Success Is Never Being Afraid to Ask Why!

Over the past several years, I have been spreading the message that success is about never being afraid to ask why.

From the early age of two, most infants repeatedly annoy their parents by constantly asking them, “why?, Why?, WHY?” But by the time these young inquisitive toddlers get to their formative teenage years, they have lost the ability to ask why because most likely it was slowly beaten out of them by a cynical, practical educational agenda.

Most people today simply live life in a world of “how”. “Just tell me how to get the job” or “how to make money?” or “how to do this and I will just do it.” “How” is the ‘poster-word’ for status quo! There is no creativity in how.

My theory is that young people have become afraid to ask “why” because they are either perceived as stupid by older adults and peers, or even worse, a parent, teacher, or someone else they look up to got annoyed with them because they dared to inquire and they themselves did not know the answer and simply tried to save face. As a result, most theoretically-minded individuals have merely become the minority in a society that desperately needs to change.

The theoretical allows us to understand not only ‘how’ but ‘why’ we do something. This allows one to become creative in either solving or improving upon something that has simply “always been done this way”.  TED lecturer Simon Sinek does an excellent job explaining the theoretical success of Steve Jobs’ innovative genius behind Apple’s brand loyalty: “People don’t buy ‘what’ you do, but ‘why’ you do it!”

“Why” empowers an individual with the confidence and creativity to challenge the status quo and go beyond the “how”. In my experience, truly successful people always go the extra mile to figure out the “why” because it enables them to consistently recreate their success. Once you understand “why”, you can improve on an idea, innovate based upon the changing times, or, more importantly, discontinue something if it no longer works.

This is why I strongly believe that in order to really achieve success and get good at something, you not only need to learn how something is done, but I strongly suggest you understand why. I guarantee you that a highly successful person has already figured out not only “what” they were doing wrong, but why they needed to improve on what they already knew in order to beat out the competition.

“Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” ~ John Maxwell

Throughout my new book, Demystifying Success: Success Tools and Secrets They Don’t Teach You in High School, I provide my readers with both the theoretical (“the why”) and practical (“the how”) knowledge that I have acquired from my own and others’ past experiences in order to help them navigate life’s obstacles and pitfalls. It is my goal to re-educate young adults, as well as adults of all ages, about the ‘power of why’ so that all can reap their own personal and financial success throughout their lives.

By simply committing yourself to embracing a theoretical “why” approach to learning and living, you will greatly enhance your outcomes for success.

Back To The Future: My Successful Health Transformation

It is hard to believe that it has been a year since I made the decision to adopt a Paleo lifestyle. For those of you who are unaware of Paleo, it is short for paleolithic diet—also referred to as the caveman or hunter-gatherer diet. It is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals.

The Paleolithic era ended with the development of agriculture. As you can imagine, there is now a great debate between physiologists and nutritionists as to which is healthier: Paleo or the traditional four food groups.

This blog is not intended to convince you either way. My bigger lesson here is to explain how your perceived health may ultimately impact your overall success.  After all, how you look is definitely a direct reflection of how you feel—a mirror to your soul, if you will.

Sometime in your life you may have heard the expression, “You can’t always judge a book by its cover.” I want to tell you that this expression, as far as first impressions go, is false. In fact, 9 out of 10 times you most certainly will judge others based upon your first impression because humans are wired to respond to them. This is why your mother, father or teachers often told you, “It is always important to make a good first impression.” A great book I recommend reading with regard to first impressions is Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink. According to Gladwell, “Snap judgments are, first of all, enormously quick: they rely on the thinnest slices of experience … they are also unconscious.”

Last October 2011, I was at my heaviest weight (253 lbs.). I felt miserable. After walking the last five miles of the Long Beach Half Marathon, I had had enough. I realized that my obesity was really just a symptom of something bigger; I wasn’t happy. I needed to make a change, but I wasn’t sure how to do it at that moment, other than knowing that something needed to change.

I called my good friend and mentor, trainer/nutritionist Annie Mello, founder of FitChicLA and then I did one of the hardest things imaginable: I had to admit that I had a problem. Annie agreed to train and work with me, but she needed to know I was serious. She started to talk to me about a new book (at the time) by Robb Wolf called The Paleo Solution which discussed the physiological reasons why people tend to struggle with their weight.

Annie mentioned to me that she and her husband Chris had recently “gone Paleo” and had had amazing results. When I asked her what made this diet different from the others, Annie told me, “When choosing to live a Paleo lifestyle, you will not only look and feel great on the outside, but you will also maintain a healthy metabolism inside while reducing inflammation in the body. This nutritious lifestyle aids in supporting amazing body composition, energy levels, quality of sleep, and overall mood. It also helps you eliminate food cravings without becoming obsessed with calories. Instead, you can look at food as fuel to feed your body. With Paleo, you can truly feel the best you can and should feel while being your best!”

In addition to the Paleo diet, Annie began training me in CrossFit, which is very complimentary with Paleo, and I continued to see my desired results.

Throughout the past year, and those closest to me with tell you, I have strictly avoided bread, wheat, pasta, corn, rice, legumes, potatoes, soda, cheese, and desserts (that was a hard one!), but the results were amazing and obvious to me and my family and friends.

Since I committed to all three disciplines, I have experienced a tremendous transformation externally and internally. Not only have I lost 56 lbs. and now weigh 197 lbs.! But my doctor also took me off of my cholesterol medicine after 16 years!  I feel amazing!

As for my running, since that Long Beach Half Marathon where I walked to the finish line, my race times have reflected all of my hard work:

  • November 22nd – Malibu half: 2:38:13
  • December 5th – Las Vegas half: 2:34:55
  • February 6th – Surf City half: 2:11:34
  • May 20th – Pasadena half: 2:11:26
  • Sept 2nd – Disneyland half: 1:58:58
  • Sept 9th – Chicago half: 1:57:46

As for those important impressions I discussed earlier, an ex-girlfriend recently asked me, “Why didn’t you look this good when we were dating?” I told her, “Honestly, I didn’t feel this good!”

There are many options for achieving successful health. The important thing is to choose one, commit to it, and follow through to get your desired results.

Be healthy, my friends, so you too can keep growing your success.