be the Best You Can Be," will have you reaching for the sky every time.

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