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Thinking Out Loud - Ep: 07 - Chickens, Ray Lewis, and You....Why Do We Do What We Do?

podcast May 22, 2020

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Andrew J. Mason:
This is thinking out loud with Doctor Joe Currier, Episode Seven, Chicken, Ray Lewis, and you. Why do they do what they do? And what is your why?
Welcome to Thinking Out Loud with Doctor Joe Currier. My name's Andrew J. Mason and this is the show where we hit the pause button on life, head to the locker room for some life changing halftime inspiration, and then zoom back in and grab the tactics direct from Doctor Joe's playbook to pull it all together when we're on the field.
When we don't realize our why, we end up mindlessly moving through our lives without really doing things for our reasons instead of our parents or caregivers or anyone else.
Doctor Joe shares that if we're persistent in asking why, we can very often get to the deeper meaning behind our actions, that our decisions can flow from our self perception. Digging from our first into our second why can reveal our deeper purpose and motivation? Here's Doctor Joe with more

Dr. Joe Currier:
Let me begin this podcast with a question.
Why did the chicken cross the road? Think about it. Answer, to get to the other side.
You may be relieved to know that most human beings are different than chickens when it comes to why we do what we do. Not all chickens. There are a few outliers. In a similar manner, many individuals seem blindfolded or simply unaware of why they do what they do. For many, they're doing what they've been told, taught, and model. Please give me a little room to gender generalize.
As children, the words be a good girl. Be nice, was taught to many young women. I hope in years gone by things are changing. Children were often not allowed to go into their power. A man might be perceived as assertive while a female executive might be labeled, it rhymes with witch and starts with a B, for the very same bold behavior.
Meanwhile, in days gone by, boys often heard stop being a baby. What's wrong with you? He's just a kid frightened or in pain but instead he's being schooled in the false belief that real men don't cry. In fact, you'll see that men and women often apologize if they begin to tear up. Just look at how we define crying. He broke down. What does that conjure up in one's mind?
The past shapes our beliefs. We learn to parent from our parents and thus risk repeating the same mistakes, the mistakes of the past. I know that many of us took an oath as a child, I will never speak to my child like that. After having been asked, "Are you stupid?" Is that a real question? We also become the spouses that we saw in the car and in the kitchen. We promise ourselves not to repeat the self-defeating past, but often we do.
So I ask, what is your, why? What motivates and drives you? What is your burn? Ones primary why is motivation? Human beings always have a why, a motivation for what they do or choose not to do. When asked, "Why do individuals climb the career ladder?" They typically say, "To create wealth and opportunity." I've often replied., "Well, money is a paper fabric. Will you wallpaper your bathroom with the tens, the twenties and the fifties?" After an initial strange look at my dumb question. D-U-M, I'll get to a person's second why, an underlying purpose; some positive or sometimes painfully negatives.
I've been told, "I work hard to create wealth." Motive? "In order to purchase a home for my mom." Purpose? "I want to thank her for the sacrifices she made for me and my brother. It's important that she know how much I appreciate her love and care."
I've also been told, "I want to show my dad that I'm not a loser," a label he heard from dad. I could feel the pain when told how his frustrated father threatened him with the warning, "You're going to end up a loser, want to be." I've been told, "Wealth makes me feel like a somebody."
A third common underlying purpose is the illusion of safety. A woman on the fast track to success once told me, "We were dirt poor. I always feel insecure. Money makes me feel safe." She said that, "I take an oath to work hard and work smart so I can build a bank account as a safety net."
There's always a point and purpose behind the initial motivation. The second why takes us beyond the X's and O's, the what I do. It takes us into a person's mind, heart and spirit, into the who I am; my pride, pain and authenticity.
I talk the importance of the mind set matrix in other podcasts. What? So what? Now what? Marker events, that's what makes us the people that we are. Shape our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. The so what, which helped determine our future choices.
Now what? When you combine the two why's, you will have a life map, an acronym, motivation and purpose, M-A-P, but that is if you take off a blindfold or if and when you stop modeling the behaviors of others that do not serve you from your past.
Which brings me to Ray Lewis, I had the privilege to meet Ray Lewis when I was a consultant for the team's owner and I'd like to say, when I was a partner with the then head coach, Brian Billick. When I say I look up to coach Billick, it's not just because of his towering physical size, it's his character and inspiration.
I could not help, but notice Ray's passion. Day after day, he was first on the practice field and the last to leave. Ray was not only managing his position. He also made himself available to any team member with a bit of advice and a great deal of encouragement. He is truly a care giver. Here's the question. Why? He's Ray Lewis. 13 time pro bowler, 10 time all pro and two time Super Bowl champion leading the Baltimore Ravens to victory. He could do his job as a linebacker and then just sit, support his stats, take care of himself and frankly, let Coach Billick and others take care of themselves and the team but that is not who he is.
Starting with his earliest memories, take a look and listen to his motivational speech on YouTube. Ray connects the dots in his life; apply the mind set matrix. What? So what? Now what? And you will better understand his true greatness.
His earliest memories were polluted by the physical abuse he saw men and women give his mother. Young Junior, as he was called, was unable to protect his dear mom because he was a child, no match for an irate adult. His primary motivation, to grow into a powerful athlete. Yes, there would be wealth and opportunity, but sports was not the reason he trained so hard. That was a means to an end. Ray had an inner passion, a life purpose.
One, he wanted to be sure could protect his mother and support her and his siblings along their way. He has been taking that mission even further over the years, by touching the lives of so many other people.
Why do you do what you do? Are you living your truth? And if not, why not? Buddhists often ask, "Who were you before others wrote on you?" Their markings are like chalk marks and you have an eraser. It's called a new belief. Promises made and promises kept to the authentic self, to help raise and live your true potential.
Ray tells a story that in his early developmental years, he asked his mother for a deck of cards. She was against gambling and after promising her that he had no intention of gambling, he used the cards as a training tool and frankly, I believe as an ego developing tool. He would shuffle the deck and then pick a card. Seven, that meant seven sit-ups and seven push-ups. 10, 10 more exercises to build strength and endurance. Ray would work his way through the deck of 52 cards, using pain and exertion to build power, character and determination. I still do not know if his professional jersey number was requested or pure karma. Ray's number 52, just like a deck of cards.

Andrew J. Mason:
I love the inspiration that Doctor Joe provides. I actually asked him, "What does this look like, tactically? I mean, somebody's trying to connect to their real why. What does this look like?" And of course in typical Doctor Joe, go the extra mile fashion, he had tips ready for Maslow's playbook.

Dr. Joe Currier:
There's an underlying motivation for all of our behavior but while individuals can define what drives them, they often are not as aware of the second why; their mission and purpose.
Not everyone is fully conscious of it, heeds it, nor answers the question, "Are your choices serving you on your life journey, personally and professionally?" If not, you may experience existential drift, a foreboding term to describe the dark emotional cloud that appears after a person has achieved their material success and the accompanying rewards. But they find themselves asking the disappointing question, "Is that all there is?"
There is a myth that wealth and success will bring happiness and satisfaction. It's not true. In fact, happiness is not even a goal. It's the outcome of a life lived with passion. Maslow describes it in his hierarchy of needs. He says that you and I work to satisfy our primary physical and social needs first. That's our first why; the things that motivate us to achieve. But there's a deeper drive in all of us, one that can get smothered by the safety and security needs or dazzled by the attention and affiliation of fame and fortune.
Our highest need is to be what he calls self-actualized or self-actualization. The United States Army used this motto. Be all that you can be. But Maslow, in his explanation regarding self-actualization, didn't say, "Be all that you can be." What he said is, "I must be all that I can be. There is the ultimate need to live with purpose beyond ourself."
Some suggestions from Maslow's playbook, don't hide in the familiar. Embrace the unknown and the ambiguous. If that triggers tension, take a friend along on your journey and for heaven's sake, hold hands when you're crossing busy by-ways.
Two, don't hide your flaws. Ideal self can be exasperating at times, trying to be perfect. It's also boring. Do the best you can, get real and be it in the moment.
Third, enjoy the journey in life. The destination is not the ultimate goal. Once there, it only means your journey is not complete. Life is never complete until it's over.
Four, be unique. You are one of a kind but please don't flaunt the I.
Fifth, keep your eyes open for the necessity that nature and the world will need you to engage in.
Sixth. Be grateful. If you have more, celebrate your wow and share what you have. If you have less, enjoy whatever it is that you have and offer some to someone else in need.
Seven, surround yourself with humble, whole people and keep your fingers crossed that they will share their best with you on their way.
Eighth don't fret about not being perfect. Celebrate and grow your authentic self and somewhat tongue in cheek, if you are a perfect, go for the light. It may be your time. And if it is by the way, tell the good Lord that I'm doing the best I can and I'll see him down the road.
Mark Twain said it in a very different way. The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you understand why. Map your journey, your motivation and your purpose and blessing on your way.

Andrew J. Mason:
Doctor Joe, thank you again for this time that we get to spend together and I feel like I'm speaking for a lot of people when I say we're just so grateful for the wisdom that you're sharing. It means a lot.
To everybody who is engaged with us right now, you can find us on YouTube, iTunes, career groups, blog, anywhere that you can subscribe, like, share, review. We'd appreciate it if you'd help us get this word out and until next time, this was Thinking Out Loud with Doctor Joe Currier; leadership transformation, growth acceleration.

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