I’d like to make a very bold claim: you have a superpower that you probably use regularly but you don’t even know about it.
This superpower is resourcefulness. Now, I know it may not be as glamorous as flying or commanding earthquakes, but it’s way more important and way more useful to you.
My view is this: Master being consciously resourceful and you won’t believe how fast you’ll be able to get the things you want in your life.
Let’s dig right in!
How to become resourceful in 3 steps
- The first big step is this: learn how to get really good at knowing what it is you want in any given situation.
Here’s an important distinction: the ends and the means are not the same.
The end is the outcome you’re really after and the means is how you try to get it.
Means can be flexible or be changed, but the ends you’re after stays the same.
For example, you might be going for a run, but the reason for that was to maintain a healthy body. Depending on your situation, you could have done a high intensity interval training routine and gotten the same result.
Being conscious about what you’re after in any given situation means that you’re more likely to achieve it.
How does this work?
Your brain is built to bring you to what it thinks you want most as fast as possible. It does this by making you aware of the means available to you that will make that happen.
Know the outcome you want and your brain will help you get it.
Last point: if we don’t know what we were doing or what we were after, how do we know if we did it or if we got our result? No wonder we do so much but still feel like we’ve not done anything!
- Second crucial step: learn to know the WHY behind the outcome you’re after.
Here’s a universal truth: there is a reason behind everything a human being does. We will never do something unless we feel that it will give us something we want (or will help us avoid something we don’t want).
Think about it:
- Why do you take a shower? Because, maybe for you, being clean is better than being dirty at that moment.
- Why do you pay your taxes? Because NOT being pursued by the IRS is better than getting in trouble with them.
- Why does a toddler eat their broccoli even though they hate it and protest? Because the consequences they perceive as coming from NOT eating it outweigh the taste.
Knowing the reason behind what we are after helps us to bolster the willpower needed to get it. You may be really excited to start that new project or get fit, but if you don’t have a strong reason, you’ll just quit.
This is one of the main reasons you probably don’t keep your new year’s resolutions.
When we have a strong enough “why”, it’s very rare that any obstacles are big enough to get between us and our outcome.
A strong why gives us the juice we need to persevere to the end.
DON’T NEGLECT THIS. If you are wanting something but you find yourself procrastinating and failing to take consistent action, you’re “why” probably isn’t close to strong enough.
- Third step: come up with all the actions you can take to get the outcome you want.
This is where the superpower really manifests. When we can free ourselves from the “tyranny of how” and focus on the outcome, we can solve problems much more creatively.
Opening our minds to think of all the different ways we can achieve the outcome we’re after is what this step is all about.
Make a list of different ways you can think of that will achieve the result you want.
Next, think of the 1-2 steps that can have the most impact on achieving the result. Remember, you don’t need to do all these items you came up with! Just the most impactful ones.
“20% of the actions we could take will give us 80% of the result we want”— Tony Robbins
Real world example
Let’s say you want to read Dracula by Bram Stoker (it’s late October). That’s a lot of pages to digest and depending on how fast you read, it could take a long time.
Besides that, if your life is busy, the little free time you have will be split between several things in most cases.
You know what you want to do, but how can you fit in another thing with everything else you have going on?
We can make a simple table that outlines the “what”, “why”, and “how” of our Dracula example:
What (outcome) Why How
|Read one of the famous classic scary stories during the Halloween season||– This is a great way to tap into the feeling of Fall|
– Expand my ability to use my imagination and powers of visualization- I want to be a more cultured person!
|– Research classic scary stories and buy / borrow it*|
– schedule time to read it a bit each day- start a small book club with friends
When you’re not attached to how you get the outcome, your brain is free to think of many different solutions that could achieve those ends.
So, if our outcome is to get into the spirit of fall through checking out Dracula, who says that we have to read it? Why couldn’t we listen to it on an audiobook?
You’ll notice that “download audiobook” isn’t even on our list! Our superpower kicked in and our brain gave us a really good idea.
When you think about the situation, the audiobook solution is great because you can listen to it while you do other tasks like clean your house or commute to work.
You’ve found a way to get what you want without having to necessarily change your schedule or sacrifice time with something else!
You can probably even find it for free on YouTube or on a library app!
Can you start to see how this approach can be applied to more scenarios in your life?
Your ability to be resourceful is one of your greatest strengths.
In order to activate this ability, do the following:
- Clearly understand what outcome you’re after
- Come up with a compelling why you want that. If you can’t come up with a strong enough why, you’ll not do what’s necessary to get it done!
- Come up with a big list of how you can achieve that result and pick the 1-3 actions you could take to best achieve what you want NOW.
I hope this helps you in your life the way it’s helped me.
Also, I’d like to give a lot of credit to Tony Robbins for his RPM system that goes really in depth into the psychology of what this article talks about. If you’re interested in learning more, check it out here (not an affiliate link).