Why me? So
By Dr. Steven
Jim is a 45-year-old CEO in downtown Chicago recently
diagnosed with skin cancer. Of course, like many of us, his
business is going through a rough period. If that isn't enough, his
14-year-old son is getting psychiatric help and Jim is wondering
whether he should join his son. Jim keeps asking himself, "Why me,
why me, why me?" At some point, each of us has asked the question:
"Why me?" The real question being asked is: "Why do I suffer with
so many problems in my work and life?"
Albert Einstein can help here. He said, "The significant
problems we face today cannot be solved at the same level of
thinking we were at when we created them." In other words, the
biggest problems facing people in business and in their lives does
not come from the problems themselves, rather they are caused by the
way one thinks about those problems.
There are two ways to think about problems that lead to two
different responses to the pain of those problems. The ordinary
response is to ask why me-and answer "Because___." We want to fill
in the blank with blame. Blame makes us feel better. It turns us
into a victim. As a victim we feel that problems are not our fault
and we are not responsible. Our expectation is that we are
entitled; we have a right, to a life without suffering or unanswered
questions. This does not solve our problems. The only path to inner
peace and success is to shift the focus of our thinking from "What
caused my problem?" to "How can I solve my problem?" We must shift
our focus from feelings to values, from rights to responsibilities.
We must change the focus of our thinking about the question why me
from "Why do I suffer?" to "Why do I exist?"
If the ordinary answer to why me-is "Because___" the
extraordinary answer is: "So That___!" You fill in the blank with
something purposeful, something of meaning, and/or something of
value. Our purpose in life is to become something special, to
become extraordinary. We exist for some purpose. We are here on
earth to do something special.
Here is the key point: in business as in life one can focus
on problems or purpose. Both exist together in paradox. Focusing
on problems causes pain and suffering. However, when the focus is
on purpose, then the power of purpose overrides the pain of
problems! The power of purpose, your "So That___!", overrides the
pain of problems.
Pain and problems exist so that we can solve those problems
and deal with that suffering. Our purpose is to solve each other's
problems leading to extraordinary levels of success, joy and inner
peace. Purpose is the flipside of problems. Without problems there
would be no purpose. Business people must be very clear about their
focus. Is the focus on problems or purpose? Changing the focus from
problems to purpose requires a paradigm shift, changing the existing
way of thinking.
Here are some tools for changing your focus to thinking and
acting on purpose:
have problems remember it is an opportunity to learn and grow.
Most of us think that in life we either Win or we Lose. If,
instead, we Learn from every situation then we never lose.
problems are messengers whose message is: please stay on
purpose. When you have pain, that pain is a signal for you to
change. You have gone off purpose. You must bring your
thinking and/or your behavior back on purpose. If you do not
yet have a purpose, that pain is a signal to find one.
personal purpose. It should be something that serves others
that gives you joy, you find meaningful, you do well, connects
and aligns with higher values and timeless truths, and others
value (you solve a problem they have or create an opportunity
purpose and vision statements for yourself and for your
in business is to create a unique systematic solution to a
particular problem that people face. Create that unique
Create a USP
Proposition (the answer to the question why should I use your
product or service?)
unique and special purpose (answer to the question why were you put
unique solution to your customer’s problem.
is the problem that your company solves?
is your solution to that problem?
makes your company unique and different from other businesses?
is your extraordinary business story?
extraordinary story has an extraordinary theme- an extraordinary
No matter what your circumstances are, or how painful and
difficult they are, you're completely free to choose your response
to those conditions. Choose a response that is extraordinary.
Choose to live on purpose. In business and in life our job is to
transform this world from what it is, a world filled with suffering
pain and problems, into a world that ought to be, an extraordinary
world filled with success, joy and inner peace. Each of us has an
extraordinary purpose for which we were put here on Earth. Each of
us has a responsibility to discover that purpose. If we all focus
on our purpose there is no limit to the problems we can solve, to
the healing we can bring, or to the extraordinary harmony that we
Why me? "So That___!"
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about Dr. Steven Steinberg.
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