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Article > You’ve Gotta Get a Why


Article kindly provided by Duane Alley

This article is part 3 in Duanes series on Burnout.

You can read part 1 HERE

You can read part 2 HERE

Burnout Cause #3: Lack of Vision

So you feel like you’re making progress, and you regularly take breaks to let your batteries recharge, but you still feel a general malaise and a lack of motivation. What’s up with that?

The answer may lie in your end goal. You may think, “I know why I’m working twelve-hour days: I want to get my business off the ground.” And to that, I respond: “Yeah, but…”


-Yeah, but… why do you want to start your own business?

-Yeah, but… how will you know when you’ve reached your game?

-Yeah, but… what after your business is launched. What then?

Think of a group of metal workers in a mid-Twentieth-century steel factory.

The first group knows that each day they’re working to build airplanes and ships to liberate occupied Western Europe. They go to work knowing their labour, sweat and lifeblood are being put to use for a greater good.

Now there’s a second group of metal workers…

They have no idea what their daily effort is going towards. They show up, put in their ten hours, and clock out without any understanding of how their work will be used.

Finally, we’ve got a third group. Unfortunately, these workers are greeted at the gates every morning with a large flag flying overhead – and the red, white, and black flag has a large swastika emblazoned in the middle. As they work, they are blasted with Nazi propaganda, being constantly reminded that the products of their labours are going to protect the world from the scourge of Jews, gypsies, and other “undesirables.” Whether or not the workers share this perspective, they are forced to salute the Nazi flag and claim allegiance. Those who don’t are punished and might even lose their jobs (or lives).

Which group of workers do you think feels most motivated during the day?

If you haven’t figured it out yet, having a goal isn’t enough. Sometimes your goal is fantastic, perfect – the perfect combination of motivation and inspiration. But if you’re not feeling the love, there’s a good chance your lack of motivation comes from a lack of vision.

Put it this way: Having a goal that is misdirected, unclear, or not motivating enough can be worse than having no goal at all.

So if you’re not waking up psyched for the day ahead, lack of vision could be the issue.

Thank goodness, there’s an easy way to rectify this issue, which we’ll discuss this thoroughly in the next section.

Answer #3: Get Clear on Your Why

Today’s culture is rife with rags-to-riches stories, those now-successful entrepreneurs, internet marketers (and speakers) who were able to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, inserting themselves into a life of leisure, umbrella drinks, multiple holidays and “my office today” posts on social media… Analyzing these stories – at least the ones that seem to be true – show that one thing many of these self-made successes had a big reason to succeed. You’ve heard the stories –

•A financial guru who had faced bankruptcy and was at risk of losing his family
•A super affiliate marketer who was a single mom who had to feed her kids
•A music phenomenon who was living in a car
•An internet marketer who was working hard to save her family’s finances after her husband was laid off
•A motivational coach who was $100,000 in debt and 50 KG overweight

All of these people had huge reasons for working hard, day in and day out. Like explorers who had burned their ships after arriving at the New World to take away any option of retreat, success was not an option; it was an imperative.

So to bring this home, if you’re working to put food on the table, you’re not going to worry too much about motivation. You’re going to get up every morning and start hustling because you have no other option.

But what if you’re not in this back-against-the-wall position?

You can still create a strong “why,” one that motivates and inspires you. Money is rarely sufficient; instead, think of what you’ll do with the money you earn.

Take your family on a trip?

Ensure your parents’ comfortable retirement?

Build houses for the homeless?

Take your goal beyond a number in the bank…

If you’re trying to lose weight, why did you pick your goal weight? To look sexy and get a new mate? To be able to shop in any store you want? To be around when your kids have their children? You need to know the why behind the goal in order for it to successfully motivate you.

During this exercise, you might determine that your goal is misaligned with your values. You may need to re-align your goals, find a different “why,” or find a new goal altogether. Don’t let that discourage you, though – better to re-evaluate now than to reach your goals only to look around and wonder why you bothered.


Now for your bit:

Examine your goals.

What are your Whys?

Get clear on your Purpose for achieving?

Don’t just think about what you want or how to succeed – continue to remind yourself Why you want it and Why you’re doing it at every step.



If you have any questions about this article or the exercises, please contact my office at

Green Lights and Full Cups everyday




Duane Alley


About the Author

Duane Alley
Speaker | Trainer | Author | Coach

Duane Alley spent the first 15 years of his professional life working with some of the biggest and fastest growing retail and franchise businesses in the country; he then spent 5 years as Head Trainer & Coach for one of the biggest Personal Development companies on the planet.

He has combined his extensive experience from the business world in delivering real world results with his success and study of personal development, rapid human change and shifting consciousness.

As a Master Trainer, Author, Speaker and Performance Coach he now works with businesses and entrepreneurs quickly and easily improve their businesses and make more money and with individuals, couples and families to make simple changes and take small steps to live better lives day by day.



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