woman asking the How question

The Three Letter Question

The Mobius Monday Minute – This is the first of a new series of posts that will appear every Monday about motivation, personal development, and mindset immunity.

woman asking the How question
Photo: Morguefile.com

Today I want to talk about one of the biggest mindset stumbling blocks many of us will ever encounter. It’s all embodied in one little three-letter question: HOW?

This question may look tiny on a page but in real life it can pack a wallop of intimidation. Everything from a small crack to a huge canyon.

The difference in dimension is determined by the addition of the kinds of words we use after the word “how …?”.

Example: How can I …? (fill in the problem)  How do I …? (Fill in the area of missing information) How could you …? (Fill in the situation)

The thing is with a three letter question like “How?” is that it looks benign but in fact can be wonderful or it can be woeful.

On a good day it can force inquiry by badgering us for answers.  That’s great exercise in the short term but often none of those answers will be available immediately and the search can quickly escalate into a pile of hard work to satisfy that need to know.

And that takes motivation and drive that sometimes must be sustained for years on end.  All the while that “HOW?” questing keeps eating on us chewing up our motivation and nullifying our drive. It’s that kind of demand for dedicated effort that weeds out a lot of us from ever feasting at the table of success.

The only reason it didn’t stop me cold was because I had made a discovery that, through its very nature, forced me to keep going. It had an astounding effect on my resilience and determination.  I knew absolutely that I had to find a way to cogently describe its cause. I felt that the world needed to know.

That has kept me very future oriented even when small victories seemed far off.

Of course not everyone is going to be able to maintain their motivation over the long haul that’s a given. Success rates in anything are always consistently low.

That’s because this little question with the three letters in it can morph into an excuse to stop altogether.  “I didn’t do it because… I didn’t know how; “… to get the funding; “…to find the tools I needed” “… to talk with the right people.” – just fill in the blanks with your particular situation.

I’ve personally used at least one of those a time or two and, believe me, it is a road to nowhere.

When I first became familiar with the how? question years ago it was when I started to talk about human motivation in the context of explaining the workings of the human thought process.

I’d been using a three-step model that began with the word “thought” and ended with the word “action”.  In between those words was that little question but you wouldn’t recognize it because in this case it was using an alias.

Here it’s called the “analysis”.  It’s an appropriate word though because the word “analysis” means “breaking down” or” taking apart” and that is precisely what it does to our self- motivation.

It is the embodiment of the dangers of the “How?”  We don’t just get stuck in it we get stopped by it.

In my model I use the three stages of an idea as it progresses through the thought process: Thought – Analysis – Action. Can you guess where the most stress comes from?

If you said right in the middle you’d be right on. That is the most toxic of any of the three stages. It’s the ingredient of the destructive force of the three-letter question: “How?”

So, if you find yourself wandering in the land of the “How?” take your exit as soon as you can or use it to push yourself to new discoveries about yourself. Get into some action – any action – and you’ll soon meet with abundant satisfaction and contentment just from learning by doing.

Hey, even if you’re answers are wrong you’ll be better off then stuck in the mire of the three-letter question.

Then, if you want,  you can become a teacher and show others the right path by asking them: – “Anyone here need to know how?”

More power to you my friend.
David is the developer of the H.E.R.O. eMachine
PS: Have you noticed that a lot of personal development methods no longer pack the punch they once did? Could be the times. I went ahead and invented this simple little brain tweak that makes a huge difference in leveraging your efforts for creating a better version of yourself. Want more? Check out my FREE webinar here.