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Ep. 73 – The How Is Less Important Than The Why

In this episode we discuss knowing your “why” as to your goals. The “how” in reaching your goals is less important than the “why.” When we are on our journey to reaching our goals, after divorce, failures will occur. It is your “why” that helps you to stay focused and motivated.


Doreen: Hey, my beautiful friends and how are you? So today we’re gonna talk about why you do what you do and to understand that the how isn’t as important as the why. So if you’re ready, let’s get started for episode number 73.

Are you ready to create a life that’s better than ever before? We are Doreen Yaffa and Jeff Wilson, and we are here to give you the strategies you need to create the life after divorce that you deserve and desire. As partners both in marriage and coaching, we use our expertise as well as our own personal experiences to help you make the next chapter of your life the best chapter.

Hey Jeff.

Jeff: How are you?

Doreen: I’m great. How are you?

Jeff: Doing Fantastic. Happy holidays to everybody.

Doreen: Yes. Some people may not be listening to this during the holidays, but in any event.

Jeff: Well, they can get caught up.

Doreen: They can get caught up.

Jeff: Episode 73. Wow.

Doreen: I know. It’s, it goes by quick, doesn’t it?

Jeff: On flies, yes.

Doreen: Okay, so let’s talk.

Jeff: Let’s talk about the how is not as important as the why.

Doreen: Correct. And why we’re talking about this, it’s interesting that after divorce many times or during divorce, I should say many times, it’s kind of like a wakeup call. Right.

Jeff: Yeah.

Doreen: Unfortunately it takes sometimes an adverse event to kind of get you to recheck your priorities and what you want in life, and I would suggest that divorce is a great opportunity to do that.

You know, while we try to concentrate mostly on people going through divorce who are entrepreneurs, business people, and professionals. This topic of the how isn’t as important as the why is really important for anybody. So whatever you’re looking to do in life, whatever your goals are, the why you’re doing it is the most important thing.

And why are we talking about goals after divorce? Because like I said, when you go through a divorce many times you’re like, okay, let me think about my life and what I’ve done thus far and where I wanna go. Right?

Jeff: Yeah. And also to this season, I know around the New Year’s everybody focuses on the new beginning and setting goals, and I think it’s a perfect timing to talk about motivation.

Doreen: Okay. Yeah. So after divorcing, you know, motivation can fail. And when it does, what we wanna do is suggest to you to think about the why. Motivation is a big deal. There aren’t many things in life that feel better. You know, when you have that peak motivation in something, it just drives you. It’s like riding a wave.

And even when there’s obstacles, when you have motivation, even when, and, and I shouldn’t say when there’s obstacles, you’re going to encounter obstacles no matter what your goal is, you will fail. It’s part of getting there. I like the expression that I always use, which is fail forward. In other words, when you’re trying to reach a goal and there are going to be failures. Let’s take for example, you’re trying to get more business in, right? And so you do an email campaign or you do a marketing plan and it fails. Like you only, let’s say, get a few interests. My thought is to look at that as yay, a fail. Do you know why?

Jeff: Why’s that?

Doreen: Well, I think you know why.

Jeff: Well, I know why. Because you’re closer to finding out the way to do it.

Doreen: Correct. That means like, one more down. Let’s try a different way. Like, you know, scratch that one off. Let’s try a different way. So I always say yay in the sense of that. It can be frustrating though, and if you, if you’re not focused on the why, like your motivation as to why you wanted the goal in the first place, it’s so easy to just throw in the towel.

Jeff: Yeah. Well, let’s break down the word motivation.

Doreen: Go ahead.

Jeff: Motivation is the motive to take action. So your motive is obviously going to be your reason. And the reason is your why.

Doreen: Right. And I think that when you understand what we teach, which is your thoughts, create feelings, actions, and your results in your life, that when you are, when you have a failure, right?

Your thought may be, like I said, to throw in the towel. But what we try to teach is to change your thoughts and not just like an automatic switch. Like you always have to believe it. But what we do is when we’re working with our clients, we bring them back to their why, even though they had a failure. Oh my gosh. I have a perfect example. Perfect example that just happened, just came to my mind.

Jeff: Okay.

Doreen: One of my daughters is applying to vet school. And she only applied to three schools. So she, the first two schools she didn’t get accepted. I’m laughing because the last school, what I read, was out of 1600 applicants, only 24 seats spaces are available for students.

Isn’t that a crazy, so I wonder what the math is on that, like the percentage. You know, like of the odds of getting in, it’s not great.

Jeff: Not likely.

Doreen: 1600 and there’s 24. I mean, we could do the math pretty quickly if you wanna know what that is. But you know, she easily can be disappointed because you know, she is a person that’s motivated to go to vet school, wants to be a vet, loves science, loves animals, and she could easily say, you know what? Throw in the towel.

Jeff: It’s a little less than two percent.

Doreen: Is it really?

Jeff: Yeah,

Doreen: It’s, yeah, it probably is. Right? That’s crazy. 2% odds. And when you’re a non-resident, which she’s a non-residents to the schools in which she implied, you know, it makes it that much worse or difficult, more challenging. So my whole thing to her was like, okay, all right, well, that’s a failure.

Let’s regroup. Let’s, let’s think about our why. We want to go to vet school because, and let’s just go and set another plan. We have another school that we’re waiting to hear from and hey, if it doesn’t work, then we’re gonna figure out another way. I told her, I said, listen, we’re Yaffa’s. We don’t quit.

We just keep going until we get there, until we win. And that’s how I’ve always lived my life. So that why is what carries you through those disappointing times. Now I wanna go back to, I’m gonna talk about weight because everybody can relate to being in shape and weight, right? Whether it’s gaining weight or losing weight.

You know, some people need to gain weight or they’re trying to gain weight, but most of us are trying to lose weight or trying to get into good shape. So when you’re on a diet and you’re exercising and you get on that scale and now it’s like it hasn’t moved in a week or maybe even you’ve gained a pound, even though you know that you’ve really done what you need to do.

You followed your diet, your food protocol. I don’t like to call it a diet , right? It should be a lifestyle change, but that’s for a different topic. You followed your food protocol, you went to the gym. You know, let’s say you weren’t drinking whatever it is that you did to try to get yourself, you know, you’re working towards your weight goal, right? Or you’re a fitness goal, you get on that scale and it’s like, it went up a pound. Really? Isn’t that the worst feeling?

Jeff: Well, you know, typically you muscle weighs a lot more than fat. So they may have lost some fat, gained some muscle, and it looks like the heavier on the scale

Doreen: Could be. I don’t know about that.

Jeff: Because that’s what I tell myself.

Doreen: Yeah, I don’t know. Everybody says that, but it’s still disappointing. It’s like, like, oh really? You get on and you’re like, forget it. I’m just gonna go and I’m just gonna eat everything in the refrigerator. You have to get back to your why.

Jeff: Yeah. I have an example as well.

Doreen: What?

Jeff: Years and years ago when I was going back for my fourth degree black belt training, I was going through probably the worst back pain in my life and I was four weeks away from my goal of earning my fourth degree black belt.

And it takes in perspective, it takes three to four years to earn a black belt and you know, two more years for second degree, three more years for third degree, etc. However, with a bad back, it usually took me longer to get my goal. So when I got the news that I had to have back surgery and put my goal on hold, I was a little bit, little bit set back and a little bit demoralized.

Doreen: Was this your fourth degree?

Jeff: This was my fourth degree when I had the surgery.

Doreen: Okay.

Jeff: You know, my first surgery. But after thinking about my why and why I wanted to get my fourth degree.

Doreen: Which was why

Jeff: Well, it was all about me. It was my personal challenge. It was my, you know, fitness goal. It was my mental goal, my discipline, and my, of course self-defense.

And, you know, there was a lot of reasons why, but I wasn’t doing it for anybody else but myself. So I had my surgery and I got on the road to recovery and immunotherapy and jumped right back into the next black belt cycle. And a year later I earned my fourth degree black belt. And maybe the adversity made the accomplishment of the fourth degree just a little bit sweeter.

Doreen: Yeah. I mean, isn’t that true? You know, also I, that’s true. And also I was thinking like when, when you look at your why and you look at things are gonna happen, right? So when you, when things happen, like failures or obstacles and you focus back on your why, it’s really important to appreciate the failures, like you’re saying, like you appreciate the failures. You continued with your fourth degree black belt in spite of your back surgery. It was that much better when you achieved it. I also think that encountering failures, challenges in life, including divorce, make you that much stronger.

I always use the expression, bring it on, which means like when you’ve been through adversity and you get to the other side of it, it really does make you that much stronger and more confident that you can overcome obstacles. Turning back to our daughter, I was thinking about her disappointment with receiving, you know, the news that she didn’t get into that one school.

I thought, this is a girl. This is a woman, my daughter, our daughter, who just recovered from major, a major blowout in her knee during a volleyball game. Yeah. And a year of recovery, a year of tough rehab. The surgery was very long. All I know is I was sitting there for hours and it took a long time, you know, for the recovery.

She actually got in the court again and played, which is amazing, giving the amount of damage she had done to her knee. Just that in of itself was such a goal, you know, and probably even though she wasn’t playing at the level she was before. Like she was always a starter just to be back on the court.

Must have been so sweet for her. Her why was I wanna play volleyball? Why? Because that’s what she loves to do. And she wanted to finish her school year on the court again. So that was like super motivating to her, right? So, when we talk about your goals and getting there, it’s important that, first of all, that you really have a good foundation in why you’re doing something.

Don’t do it because it sounds good. Your mother asked you to do it. You know, it’s something that you think you might like. You have to really start with why you want, what you want. Right?

Jeff: A lot of, for all of our entrepreneurs and business owners out there, you know, it’s kind of like your company’s mission statement.

You know, you draw up a mission statement to tell everybody what is your why and your purpose of doing what you’re doing. And it kind of personifies your purpose. And the purpose becomes bigger than motivation. And it’s, and becomes a must do not would like to do or would want to do.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: You know, not everybody will have the why expressed in life and death terms, but I guarantee you

Doreen: What do you mean life or death terms?

Jeff: Well, you know, somebody, if I don’t do this, I’m gonna die. Or if I don’t do this, you know, I won’t be able to get into college. You know, they, you know, everybody kind of may express it in their own way.

Doreen: And it’s interesting that, I don’t know, I’m just a firm believer that if you want something, unless there is some solid reason why, you can’t do it, meaning like maybe you have a physical limitation that prohibits you from doing something which is rare for most of us. If you want something and you really, really have thought about your why, you can get there. Absolutely a hundred percent. There’s no reason why you can’t.

Jeff: Exactly

Doreen: Just have to keep going forward. I also wanna talk about the concept of living as if you’re already there a lot of times to get past that mentality when you fail, because again, you will have failures getting to your goal. It’s very easy to just, while you may still wanna get there and you may still keep moving forward on reaching your goal, and you should, of course, it maybe you don’t have as much energy focus determination because of the failures.

We talk a lot in our coaching about living as if you’re already there. And I think that’s important. When we talk about always remembering your why, and that the why is more important than the how, because when you can get yourself into a mental state of seeing yourself already achieving your goal, whatever that looks like.

I don’t know if it’s in business, whatever that number looks like. Like you’re already reaching, you’re already bringing revenues, let’s say of $2 million, right? If you were already that business person that was already making, having those gross revenues of $2 million coming in, how would you show up? What would you act like?

How confident would you be if you can put yourself, kind of like really envision yourself, it really changes how you arrive at your goal. Does that make sense?

Jeff: It makes sense.

Doreen: Do you have any examples?

Jeff: Well, for an example, I’m gonna be going for a listing next week of a beautiful home, and I’m going to show up as if the listing is already mine.

Doreen: Right.

Jeff: You know, I’m gonna show them already have pictures of the house. I already have some interested buyers. It’s my listing. I’m not gonna go there with the hopes of getting it. I’ve already gotten it.

Doreen: Right. And when you do that and you show people that you’re confident it really does help. Like people feel that.

Jeff: They can sense it and people feel it, but for you as an individual, you know, you have to feel it. That’s why when you put yourself, as you know, imagine how a person that reached your goal would be, how would they show up? How would they talk? How would they move? How would they act, right?

Amazing, amazing. Just try it on for size. I also wanted to talk about that. How the, how of it, how do I get there? So once you determine your goal, understand your why. And make sure that your why really is in sync, meaning with what you want in life. You’re truly doing it because you want it, right?

Like my daughter, who truly wants to go to vet school, she wants to be a vet. It’s in her heart, it’s in her passion. For me, I wanted to be a lawyer. I knew that I was gonna get there. That how isn’t as important on why. Why is it not important as important, I should say? It’s important because the how is gonna change when you sit down and you say, how am I gonna get to vet school?

You’re going to have different ways of getting there. You’re going to put applications out to various schools. Hey, if it doesn’t work now your how might change? Maybe you have to hire someone to assist you with the application process. Maybe the how is that you have to apply to more schools so that you open up the opportunity.

Jeff: It sounds like the how’s are the failures?

Doreen: Well, the how’s are, this didn’t work. Let’s try again. Right. The how for vet school, again, as an example, could be maybe you’re gonna take off for a year and you’re gonna work in a veterinarian clinic or hospital so that you get more of that experience to put on your resume. That might be part of the how.

Jeff: That’s a great idea.

Doreen: Yeah. So I’m just saying that the how isn’t as important because it’s going to always change the why should not change.

Jeff: The why will give you the persistency to never lose. Focus on motivation. Yeah, exactly. Like you said, the motivation, the persistency too.

Doreen: And you know, especially if you are an entrepreneur, business person, professional person, you know, it’s challenging out there, no question. You know, business is, and goals and businesses are challenging. The people that succeed are the people that never give up on the how.

Jeff: Yeah. And also as a business person, your hows and your whys should become a part of your meetings should become a part of your hiring experience.

Doreen: Oh, that’s true.

Jeff: You know, when you hire somebody and find out their whys, that’s a pretty strong empowering conversation.

Doreen: Yeah. Very, very true. And, you know, in business especially that corporate culture. That business culture of the why are we in business is really fundamental to being successful. Let’s talk about the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Yes. We both have read that.

Jeff: That’s a great book.

Doreen: What did you bring from that? I think that’s a book that, if you haven’t read it, you might wanna consider putting it on your list of reads. It’s, have they updated that book? Probably.

Jeff: They’ve had a couple of updates. But basically the seven habits are the seven habits. And, and one of my favorite ones, which relates to our topic today is beginning with the end in mind, right? So you start off already living your life with the why you’re with the goal being accomplished, and you’ll figure out how to get there. Beginning with the end in mind is a very, very strong.

Doreen: Is that what they, is that one of their main one of the seven habits?

Jeff: Yes, it is.

Doreen: Okay, cool. All right.

Jeff: I recommend the book to everybody.

Doreen: Yeah. All right, so let’s talk about this. Let’s summarize. So in divorce, going through divorce after divorce, it’s usually an opportunity to revisit the goals in your life. I suggest we suggest that you do that, number one.

Number two, once you determine what those things are, those goals that you want to achieve, now that you’re a single person and you wanna move forward and redesign, recreate redecorate your life knowing the why is going to be the first thing. So we want you to try it on for size. See, see what you think your why is and the how will fall into place.

Just remember that the failures come, they go, the how changes and you just keep moving forward. It’s as easy as that.

Jeff: Sounds pretty simple to me.

Doreen: It’s simple, but it’s more of the mindset, which is, you know, look, the bottom line is that, your mind is probably the strongest. Well, I think it is the strongest

Jeff: Muscle.

Doreen: Muscle. Is it a muscle?

Jeff: It is a muscle

Doreen: In your body. It is what is the most powerful thing that you have, and so getting your thoughts in check and really understanding your thoughts. will change your life without question. Now when you’re going through divorce, having a coach, having someone to kind of check in with you and keep you on track is super, super valuable.

Because it’s so easy and divorced to really just give up. So listen, if you all wanna come and check out our coaching and how we help people come visit us at our website and you know, we do a complimentary consultation, check it out. See if we’re good for you. You can always reach us at which is Life After Divorce Coaching.

Jeff: Don’t forget

Doreen: So, and see what you think.

Jeff: And if they want to throw us an email [email protected] and [email protected] .

Doreen: All right, all listen, go out, determine your goals, your whys, and the how will come. All right, people. Listen, have an amazing, beautiful, beautiful week and remember, yes, you can have an amazing life after divorce. All right. Bye everybody.

Jeff: Bye everybody. You have the vision of what you want your life to look like after divorce, but maybe you just don’t know how to get there. So if you’re ready to take control of your life and want to find out more about our coaching, visit us at That’s L A D as in life after divorce dash

Doreen: Until next time, have an amazing rest of your day. And remember, yes, you can have an amazing life after divorce.

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