The BIG why


The big hurdle that prevents people from making progress with their freedom dream is that they simply don’t have a clue what it is that drives their inner mojo for life. They might know why they like this idea or that subject, or whatsoever activity; but they just don’t know why.

In the past, I’ve been guilty of negativity in my approach to new subject areas; you know the kind of thing I mean. Scratching around to find all the ways an idea wont work instead of saying fuck it, we’ll make this work!

Restless Peasant grew out of 2 ideas I had for blogs 5 or maybe even 6 years ago. One was a kind of philosophical review site, where I pontificated on what I thought was the way of the world and the way people should be thinking. That was before I joined a meditation group and realised that instead of sitting thinking all day long, I’d actually been sitting meditating most of my life. I just thought, that I’d been sitting thinking. I also thought that I was good at thinking and that maybe I could even help other people with my thinking. so I started a blog called thinking phil, even though my name is john:-)…I know weird and shy..who knew? After a while I realised that what I had been doing wasn’t thinking, but just being and that thinking isn’t really a useful thing to do most of the time.

I also thought (covertly) that poeple needed to hear about my thoughts and even that they needed to be alerted to the problems with Capitalism, employment and be warned about the dangers of following the well worn path that most people endure all their lives in the hope of getting some free time (that they end up not knowing what to do with) when they eventually retire form work. Of course, everyone who ends up on this blog already knows all that stuff and is looking for something different to inspire them, not a treatise of what’s wrong with the western world view.

Yes, I did say this grew out of 2 blogs; I’m coming to that.

The other blog was called grow slow farm and it was like a country diary. I’ve always lived fairly rurally, but in 2004 I moved with my growing family to the deep Scottish countryside, ended up being the owner of donkeys, sheep and chickens and started living a version of the good life.

I was still working 00.00 to 23.59 (the self absorbed business owner’s version of 9-5), thinking I wanted to be a millionaire businessman. In 2010 I pressed the reset button and have been living a life of freedom and making my living from my life since then.


Now, I’m not a proper Buddhist, but you’ll often hear the phrase “thought is not our highest level of consciousness” or something similar in Buddhist circles and it seems that I already knew that…without thinking :-). What I thought was thought, was simply me watching my thoughts. I’ve never really thought anything through in my life; always going with the gut feeling and that is what this long winded introduction has been about…getting to the gut reason, the feeling, the driving force behind your big freedom ideas.

In a previous post I revealed my way of getting to the bottom of issues that niggle me, by repeatedly asking Why? When you suddenly start doing something different from most other people around you, it’s easy to feel that you’re wrong and everybody else is right. Deciding on a daily basis what your daily life will be can result in you catching Imposter Syndrome. So I have been using the 5 why’s to get to the bottom of problems for a while. A lot of times we do stuff everyday without stopping to get a grip on why we do them. Quite a lot of the things we do when drilled down to,  show up a deep seated need or desire for recognition; a pat on the back maybe. I know, it’s deep psycho shit, but it happens to everyone.

The BIG Why?

Now, given that I understand all of that, how can I find what really drives me? How can I land upon the one thing that will fire me up without a moment’s thought every single day for the rest of my life? Don’t assume this will be easy. A lifetime conforming to someone else’s ideas will have ensured that your BIG why is well buried under a heap of indoctrination and brainwashing, even if you think you haven’t been indoctrinated or brainwashed! Just because your not paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t all out to get you after all!

The good news is that the very same, 5 why’s technique will do it with just a few tweaks.

Take an idea that you’re keen on progressing (if you ain’t got no ideas start here) with and start to ask yourself:

Why am I doing this?

then… with take the answer to that question and ask yourself why? again.

then…OK you’ve got it, I’m impressed. Keep asking why until you get to the deepest Why possible.

When you can find no more why’s then you have arrived at the BIG why…fro this particular idea.

The hidden danger in BIG why’s

Of course, it is quite probable that this BIG why isn’t a good enough reason for progressing with this idea…why? Well, as I revealed in my original post proclaiming the wonder of the 5 why’s, in the early stages of changing your life around, a lot of your investigations will lead to little niggles you’ve been carrying around for your whole life and that means that the BIG why for some of your existing ideas will be just all wrong for the purposes of making you happier and more fulfilled. Here’s an example of how that can happen.

But here’s one I came up with for myself, after many many false starts (the message here is to keep trying…don’t give up).

Statement 1: I want to grow a movement based on the ideas behind the Restless Peasant blog.

1st Why?; answer: So that I can engage others and demonstrate that real freedom is within everyone’s grasp.

2nd Why?; answer: So that the ideas behind restless peasant are spread and more people can benefit from them.

3rd Why?; answer: So that many more people can enjoy the benefits of a life of creativity, freedom, mindfulness and sustainability without worrying about money.

4th Why?; answer: It’s cool.

5th Why? What’s the BIG why from this?; answer: Value to others.

My BIG why is to provide value to others.

What’s your BIG Why?

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